Analysis of financial reports requires skill of mathematics, accountancy as well as statistical tools. But there are some basic ratios which can be helpful for a layman also to analyze the Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss A/C of a company or a bank.
Various financial datas can be made available from Balance sheet, P/L A/C, Annual Reports, Audit Report, Income Tax Return, Other Tax returns, Bank account statements, Bank Loan statements etc.
Some important concepts to be understood are :
(1) Balance sheet : Balance sheet is a financial position of a particular date, which does not reflect about the year on activity on daily basis but shows accumulated yearly results of which comparison gives the trend and track of financial position of a company. While Profit & Loss A/C is made for the year and all the revenue expenditure and income related transactions are summarized as a headwise total. The difference of expenditure and income is transferred to Balance sheet.
From Balance sheet we can get the idea about capital base, reserves and provisions, secured and unsecured loans taken and current liabilities. The asset side shows the deployment of funds in fixed assets, investment, loans given, current liabilities. If the owned capital is more than outside liabilities the company can be said stronger. The current assets should be created from current liabilities. The fixed assets should be created from capital & reserves or long term loans. The working capital loans cannot be used to purchase fixed assets.
(2) Working Fund : It is also important to calculate working fund (working capital or working assets) rather than to use total assets i.e. sum of asset side is generally understood as total assets, but it is including contra items which does not reflect real picture. So, while considering total assets we should not consider revaluation reserves, accumulated loss and contra items (shown at both sides of balance sheet).
(3) Earning Assets : The earning assets also an important concept. In earning assets we should take only those assets on which we can earn interest. i.e. on current account we are not earning but fixed deposits, loan given, other investments on which we get earning are earning assets.
(4) Average Balance : Another most important concept is to take average balance instead of last day balance in ratio analysis. Because the profit or interest are the result of the whole year transactions which should be compared with the whole period average and not with last day position. Let us take an example to understand this : If interest earned on investment is compared with last day balance of investment and if during near term past some investment is made , the ratio will be lower and if some part of investment is redempted, the ratio will be higher than the actual value. But if we take average of investment than it gives the real picture. So, average of fortnightly or monthly balance is to be considered in ratio analysis.
(5) Off Balance Sheet Items : Off balance sheet items are also important as it may create adverse effect on profitability or soundness of the company. e.g. wage settlement negotiations, Income Tax notices to pay Income Tax, Other Liabilities which are not considered, Heavy bank guarantee issued by the bank etc.
The concepts of various ratios which can be helpful to understand the financial position of a company are as under :
 Current Ratio = Current assets / Current liabilities
The standard ratio is 2:1 which means current assets should be double than current liabilities. Current assets includes all current type assets, cash, bank balances, sundry debtors, receivables, stock etc., while current liabilities includes liabilities to be paid in short term, sundry creditors, short term loans, taxes payable, dividend payable etc. This ratio shows the working capital capability and capacity to pay the short term liabilities.
 Debtors Turnover Ratio =Total Book Debts /Sale Made on Credit * 365
This ratio gives average days required for receiving the book debts on account of credit sales. If the ratio is lower than it shows good position. It gives clarity about how many days average credit is given, efficiency of recovery of dues and control on credit sale.
 Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) = (Net Profit + Depreciation + Interest on long term loans) / Total amount of interest & principal of long term loan payable or paid during the year.
It is the most important ratio for term loan repayment capacity. The standard ratio is 1 but DSCR of 2 is preferable because if DSCR is 2 it shows that even if cash falls at 50% then also the company is capable to repay term loans liabilities.
Acid test ratio, Fixed Assets to Total assets, Fixed assets to Own Funds are also important ratios to understand use of capital.
 Return on average total assets = Net profit / Average working fund *100
It gives the profitability & soundness of a company. In banking industry it stands nearly 1 to 2 %.
 Net Margin = Operating profit / Total Income * 100
 Net Interest Margin = (Interest Earned-Interest Paid) / Average working fund *100
 Staff Cost to Total Expenses = Total staff related expenses / Total Expenses *100
 Staff Cost to Total Income = Total staff related expenses / Total Income * 100
 Total Income to Working Capital = Total Income / Average Working fund * 100
 Total Income to Earning Assets = Total Income / Average earning assets * 100
 Risk provisions to Total income = Total of Risk provisions made during year / Total Income * 100
In banking industry another relevant ratios are :
 Cost of deposits = Total interest paid on deposits / Average Deposits * 100
 Yield on advances = Total Interest Earned / Average Loans & Advances * 100
 Return on Investment = Total Interest or dividend Earned on Investments / Average Investments * 100
 Return on Funds Deployed = (Total Interest or dividend Earned on Investments + Interest Earned on Loans) / (Average Investments + Average Loans ) * 100
 Cost of Funds = (Interest paid on Deposits + Interest paid on Borrowings) / (Average Deposits + Average Borrowings) *100
 Gross NPA % = Total NPA Loans / Total Loans *100
Here NPA means non performing assets. E.g. in term loans if interest and/or installments are not paid within 90 days from it becomes overdue, it turns into non performing assets.
 Net NPA % = (Total NPA Loans – Provisions made for NPA Loans) / (Total Advances – Provisions made for NPA Loans) * 100
In most of the banks Net NPA is zero because they have made sufficient provisions against their NPA Loans (Bad Debts). But only zero NPA % is not sufficient as it doesn’t say that the entity has no bad debts. So, Gross NPA % should be lower. As per recent guidelines from RBI Net NPA (%) should be less than 5% to pay dividend and Gross NPA should be less than 10% to avoid Supervisory Action from RBI.
 PROVISIONING COVERAGE RATIO = Total Provisions made for NPA Assets / Total NPA Assets * 100
It is simple to understand that this ratio should be atleast 100%. If this is less than 100% it shows that the company has not fully provided their NPA Assets.
 Overdue % = Total Overdue Loans / Total Loans * 100
It reflects the repayments positions. If overdue is higher it shows that interests and/or installments are not paid by customers on due date which creates negative effect on liquidity. Further if overdue stands for long time it turns into NPA.
 CRAR : Capital Funds to Risk Assets Ratio.
It is calculated by the banks and published in Annual Reports. At present it should be atleast 9%. If it is less than 9% it shows adverse situation. As per latest guidelines by RBI if it is less than 6% it attracts supervisory action from RBI.
 Credit Deposits Ratio = Total Loans given / Total Deposits * 100
Mostly called CD ratio should be less than 70% as per latest RBI guidelines. It means that maximum 70% of deposits received from customers can be used to give Loans to the customers
 CASA Deposits Ratio = (Total Current Deposits + Total Savings Deposits) / Total Deposits *100
This represents the Lower cost deposits as no interest is paid on current deposits and at lower rate on savings accounts. So, higher the ratio higher the profitability. But if CASA deposits are more in total deposits it is risky also as there is no restriction on withdrawal of these deposits and it can create adverse situations on liquidity position.
 Business Productivity Per Employee = (Total deposits + Total advances) / No of Employee
In the same way Deposit per employee, Advances per employee are also calculated.
 Profit per employee : Net profit / No of Employees
In the same way Gross Profit per employee also calculated. This ratio is important to measure the strength of Human Assets of the bank. It can be linked to give bonus or profit share to employees.
Interest paid on Deposits to total Income , Interest paid on deposits to total expenses , Interest Earned to Total Income , Interest Earned to Total expenses, other overheads to total expenses, Interest paid on Borrowings to total Income, are also important ratios.