PRO FORMA: Definition, Uses, Examples and How to Create It

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Pro forma documents serve the purpose of providing potential customers with an estimated cost of the products and services they intend to purchase from a company. The system generates and sends a provisional bill of sales to the customer after they commit to purchasing goods or services. The document preliminarily records the transaction, even though we are yet to verify the final details of the sale. Read on to learn about pro forma invoice, the financial statements, budget, and sales.

What is Pro Forma?

The term “pro forma” is derived from the Latin language and it means “as a matter of” or “for the sake of form.” People commonly use the term to describe how they officially disseminate information by making assumptions or predictions about data that may not be readily available. Typically, people prepare these financial statements without adhering to widely accepted accounting principles. The company designs them to exclude non-recurring expenses that are not part of its everyday operations, such as restructuring expenses that may arise after a merger.

In essence, a pro forma financial statement has the ability to omit any elements that a company deems as hindering the precision of its financial projections. This statement can serve as a valuable tool in evaluating a company’s future potential.

Pro Forma Invoice

A pro forma invoice is a document that serves as a formal quotation presented in an invoice format. Buyers request pro forma invoice for obtaining an import license, pre-shipment assessment, letter of credit, or hard currency exchange. In addition, a pro forma invoice typically includes similar details as an official quote and is often interchangeable with one another.  Providing comprehensive details about the order is crucial to ensure seamless and effective arrangements for the consumer.

Fields in a Pro Forma Invoice

In contrast to an invoice, which typically adheres to a fixed set of fields, a proforma invoice is more flexible in its content. It can include any pertinent information deemed necessary at the time of its creation. When it comes to the visual aspect, the sole contrast between a proforma invoice and a sales invoice is that the latter necessitates an invoice number, while the former generally refrains from including one. Meanwhile, we have compiled a list of the various fields in a pro forma invoice.

  • Company name, billing address, and shipping address of the purchaser.
  • Information about the vendor, including its name and address.
  • Terms of payment.
  • Date of invoice generation.
  • Date of last invoice payment.
  • Product/service description.
  • Product and service prices.
  • Products and services offered in quantity.

When Do Proforma Invoice Need to Be Sent?

Once you have received your proforma invoice, it is crucial to be aware of the appropriate time to send it. It is imperative to ensure that the customer receives the final proforma invoice before the delivery of goods or completion of work. It is advisable to refrain from sending the final proforma invoice until the negotiations have been finalized.

The distinction between a proforma invoice and a standard quote or estimate lies here. Incorporating quotes into your business dealings can be an effective means of providing your clients with an initial estimate of costs. This can also help to establish transparency and clarity in your transactions. In the event of additional negotiations, you may make adjustments as necessary. 

Furthermore, it is advisable to send a proforma invoice as a standard business practice once both parties have agreed upon the deal. Also, confirming the work or products before fulfilling an order ensures that both you and your client are in line.. This step helps to avoid any misunderstandings and guarantees that the outcome meets the client’s expectations.

Pro Forma Financial Statements

Pro forma financial statements integrate speculative figures or approximations. Incorporated within the data are metrics that provide a depiction of a corporation’s earnings, contingent upon the exclusion of specific non-recurring elements. Companies often design these financial statements to serve as provisional or explanatory documents that deviate from conventional accounting protocols. Enterprises exercise their judgment in computing proforma earnings, encompassing or excluding elements contingent on what they perceive as indicative of the corporation’s authentic or forthcoming performance. Given the hypothetical nature of proforma forecasts, it is not uncommon for them to exhibit significant deviations from actual results.

Types of Pro Forma Financial Statements

The various types of proforma financial statements include the following:

#1. Pro Forma Balance Sheet

This is similar to an actual balance sheet in most respects, with the main distinction being that part or all of the financial reporting has been projected in light of anticipated occurrences. Hence, because of this, some individuals use the phrases “pro forma balance sheet” and “balance sheet forecast” interchangeably. The projected asset, liability, and equity positions of an entity or business at any time in view can be seen in this balance sheet.

#2. Full-Year Pro Forma Projection

All of your fiscal year’s transactions up to this point are factored into this pro forma prediction, and future projections are added on top. That way, you may demonstrate to potential investors or business associates how your company’s finances may shape up by year’s end.

#3. Pro Forma Income Statement

Fiscal planning and management rely heavily on accurate revenue, expense, and profit forecasts. These income statements are useful in this situation. These income statements show predicted gross margin, revenue, fixed and variable operating costs, profits, and remainders.

#4. Pro Forma Forecasting of Financing or Investment

Perhaps you’re pitching the idea of capital investment or additional funding to potential investors or convincing business partners of the merits of said investment or finance. So, if that’s the case, a pro forma financial prediction can help you make your argument. It predicts how your company’s cash flow might change in response to receiving an investment from an outside party, including any interest payments that would need to be made.

