Monthly Archives: February 2014

Balance Sheets

Balance Sheets

A balance sheet provides detailed information about a company’s assets,liabilities and shareholders’ equity.

Assets are things that a company owns that have value. This typically means they can either be sold or used by the company to make products or provide services that can be sold. Assets include physical property, such as plants, trucks, equipment and inventory. It also includes things that can’t be touched but nevertheless exist and have value, such as trademarks and patents. And cash itself is an asset. So are investments a company makes.

Liabilities are amounts of money that a company owes to others. This can include all kinds of obligations, like money borrowed from a bank to launch a new product, rent for use of a building, money owed to suppliers for materials, payroll a company owes to its employees, environmental cleanup costs, or taxes owed to the government. Liabilities also include obligations to provide goods or services to customers in the future.

Shareholders’ equity is sometimes called capital or net worth. It’s the money that would be left if a company sold all of its assets and paid off all of its liabilities. This leftover money belongs to the shareholders, or the owners, of the company.

The following formula summarizes what a balance sheet shows:


A company’s assets have to equal, or “balance,” the sum of its liabilities and shareholders’ equity.

Type of financial statements

. They are:

(1) balance sheets;

Balance sheets show what a company owns and what it owes at a fixed point in time.
(2) income statements;

Income statements show how much money a company made and spent over a period of time.

(3) cash flow statements;

Cash flow statements show the exchange of money between a company and the outside world also over a period of time.

(4) statements of shareholders’ equity.

shows changes in the interests of the company’s shareholders over time.