Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) put it very well on page 215 of his masterwork, Human Action.
It is not the task of economic calculation to expand man's information about future conditions. Its task is to adjust his actions as well as possible to his present opinion concerning want-satisfaction in the future. For this purpose acting man needs a method of computation, and computation requires a common denominator to which all items entered are to be referable. The common denominator of economic calculation is money.
Analyzing specific financial results in terms of Profitability, Liquidity, Activity and Debt
Some friends and I created P.L.A.D.™ Financial Ratio Analysis, a free (ad-supported) app that can automatically calculate and display fifteen financial Key Performance Indicators on handheld devices running iOS 6 and later.
Optimized for the iPhone 5, P.L.A.D.™ can help to greatly clarify understanding of performance improvement fundamentals for two main groups of app users: 1) business owners, executives and managers – plus the accountants, advisors, consultants, board members, bankers and investors who work with them; 2) teachers of business/accounting-related courses, as well as the high school and university-level students they teach.
By inputting 13 specified dollar values into the app – 10 from Balance Sheets and 3 from Income Statements – a user can automatically calculate/view the Financial Ratio Analysis results for three key Profitability measures, three key Liquidity measures, six key Activity measures and three key Debt measures. These performance results include:
Net Profit Margin (Return on Sales)
Return on Assets
Return on Equity
Accounts Receivable Turnover
Assets Turnover per Period
Inventory Turns per Period
Days' Sales in Inventory
Average Accounts Receivable
Average Inventory Held
Long-Term Debt to Capital
Debt to Assets Ratio
The app comes pre-loaded with 13 entered dollar values taken from a sample Balance Sheet and Income Statement (both provided within the app) that highlight in green color each line item containing a variable used by the app's ratio analysis formulas. This makes it easier to find the 13 required dollar values on your company's Balance Sheets and Income Statements.
P.L.A.D.™ Financial Ratio Analysis incorporates a set of interconnected performance-analysis variables, which means that a change in one or more of the entered dollar values will likely produce multiple adjustments in the calculated/displayed results across all included measurements of Profitability, Liquidity, Activity and Debt.
The app offers valuable guidance on the importance and potential significance of each ratio analysis result. It also shows the component variables that comprise each formula and indicates whether the “direction for improvement” in a particular result generally means aiming for a higher or lower number. In addition, users will enjoy convenient access to a useful Glossary of all the ratio analysis-related terms, formulas and variables used in the app.
We've also created a $3.99 (non ad-supported) version of the app, called 15-KPI™ Financial Ratio Analysis. 15-KPI™ paid-version users can email inputted dollar values and calculated/displayed results as a CSV file or an HTML file, which enables easy integration of key performance data into customized reports and other desired applications.