#5. Risk Analysis

Risk assessment can make use of pro forma financial statements. These statements analyze the Company’s finances under both optimistic and pessimistic assumptions, giving the Company’s financial managers a clearer picture of the potential outcomes of their decisions.

Pro Forma Budget 

A pro forma budget is a crucial financial planning tool utilized by organizations to allocate revenues and costs for a particular project. It also provides a comprehensive overview of a business’s revenue-generating operations, with a particular emphasis on the profit and expenses associated with a specific project or initiative. Utilizing the gathered data and information, the company can effectively determine its master budget. A pro forma budget can be used for a wide variety of initiatives inside an organization, including the following categories of projects:

  • Acquisitions
  • Mortgages
  • Bankruptcies
  • New obligations
  • Equity contributions

The following things are appropriate for inclusion in an pro forma operating budgets:

  • Cash input and output
  • Gross receipts
  • revenue taxes

Generally, the income statement and the end-of-period estimates on the balance sheet are the primary tools for determining these factors. Depending on the following conditions, a pro forma budget can be either very long or very short documents.

Pro Forma Sales

Investors pay close attention whenever a business announces earnings because of the pro forma sales number that follows.

How to Create a Pro Forma Sales

The process of estimating and calculating these sales statements can be simplified by breaking it down into several steps. Thus, they include the following:

  1. The first step is to estimate or calculate the revenue of the businesses. It’s just that we need to err on the side of caution with our estimation.
  2. Different methods of calculating liabilities, expenditures, and other costs.
  3. Third, use the earnings and total costs in the previous two steps to determine the future net income of the company or group and to build the initial part of the sales
  4. The net effect of implementing the proposed modification on cash flow should be estimated, and this can be done by estimating the cash flow. Due to the nature of the accrual method of accounting, earnings and cash flow are treated differently.

Uses of Pro Formal Sales

The uses of pro formal sales include the following:

#1. Business Strategy

The pro forma document is a highly useful tool for businesses, as it is typically presented in a standardized and columned format that enables managers to effectively control and manage alternative business plans through a thorough comparative study. Hence, by utilizing this document, businesses can gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential outcomes of various business strategies, allowing them to make informed decisions that will ultimately benefit the organization as a whole. Also, with its clear and concise layout, the pro forma document is an essential resource for any business looking to optimize its operations and achieve long-term success. Pro forma statements can be incredibly useful when it comes to managing a business. These statements are designed to help identify the presumed notion of financial and operational activities, which can provide valuable insights into the overall health of the organization. 

#2. External Reports

It is of utmost importance to provide an external report that effectively communicates the various operations and activities of a company to its shareholders, lenders, and prospective investors. This report serves as a means of informing these parties about the current state of the company, it’s financial standing, and any other relevant information that may impact their investment decisions. Without such a report, it may be difficult for these stakeholders to make informed decisions about their involvement with the company. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the external report is comprehensive, accurate, and timely to provide the necessary transparency and accountability to all parties involved.

#3. Financial Simulation

Pro forma sales provide sufficient information for the objective of calculating financial ratios or other mathematical computations. When it comes to achieving various corporate goals, it’s important to have a financial model in place that is based on pro forma sales. This type of model can be incredibly beneficial for businesses, as it allows them to make informed decisions about their finances and plan for the future with greater accuracy. Hence, by using a pro forma financial sales model, companies can gain a better understanding of their financial situation and make strategic decisions that will help them achieve their objectives. Whether it’s increasing revenue, reducing costs, or improving profitability, a well-designed financial model can be a powerful tool for any organization looking to succeed in today’s competitive business landscape.

#4. Considering the Effects of Changes

If a business undergoes or foresees substantial financial modifications, it becomes necessary to create pro forma sales. This memo is a financial document that outlines the projected financial performance of a company based on certain assumptions and hypothetical scenarios. It is a crucial tool that enables businesses to forecast their future financial standing and make informed decisions about their operations. Hence, by preparing this kind of sales, companies can gain a better understanding of their financial position and plan accordingly to achieve their goals.

What Does Pro Forma Mean in Business?

A pro forma clause predicts future performance using theoretical facts or conjectures. Pro forma financial statements, or projected financial statements, are covered in the Financial Accounting e-learning course.

What Are the Cons of Pro Forma? 

These financial statements cannot correctly reflect previous or current performance due to their supposition. Thus, they should be used cautiously and not in substitution of traditional financial reporting.

What Is an Example of a Pro Forma?

Pro forma financial statements bear semblance to conventional financial statements, albeit predicated on hypothetical scenarios rather than actual financial outcomes. Suppose hypothetically that my enterprise was to secure a loan of $60,000 in the upcoming year. After taking out a $60,000 loan, the statement would show the predicted income, account balances, and revenue.


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