Balance Sheet Vs Income Statement With Balance Sheet Income Statement And Cash Flow Example Plus Balance Sheet Vs Income Statement Example Together With
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To many non-financial people the balance sheet does not make sense in any case so they gravitate to the only report that is an easy read namely the income statement. Assets and liabilities are just too complex to grasp. In the last ten years or so this has changed so much so that readers and users are advised to lend substantially more credence to the balance sheet than the income statement. This "discrimination" exacted on the income statement is so severe that some investors are encouraged to even ignore the income statement as a whole. Why is this so? It could be the fiddling with revenue figures by many now defunct corrupt corporations which reported highly profitable figures whilst these businesses were heavily indebted (liabilities) or technically insolvent. Moreover high revenues are no guarantee against bankruptcy. Historically an income statement was drawn up first and the balance sheet second. The balance sheet became the "rubbish bin" for all items that could not balance the books.
Now there are additional considerations like depreciation for buildings machinery and equipment and the value of receivables and other moneys owed to you but that is the general rule. How Liabilities Are Valued The next step is to make a list of items that your business owes or obligations that it has. This could be money that you owe to your suppliers for products and services or money that you owe to your employees for services performed or money that you owe to the government for taxes or or money that you owe to the bank or another lender. It could even be money that the business owes to you as an owner. Remember what I said before about conservatism? Well this counts for liabilities as well only in this case the concern is that liabilities are undervalued or even worse unrecognized and unrecorded. The general rule of liabilities is that they are included at amortized cost which should be equal to the amount owed on them at that moment in time.
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If you contributed something other than cash such as real estate machinery or your interest in another business then use the rules for the valuation of assets the lessor of cost or fair market value. Retained earnings is a whole different ball game. Remember what I said back in the beginning about the formula for the balance sheet? That Assets = Liabilites + Equity? Well if you ve filled everything else out you only have retained earnings left and using a little bit of algebra and adding some detail to the preceding formula retained earnings absolutely must equal Assets - Liabilities - Contributed Capital.