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A car is almost always a depreciating asset. That means that as it ages it becomes worth less each year. Appreciating assets are more balance sheet friendly than depreciating assets. Assets that can have a lien put on there are the only ones that banks or other lending institutions will consider as valid as asset entries on a balance sheet. Things like furnishings and jewelry are not considered assets for use in getting a secured loan. Items such as the unused part of a line of credit or credit card limit are not assets on any form of balance sheet. Liabilities are what you owe. Any form of debt is a liability.
There may be an offsetting liability. For a house it would be the mortgage or any other debt secured against the home. For a car it would be a car loan. The difference between the value of the house or car and what is owed is the equity in that particular investment. This is like a net worth for that particular asset. There are appreciating assets and depreciating assets. A home is generally an appreciating asset over the long term. In recent times we have learned that in the short term a home can lose its value rather quickly. However most housing markets recover in the long term and a home should appreciate over time.
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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.