Balance Sheet Liabilities Off Balance Sheet Liabilities Items Balance Sheet Liabilities Side Items The Balance Sheet Lists Assets Liabilities And Equity
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There are many forms of debt. There is secured debt. That means that the debt is secured by a lien against an asset that you own. The lien and the debt should be for less than the resale value of the asset. Unsecured debt does not have any such lien and is hopefully based on your capacity to service the debt. The problem with unsecured debt like credit cards is that it is not offset by some asset that you own and acts only to reduce the net worth on your balance sheet. Credit card debt would thus be categorized as bad debt as it only acts as a drag on building positive net worth.
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.
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Now it s fine to do the math and plug the number to get started but as you go forward your retained earnings will develop a new relationship with the income statement (also commonly called the profit and loss statement). Basically the relationship is net income + any contributions to capital - any distributions of capital (dividends) = the change in retained earnings for the period. So retained earnings becomes the bridge between the balance sheet over two consecutive time periods (usually a year). For more information on calculating retained earnings see the link to my blog below. What the CPA or Auditor Does You ve done a fantastic job getting your balance sheet set up and keeping it going but at some point you re going to show it to someone a banker a supplier a potential business partner and they are going to take one look at the work that you have so proudly and lovingly put your heart into and they will say "what the Hell is this crap?" Don t take it personally (you need their money after all) just understand that there are standard ways to present present financial statements and set rules to follow.