Business — Banking — Management — Marketing & Sales

The Balance Sheet

Category: Financial Risk Management

A Balance Sheet is a statement in money terms of what a business owns and owes at a point in time.

What a business owns are called Assets.

What a business owes are called Liabilities.

The difference between these (i.e. Assets minus Liabilities) is the owner’s stake in the business or the Net Worth.

As its name implies, a Balance Sheet must always be in balance as illustrated next

Assets = Liabilities + New Worth

The Contents of the Balance Sheet

While the manner in which a Balance Sheet is represented may vary, next shows the main constituent elements graphically:


As long as the business is trading, the size of the component parts will be continually changing. However, the height of the two bars in Slide 5 will always be equal.

The Assets

We generally have three categories of assets; as shown in Slide 4. Let us look at these in a little more detail. (It will probably be helpful to use the flipchart to write down the principal examples under each heading).

Current Assets

These are assets that are the same as cash or are expected to be converted into cash in the near future (i.e. generally the following 12 months.)

Typical current assets are:



Short Term Investments

Bank Credit Balances

Intangible Fixed Assets

These are assets that do not have a physical existence. They are created by expenditure in one period that is expected to provide a benefit (i.e. generate profit and cash) over a number of future periods.

Some typical examples would be:

Goodwill: usually created where a business is bought for more than its Balance Sheet Net Worth.

Research and Development


Trade Marks

Tangible Fixed Assets

These are assets that are not sold in the ordinary course of business but, rather, are retained in, and used by, the business for many years.

Typical examples of tangible fixed assets would be:

Land and Buildings

Plant and Machinery

Fixtures and Fittings

Motor Vehicles

Long Term Investments

Generally, apart from the Long Term Investments, fixed assets are depreciated, or written off against profits, over their useful life. They appear in the Balance Sheet at their Net Book Value (i.e. Cost less accumulated depreciation).

Liabilities and Net Worth

The Liabilities and Net Worth side of the Balance Sheet is quite straightforward:

Current Liabilities

These are debts of the business that are due for payment in the near future. Examples are:

Bank Overdraft

Portion of Bank Debt due to be repaid within 12 months


Current Tax.

Term Liabilities

These are debts of the business that will have to be discharged at some time in the future but not within the next 12 months. Typically, these might include:

Long Term Bank Debt

Repayable Government Grants

Directors Loans

Net Worth

This balancing figure is effectively made up of owners capital input plus profits retained in the business.

« ||| » Umarkets review Tagged as:

Comments are closed.