Balance sheet

Last updated

In financial accounting, a balance sheet or statement of financial position or statement of financial condition is a summary of the financial balances of an individual or organization, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation, private limited company or other organization such as Government or not-for-profit entity. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity are listed as of a specific date, such as the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a "snapshot of a company's financial condition". [1] Of the four basic financial statements, the balance sheet is the only statement which applies to a single point in time of a business' calendar year.

Financial accounting field of accounting

Financial accounting is the field of accounting concerned with the summary, analysis and reporting of financial transactions related to a business. This involves the preparation of financial statements available for public use. Stockholders, suppliers, banks, employees, government agencies, business owners, and other stakeholders are examples of people interested in receiving such information for decision making purposes.

Sole proprietorship Business legally synonymous with its owner

A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship, is a type of enterprise that is owned and run by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. A sole trader does not necessarily work 'alone'—it is possible for the sole trader to employ other people.

Partnership Arrangement in which parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests

A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments or combinations. Organizations may partner to increase the likelihood of each achieving their mission and to amplify their reach. A partnership may result in issuing and holding equity or may be only governed by a contract.

Contents

A standard company balance sheet has two sides: assets, on the left and financing, which itself has two parts, liabilities and ownership equity, on the right. The main categories of assets are usually listed first, and typically in order of liquidity. [2] Assets are followed by the liabilities. The difference between the assets and the liabilities is known as equity or the net assets or the net worth or capital of the company and according to the accounting equation, net worth must equal assets minus liabilities. [3]

Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial assets owned by an institutional unit or sector minus the value of all its outstanding liabilities. Since financial assets minus outstanding liabilities equal net financial assets, net worth can also be conveniently expressed as non-financial assets plus net financial assets. Net worth can apply to companies, individuals, governments or economic sectors such as the sector of financial corporations or to entire countries.

Financial capital is any economic resource measured in terms of money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or to provide their services to the sector of the economy upon which their operation is based, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc.

The fundamental accounting equation, also called the balance sheet equation, represents the relationship between the assets, liabilities, and owner's equity of a person or business. It is the foundation for the double-entry bookkeeping system. For each transaction, the total debits equal the total credits. It can be expressed as further more.

Another way to look at the balance sheet equation is that total assets equals liabilities plus owner's equity. Looking at the equation in this way shows how assets were financed: either by borrowing money (liability) or by using the owner's money (owner's or shareholders' equity). Balance sheets are usually presented with assets in one section and liabilities and net worth in the other section with the two sections "balancing".

A business operating entirely in cash can measure its profits by withdrawing the entire bank balance at the end of the period, plus any cash in hand. However, many businesses are not paid immediately; they build up inventories of goods and they acquire buildings and equipment. In other words: businesses have assets and so they cannot, even if they want to, immediately turn these into cash at the end of each period. Often, these businesses owe money to suppliers and to tax authorities, and the proprietors do not withdraw all their original capital and profits at the end of each period. In other words, businesses also have liabilities.

Asset economic resource, from which future economic benefits are expected

In financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned by the business. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held by a company to produce positive economic value is an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash. The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by that firm. It covers money and other valuables belonging to an individual or to a business.

Liability (financial accounting) sum of the equity and the liabilities

In financial accounting, a liability is defined as the future sacrifices of economic benefits that the entity is obliged to make to other entities as a result of past transactions or other past events, the settlement of which may result in the transfer or use of assets, provision of services or other yielding of economic benefits in the future.

Types

A balance sheet summarizes an organization or individual's assets, equity and liabilities at a specific point in time. Two forms of balance sheet exist. They are the report form and the account form. Individuals and small businesses tend to have simple balance sheets. [4] Larger businesses tend to have more complex balance sheets, and these are presented in the organization's annual report. [5] Large businesses also may prepare balance sheets for segments of their businesses. [6] A balance sheet is often presented alongside one for a different point in time (typically the previous year) for comparison. [7] [8]

Annual report yearly report on a companys activities

An annual report is a comprehensive report on a company's activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company's activities and financial performance. They may be considered as grey literature. Most jurisdictions require companies to prepare and disclose annual reports, and many require the annual report to be filed at the company's registry. Companies listed on a stock exchange are also required to report at more frequent intervals.

