Business owners have to understand their finances and accounting to better manage their business. There are several documents that can provide relevant information about a company’s financial position.

These documents include the income statement. Here is more information on this accounting document.

Income statement definition in accounting 

The income statement is an important document for preparing a company's financial statement. It is used to document the income and expenses of a company's operating and non-operating activities.

Other calculations are also provided in this document, such as the difference between revenues and expenses. This makes it possible to determine whether the business is profitable or not.

The income statement can be done using two different methods: accrual- or cash-based accounting.

Why generate an income statement?

Income statements are useful to corporate accounting in many different ways. Among other things, this document compares the company’s actual results with its strategic objectives. Based on this result, the company can adjust its plan to move towards a more profitable strategy.

The income statement also makes it possible to see if the company has overspent based on its revenues. It can therefore be useful for developing a budget for the next period.

The difference between balance sheets and income statements

The income statement is sometimes confused with the balance sheet in accounting. These documents are both part of a company's financial statement and are produced at the end of a fiscal year, but they are quite different.

Balance sheets and income statements include and provide different information. The balance sheet is a document that demonstrates the assets and liabilities of a company for a given period. It shows what you own and what you owe to creditors.

The balance sheet is used to determine your company's net worth, whereas the income statement is used to determine the overall profitability of your business.

How to calculate your income statement

To calculate your income statement, you first need to gather a lot of data on the revenues and expenses related to the operating and non-operating activities of your business. This information should include:

  • Total sales or service income
  • Direct costs (salaries and commissions, depreciation expenses, cost of raw materials, etc.)
  • Indirect costs (operating expenses, sales expenses, administrative expenses, etc.).
  • Other costs (interest, one-time expenses, etc.)
  • Your business tax amount

Income statement calculation example

Income statement for fiscal year January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020


Revenues: _____


Direct Expenses:

  • Salaries and commissions _____
  • Depreciation expenses _____
  • Raw materials _____

Indirect Expenses:

  • Operating expenses _____
  • Sales expenses _____
  • Administrative expenses _____

Other Expenses:

  • Interest _____
  • Moving expenses _____



Get more corporate accounting advice with T2inc

In short, the income statement is an essential document in corporate accounting. Owners can have a better overview of their company’s financial position and develop new strategic plans accordingly.

Would you like more advice to better understand corporate accounting? At T2inc, our tax accountants can make this task easier for SMEs and incorporated businesses.

Get a free quote today to request our services.

Frédéric Roy-Gobeil


As President of T2inc.ca and an entrepreneur at heart, I have founded many start-ups such as delve Labs and T2inc.ca. A former tax specialist at Ernst & Young, I am also a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés CPA and have a master's degree in taxation from the Université de Sherbrooke. With a passion for the world of entrepreneurship and the growth mindset, I have authored numerous articles and videos on the industry and the business world, as well as on accounting, taxation, financial statements and financial independence.

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