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Balance Sheet – Importance, Sample Format, Requirements

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Balance Sheet is one of the reports of a financial statement which provides a snapshot of the entity’s financial condition on a given date.

What is a Balance Sheet?

Balance Sheet is one of the reports of a financial statement which provides the financial condition on a given date. An entity’s balance sheet provides a lot of information which can be used to analyse the financial stability and business performance. The balance sheet is a report version of the accounting equation that is balance sheet equation where the total of assets always is equal to the total of liabilities plus shareholder’s capital.

Assets = Liability + Capital

Investors and creditors generally look at the balance sheet and infer as to how efficiently an entity can use its resources and assess the value of their investments.

The three important sections of any balance sheet are:

  • Assets – This is a resource owned by an entity to produce positive economic value.
  • Liabilities – This provides a list of debts an entity owes to others.
  • Capital or Equity- This is the amount invested by the shareholders

Importance of Balance Sheet

Balance sheet analysis can reveal a lot of important information about a company’s performance. Importance of balance sheet is listed below:

  • It is an important tool used by outsiders such as investors, creditors, and other stakeholders to understand the financial health of an entity.
  • It is a tool to measure the growth of an entity. This can be done by comparing the balance sheet of different years.
  • It is an essential document that must be submitted to the bank or investors to obtain a business loan.
  • It helps stakeholders to understand the business performance and liquidity position of the entity.
  • It enables decision making regarding expansion projects and meet unforeseen expenses.
  • If the entity is funding its operations with profit or debt, it can be known by analysing the balance sheet.

Sample Format of Balance Sheet

There are several balance sheet formats available and generally, it is categorized as classified, common size, comparative, and vertical balance sheets. The old format of balance sheet called as T-shaped or horizontal format as given below:

Company Name
Balance Sheet
For the Period Ended...........
LiabilitiesAmount in RsAmount in RsAssetsAmount in RsAmount in Rs
Capital And ReservesFixed Assets
Opening Capital BalanceXXXXLandXXXX
Reserves and SurplusXXXLess: Depreciation(XX)XXXX
Less: Drawings(XXX)
Capital BalanceXXXXBuildingXXXX
Less: Depreciation(XX)XXXX
Secured Loans
Long term debtXXXInvestments
Other long term liabilitiesXXXLong term InvestmentsXXX
Unsecured LoansCurrent Assets, Loans and Advances
Cash credit payableXXXInventoryXXX
Cash and cash equivalentsXXX
Current Liabilities Other current assetsXXX
Trade PayablesXXX
Accrued InterestXXXPrepaid expensesXX
Other Current LiabilitiesXXXMiscellaneous expenditureXX
Total LiabilitiesXXXXTotal AssetsXXXX

The new format of the balance sheet is also called “vertical format balance sheet” and it lists the equities and liabilities on the top followed by the assets at the bottom.

Company Name
Balance Sheet as at.................
ParticularsNote No.Figures as at the end of current reporting periodFigures as at the end of previous reporting period
1) Shareholder’s Funds
(a) Share Capital
(b) Reserves and Surplus
(c) Money received against share warrants
(2) Share application money pending allotment
(3) Non-Current Liabilities
(a) Long-term borrowings
(b) Deferred tax liabilities (Net)
(c) Other Long term liabilities
(d) Long term provisions
(4) Current Liabilities
(a) Short-term borrowings
(b) Trade payables
(c) Other current liabilities
(d) Short-term provisions
(1) Non-current assets
(a) Fixed assets
(i) Tangible assets
(ii) Intangible assets
(iii) Capital work-in-progress
(iv) Intangible assets under development
(b) Non-current investments
(c) Deferred tax assets (net)
(d) Long term loans and advances
(e) Other non-current assets
(2) Current assets
(a) Current investments
(b) Inventories
(c) Trade receivables
(d) Cash and cash equivalents
(e) Short-term loans and advances
(f) Other current assets

MCA Compliance Requirement

As per the amendment in 2017 to the Companies Act 2013, every company should prepare the profit and loss account and balance sheet as per the format prescribed in new Schedule III. Refer the following link for details on the same: http://www.mca.gov.in/SearchableActs/Schedule3.htm

Detailed note on Sections and Sub-Sections

Current AssetCashCurrent assets are those which can be liquidated within a short period of time. Cash is the most liquid form of these assets and it includes all funds contained in current, savings, and money market accounts.
Accounts ReceivableAccounts receivable is the amount to be received from the customers also known as debtors. These receivables are created from the time the customer is billed to the time the company receives payment from the customer
InventoryInventory is the items that a company purchases/manufactures and then sells to the customers. From the time the goods/raw material are purchased or processed to the time it is sold to the customer, these are termed as inventories.
Fixed AssetEquipmentsFixed assets are items that are physical assets that are owned by the company for a long term. Long term assets are generally depreciated over time and so these assets are recorded with a total accumulated depreciation amount subtracted from them.  
VehicleVehicle is a long term asset held by the company for more than a year and it is depreciated over time.
LandLand is a fixed asset and held for a longer period of time than any other long term asset. This is one of the fixed assets which is not depreciated instead the value of the land increases as the years pass.
Intangible AssetGoodwillGoodwill is an intangible asset which represents non-physical assets  that add to a company's value but is not tangible.

Note: In Finance Act 2021, Goodwill is explicitly removed from the definition of depreciable intangible assets
Current LiabilityAccounts PayableThese are the obligations that will become due in the current period (within a year) and generally includes trade due to vendors and suppliers. Accounts payable are amounts due to creditors for services or goods that have not yet been paid
Accrued ExpensesAccrued expenses are obligations that are recognized in the books but are not yet due, and include wages, interest etc
Taxes PayableThis represents the amount of taxes that a company owes to the government. All taxes are generally due to be paid within a year and hence classified as current liability
Long Term LiabilityLong Term DebtLong-term debts are those obligations which will not be payable within the current year and will become due in more than one year. It represents the total amount due to be paid by the company to  third parties and creditors for over a year or more
Share Holder’s EquityCapital StockCapital represents the money invested by the owner in the entity and it is the total assets minus the total liabilities. Capital stock changes according to the entity type – companies report capital as common stock, preferred stock etc whereas Partnerships list the same Partner’s capital.
Retained EarningThis is the excess earnings retained by the entity to invest in the business. This represents the amount not distributed to shareholder. It is also termed as ploughing back of profits.

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