The balance sheet details what a business owns (current assets), what it owes (total liabilities), and its worth (shareholder or owner’s equity) at a specific point in time, such as the start date or end date of a fiscal year. In the simplest terms, the balance sheet subtracts what you owe from what you own to calculate your business’s net worth.
The balance sheet, together with the income statement and cash flow statement, are key financial reports for any business. The balance sheet provides a snapshot of information that is linked to both the cash flow and income statements. For example, the cash balance that appears on the balance sheet is the ending balance used in the cash flow statement. Business owners use financial statements to monitor the financial performance of the company and communicate this to potential investors. They are used in order to make smart business decisions for both short-term and long-term success.
When you use a balance sheet to track your finances, you are better able to find hidden costs or roadblocks, reduce expenses, and maximize profits. The balance sheet can help you easily identify patterns, especially in accounts receivable and accounts payable. Are your customers paying your invoices? Do you have enough to cover your bills and repay debts? The balance sheet can help you understand all of this.