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A-Level会计-平衡收支表Balance sheets

  Revision: Balance sheets

  Balance sheet - introduction

  The balance sheet is a list of balances arranged according to whether they are assets, capital or liabilities, to depict the financial situation of the business on a specific date. It is often referred to as a 'snapshot' of the firm on a particular date - as if we had entered in the firm and taking photographs of the various components that make up the business. It can only be constructed on one date and not over a period of time as the values for assets and liabilities will change frequently.

  The balances that are featured in the balance sheet would be the balances remaining on our trial balance after the trading and profit and loss account for the period has been completed. All the balances remaining have to be assets, capital or liabilities. All other balances would have been closed off when the trading and profit and loss account was completed.

  The word 'account' generally indicates if something is part of the double entry system. Therefore, both the trial balance and the balance sheet are not part of the double entry system. No entries are made in the ledger accounts to record the fact that we have drawn up a balance sheet. All we are actually doing is listing the assets, capital and liabilities balances so as to form a balance sheet.

  As with the trading and profit and loss account, there are two ways of presenting a balance sheet - horizontal and vertical. The vertical style will be adopted in this course although we will briefly show you what a 'horizontal' balance sheet is.

  Balance sheet layout

  Assets will appear under two headings: fixed assets and current assets.

  Fixed assets can be characterized by the following features:;

  1.They are expected to last for at least one year (i.e. long-term)

  2.They are to be used in the business to help generate income for the firm (e.g. they could be used in production)

  3.They were not bought specifically for resale - although they may be sold later

  4.Examples of fixed assets would include land & buildings, machinery, fixtures & fittings.

  Current assets can be characterized by the following features:

  They have a short life within the firm (less than one year).

  They can be converted into cash fairly quickly (i.e. they are liquid).

  Their values will change frequently - stock levels fluctuate, banks balances move up and down, and debtors and creditors will alter as personal accounts are settled.

  Current assets are stock, debtors, bank and cash.

  The order that current assets appear is in relation to how quickly they can be turned into cash. This means that cash will appear at the bottom of the list because it is the most liquid of all the assets, closely followed by debtors, then stock.

  As we know from the accounting equation, and our work on double entry bookkeeping, all transactions are considered in their dual affect on the business. The balance sheet is no exception. As the name suggests, there will be two 'sides' to the balance sheet which must, obviously, balance. A balance sheet which does not balance is an incorrect balance sheet.

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