Personal

A personal balance sheet lists current assets such as cash in checking accounts and savings accounts, long-term assets such as common stock and real estate, current liabilities such as loan debt and mortgage debt due, or overdue, long-term liabilities such as mortgage and other loan debt. Securities and real estate values are listed at market value rather than at historical cost or cost basis. Personal net worth is the difference between an individual's total assets and total liabilities. [9]

Savings account type of account maintained by retail financial institutions

A savings account is a deposit account held at a retail bank that pays interest but cannot be used directly as money in the narrow sense of a medium of exchange. These accounts let customers set aside a portion of their liquid assets while earning a monetary return.

Common stock form of corporate equity ownership, a type of security

Common stock is a form of corporate equity ownership, a type of security. The terms voting share and ordinary share are also used frequently in other parts of the world; "common stock" being primarily used in the United States. They are known as Equity shares or Ordinary shares in the UK and other Commonwealth realms. This type of share gives the stockholder the right to share in the profits of the company, and to vote on matters of corporate policy and the composition of the members of the board of directors.

Real estate is "property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, buildings or housing in general. Also: the business of real estate; the profession of buying, selling, or renting land, buildings, or housing." It is a legal term used in jurisdictions whose legal system is derived from English common law, such as India, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, United States, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand.

US small business

Sample Small Business Balance Sheet [10]
Assets (current)Liabilities and Owners' Equity
Cash$6,600Liabilities
Accounts Receivable$6,200 Notes Payable $5,000
Assets (non-current)Accounts Payable $25,000
Tools and equipment$25,000Total liabilities$30,000
Owners' equity
Capital Stock$7,000
Retained Earnings$800
Total owners' equity$7,800
Total$37,800Total$37,800

A small business balance sheet lists current assets such as cash, accounts receivable, and inventory, fixed assets such as land, buildings, and equipment, intangible assets such as patents, and liabilities such as accounts payable, accrued expenses, and long-term debt. Contingent liabilities such as warranties are noted in the footnotes to the balance sheet. The small business's equity is the difference between total assets and total liabilities. [11]

Accounts receivable legally enforceable claim for payment to a business by its customer/ clients for goods supplied and/or services rendered in execution of the customer’s order

Accounts receivable is a legally enforceable claim for payment held by a business for goods supplied and/or services rendered that customers/clients have ordered but not paid for. These are generally in the form of invoices raised by a business and delivered to the customer for payment within an agreed time frame. Accounts receivable is shown in a balance sheet as an asset. It is one of a series of accounting transactions dealing with the billing of a customer for goods and services that the customer has ordered. These may be distinguished from notes receivable, which are debts created through formal legal instruments called promissory notes.

Inventory goods held for resale

Inventory or stock is the goods and materials that a business holds for the ultimate goal of resale.

An intangible asset is an asset that lacks physical substance. It is defined in opposition to physical assets such as machinery and buildings. An intangible asset is usually very hard to evaluate. Patents, copyrights, franchises, goodwill, trademarks, and trade names. The general interpretation also includes software and other intangible computer based assets are all examples of intangible assets. Intangible assets generally—though not necessarily—suffer from typical market failures of non-rivalry and non-excludability.

Public business entities structure

Guidelines for balance sheets of public business entities are given by the International Accounting Standards Board and numerous country-specific organizations/companies. The standard used by companies in the USA adhere to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) is a United States federal advisory committee whose mission is to develop generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for federal financial reporting entities.

Balance sheet account names and usage depend on the organization's country and the type of organization. Government organizations do not generally follow standards established for individuals or businesses. [12] [13] [14]

If applicable to the business, summary values for the following items should be included in the balance sheet: [15] Assets are all the things the business owns. This will include property, tools, vehicles, furniture, machinery, and so on.

Assets

Current assets

  1. Accounts receivable
  2. Cash and cash equivalents
  3. inventories
  4. Cash at bank, Petty Cash, Cash On Hand
  5. Prepaid expenses for future services that will be used within a year
  6. Revenue Earned In Arrears (Accrued Revenue) for services done but not yet received for the year
  7. Loan To (Less than one financial period)

Non-current assets (Fixed assets)

  1. Property, plant and equipment
  2. Investment property, such as real estate held for investment purposes
  3. Intangible assets such as (patents, copyrights and goodwill)
  4. Financial assets (excluding investments accounted for using the equity method, accounts receivables, and cash and cash equivalents), such as notes receivables
  5. Investments accounted for using the equity method
  6. Biological assets, which are living plants or animals. Bearer biological assets are plants or animals which bear agricultural produce for harvest, such as apple trees grown to produce apples and sheep raised to produce wool. [16]
  7. Loan To (More than one financial period)

