Federal Reserve Balance Sheet
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.
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.
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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.
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.