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Article | 2-minute read

Forecasting your business’ profit and loss

Business planning

Different events can change your idea of how much money your business will make over the next year. Likewise, your view of the business expenses you will incur during the coming 12 months may have varied. Use our profit and loss template to help forecast for the year ahead


A profit and loss forecast is used to predict profit and losses over the coming financial year.

Begin by focusing on next month:

  • Enter your predicted sales for the upcoming month
  • Add any sales returns you usually have
  • Factor in any discounts to be applied

Continue inputting any additional income streams you may have. The template will automatically make the calculations for you, so enter each amount as a positive number.


The first part of forecasting profit and loss involves predicting sales

Cost of goods sold

Next, enter your stock level at the start of the month and add stock purchases plus other costs associated with your goods.  Input your predicted stock level for the end of the month.The template will calculate the total cost of goods sold and your gross profit for the month.



The bottom half of the template deals with expenses – your selling, administrative and finance expenses. Navigate down the list entering all relevant expenses, which will be calculated by the template.

Input any interest expenses and hire purchase charges to calculate your profit before tax. Lastly, enter the estimated tax you’ll pay for the month and your net profit will be calculated at the bottom.

Move on to the next month and repeat the above steps. Continue estimating your sales and expenses for the next six or 12 months.

The last column will total all your monthly sales, expenses, interest and tax data into a half-year or annual amount. 

Lastly, calculate your likely expenses over the appropriate period of time.


Next steps

Download our profit and loss template (XLS) to forecast the year ahead.


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Any advice does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.

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