# Ratio and Financial Statement Analysis Essay

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Executive Summary
This paper examines financial ratio analysis by defining, the three groups of stakeholders that use financial ratios, the five different kinds of ratios used and their applications, the analytical tools used in analysis, and finally financial ratio analysis limitations and benefits.
The paper illustrates that financial ratio analysis is an important tool for firm’s to evaluate their financial health in order to identify areas of weakness so as to institute corrective measures.
While financial ratio analysis does contain limitations that include little theory to guide them as well as the use of accounting data based on historical costs that may not reflect a firm’s true economic conditions, it is an excellent tool …show more content…

One is Working capital to total assets ratio that measures a firm’s ability to pay off its short-term liabilities and is calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets divided by total assets. The retained earnings to total assets ratio that measures a firm’s use of its total asset base to generate earnings is also used. It is important to note that retained earnings can be easily manipulated distorting the final calculation. The third financial ratio used by the Z score formula is the market value of equity to book value of debt. This is the inverse of the debt to equity ratio, and it shows the amount a firm’s assets can decline in value before liabilities exceed assets. For closely held firms, stockholders’ equity or total assets less total liabilities can be used but this amount has not been statistically verified for purposes of the formula. The sale to total assets ratio that measures a firm’s ability to generate sales with its asset base is also used. The fifth financial ratio is the operating income to total assets. This ratio is the most important factor in the formula because its profit that eventually makes or breaks a firm. In calculating the Z score, each of these ratios is given a weight factor that is used within the formula. (IOMA’s report, 2003). See appendix I for the Z score formula and how to interpret the results obtained. The Z score is used by firms when running regular financial data and firms use it to spot