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This is the basis of balance sheet accounting. Another option in the disposition of an asset is that the asset is sold for cash and it is a wash within the assets. A simple example of balance sheet accounting is that a car is sold and therefore the automobile account is reduced by credit. However cash was received was an increase in another asset cash. Therefore the cash account would be debited and total assets would remain unchanged. This happens quite often with short-term investments and it is rarely noticed or noted. Sometimes it is helps to wrap your mind around balance sheet accounting to look at it from the stand point of a liability or the equity accounts. Say a liability is paid down or equity is purchased. This would be a debit to either of these accounts. There had to be an asset outlay for either of these events to happen probably and outlay of cash. This would be a credit to the asset account and the balance sheet would be balanced. Though this is a simplistic view it gets the point across. Since investments are considered assets they are treated the same way. Investments are listed in order from shortest term or most liquid to longest term or least liquid. They are also listed by the percentage of ownership owned. For example if an investor own fifty percent of a business that business is listed under assets and there is a denotation with it that says fifty percent or fifty percent owned or some other version of the same thing. This is so that there is full disclosure for any users of the financial statement. Thus investments have a huge impact on balance sheet accounting.For more information on investing in investment opportunities usually or
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.
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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.