Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet)


Balance Sheet or Statement of Financial Position is one of the five Financial Statements that report three main important financial information of the entity at the end of the balance sheet date. These three important pieces of information are covering Assets, Liabilities, and Equity. It is normally present on a comparative basis like 31 December 20X1 and 31 December 20X0.

In the balance sheet, assets are classified into two types of assets: Current and Non-Current Assets based on nature and accounting classification. Non-current assets, for example, include the company’s building, land, and machinery. And current assets include the company’s cash, account receivables, and inventories.

Same as assets, liabilities are also separated into two classifications: Current Liabilities and Non-Current Liabilities. For example, the company will need a long-term loan to pay off in more than twelve months from the reporting date reports under the non-current liabilities. Current liabilities include short-term loans, account payable, and others payable that the company will need to pay within twelve months.

The equity section contains the information that records the resources that owners invested and invested into the entity with the recording of gain or loss accumulation.

The balance of equity is affected by an income statement as well as assets and liabilities.

Noted, IFRS now has changed the words to call Balance Sheet to Statement of Financial Position.

So if your financial statements are prepared based on IFRS, then you should use Statement of Financial Position instead of Balance Sheet.


Accounting Equation for Balance Sheet : Assets = Liabilities + Equity

Three Main Elements

The following are the three main elements of the statement of financial position:

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Equity

Here is detail,

Assets: First Items in the Balance Sheet

Assets are the resources belonging to the entity. Total assets here will report all types of entity’s assets. These include current assets and non-current assets. Current asset rank above non-current assets.

The common examples of assets are land, building, cars, cash in the bank and on hand, inventories, and account receivable. Any assets that bong to the owners or shareholders do not include here.

In the Balance Sheet, Assets reported in the first part before Equity and Liabilities.

Current Assets:

1) Cash and Cash Equivalence:

Report the balance of cash and cash equivalence that is to the entity at the reporting date. It could be cash on hand, petty cash, cash deposit in the bank, or other financial note that equivalence to cash. Equivalence to cash mean easily converting into cash.

2) Accounts Receivable:

Accounts receivable are the receivable amount by the entity from its customers as the result of credit sales. This amount is expected to be received in a period of fewer than twelve months from the reporting date or Balance Sheet date.

If part of receivables is expected to receive over twelve months, then they have to class into long-term assets.

3) Prepaid Expenses:

Prepaid is the amount that the entity pays to its suppliers in advance to secure, thought, services or products.

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For example, the company wants to purchase computers, and because the computers are limited in the stores, or the computer needs to order from the outside country, the supplier requires the company to make a certain deposit.

At the time of deposit, the entity does not receive the computer from its supplier yet. Prepaid expenses are the entity’s assets and have to be recorded in the balance. They are not expenses yet.

4) Inventories:

Inventories here include all kinds of inventories: Raw material, work in process, and finish goods. At the end of the accounting period, the entity usually performs physical counts to all inventories and then qualifies them.

Auditors normally accompany the inventory count. Inventories are the main items in the Balance Sheet in a manufacturing company. Inventories normally record at selling prices less cost to sell.

5) Due to related parties:

This amount is required to be reported as a result of the accounting standard requirement. Amounts due from related parties are required to be present in the balance sheet and need to be disclosed properly in the note to financial statements.

This amount results from selling products or rendering services to its related parties—for example, parent company, associate, and subsidiary.

Non-Current Assets:

Non-current asses here include both tangible and intangible assets of an entity. Here detail all of them.

1) Tangible Non-Current Assets:

  • Machinery needs to class and report as non-current assets as the useful life of it is longer than one year. The machinery is recorded in the Balance Sheet at cost. And then depreciation base on entity depreciation policies. Once the entity disposes of, the cost and accumulated depreciation related to machinery need to be removed from fixed assets schedule and Balance Sheet as well.
  • Equipment: This is the kind of equipment that uses in the entity which has a useful life more than twelve months period. The same as machinery and other long-term assets, equipment is recorded as costs.
  • Leasehold Improvements: this type of assets happens when the entity does not own the building or office that it is using. The office or building is rent from others, and because of business requirements, the entity makes an improvement on its. For example, the entity rents an office building. The owner of the building provides only the building space. All other decoration and room for staff responsible by the entity. In this case, to make decoration and room, the entity will incur costs and that costs are not classified as expenses immediately. They treat as assets and depreciate as the expenses over the period of time in the income statement.
  • Buildings: Buildings here could be the office building for head office or brand. They are records as non-current assets and depreciate base on their useful life.
  • Vehicles: they include cars for use in the company or similar types of vehicles are including here. Vehicles’ rental experience should not record as fixed assets. The expenses should be recorded in the income statement.
  • Long-term notes receivable: This is the same to account receivable that we record in the current assets. The reason we record here because part of receivables is expected to receive in a period of more than twelve months.
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2) Intangible Non-Current Assets:

  • Investments:  this is referring to long term investment that expects to be recovered into cash in the long term or more than twelve months. The kind of investments is like stock or bond something.
  • Goodwill: This kind of asset happens when the entity purchases the new subsidiary while the net book value of assets of that subsidiary is less than what the entity offer.
  • Trademarks: the costs of assets that entity purchase probably from the government or professional body.
  • Patent: This is the cost that an entity purchases the right to operate the services or sales of the products in the country. This usually a year.

