The Dupont Financial Analysis System
And Why It Is Important
Fundamentally, for any business there are two primary ways to enhance operating performance as measured by return on assets:

increase operating profit margins, and

increase gross revenues per dollar invested or capital turnover.
Operating performance can be augmented through the use of debt or leverage to generate the ultimate performance measure for the individual investor  return on investment equity. These are expressed in the Dupont equation as follows:
Return on Equity = Asset Turnover x Net Profit Margin x Leverage
Breaking ROE into these three parts allows evaluation of how well you are managing assets, expenses and debt. That is, a business manager has three general ways to improve operating performance in terms of ROA and ROE:

Increase capital asset turnover

Increase operating profit margins

Change financial leverage
The first two enhance both ROA and ROE, while a change in leverage only affects ROE because the interest expense is added back to net income in the ROA calculation.
Each of these primary levers or drivers are impacted by the specific decisions on cost control, efficiency and productivity, marketing choices etc. Therefore, this analysis format can capture the impact of almost any management decision that is made
return on assets ("ROA") = operating profit margin x asset turnover
ratio
= (net income + interest income) / total assets
return on equity ("ROE") = (ROA  interest cost adjustment) x financial structure
= net income / equity
operating profit margin = (net income + interest income) / gross revenue
net income = gross revenues  fixed costs  variable costs
asset turnover ratio = gross revenue / average total assets
interest cost adjustment = interest costs / total assets
financial structure = total assets / equity ( the reciprocal of equity percentage)
The bolded definitions above are the heart of the Dupont financial analysis system. The short cut methods of calculating ROA and ROE accompany the Dupont
equations as the unbolded equations, but they do not have the power the Dupont form has. The relationship between the three factors of operating profit margin, capital asset turnover ratio, and financial structure (a measure of financial leverage) and the basic concepts underlying the Dupont system can be summarized mathematically as follows:
Equation 1:
return on assets ("ROA") = operating profit margin x asset turnover
ratio
This can be restated as follows: ROA =
(Net Income
+ Interest Expense / Gross Revenue) X (Gross Revenue / Total Assets)
Equation 2:
return on equity ("ROE") = (ROA  interest cost adjustment) x financial structure
This can be restated as follows:
ROE = ((Net Income + Interest Expense) / Total Assets) 
(Interest / Total Assets) X (Total Assets / Equity)
Why Dupont Financial Analysis is
Important
Fundamentally, any decision that influences
product prices, per unit costs, volume or efficiency / productivity (output per
unit of input) will impact profit margin or turnover ratio. And any
decision that affects the amount and type of debt and equity used will impact
the financial structure as well as cost.
These financial concepts are important to
understand because every business in the world is competing for capital.
Money flows where the perceived risk adjusted return is greatest. If we as
marketers of products and services to businesses understand these financial
concepts, we can better understand where we might be able to help our customers
the most. We need to understand how we deliver value to our business
customers.
Marketing value involves much more than a pep rally/sales meeting
rahrah. It's a culture ... a mindset, a strategy. To do it well, you first need to be able to define it.
Understanding the financial concepts allows you to focus on the key questions you should answer to help define your value.
How do you or how can you help your customers:
 Increase the price per unit of product they sell by adding new features and benefits to their products, services, and
systems
 Decrease the variable cost to produce, acquire or sell the
unit.
 Increase the number of units sold
 Decrease the overhead by increasing their efficiency of
operations
 Increase asset turnover by
 Minimizing the
customer's work in process or finished goods inventory (and therefore total
assets)
 Decreasing fixed
assets by outsourcing some processes, enabling some capital assets to be
sold
To truly add value and set yourself apart from the com petition, you need to know how to help your customers
 control one or more of their critical costs or
 exploit one or more of their critical revenue sources.
Ask yourself these two key questions about what you sell, and your opportunities to add value to your
customers will increase dramatically.
