Balance Sheet Vs Income Statement Common Size Balance Sheet Income Statement
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Why Small Businesses Are Different If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur then you need to be able to read and understand your balance sheet because first it is through your financial statements and other numerical data that you collect that you really get to know your business. Michael Gerber the best selling author of the E-Myth Revisited says it much better than I ever could as "because without the numbers you can t possibly know where you are let alone where you re going. With the numbers your business will take on a totally new meaning. It will come alive with possibility." The very first step you will ever take down that road to really knowing your business is through examining and understanding your own balance sheet.
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.
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Before the disaster the only thing that had any importance was whether a potential buyer of anything could afford to make the payments on whatever he was buying assuming he made 120% of his stated income. The most outrageous symptom was that people would take appreciating home equity and borrow against it to buy depreciating assets and consumer goods. They overbooked their budgets and now they have gutted their balance sheet. The resulting loss of home values is the disaster we have now where people have either a zero or minus Net Worth. The other aspect is that we are now wiser. For the good of our society and our financial infrastructure we had better be. Going forward we must pay attention to our Balance Sheets and recognize that is where the gold is.