Balance the Balance Sheet

Balance the Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a statement of the companies health. How does the liabilities and equity compare to the assets? Balancing the balance sheet is a critical part of accounting as it gives the company, bankers, and investors an idea of how the company is doing. Does the balance sheet need to balance? Yes. It always needs to balance; otherwise, it’s an indicator that either something was forgotten or there is potential fraud.

Purpose of Balancing the Balance Sheet

The purpose of balancing the balance sheet is to create a snapshot of the company’s financial status. It highlights three important categories: assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity. In other words, the balance sheet looks at what the company owns, how much it owes to debtors, and how much is invested.
Before we go into how to balance the balance sheet, we need to know why we need to do that. It all comes down to double-entry accounting.
[box] An important part of the financial leader’s role is to know the economics of the company. Access our Know Your Economics Worksheet to shape your economics to result in profit. [/box]

How to Balance the Balance Sheet

Use the following formulas to calculate each categories (assets, liabilities, and equity):

Assets = Liability + Equity

Equity = Assets – Liability

Liability = Assets – Equity

First, make two columns. In the first column, list your assets. In the second column, list both your liabilities and owner’s equity. Each column should balance to one another.


[button link=”https://strategiccfo.com/know-your-economics-wkst?utm_source=wiki&utm_medium=button%20cta” bg_color=”#eb6500″]Click here to Download the Know Your Economics Worksheet [/button]


Reasons Why Your Balance Sheet Is Out Of Balance

If your balance sheet isn’t balanced, then you want to look in particular areas for inconsistencies. Some of these areas include retained earnings, loan amortization issues, paid in capital, and inventory changes.

Retained Earnings

Retained earnings can be tricky at times. After all, it is supposed to be the sum of all your net profits/losses ever since you began the business. If you have an accurate record of every number since you began, then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, a far to common problem is that some businesses do not have all the data required to calculate retained earnings. A common practice for this situation is to use retained earnings as a plug number and make it what it needs to be in order to balance the balance sheet.

Paid In Capital

Some people have misunderstanding of what “Paid in Capital” is, and one simple way to define it would be: The amount of money that was invested in the business to get you started. It can either be your own personal investment, or it can be capital contributed by investors. The sum of all initial investments should be under Paid in Capital in the owner’s equity section of the balance sheet.

Inventory Changes

One common mistake that some people forget to consider is inventory changes.  It might seem simple to just take a count of whatever inventory you have at the moment, but that may be inaccurate. If you are working towards financial projections, then you will need to predict future inventory amounts as well, and this will affect your balance sheet. A change in inventory also affects your cash flow statement. What you need to do is take the amount from last month’s inventory and subtract the amount from this month, then reduce your cash balance by that amount.

How to Protect Against Fraud With a Balance Sheet

After various global fraud scandals in 2002, the U.S Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley act which protected investors from the risk of fraud by corporations. It mandated strict improvements within the financial disclosures of corporations. It was responsible for the improvement of the following areas: corporate responsibility, increased criminal punishment, accounting regulation, and new protections.
If you need help shaping your economics, click here to download your free Know Your Economics guide.
Balancing the Balance Sheet
Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra
Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.
Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?
Click here to learn more about SCFO Lab
Balance the Balance Sheet

ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Does your Accounting Department Produce Net Income?

Coaching the Entrepreneur: Learn how to know what you don’t know. How much should I spend on accounting for my company?     I have been in the accounting profession for 32 years, and for the last 6 years, I’ve owned my own consulting firm to assist companies with accounting challenges. There is one common theme that I

Read More »

Is Mexico the New China?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and escalating tensions with China, American companies are actively seeking alternatives to mitigate their supply chain risks and reduce dependence on Chinese manufacturing. Nearshoring, the process of relocating operations closer to home, has emerged as an explosive opportunity for American and Mexican companies to collaborate like never before.

Read More »

JOIN OUR NEXT SERIES

Financial Leadership Workshop

MARCH 28TH-31ST 2022

THE ART OF THE CFO®

Financial Leadership Workshop

Days
Hours
Min

August 7-10th, 2023

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
WIKI CFO® - Browse hundreds of articles
Skip to content