Ratios and Norms

When starting a business or comparing a company's performance to competitors in its industry, you will need sample financial statements, also known as “industry norms” or “operating ratios”. Data for typical operating items such as assets, debt, sales, profit, labor, advertising, rent, and insurance expense, as well as other financial ratios may be found in the sources listed below. These figures are published by industry groups, banks, and trade associations for use as benchmarks. They are compiled by analyzing the financial statements of companies in that particular industry and calculating the mean or average figure for selected categories.

gold triangeCompany Ratios

gold triangeIndustry Ratios

gold triangeCalculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Books

gold triangeCalculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Websites

Company Ratios


  • Only for Baker studentsLexis Nexis
    At the opening screen, you will already be in the Company Dossier screen.
      1. Type the name of your company in the company name box.
      2. When a list of choices comes up, select your company.
      3. From the Reports column on the left, under: Financials, select: Overview


4.  Scroll down until you reach the category, Ratio Analysis
Lexis Nexis Ratios

3.  From the tabs along the top, select: Financials Dashboard


4.  From the tabs, select: Ratios


5.  Scroll through to see a long list of ratios.


Industry Ratios


  • Free web sites
        BizStats is an online source for small business statistics. Provides instant access to useful financial ratios, business statistics and benchmarks.
  • Free web sites Business
      Based on information from the Economic Census.
  • Free web sites Economic Census: Concentration Ratios
      All of these reports classify industries by the percent of output accounted for by the largest 4, 8, 20 and 50 companies.
  • Free web sites Google Finance
      Features a nicely displayed wide array of industry ratios. Look up a particular company, then the data for the company and the industry are posted side by side.

Calculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Books


The sources listed below give definitions or explain how ratios are calculated and how they can be used to analyze the financial health of a business or industry. Slide your cursor over each book cover to see full information. Click on it to see the catalog entry.
If we don't own it, you'll have to request it on Interlibrary Loan, which you'll be able to do directly from the catalog site.
If the title is an electronic book, you'll have to use your Baker ID to access it.

If you'd prefer to see the books at a library near your home, you can do the following:
1. Select the link,
Worldwide Libraries Own this Item

WMS worldwide libraries
2. Once the screen opens, enter your zip code to find a library near your home that owns the title.

Building Financial ModelsBusiness Ratios and FormulasEdgar Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements
Lender's ToolkitSmart Financial Management

Calculate and Interpret Ratios, Using Websites


  • Free web sitesbiz/ed
    If you only check out one site, this is the ONE!
      These ratio analysis materials were prepared for Biz/ed by Duncan Williamson, a teacher, a freelance author and business consultant who prepares teaching/learning materials for accountants and students of accounting.
  • Free web sites Dun and Bradstreet
      Fourteen Key Business Ratios Used by D&B.
  • Free web sitesFinancial Accounting Standards Board
      The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports that are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Free web sites Investopedia
      A Forbes Media company that provides clear definitions and tutorials for calculating a variety of financial ratios.
  • Free web sites Motley Fool
      A privately-held multi-media company that is a top provider of investment advice and financial information.
  • Free web sites Planware
      PlanWare is one of many software packages for business and financial planning applications. Even though it is a fee based program, the site offers some helpful charts and information.
  • Free web sitesStudy Finance is the web site for students of introductory finance at The University of Arizona. It is designed to serve as a starting point to learn about what finance majors do, how to get started in a finance career, and the finance curriculum at The U of A.