What is a balance sheet?
A balance sheet is a financial statement containing a company’s assets, liabilities, and partner or shareholders’ equity. It provides information about the state of your company’s finances in a given point in time--what you own, how much you owe others, and the amount invested in the business. It is usually filed quarterly.
A balance sheet is only one of the financial statements that show the financial status of a business or company. The other financial statements look at the other aspects of a company’s finances. These other financial statements are the following:
- Income statement: profit-and-loss statement; shows the revenues, expenses, and profits of a company in a given period.
- Cash flow statement: shows the amount of money flowing in and out of the business during a specific period.
- Statement of Retained Earnings: shows the changes in equity in a specific period.
Altogether, they provide an image of your company’s financial status and performance.
Why do I need to fill out a balance sheet?
The information included in the balance sheet shows how a company is faring in terms of its finances.
The balance sheet can tell us if the company’s working capital is enough. Deducting the liabilities from the assets would show us if the company still has enough capital to support the business and sustain its operations after it has paid all its debts and loans.
Are balance sheets necessary to be balanced?
As the name suggests, the balance sheet should always be balanced. If you find that the total assets and total liabilities plus equity are not balanced, there is likely a problem with the data you have used to compute. Before computing the balance sheet, make sure that all the data in the form is correct and factual. Make sure not to miss any item while you are computing.
What does a balance sheet show?
A balance sheet contains information about the business or company’s assets, liabilities, and stockholder or partner’s equity.
Assets refer to resources owned or controlled by an individual or company which are expected to generate value in the future. Assets can be classified into current and non-current assets.
Current assets, also called liquid assets, are assets that can be easily liquidated or turned into cash. Examples of these include cash on hand, inventories, and prepaid expenses.
Non-current assets are assets that cannot be liquidated in the next year or longer. Examples of these assets include fixed assets (land, building, machinery, equipment).
Liabilities are basically money that you or your company owe to outside parties. Like assets, liabilities can be classified into current and non-current loabilities.
Current liabilities refer to payments that are due within one year. Examples of these liabilities include salaries, wages, and taxes.
Non-current liabilities, on the other hand, refer to those which are due beyond one year. Examples of these liabilities include long-term loans, deferred income taxes, and pension fund liabilities.
Equity is the amount invested by the owners or investors. This may be in cash or non-cash items. The partner’s equity, also called net assets, is equal to total assets minus total liabilities.
How to fill out the balance sheet?
You are to list your assets, liabilities, and equity in the balance sheet. The different items in the balance sheet are further explained below.
1. Current Assets
- Cash on Hand
- Cash in Bank
- Accounts Receivable: this is the amount of money owed to your company by your debtors.
- Allowance for Bad Debts: also called allowance for doubtful accounts, this is an estimate of an amount from your accounts receivable which are expected to not be paid. In some instances, some customers or debtors may not pay the whole indebted amount to the company. This allowance provides a more realistic view of the expected amount of money you will be receiving from accounts.
- Inventories: this is the amount of items or merchandise which you have purchased but have not yet sold.
- Prepaid Rent: this is the amount of rent you have paid before the rent due date.
- Total Current Assets
2. Non-Current Assets: basically, the amount you input here would refer to the cost of acquiring each of the listed items below, which your business or company currently owns.
- Furnitures and Fixtures
- General Equipment
- Total Non-Current Assets
*Over time, the value of certain assets decrease over time. Input here the cumulative total amount of decrease in amount of the selected items.
3. Total Assets
4. Current Liabilities
- Accounts payable: this is the amount of money you owe to outside parties.
- Taxes payable: this is the amount of taxes that you are to pay
- Interest payable: this refers to the amount of interest that you are yet to pay as of filing a balance sheet. When you owe money from outside parties, you may be required to pay them back with an interest
- Salaries and wages: this is the amount of money that you are to pay your employees.
- Accrued Expenses: this refers to the amount of expenses that have built up over time and are yet to be paid as of the filing of the balance sheet.
- Unearned revenue: this refers to the amount of money you have paid to a business in advance before the business actually provides you goods or services.
5. Non-current liabilities
- Notes payable: this is the amount of promissory notes issued by your company.
- Long-term debt: loans that you don’t have to pay yet within one year
6. Total Liabilities
7. Beginning Capital: this refers to the amount of the beginning capital of your business or company.
- Investment: input here the amount of money invested into your business by your partners or stockholders.
- Net Income: input here the amount of your total revenue minus all the expenses of the company.
8. Subtotal: input here the added amount of your beginning capital, investment, and net income.
9. Drawing: input here the amount of money withdrawn by a stockholder or partner from your business.
10. Ending Capital: input here the beginning capital subtotal minus the drawing amount.
11. Total Equity: input here the total of all the items under partner’s equity.
What do I do with my finished balance sheet?
The balance sheet is basically a summary of your financial status. Some people or groups may refer to specific information from your business or company’s balance sheet, depending on the need or the transaction that they will be having with you.
For example, you can refer to your current and previous balance sheets to deduce your company’s performance through time.
In another instance, balance sheets can be useful for investors and key stakeholders, so that they are informed and updated about your business or company’s performance.