What Are Retained Earnings? Formula, Examples and More

retained earning statement example

Instead, the retained earnings are redirected, often as a reinvestment within the organization. These funds may also be referred to as retained profit, accumulated earnings, or accumulated retained earnings. Often, these retained funds are used to make a payment on any debt obligations or are reinvested into the company to promote growth and development. For an analyst, the absolute figure of retained earnings during a particular quarter or year may not provide any meaningful insight. Observing it over a period of time (for example, over five years) only indicates the trend of how much money a company is adding to retained earnings. Revenue is the money generated by a company during a period but before operating expenses and overhead costs are deducted.

retained earning statement example

The concern shows a good propensity to retain the majority of the profits in the current year. Also, given that the funds are obtained from within the organization, there is no dilution in the ownership, and the decision-making process of the shareholders will not be affected. Another advantage of healthy retained earnings is no external agencies’ involvement in sourcing the funds from outside. Unless an exception arises, it should retain earnings as the chief form of sourcing funds.

Why a statement of retained earnings is important for startups.

Thus, you’ll have a crystal-clear picture of how much money your company has kept within that specific period. Retained earnings are the company’s remaining profits after paying off all of its expenses. This includes all costs, whether direct or indirect, as well as shareholder dividends. These retained earnings can be used to pay off debt obligations, or they can be reinvested in different areas of the company, like equipment or research and development.

If your company has a dividend policy and you paid out dividends in that accounting period, subtract that number from net income. Retained earnings specifically apply to corporations because this business structure is set up to have shareholders. If you own a sole proprietorship, you’ll create a statement of owner’s equity instead of a statement of retained earnings. This ending retained earnings balance can then be used for preparing the statement of shareholder’s equity and the balance sheet. The statement of retained earnings is generally more condensed than other financial statements.


The statement shows the retained earnings at the beginning of the year, net income or loss generated in that year, and how much was paid out in dividends. As a result, it also shows the retained earning amount carried forward to the balance sheet. The amount of retained earnings that a corporation may pay as cash dividends may be less than total retained earnings for several contractual or voluntary reasons. These contractual or voluntary restrictions or limitations on retained earnings are retained earnings appropriations.

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  • The retained earnings account balance as per adjusted trial balance of the company was $3,500,000.
  • The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.
  • Accurate calculations can help the company make informed business decisions and ensure that profits get reinvested to benefit the company.
  • If you use retained earnings for expansion, you’ll need to determine a budget and stick to it.

This number is found on the company’s balance sheet and tells you how much money the company started with at the beginning of the period. While they may seem similar, it is crucial to understand that retained earnings are not the same as cash flow. Retained earnings represent the profits a business generates over time, while cash flow measures the net amount of cash/cash statement of retained earnings example equivalents coming and and out over a given period of time. While paying dividends to shareholders is one way to use profits, aiming for higher retained earnings can be a more effective long-term strategy for creating shareholder value. You can easily add this calculation to existing spreadsheet templates for financial statements or financial analysis.

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