Accounts Receivable Balance Sheet Lets Begin With The Asset Accounts
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Now it s fine to do the math and plug the number to get started but as you go forward your retained earnings will develop a new relationship with the income statement (also commonly called the profit and loss statement). Basically the relationship is net income + any contributions to capital - any distributions of capital (dividends) = the change in retained earnings for the period. So retained earnings becomes the bridge between the balance sheet over two consecutive time periods (usually a year). For more information on calculating retained earnings see the link to my blog below. What the CPA or Auditor Does You ve done a fantastic job getting your balance sheet set up and keeping it going but at some point you re going to show it to someone a banker a supplier a potential business partner and they are going to take one look at the work that you have so proudly and lovingly put your heart into and they will say "what the Hell is this crap?" Don t take it personally (you need their money after all) just understand that there are standard ways to present present financial statements and set rules to follow.
In order to make your statements comply with these rules and to give them an air of authority you will have to hire a Certified Public Accountant or C.P.A. and have them compile review or audit your financial statements. What this means is that the C.P.A. takes your statements and then makes some cosmetic changes in order to present them in the form proscribed by US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or if appropriate one of a number of alternate forms and then issues an opinion on them. The opinion will vary depending upon the type of engagement you hired them to do. The standard opinion for a compilation is "we took this pile of crap and made it pretty but we re not saying that it makes any sense" while the standard opinion for an audit is "sure we took a look and everything seems OK but please don t sue us if we re wrong!" while a review falls between the two.
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It just makes sense that it would be zero. You may have student loans but that is offset by some form of education that will allow you to make more money in the course of your lifetime. The key is that this is the best time to start building your net worth. It allows the principal of compounding value to work its magic on your assets for decades. That saves you a lot of work later in life. However most of us are not that wise and we find ourselves in our 30s and 40s with little or no Net Worth. This means you have less time for compounding to work. So you have to work harder and especially manage your money smarter to prepare for the financial challenges you face going forward. The nice thing is that you have probably made some mistakes that have made you much wiser.