A balance sheet, along with an income statement (i.e. profit and loss statement) and cash flow statement, is one of the primary financial statements used to measure a company’s financial position. It summarizes the company’s assets, liabilities and owners’ equity at a specific date; it’s used to calculate the net worth of the business.
In a nutshell, a balance sheet shows what a company owns and what it owes, as well as the amount of shareholder investment. At any given time, a company’s assets must equal its liabilities plus shareholders’ equity.
Understanding a company’s balance sheet is vital to ensuring it has a strong financial position. Typically, when assets are greater than liabilities, this represents a strong financial position. Conversely, when liabilities are greater than assets, this represents a weak financial position and a company with lower value.
A company’s balance sheet can help the owners and managers assess its strengths and weaknesses, and develop appropriate strategies moving forward. Balance sheets can help a business identify trends and are commonly used when dealing with potential lenders, such as banks, investors and vendors.
This balance sheet template can be downloaded and used for any type of business. It should be customized to include the specific asset and liability categories that apply to the company. To fill out this spreadsheet, enter the applicable values into their respective cells. The total amounts will automatically populate based on the embedded formulas. An example balance sheet is also included to help guide you through the process.
For more help on financial statements, see our guide to financial reporting. To download more free templates, see our guides on income statements and cash flow statements.