Glossary definition

What is profit and loss?

A profit and loss statement or account – often called P&L – is a financial report.

It shows the income and expenses for a given period, usually a year or a quarter, with a figure showing whether the business currently has a profit or if it is running at a loss.

Along with the balance sheet and the cash flow statement, the P&L is a key measure of company performance.

Making a profit is key to business growth and being able to cover overheads and expenses. However, profitable businesses can still struggle if they don’t have sufficient cash flow.