Classified Balance Sheet Definition, Format

example classified balance sheet

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You will note that the Cash, Accounts Receivable, Merchandise Inventory and Prepaid Insurance accounts have been sub-categorized as Current Accounts. The Furniture and Office Equipment accounts which carry historical costs are classified as Fixed Asset, to readily distinguish it as a non-current account. Similar to a balance sheet, your pro forma balance sheet lists your assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity.

example classified balance sheet

Different accounting systems and ways of dealing with depreciation and inventories will also change the figures posted to a balance sheet. Because of this, managers have some ability to game the numbers to look more favorable. Pay attention to the balance sheet’s footnotes in order to determine which systems are being used in their accounting and to look out for red flags. Liabilities are the money that a company owes to outside parties, from bills it has to pay to suppliers to interest on bonds it has issued to creditors to rent, utilities and salaries.


Although aggregated financial information of this nature is a necessity, the balance sheet often includes multiple elements within a group. The understanding of each element enhances one’s understanding of the sub-classification, its associated group, and ratios in which it is a component. A classified balance sheet format provides a crisp and crystal clear view to the reader.

How do you classify assets and liabilities?

Current liabilities include all debts that will become due in the current period. In other words, this is the amount of principle that is required to be repaid in the next 12 months. The most common current liabilities are accounts payable and accrued expenses.

Using the accounting equation with a classified balance sheet is a straightforward process. First, you have to identify and enter your assets properly, assigning them to the correct categories. The unclassified balance sheet lists assets, liabilities, and equity in their respective categories. For instance, say an insurance company buys $10 million worth ofcorporate bonds. It intends to sell these bonds at some point in the next 12 months.

Subtract liabilities from assets, and you arrive at shareholder equity. A firm with more assets than liabilities will give you a better return than one with negative equity. This is really just a formality and depending on who will actually see your balance sheet may not be necessary. If you are doing this for yourself then you can format it however you like to see it. To create a formal classified balance sheet you will need to be sure to put in the proper heading, organize the accounts properly, show subtotals, and show the total of liabilities + equity.

Most balance sheets have a row for assets followed by row for liabilities and row for shareholders’ equity. This includes your small business’s net income from when you first started until the current date of your balance sheet. Your small business’s dividends are deducted from these earnings.

Liabilities Section

Usual types of business are a partnership, sole proprietorship, and corporations. In a sole proprietorship, a single capital account comes, while a partnership business maintains a separate capital account for each partner. As mentioned previously, a large portion of preparing the balance sheet relies upon an understanding of current account and long-term account classifications. Current accounts have lives that expire within a one year period, while long-term accounts have lives that extend beyond one year. The liquidity of the assets must also be considered so as to order the accounts correctly.

… They are referred to as “other” because they are uncommon or insignificant, unlike typical current asset items such as cash, securities, accounts receivable, inventory, and prepaid expenses. The OCA account is listed on the balance sheet and is a component of a firm’s total assets. The balance sheet includes information about a company’s assets and liabilities. Depending on the company, this might include short-term assets, such as cash and accounts receivable; or long-term assets such as property, plant, and equipment (PP&E). Likewise, its liabilities might include short-term obligations such as accounts payable and wages payable, or long-term liabilities such as bank loans and other debt obligations. Assets and liabilities are first divided into current and long-term sections. Current accounts are those accounts that are expected to be used up or satisfied within a one year period.

Since the company did not generate any non-operating income, its operating income was its net income balance. An income statement shows a company’s revenue and expenses for a period of time. It provides information relating to returns on investments, risks, financial flexibility, and operation capabilities. Most companies produce a multi-step income statement, which documents how a firm produces net income. Assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity each consist of several smaller accounts that break down the specifics of a company’s finances. These accounts vary widely by industry, and the same terms can have different implications depending on the nature of the business.

example classified balance sheet

Moreover, it organizes the information in an easily accessible way. Therefore, it is recommended that companies should use classified balance sheets to facilitate the users of their financial statements. Here is a classified balance sheet format and most of the items such a balance sheet contains. This article will walk through a classified balance sheet format, benefits of the classified balance sheet, formating, and general classifications included.

The internal capital structure policy/decisions of a company will determine how much of long-term debt is raised by a company. The one major downside of high debt levels in the accompanying higher levels of financial leverage which could severely amplify a company’s losses during an economic downturn. Like your unclassified balance sheet, the totals of these classifications must follow the accounting equation, detailed below. relate to any obligation that is not current, and include bank loans, mortgage notes, certain deferred taxes, and the like.

Small Business Liabilities

The other assets section includes resources that don’t fit into the other two categories like intangible assets. Let’s walk through each one of these sections and answer the question what is a classified balance sheet. There’s no standardized set of subcategories or required amount that must be used. Management can decide what types of classifications to use, but the most common tend to be current and long-term. The classified balance sheet classifications used can be unique to certain specialized industries, and so will not necessarily match the classifications shown here. Whatever system of classification is used should be applied on a consistent basis, so that balance sheet information is comparable over multiple reporting periods. CookieDurationDescriptioncookielawinfo-checbox-analytics11 monthsThis cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin.

  • Organize your assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity into the classifications or subcategories.
  • A common arrangement of the balance sheet is to list assets on the left side and liabilities and owner’s equity on the right.
  • Prepaid expenses represent the value that has already been paid for, such as insurance, advertising contracts or rent.
  • Includes non-AP obligations that are due within one year’s time or within one operating cycle for the company .

In this case, the bonds will be classified as a short-term investment. They will be subject to rules requiring them to be marked to market, or listed at current market value, at reporting time. For this accounting purpose, please refer to Bright Hub’s Media Gallery — Example of Year End Worksheet for Post Closing Trial Balance. The organization of the accounts will go Assets, Liabilities, and then Equity.

Step 1: Gather The Required Information

If your business issues stock, this is the per share amount noted on your small business’s stock certificates. For common stock, the par value is typically very small for each share. Also, keep in mind that the par value amount is not linked to the market value of the stock. These include what your small business owes for future pension payments to your retired employees. Your pension liability can be figured out by subtracting the total amount due to retirees from the money you plan on using to make the pension payments. When you acquire a capital lease for an asset, all the rights and ownership transfer to you.

For instance, they can use measurements like the current ratio to assess the company’s leverage and solvency by comparing the current assets and liabilities. This type of analysis wouldn’t be possible with atraditional balance sheetthat isn’t classified into current and long-term categories. A classified balance sheet presents information about an entity’s assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity that is aggregated (or «classified») into subcategories of accounts.

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Use our research library below to get actionable, first-hand advice. News Learn how the retained earnings balance sheet latest news and information from around the world can impact you and your business.

example classified balance sheet

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This involves a portion of your employee’s income that you have set to pay at a later date than it was initially earned. These involve money your small business owes to suppliers for goods needed. These involve money that your small business has received in advance of delivering goods or services to a customer. For example, a customer may use a deposit to hold certain goods before they can be delivered. These are assets that are not physically present but still have value. They can include franchise rights, patents, copyrights, trademarks, and goodwill. This equation can be broken down further by looking at each section in depth.

This provides you with a snapshot of your small business’s finances at a given point in time. The financing category also accounts for cash repayments to investors. The cash flow statement documents a company’s cash inflows and outflows. You can generate operating income from the day-to-day business activities.

Author: Anna Johansson