Apple Balance Sheet
Understanding the different types of financial statements that can be prepared for your business and being fluent with the information each contains helps you better understand your financial position and make more informed decisions about your business. Remember - forewarned is forearmed...and you can t manage until you measure! That being said I have found that a critical measuring tool - the Balance Sheet - is often overlooked by small business owners - likely because they don t understand its importance. Let s see if we can change that... The Balance Sheet is merely a snapshot of your company s financial position as of a given point in time. Today s balance sheet could be different tomorrow - simply by writing out a check or invoicing a client. This financial statement provides the details your assets liabilities and equity - the three components of a business financial accounting - as of a particular date. Although balance sheets may be created as of any date they are typically prepared at the end of an accounting period such as a month quarter or year.
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.
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Current liabilities are those that will be paid within one year these include accounts payable notes payable current maturities of long-term debt and payroll taxes. Long-term debt is that which is paid off over an extended period of time. Owner s equity also called net assets is the right of ownership the owners of the organization have after subtracting liabilities. Some examples of owner s equity include common stock additional paid in capital and retained earnings. Common stock is issued as an investment in the business. For example in corporations stockholders are ultimately the owners they claim all assets after liabilities and preferred stock claims are satisfied. Additional paid in capital is defined as the leftover amount paid by the investor over the stated value of the shares sold. Finally the retained earnings are the net income that is not be distributed as dividends to owners or an organization.
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.