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Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides a snapshot of an entity's financial position at a specific point in time. It presents the company'sassets, liabilities, and shareholders' equity, providing a comprehensive overview of its financial health.

What You Need To Know

Assets represent what the company owns or controls and include both tangible and intangible items. Tangible assets include cash, inventory, property, plant, and equipment, while intangible assets include patents, trademarks, and goodwill.

Liabilities represent what the company owes to external parties, such as creditors and lenders. Examples of liabilities include accounts payable, loans, accrued expenses, and deferred revenues.

Shareholders' equity, also known as owners' equity or net worth, represents the residual interest in the assets of the company after deducting liabilities. It includes issued share capital, retained earnings, and additional paid-in capital.

The balance sheet follows the fundamental accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders' Equity. This equation ensures that the balance sheet remains in balance, where the total assets equal the total liabilities plus shareholders' equity.

Balance sheets are important for various stakeholders, including investors, creditors, and management. They provide insights into a company's financial position, its ability to meet short-term obligations, and the level of shareholder investment. Comparing balance sheets over time allows stakeholders to analyze trends, assess financial stability, and make informed investment or lending decisions.

Note that a balance sheet does not provide information on changes in financial position or performance over a period. For a comprehensive understanding of a company's financial performance, balance sheets are often analyzed in conjunction with income statements and cash flow statements.