Definition: Profit and loss account

Category: National accounts

The profit and loss account is a statement for the financial year which contains two broad categories of items: "Income" and "Charges".

Income represents the actual expected inflow of assets, or settlement of liabilities, from a company's main business activities, whereas charges represent the consumption of assets, or the assumption of liabilities, to produce the revenue inflow.

Article 22 of the Fourth Council Directive standardises the presentation of the profit and loss account for European enterprises according to one or more of the layouts provided for in Articles 23 to 26 of the same Directive.

The presentation of the profit and loss account for insurance and credit institutions follows the guidelines laid down in Council Directives (91/674/EEC) of 19.12.1991 and (86/635/EEC) of 08.12.1986.
European Union, Fourth Council Directive 78/660/EEC of 25 July 1978, Article 9, based on Article 54 (3) (g) of the Treaty on the annual accounts of certain types of companies (Official Journal of the European Communities No L 222, 14/08/1978, p. 11