Why breakeven analysis can be illuminating
14/11/2023

If you focus your energy on sales, there is a chance that your efforts will produce losses. Which is why we always encourage our business clients to keep their accounting records using software that automatically produces monthly management accounts that reveal profitability as well as turnover and costs.

But there is another useful indicator that you can compute once you have these monthly trading results. It is the level of turnover you need to achieve – based on current costs – in order to breakeven, make no profit, but importantly, no loss.

If you provide services, rather than process goods for resale, the amount of turnover you need to create each month to breakeven will be your total monthly costs plus any remuneration you take from the business.

For example, if your costs are £35,000 and your monthly remuneration not included in those costs (dividends perhaps or drawings if self-employed) a further £5,000, then your current breakeven turnover is £40,000 a month.

The calculation is slightly different if you process or buy and sell goods for resale as each £1 of sales will need to cover the direct costs – of buying and processing goods – as well as other fixed overheads that do not change with the level of turnover achieved. To calculate a breakeven figure, you will need to divide your fixed costs by the gross profit percentage and multiply by 100. So, if fixed costs are £40,000 a month and your gross profit percentage (sales less direct costs as a percentage of sales) is 25%, your breakeven turnover would need to be (£40,000/25 x 100) £160,000. At this level of trading, you would produce £160,000 times 25% - £40,000 of gross profit which would exactly cover your fixed costs.

Obviously, to make progress financially, you would need to achieve sales in excess of your breakeven turnover. Never-the-less, this is a useful indictor to have as when you achieve this target you will know that any additional sales will be creating profits for your business.

If you have the data, we can help you produce a realistic breakeven figure for your business. Please call to organise.


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