Liabilities

  1. Accounts payable
  2. Provisions for warranties or court decisions (contingent liabilities that are both probable and measurable)
  3. Financial liabilities (excluding provisions and accounts payables), such as promissory notes and corporate bonds
  4. Liabilities and assets for current tax
  5. Deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax assets
  6. Unearned revenue for services paid for by customers but not yet provided
  7. Interests on loan stock

Equity / capital

The net assets shown by the balance sheet equals the third part of the balance sheet, which is known as the shareholders' equity. It comprises:

  1. Issued capital and reserves attributable to equity holders of the parent company (controlling interest)
  2. Non-controlling interest in equity

Formally, shareholders' equity is part of the company's liabilities: they are funds "owing" to shareholders (after payment of all other liabilities); usually, however, "liabilities" is used in the more restrictive sense of liabilities excluding shareholders' equity. The balance of assets and liabilities (including shareholders' equity) is not a coincidence. Records of the values of each account in the balance sheet are maintained using a system of accounting known as double-entry bookkeeping. In this sense, shareholders' equity by construction must equal assets minus liabilities, and thus the shareholders' equity is considered to be a residual.

Regarding the items in equity section, the following disclosures are required:

  1. Numbers of shares authorized, issued and fully paid, and issued but not fully paid
  2. Par value of shares
  3. Reconciliation of shares outstanding at the beginning and the end of the period
  4. Description of rights, preferences, and restrictions of shares
  5. Treasury shares, including shares held by subsidiaries and associates
  6. Shares reserved for issuance under options and contracts
  7. A description of the nature and purpose of each reserve within owners' equity

Substantiation

Balance sheet substantiation is the accounting process conducted by businesses on a regular basis to confirm that the balances held in the primary accounting system of record (e.g. SAP, Oracle, other ERP system's General Ledger) are reconciled (in balance with) with the balance and transaction records held in the same or supporting sub-systems.

Balance sheet substantiation includes multiple processes including reconciliation (at a transactional or at a balance level) of the account, a process of review of the reconciliation and any pertinent supporting documentation and a formal certification (sign-off) of the account in a predetermined form driven by corporate policy.

Balance sheet substantiation is an important process that is typically carried out on a monthly, quarterly and year-end basis. The results help to drive the regulatory balance sheet reporting obligations of the organization.

Historically, balance sheet substantiation has been a wholly manual process, driven by spreadsheets, email and manual monitoring and reporting. In recent years software solutions have been developed to bring a level of process automation, standardization and enhanced control to the balance sheet substantiation or account certification process. These solutions are suitable for organizations with a high volume of accounts and/or personnel involved in the Balance Sheet Substantiation process and can be used to drive efficiencies, improve transparency and help to reduce risk.

Balance sheet substantiation is a key control process in the SOX 404 top-down risk assessment.

Sample

The following balance sheet is a very brief example prepared in accordance with IFRS. It does not show all possible kinds of assets, liabilities and equity, but it shows the most usual ones. Because it shows goodwill, it could be a consolidated balance sheet. Monetary values are not shown, summary (subtotal) rows are missing as well.

Under IFRS items are always shown based on liquidity from the least liquid assets at the top, usually land and buildings to the most liquid, i.e. cash. Then liabilities and equity continue from the most immediate liability to be paid (usual account payable) to the least i.e. long term debt such a mortgages and owner's equity at the very bottom. [17]

Consolidated Statement of Finance Position of XYZ, Ltd. As of 31 December 2025
ASSETSNon-Current Assets (Fixed Assets) Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE)      Less : Accumulated Depreciation  Goodwill Intangible Assets (Patent, Copyright, Trademark, etc.)      Less : Accumulated Amortization   Investments in Financial assets due after one year   Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures   Other Non-Current Assets, e.g. Deferred Tax Assets, Lease Receivable and Receivables due after one year    Current Assets  Inventories Prepaid Expenses   Investments in Financial assets due within one year   Non-Current and Current Assets Held for sale Accounts Receivable (Debtors) due within one year      Less : Allowances for Doubtful debts  Cash and Cash Equivalents 
TOTAL ASSETS (this will match/balance the total for Liabilities and Equity below)
LIABILITIES and EQUITYCurrent Liabilities (Creditors: amounts falling due within one year) Accounts Payable   Current Income Tax Payable   Current portion of Loans Payable   Short-term Provisions   Other Current Liabilities, e.g. Deferred income, Security deposits Non-Current Liabilities (Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year) Loans Payable   Issued Debt Securities, e.g. Notes/Bonds Payable   Deferred Tax Liabilities   Provisions, e.g. Pension Obligations   Other Non-Current Liabilities, e.g. Lease Obligations EQUITY Paid-in Capital  Share Capital (Ordinary Shares, Preference Shares)     Share Premium Less: Treasury Shares  Retained Earnings  Revaluation Reserve  Other Accumulated Reserves  Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income  Non-Controlling Interest 
TOTAL LIABILITIES and EQUITY (this will match/balance the total for Assets above)

