Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Standard Business Plan Financials: Projected Profit and Loss

Continuing with my series here on standard business plan financials, all taken from my Lean Business Planning site, the Profit and Loss, also called Income Statement, is probably the most standard of all financial statements. And the projected profit and loss, or projected income (or pro-forma profit and loss or pro-forma income) is also the most standard of the financial projections in a business plan.

Either way, the format is standard, as shown here on the right.Simple Profit and Loss

The following illustration shows a simple Projected Profit and Loss for the bicycle store I’ve been using as an example. This example doesn’t divide operating expenses into categories. The format and math start with sales at the top. You’ll find that same basic layout in everything from small business accounting statements to the financial disclosures of large enterprises whose stock is traded on public markets. Companies vary widely on how much detail they include. And projections are always different from statements, because of Planning not accounting. But still this is standard.

Sample Profit Loss

A lean business plan will normally include sales, costs of sales, and expenses. To take it from there to a more formal projected Profit and Loss is a matter of collecting forecasts from the lean plan. The sales and costs of sales go at the top, then operating expenses. Calculating net profit is simple math.

From Lean to Profit and Loss

Keep your assumptions simple. Remember our principle about planning and accounting. Don’t try to calculate interest based on a complex series of debt instruments; just average your interest over the projected debt. Don’t try to do graduated tax rates; use an average tax percentage for a profitable company.

Notice that the Profit and Loss involves only four of the Six Key Financial Terms. While a Profit and Loss Statement or Projected Profit and Loss affects the Balance Sheet because earnings are part of capital, it includes only sales, costs, expenses, and profit.