What is a balance sheet?
Similar to bank statements, balance sheets are a financial statement that reports a company’s assets, liabilities and owners’ equity at a particular point in time. Balance sheets help to illustrate a business’s net worth.
The balance sheet is, in essence, a financial statement that provides a snapshot into what a company owns and owes, as well as the amount that is invested by shareholders. It’s used by businesses – alongside other important financial statements such as the income statement or bank statement – to conduct fundamental analysis or calculating financial ratios.
Key takeaways from this section:
- A balance sheet is a financial statement that reports a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity
- Balance sheets are one of the three main financial statements that are used to evaluate a business – alongside the income statement and the statement of cash flows.
- The balance sheet is a snapshot into a company’s finances and illustrates a business’s net worth.
- Balance sheets can also help business stakeholders and analysts evaluate the overall financial position of a company.
Understanding balance sheets
The balance sheet represents the state of a company’s finances at a particular moment in time. It shows what a company owns and owes and exactly how much shareholders have invested.
A typical balance sheet will detail a company’s assets (cash, inventory, property etc), liabilities (rent, wages, utilities, taxes, loans etc) and shareholders’ equity (retained earnings). The formula used is as follows:
Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders’ Equity
The balance sheet is an essential tool used by a wide variety of people within a business including executives, investors, analysts and regulators in order to understand the current financial health of a business. It is mainly used alongside the income statement and cashflow statement to allow users to get a snapshot view of the assets and liabilities of a company.
Breaking down the balance sheet
As mentioned above, the balance sheet is made up of three main aspects: assets, liabilities and shareholders equity.
Assets are split into long-term and short-term assets. Short-term assets include cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable, inventory, prepaid expenses etc whilst long-term assets include fixed assets, intangible assets and long-term investments. These assets are listed from top to bottom in order of their liquidity.
Current liabilities may include current portion of long-term debt, bank indebtedness, interest payable, wages payable, customer prepayments, dividends payable and others, earned and unearned premiums, accounts payable etc.
Long-term liabilities can include deferred tax liability and long-term debt. It’s important to note that some liabilities are considered off the balance sheet so they will not appear.
This is the money attributable to a business’s owners or shareholders and is what remains after subtracting the liabilities from the assets. It is also known as net assets as it is equivalent to the total assets of a company minus liabilities.
Balance Sheet FAQs
What is a balance sheet?
A balance sheet is a financial statement that details and reports a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholder equity at a particular point in time. Balance sheets represent the state of a company’s finances and is used for various business analysis and calculations.
What is the formula used on a balance sheet?
The balance sheet adheres to the following equation – where assets on one side and liabilities plus shareholders’ equity on the other, balance out.
Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equity
This formula is fairly intuitive – a company has to pay for all of its assets by either borrowing money (taking on liabilities) or taking it from investors (issuing shareholder equity).
Have you thought about Invoice Finance as a cash flow solution for your business?
Invoice finance allows you to release cash quickly from your unpaid invoices.
As your lender, we can release up to 90% of your invoices within 24 hours. On payment of the invoice from your customers, we will then release the final amount minus any fees and charges. There are different types of invoice financing options available to businesses depending on the situation and the level of control they require in collecting unpaid invoices.
We are an invoice financing company who offer a solution whereby payments are collected on your behalf managed by our team of expert credit controllers so you can focus on running your business. Our Confidential Invoice Discounting solution is offered to businesses who want to maintain their own credit control processes, therefore this remains strictly confidential so your customers are unaware of our involvement.
The benefits of invoice finance companies such as Novuna Business cash flow
Want to understand more Cash Flow Finance terms?
Our Cash Flow Resource Hub has been set up to help SME's with cash flow finance advice, tips and resources to help with their cash flow position.
We explore ways you can begin improving your cash flow situation and start getting your business on track to positive cash flow.
Competent staff, slick technology. Would recommend
Halo is one of the smartest bits of tech I have seen & every team is only as good a it's people and I would like to take this time to actually specifically point out Alex Hall & Claire Davies. Alex is an account manager that has continually improved during our time working together and is a real credit to Novuna. Claire has been exceptional from start to finish; meticulous in her work and very patient with us at every temp - an absolute star. It is a shame that the email address went to a generic platform and not each individual. I totally understand why this works better for companies but it did mean that the personal element was lost meaning that starts like Claire will be harder to identify from a customer point of view.
High recommedation for Novuna Business Cashflow.
My company was in need of invoice factoring to assist with the cashflow due to the nature of debtor days with our clients. After looking at a number of options, the right decision was made to work in partnership with Novuna Business Cashflow. Right from setup through sales to customer service, the communication and support has been outstanding. Providing me with all the information I needed regarding new clients coming onto our books. The system they use is so user friendly and the drawdown payments are very efficient in the fast moving world of temporary payroll. This has allowed my company to look at positive growth knowing we are safe financial hands. I would highly recommend Novuna Business Cashflow 10/10.
Set up went well and communication was good.
Syed and Vipul were extremely helpful top class service
Very helpful from the start
Great people made this process very straightforward.
Jemma from Novuna (formally Hitachi) was brilliant. Worked with us throughout the process and succeeded when some others had failed. Carried out the necessary checks with a smile and cheery demeanour, making what would have been a laborious process quite manageable.
Teething problems -Maybe ?
It's still early days so I may alter this review at a later date. However with retentions and concentration limits and other items, were finding were not getting 85% up front, were probably getting nearer 70% Also when a customer pays the remaining allegedly 15% due to us seems not to be credited to become available. For instance a customer paid Â£6918 and a customer paid Â£1300 hence we should see an extra Â£1330 available (15% of both these payments). However availability seemed to go down and not up by Â£1330 !!! Hard to work out where this 15% has actually gone ? I'll re-submit this review when things become clearer.
I found Hitachi true to their world in every aspect of the service they promised. I can't recommend enough.
Excellent Customer care and service.
Excellent customer service from start of initial conversations, right through to finally becoming a customer. The whole team involved are a credit to Hitachi, they were accommodating and informative the whole way along the process. I would highly recommend Hitachi to future clients and business associates. Thanks Alan.
I really enjoyed working with the Hitachi team, professional, helpful and really good people to deal with. They have made what could have been a very difficult experience a pleasure. Very happy to recommend them.
Hitachi made the process of moving factoring facilities painless, bearing in mind we previously had our facility with the same provider since 1997. I cant fault Hitachi's staff and processes and we are delighted with the move.
Staff excellent all together professional
Great service so far
From start to finish the process for transferring our invoice finance to Hitachi has been been brilliant, a smooth transition, great communication our link Person Jonathan Oakes has helped the process go through seamlessly, A great experience so far and a brilliant start to what we hope will be a long term partnership.