Living Balance Sheet
The line items falling into the "current" category are assets that the company expects to be converted into cash within the next 12 months or liabilities that are expected to be paid off over the next 12 months. "Long-term" assets and liabilities have a longer time horizon for being liquidated or covered respectively. A balance sheet is a financial statement that lists assets liabilities and equity. These items must show a net balance of zero for the balance sheet to be considered "balanced." This means that for every entry into an asset account there must be a corresponding entry into either a liability or an equity account. Since asset accounts increase by debits this means that either the liability or the equity accounts must be credited when new assets are purchased. Likewise when assets are sold or gotten rid of in some way there would be a credit in the assets account to reduce it. There would have to be a corresponding debit in the liability or equity accounts to balance this.
The Balance Sheet is laid out in a particular fashion that reflects one of the most basic precepts of accounting: Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity or A=L+C Since we are dealing with an equation one side must ultimately and always equal the other side (think back to high school algebra!) Therefore the total dollar amount is always the same for each side i.e. total assets will always equal the total of liabilities + capital (or equity). Stated differently the left and right sides of a balance sheet are always in balance. Some balance sheets will have assets at the top and liabilities and capital at the bottom...no matter...A will always = L + C. Assets are the things your business owns that have some monetary value.
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So what is the purpose of a balance sheet? First business owners use balance sheets in order to analyze the strength and capabilities of their business. For example is the business ready to expand? Or should the business take immediate steps to strengthen cash reserves? Also balance sheets describe trends especially in the area of accounts receivables and payables. For instance is debt in payables being paid and is debt in receivables being received in a reasonable amount of time. Finally balance sheets are examined by banks investors and vendors to determine the amount of credit they will give the entity.
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.