资产负债表是企业所有者最重要的三个财务报表之一, and includes assets, liabilities and shareholder equity.
A balance sheet lists a business's total assets, debts and shareholder equity, 提供对公司在特定时间点的财务状况的调查. Often described as a snapshot of performance, 时间紧迫的企业主可能会忽视资产负债表——但这不应该. 资产负债表对于评估你的企业的发展和未来非常重要, 它还能帮助你决定你是否需要借钱，或者你是否处于追求增长的位置.
What is a balance sheet?
资产负债表是对企业所有者成功至关重要的三种主要财务报表之一. The other two are the income statement and the cash flow statement.
使资产负债表成为一种有效的预测工具, it has to include key components, 比如你公司的资产(它拥有什么)和负债(它欠什么). 资产负债表还注意到股东权益(或所有者权益), 或者股东在企业中投入了多少.
"So many small businesses, particularly mom-and-pops, 只要看看他们的支票账户上有多少现金，看他们是否有足够的钱付账," Mitchell Freedman, 注册会计师和个人财务专家 MFAC Financial Advisors, told business.com. "That may be fine for some businesses, but if somebody wants to understand their business, the balance sheet provides a lot of information."
What's included in a balance sheet?
Although it can differ from one industry to the next, 资产负债表通常包括三个主要部分:资产, liabilities and shareholder equity.
The assets section lists both liquid assets, or those you can easily access for cash, and fixed assets, otherwise known as nonliquid assets.
固定资产是有价值的东西，你不能很快地转化为现金, such as property, an office building or equipment used in operations.
There are also intangible assets that aren't physical but bring value to the business. They include the business's goodwill, brand name, intellectual property and patents, among other things.
Liabilities are all of your business's debts, including mortgages, bank loans, expenses and any other obligations. 它们通常分为流动负债和长期负债.
Current liabilities are those due during the year. Office supplies, rent, marketing expenses, payroll, taxes, 贷款支付和医疗成本是流动负债的一些例子.
Take a bank loan, for example. If you're required to pay it back in less than a year, it would fall in the current liabilities category. 如果到期时间超过一年，就会被视为长期负债.
Shareholder equity, also known as owners' equity, 如果企业的资产被清算，所有的债务都被偿还，企业主将得到的钱是多少. It doesn't include retained earnings, 或者是企业用来偿还债务或再投资于运营的资金.
了解资产负债表上的所有者权益可以帮助投资者从财务角度衡量企业的表现. Shareholder equity goes up as sales increase. 小企业拥有的现金越多，其财务缓冲能力就越大.
Why does the balance sheet matter?
For starters, 资产负债表可以告诉你，如果你赊销服务或商品，你的应收账款是多少, and they reflect all of the liabilities, providing a snapshot of how your business is doing.
Additionally, 如果您想将您的业务指标与类似企业的指标进行比较，资产负债表可以为您提供必要的数据. According to Freedman, 互联网上有大量资源可供公司与竞争对手进行比较.
"If you're in the top quartile, you're sitting pretty, but if you're in the bottom quartile, you could face potential problems," Freedman said. “以过去几个月大流行导致企业倒闭为例. 那些了解自己拥有什么并积累了足够资本的人能够承受压力和紧张."
Balance sheet examples
无论你是使用微软Excel，谷歌表或 accounting software 要创建你的资产负债表，确保把你的企业名称和当前年份放在最上面.
第一栏应该列出你的当前资产，详细说明它们是什么以及每项资产的价值. 在这一栏的底部，注意流动资产的总额. Next, list total fixed assets. 在这一栏中，详细列明固定资产和总额. 你的其他资产，或无形资产(如商誉)，应低于流动资产和固定资产. 合并所有这三列以确定您的总资产.
Do the same with liabilities. 将你所有的当前负债和长期负债分别列在单独的列中，从而得出你的总负债. 资产负债表的最后一栏包括所有者权益和净利润.
Source: Image courtesy of SCORE.
Source: Image courtesy of SBA Complete.
There are several ways to craft a balance sheet, but if it's missing certain elements, it won't be worth the paper it's printed on. 这就是为什么花时间确保你所有的资产都体现在资产负债表上是很重要的, including intangible assets, and all debt obligations.
“我非常喜欢小企业主有一张显示他们现金账户的资产负债表, their accounts receivable, their inventory and their investments," said Dennis Sherrin, 注册会计师，曾任该公司董事长 Alabama Society of CPAs. "It should also show capital, assets and whatever is needed to operate the business, as well as what they owe. 它应该让他们了解自己在任何时间点的表现."
Depending on your comfort level and available time, 你可以自己创建和更新资产负债表, hire an accountant or use accounting software. Sherrin is a big fan of the latter, 因为现在大多数的会计软件都是基于云计算的, making it accessible to you, and potentially your accountant, at any time. 这意味着你可以在忙碌中了解自己的财务状况. 这个软件也应该连接到你的银行账户, so the balance sheet can be updated in near real time.
"The old ways are very old now," Sherrin said. “我提倡在云系统中保存你的会计记录."