See also

Related Research Articles

Equity (finance) difference between the value of the assets/interest and the cost of the liabilities of something owned

In accounting, equity is the difference between the value of the assets and the value of the liabilities of something owned. It is governed by the following equation:

In accounting, book value is the value of an asset according to its balance sheet account balance. For assets, the value is based on the original cost of the asset less any depreciation, amortization or impairment costs made against the asset. Traditionally, a company's book value is its total assets minus intangible assets and liabilities. However, in practice, depending on the source of the calculation, book value may variably include goodwill, intangible assets, or both. The value inherent in its workforce, part of the intellectual capital of a company, is always ignored. When intangible assets and goodwill are explicitly excluded, the metric is often specified to be "tangible book value".

Debits and credits

In double entry bookkeeping, debits and credits are entries made in account ledgers to record changes in value resulting from business transactions. Generally speaking, if cash is spent in a business transaction, the cash account is credited, and conversely, when cash is obtained in a business transaction, it is described as a debit. Debits and Credits can occur in any account. For simplicity it is often best to view Debits as positive numbers and Credits as negative numbers. When all the debits and credits that are transacted in each account are added up the resulting account total could be a net Debit or a net Credit. If the total of the account is in a net Debit position (positive), it is generally classified in the Asset section of the balance sheet, whereas accounts that total to a net Credit (negative) are shown in the liability section of the balance sheet. Accounts that relate to the company's profit are totaled to yield company earnings and are classified in the Equity section of the balance sheet. When recording incoming cash (revenue) a Debit will be made to Cash or equivalent Assets and a Credit will be made on the revenue account in the income statement. If a company has a positive Net Income, the Retained Earnings will receive a Credit when closing out the Income Statement for the year, while a Net Loss will result in a Debit to the Retained Earnings. A net Credit (negative) balance in Retained Earnings in the Equity Section demonstrates that the company has been profitable over time, whereas a Debit (positive) balance in the Equity section, would demonstrate that the company has been unprofitable. In most companies the following accounts end-up in Credit positions: accounts payable, share capital, loans payable; while Debit accounts typically include Equipment, Inventory, Accounts Receivable. Debits must equal Credits (negatives) in each transaction; individual transactions may require multiple debit and credit entries.

Cash flow statement financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities

In financial accounting, a cash flow statement, also known as statement of cash flows, is a financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities. Essentially, the cash flow statement is concerned with the flow of cash in and out of the business. As an analytical tool, the statement of cash flows is useful in determining the short-term viability of a company, particularly its ability to pay bills. International Accounting Standard 7, is the International Accounting Standard that deals with cash flow statements.

The retained earnings of a corporation is the accumulated net income of the corporation that is retained by the corporation at a particular point of time, such as at the end of the reporting period. At the end of that period, the net income at that point is transferred from the Profit and Loss Account to the retained earnings account. If the balance of the retained earnings account is negative it may be called accumulated losses, retained losses or accumulated deficit, or similar terminology.

General ledger central repository for accounting data

A general ledger contains all the accounts for recording transactions relating to a company's assets, liabilities, owners' equity, revenue, and expenses. In modern accounting software or ERP, the general ledger works as a central repository for accounting data transferred from all subledgers or modules like accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash management, fixed assets, purchasing and projects. The general ledger is the backbone of any accounting system which holds financial and non-financial data for an organization. The collection of all accounts is known as the general ledger. Each account is known as a ledger account. In a manual or non-computerized system this may be a large book. The statement of financial position and the statement of income and comprehensive income are both derived from the general ledger. Each account in the general ledger consists of one or more pages. The general ledger is where posting to the accounts occurs. Posting is the process of recording amounts as credits, and amounts as debits, in the pages of the general ledger. Additional columns to the right hold a running activity total.

