We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Common Size Analysis?

Jim B.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Common size analysis is a method of comparing either financial statements of different-sized companies or financial statements of one company from different time periods. It achieves these comparisons by measuring some part of a company's financial operations against the totality of the operations. By doing this, common size analysis reduces the raw numbers to percentages that allow for much easier comparison between companies and across time. This method of analysis may be performed on either income statements or balance sheets, but it is only as accurate as the accounting practices used to come up with the numbers.

It is difficult to make financial comparisons between companies, even ones in the same industry, simply because the circumstances between the companies can be so different. By the same token, it is difficult to look at the numbers a company produces in a single year and compare it to what it did, for example, five years ago, as the financial conditions certainly will have changed in that time span. Luckily, common size analysis can be performed, allowing for much more reliable comparisons to be made.

As an example, imagine that a company has total assets measuring $10,000 US Dollars (USD). Out of that total, it has $2,500 USD in cash, $3,500 USD in accounts receivable, and $4,000 USD worth of inventory. To render these different elements for common size analysis, they would all be reduced to a percentage of the total assets. In other words, the cash would be listed at 25 percent, the accounts receivable as 35 percent, and the inventory at 40 percent.

By using common size analysis, comparisons can be more easily made both across time and across the industry. These comparisons are best done using benchmarks. A benchmark could be either another company that is performing well in the industry, or, if a company wishes to measure its performance against its own standards, the benchmark would be a past year in which it performed particularly well. Putting the current numbers up against the benchmark would allow the company to see where its operations might be lacking.

A common size analysis can also be performed on the liabilities that a company has, or it can be performed on its balance sheet as a whole. In this way, elements of a company's operations like debt, shareholder equity, and cost of goods sold can be measured against the financial operations as a whole. The only limit to such analysis is the potential for faulty accounting practices to skew the numbers on which the percentages are based.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jim B.
By Jim B.
Freelance writer - Jim Beviglia has made a name for himself by writing for national publications and creating his own successful blog. His passion led to a popular book series, which has gained the attention of fans worldwide. With a background in journalism, Beviglia brings his love for storytelling to his writing career where he engages readers with his unique insights.
Discussion Comments
Jim B.
Jim B.
Freelance writer - Jim Beviglia has made a name for himself by writing for national publications and creating his own...
Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.