## How to Calculate Ratios for a Financial Plan

6. RATIO ANALYSIS

The next analysis appearing in the financial plan should be your Forecasted Ratio Analysis. In a nutshell, Ratio Analysis is a general technique for analyzing the performance of an existing or potential business.

Ratios involve dividing numbers from the Balance Sheet and Income Statement to create percentages and decimals. When aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners apply for a loan, for example, bankers usually look at their forecasted ratios and compare them to ratios of other businesses operating within the same industry.

Your projected ratios should be calculated over a three year forecasted period. Many business plan writers calculate the ratios and provide a narrative discussion, depicting how each has changed over the three year forecasted period. Others calculate the ratios and provide a footnote stating "a complete analysis regarding the forecasted ratios is available upon request. Yet other business plan writers feel the need to calculate various ratios and compare them to ratios of other businesses within the industry. The later approach can be time consuming and may not be "cost effective". Below provides an example of J&B's forecasted Ratio Calculations.

 J&B INCORPORATEDFORECASTED RATIO CALCULATIONSFOR YEARS ENDING APRIL ... YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 CURRENT RATIO: Current Assets Current Liabilities = \$67,894 \$36,359 \$67578 \$39051 \$98410 \$43649 = 1.87 1.73 2.25 QUICK RATIO: Current Assets -Current Liabilities Current Liabilities = \$31,535 \$36,359 \$28,526 \$39,051 \$54,761 \$43,649 = 0.87 0.73 1.25 DEBT RATIO: Total Debt Total Assets = \$36,359 \$185,753 \$39,051 \$237,477 \$43,649 \$293,553 = 0.20 0.16 0.15 DEBT-TO-EQUITY RATIO: Total Debt Total Equity = \$ 36,359 \$149,394 \$ 39,051 \$198,426 \$ 43,649 \$249,904 = 0.24 0.20 0.17 NET PROFIT MARGIN: Net Income after tax Sales = \$ 69,294 \$582,401 \$ 74,032 \$673,775 \$81,478 \$78,441 = 0.12 0.11 0.10 RETURN ON EQUITY: Net Income after tax Total Equity = \$ 69,294 \$149,394 \$ 74,032 \$198,426 \$ 81,478 \$249,904 = 0.46 0.37 0.33 NOTE: Complete analysis on above ratios is available upon request .

The information provided in the above example depicts the name of each ratio, the formula required in calculating each ratio, the dollar amounts for each formula item, and the ratio calculation for each of the forecasted years. It is important to stress that these dollar amounts have been taking from J&B's forecasted Balance Sheet and Forecasted Income Statement. Therefore, the forecasted balance sheet and income statement must be complete before forecasted ratios can be calculated.

Also notice:  J&B decided to calculate the ratios without providing any narrative discussion. Moreover, the company states that a "complete analysis is available upon request". If you want to impress the investor, it might be in your best interest to use the narrative ratio analysis approach. To do this, simply calculate each ratio for the three year forecasted period and then briefly discuss the variable(s) causing the change in the ratio value.

This concludes our discussion on how the projected ratio analysis should appear in your Financial Plan. Remember, it is imperative to understand the theory behind the ratio analysis before attempting to forecast your own. To learn more about how to read or determine the meaning behind ratios, please refer to the section entitled "Ratio Analysis". This section also provides  other ratio formulas which you may decide to include in your analysis.

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