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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.
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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Non-current assets therefore contains all resources owned by the company that have a useful life of more than one year. These assets are often referred to as Capital Assets which include equipment buildings and land. Notice that all assets mentioned thus far whether current or non-current can be classified as Tangible Assets which contain physical substance. However the balance sheet also presents Intangible Assets which are reported as non-current capital assets as well since they have a useful life of more than one year but do not have any physical substance such as goodwill and patents. The sum of the current and non-current assets will equate to and be reported on the balance sheet as Total Assets of the company. Liabilities: represents the claims against the company s assets that have not been paid at the balance sheet date. Therefore they are obligations to the company s creditors.