This section is from the book "Business Finance", by William Henry Lough. Also available from Amazon: Business Finance, A Practical Study of Financial Management in Private Business Concerns.
Bankers, credit men, investors, and others who are not intimately acquainted with a given business, are frequently called upon to form tentative judgments as to the financial efficiency of a business, based chiefly upon statements of account that are furnished to them, or even upon a few unconnected figures. The process of piecing together these fragments and from them forming a fairly definite mental picture of the status and efficiency of the concern, is not unlike the work of those scientists who from a few small bones are able to reconstruct the skeleton of some prehistoric animal. In making an analysis and "reconstruction" of this kind it is helpful to be guided by whatever financial standards are available which apply to the business under consideration.