Financial modelling terms explained

Net Income

Unravel the complexities of financial modeling with a comprehensive guide to understanding net income.

Understanding the concept of net income is crucial for anyone involved in the financial world. Whether you're an investor, a business owner, or a financial analyst, the term 'net income' is one you'll come across frequently. It's a key indicator of a company's profitability and financial health, and it's often used in financial modelling. But what exactly is net income, and how is it calculated? Let's delve into this important financial term.

Definition of Net Income

Net income, also known as net profit, is the amount of revenue that remains after all operating expenses, taxes, and costs of goods sold (COGS) have been deducted. It's essentially the 'bottom line' on a company's income statement and represents the total earnings or profit of a company during a specific period.

Net income is a vital component of financial analysis and is often used by investors and analysts to assess a company's profitability. A positive net income indicates that a company is profitable, while a negative net income suggests a loss. However, it's important to note that a high net income doesn't always equate to a financially healthy company, as other factors such as cash flow also need to be considered.

Calculation of Net Income

Net income is calculated using the following formula:

  1. Gross Revenue: This is the total income from all sources before any deductions.
  2. Minus Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): This includes all the direct costs associated with producing the goods sold by a company.
  3. Equals Gross Profit: This is the profit a company makes after deducting the costs associated with making and selling its products.
  4. Minus Operating Expenses: These are the costs associated with running the business, such as salaries, rent, and utilities.
  5. Minus Taxes and Interest: These are the costs associated with borrowing money and the taxes imposed by the government.
  6. Equals Net Income: This is the final profit after all costs and expenses have been deducted.

It's worth noting that the calculation of net income can vary slightly depending on the accounting standards used. For example, some companies might include non-operating income in their net income calculation, while others might exclude it.

Net Income in Financial Modelling

In financial modelling, net income plays a crucial role as it forms the starting point for the cash flow statement. The cash flow statement is one of the three key financial statements used in financial modelling, alongside the income statement and the balance sheet.

Net income is used in the cash flow statement to calculate cash from operations, which is a measure of the cash generated or consumed by a company's normal business operations. It's also used to calculate free cash flow, which is a measure of a company's financial performance and its ability to generate cash after accounting for capital expenditures.

Furthermore, net income is used in several key financial ratios, such as the profit margin ratio, the return on assets ratio, and the return on equity ratio. These ratios provide insights into a company's profitability, efficiency, and shareholder returns.

Importance of Net Income

Net income is a key indicator of a company's financial health and profitability. It's used by investors to assess the potential return on their investment, by lenders to assess a company's ability to repay loans, and by managers to make strategic decisions about the business.

However, while net income is an important measure, it's not the only one that should be considered. Other financial metrics, such as cash flow, gross profit, and EBITDA, also provide valuable insights into a company's financial performance and should be used in conjunction with net income to get a comprehensive view of a company's financial health.


Understanding the concept of net income is crucial for anyone involved in the financial world. It's a key indicator of a company's profitability and financial health, and it's often used in financial modelling. By understanding how net income is calculated and how it's used in financial analysis, you can make more informed decisions about your investments and business strategies.

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