Financial statement analysis is one important step in business analysis. Business analysis is the process of evaluating a company’s economic prospects and risks. This includes analyzing a company’s business environment, its strategies, and its financial position and performance. Business analysis is useful in a wide range of business decisions such as investing in equity or debt securities, extending credit through short or long term loans, valuing a business in an initial public offering (IPO), and evaluating restructurings including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.
Financial statement analysis is the application of analytical tools and techniques to general-purpose financial statements and related data to derive estimates and inferences useful in business analysis. Financial statement analysis reduces one’s reliance on hunches, guesses, and intuition for business decisions.