Pro Forma Statements

Read this section and pay close attention to the summary of pro- forma financial statements as follows: (1) the Pro-forma income statement, (2) the Pro-forma balance sheet, (3) assessment of Pro-forma statements, (4) the bigger picture, and (5) end of chapter problems. Attempt the practical exercises at the end of this section to check your understanding of the uses of Pro-forma financial statements. Note that the images in this resource are broken.

If we could accurately predict the future, we could easily become wealthy by making many wise investments (and we're not just speaking of wining lottery numbers). Even imperfect information could guide our decisions and lead to a greater chance of success. As individuals, we constantly try to predict the future (for example: should I buy the phone plan with 500 or 1000 minutes?) and the accuracy of our predictions has financial consequences (paying for minutes we don't use, or running over).

One way companies try to envisage the future is through the use of pro forma statements. 'Pro forma' is Latin 'for the sake of form'. Accurately predicted pro forma statements can help a company plan for the future. How much will sales be next year? Profits? Pro formas (for short) can also be created for distinct scenarios to see which would be more profitable. If created properly, pro forma statements can be a type of financial crystal ball that help a company 'see' the future, although we should always remember that no prediction is likely to be 100% accurate.

Source: Saylor Academy,
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