Balance Sheet Definition Balance Sheet Definition Investopedia Balance Sheet Equity
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This could be cash or real estate or stocks and bonds or machinery and equipment or accounts receivable or other moneys due to you. It could also include inventory which is product that you have produced but not yet sold. So to summarize assets are usually either cash something that you have bought something that you have made and that you expect to sell or something that is owed to you. Clearly then if you want to make your balance sheet you must have a list of your assets and how much each is worth. The rub lies in the worth or valuation of the assets. "Hmm you think I bought this asset ten years ago at 10 grand I added 5 grand in improvements to it it would cost me 20 grand to replace it and I could get about 18 grand on the open market for it so what value should I put down for it?" Clever question my dear reader! Well as you may have assumed we accountants have put a great deal of thought into these issues and we continue to think about and tweak the ways we value things to this very day.
The Balance Sheet is laid out in a particular fashion that reflects one of the most basic precepts of accounting: Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity or A=L+C Since we are dealing with an equation one side must ultimately and always equal the other side (think back to high school algebra!) Therefore the total dollar amount is always the same for each side i.e. total assets will always equal the total of liabilities + capital (or equity). Stated differently the left and right sides of a balance sheet are always in balance. Some balance sheets will have assets at the top and liabilities and capital at the bottom...no matter...A will always = L + C. Assets are the things your business owns that have some monetary value.
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There are 3 tools that folks can use to manage their personal finances. They are a personal life plan a personal budget and a personal balance sheet. When these tools are identified to folks most acknowledge a life plan but do not really have one. Most know and try to have a budget...sort of. However an amazing number of people have no idea what a balance sheet is. So here are the basic things you should know about a balance sheet. Why should I have a balance sheet? A balance sheet is where you keep track of how much you own and how much you owe and the difference between the two. You take the value of your assets (what you own) and subtract the value of your debts (what you owe) to get your net worth. You should know what your net worth is at any given time.