Components Of A Business Balance Sheet - Oregonians Credit Union


The Balance Sheet represents one day in the life of a business. It shows how much of a
business is owned (assets) and how much it owes (liabilities) on that one day it time. In other
words it is a snap shot of a specific day in the life of a business. The difference between what is
owned and what is owed on that day is the business’s net worth or equity.
A business Balance Sheet has 3 components: assets, liabilities, and net worth or equity. The
Balance Sheet is like a scale. Assets and liabilities (business debts) are by themselves normally
out of balance until you add the business’s net worth.
Assets minus Liabilities always = Net Worth or Equity
What are Assets?
An asset is a resource with economic value that a business owns with the expectation that it will
provide future benefit to the business. As an example, a business owns a forklift with the
expectation that it will assist in moving product that will be sold and upon the sale of the product
income or value will be added to the business. Therefore, the forklift has brought economic
value to the business.
Business assets are broken into 2 categories: current assets and non-current assets. The
liquidity of the asset determines into which category it falls. Liquidity is the ease in which an
asset can be converted to cash. Assets that will be or should be converted to cash within 12
months are considered current assets. The most common current assets of course include cash
on hand, but also inventory and accounts receivable. An Account Receivable is short term
financing a business offers to its customers. Normally a business will offer its customers 30 to
60 days from the day of delivery of a product or the performance of service to pay for the
product or service. They show this in dollar form on the Balance Sheet as Accounts Receivable
until the customer pays and it is converted to cash. Inventory that a business holds is
considered a current asset because the likelihood that the inventory will be sold within the next
12 months, which will then convert it to cash.
Non-current assets are assets that will not be
converted to cash within 12 months and are normally used on-going to run the business, such
as, the forklift in our prior example. Most non-current assets are considered fixed assets, and
include equipment used in the running of the business, furniture and fixtures and also any real
estate the business owns.
What are Liabilities?
A business’s liabilities are obligations the business owes. As with assets the liabilities are
broken into current liabilities and non-current liabilities, most often called Long Term Debt.
Current liabilities are obligations that are scheduled to be paid over the next 12 months. Most
common current liabilities include accounts payable, business line of credit and the current
portion of long term debt. Accounts payable are short term obligations owed to suppliers or
other creditors and are normally paid within 30 to 60 days from the day of a delivery of a product
or the performance of a service. Business Lines of Credit are used by businesses to service
some short term needs and are paid generally from the collection of the businesses accounts
receivable. The current portion of long term debt is the amount scheduled to be paid on long
term obligations over the next 12 months. Long term debt are loans incurred by the business to
finance long term or fixed assets for the business.
What is Net Worth?
Sometimes referred to as the businesses equity, it refers to value of ownership. The ownership
is limited by the businesses assets and debts. The ownership of the assets is only the value of


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