Liabilities: Second Item in the Balance Sheet

There are two types of liabilities in the Balance Sheet. They are,

1) Short-term liabilities

Short-term liabilities are the liabilities that are expected to be paid with a period less than twelve months from the Balance Sheet date.

  • Accounts Payable is the amount that the entity owes to its suppliers as the result of purchases goods, materials, or the rendering of services.
  • Accrued Expenses: Accrual is almost the same to account payable. But just because you are not receiving the invoices from your suppliers yet, you can not books what the entity owns as payable.
  • Unearned Revenue is the type of liabilities, and this is a contrast from the deposit. For example, you are offering services to your customers, and they pay you in advance. In this case, you have not provided the services to them yet. In such a case, you have to book as unearned revenue rather than revenue.
  • Current Portion of Long-term Debt: this is part of the long term debt. For example, the entity owns the bank for 10,000, and the loan needs to install on a monthly basis. This these case, you have to figure out how much is the amount that the entity has to pay within one year. That amount is the current portion of long term debt.

2) Long-term Liabilities

Here is a sample of long-term liabilities.

  • Mortgage Payable this is the number of mortgage liabilities that expected to be paid longer than twelve months period, and for that amount that payable less than twelve months, we need to class them out to current liabilities.
  • Notes Payable is quite the same as the account payable. These amounts are what we expected to pay in longer than twelve months periods.
  • Long-term Loans: is the long term liabilities that expected to pay in a period of more than twelve months.
  • Finance Lease is the kind of financing that a company occur that assets by obtaining the finance from other company or the entity that they are purchasing.
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Shareholders’ Equity: Third Items in the Balance Sheet

Shareholders’ Equity, Owner’s Equity, or Stockholders Equity are called differently in the Balance Sheet because of the nature of business.

For a private company, we usually called owner equity because, and for a corporation, we usually call shareholders or stockholder equity.

The total amount of shareholders’ equity is the leftover amounts from assets and liabilities as well as from business operations. For example, if the company operating loss, the equity will be reduced eventually.

There are many sub-components that are recorded under shareholders’ equity. These include Common Stock, Prefer Stock, Retained Earnings, and Accumulated Other Comprehensive Incomes.

All sub-elements that record or class under equity elements are increasing in credit site and decrease in debit side the same as liabilities element.

1) Common Stock:

Common Stock or Ordinary shares are the same, and this class of shares normally has the voting right. The ordinary share is recorded at par value in the balance sheet under equity sections.

Detail of it could be found in the statement of change in equity and Noted to Financial Statements.

This types of stock represent the ownership of the corporation. If the corporation goes to liquidation, then the holders of this stock have less priority to get payments than others preferred shareholders or lenders.

2) Retain Earning or Accumulated Losses/ Profit :

Retain earnings or accumulated losses are recording the equity section of the balance sheet. This is the accumulation of profits or losses that a corporation or entity has earned so far.

The balance of return earning could be reduced once the entity makes dividend payments to its shareholders or reinvestment.

It is depending on the company’s investment and financial strategy. Retain earning can be calculated by the accumulation of the beginning balance of retained earnings plus net income during the year and minus dividend payments during the year.

3) Reserve:

It is normally the statutory or standard requirement for the company to make a reservation for a special occasion that could happen unexpectedly.

Sometimes it is named Capital Reserve. For example, if the corporation is the bank, then the central banks might require the corporation to have certain amounts of the capital reserve for the liquidations.

4) Dividend:

The dividend is the amount that reduces the total shareholders’ equity. It is what the company pays to its shareholders and is mostly decided by the board at the end of the year.

Dividend might be reported as the contract to retain earning, or sometimes recorded as the net off retain earning.

Balance Sheet Template:

The following is the template below:


  • Balance Sheet is the statement that shows the balance of assets, liabilities, and equity of the entity at the end of accounting periods.
  • This statement can be prepared base on monthly, quarterly, or annually in the comparative basis.
  • It provides useful data about the entity’s financial status or position.
  • It provides useful data for Financial ratio analysis.

Written by Sinra