Working capital is a financial metric which represents operating liquidity available to a business, organisation or other entity, including governmental entities. Along with fixed assets such as plant and equipment, working capital is considered a part of operating capital. Gross working capital is equal to current assets. Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. If current assets are less than current liabilities, an entity has a working capital deficiency, also called a working capital deficit.

The debt-to-equity ratio (D/E) is a financial ratio indicating the relative proportion of shareholders' equity and debt used to finance a company's assets. Closely related to leveraging, the ratio is also known as risk, gearing or leverage. The two components are often taken from the firm's balance sheet or statement of financial position, but the ratio may also be calculated using market values for both, if the company's debt and equity are publicly traded, or using a combination of book value for debt and market value for equity financially.

Chart of accounts

A chart of accounts (COA) is a created list of the accounts used by an organization to define each class of items for which money or its equivalent is spent or received. It is used to organize the entity’s finances and segregate expenditures, revenue, assets and liabilities in order to give interested parties a better understanding of the entity’s financial health.

A company's debt-to-capital ratio or D/C ratio is the ratio of its total debt to its total capital, its debt and equity combined. The ratio measures a company's capital structure, financial solvency, and degree of leverage, at a particular point in time. The data to calculate the ratio are found on the balance sheet.

Financial statement analysis

Financial statement analysis is the process of reviewing and analyzing a company's financial statements to make better economic decisions to earn income in future. These statements include the income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, notes to accounts and a statement of changes in equity. Financial statement analysis is a method or process involving specific techniques for evaluating risks, performance, financial health, and future prospects of an organization.

Flow of funds

Flow of funds accounts are a system of interrelated balance sheets for a nation, calculated periodically. There are two types of balance sheets: those showing

Financial management focuses on ratios, equities and debts. It is useful for portfolio management,distribution of dividend,capital raising,hedging and looking after fluctuations in foreign currency and product cycles.Financial managers are the people who will do research and based on the research, decide what sort of capital to obtain in order to fund the company's assets as well as maximizing the value of the firm for all the stakeholders. It also refers to the efficient and effective management of money (funds) in such a manner as to accomplish the objectives of the organization. It is the specialized function directly associated with the top management. The significance of this function is not seen in the 'Line' but also in the capacity of the 'Staff' in overall of a company. It has been defined differently by different experts in the field.

International Financial Reporting Standards requirements

This article lists some of the important requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Financial ratio characteristic number

A financial ratio or accounting ratio is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from an enterprise's financial statements. Often used in accounting, there are many standard ratios used to try to evaluate the overall financial condition of a corporation or other organization. Financial ratios may be used by managers within a firm, by current and potential shareholders (owners) of a firm, and by a firm's creditors. Financial analysts use financial ratios to compare the strengths and weaknesses in various companies. If shares in a company are traded in a financial market, the market price of the shares is used in certain financial ratios.

References

  1. Williams, Jan R.; Susan F. Haka; Mark S. Bettner; Joseph V. Carcello (2008). Financial & Managerial Accounting. McGraw-Hill Irwin. p. 40. ISBN   978-0-07-299650-0.
  2. Daniels, Mortimer (1980). Corporation Financial Statements. New York: New York : Arno Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN   0-405-13514-9.
  3. Williams, p.50
  4. "US Small Business Administration sample spreadsheet for a small business". Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2003-08-10.
  5. "Microsoft Corporation balance sheet, June 30, 2004". Microsoft.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  6. "International Business Machines "Global Financing" balance sheet comparing 2003 to 2004". Ibm.com. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  7. "Balance sheet comparing two year-end balance sheets" . Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  8. "Balance sheet comparing two year-end balance sheets". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  9. "Personal balance sheet structure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  10. Williams, p. 50.
  11. Small Business Administration
  12. "Personal balance sheet structure". Archived from the original on 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  13. STATE OF ALABAMA CHART OF ACCOUNTS
  14. New York State (USA) public utilities balance sheet accounts
  15. "Presentation of Financial Statements" International Accounting Standards Board. Accessed 24 June 2007.
  16. Epstein, Barry J.; Eva K. Jermakowicz (2007). Interpretation and Application of International Financial Reporting Standards. John Wiley & Sons. p. 931. ISBN   978-0-471-79823-1.
  17. "IFRS VS GAAP: BALANCE SHEET AND INCOME STATEMENT" (web). Accounting-financial-tax.com.