Just as a CPR class teaches you how to perform the basics of cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, this brochure will explain how to read the basic parts of a financial statement. Your operating profit margin is similar to your gross profit margin, but taking general expenses into account as well. You can increase this profit margin by raising prices, lowering COGS, or lowering operating expenses and overhead. The reason it’s called the bottom line is because net profit is at the bottom of your income statement. As you work down your income statement, more and more expenses get applied to your revenue, meaning your income line item becomes more and more specific. Your income statement tells you how much money your business has spent, and how much it has earned, over a financial reporting period.

  • This financial statement lists everything a company owns and all of its debt.
  • After enrolling in a program, you may request a withdrawal with refund (minus a $100 nonrefundable enrollment fee) up until 24 hours after the start of your program.
  • The data comes from the financial statements of Western Forest Products (WEF), a lumber company based out of British Columbia, Canada.
  • A balance sheet provides a summary of a business at a given point in time.
  • Financial ratios represent your company’s financial performance in different categories—for instance, how well it can cover its debts, or how much profit it’s earning.

It’s important to remember that a balance sheet communicates information as of a specific date. By its very nature, a balance sheet is always based upon past data. While investors and stakeholders may use a balance sheet to predict future performance, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

How to Read Financial Statements in the Thousands

The retained earnings line item shows how much of a company’s earnings are ready for reinvestment into the business or debt repayment. While Apple has more than $100 billion in current and non-current „other“ liabilities — and this is certainly a lot of money — the key point to know is that this is a very broad category. On the current side, this can include things such as payroll obligations, accrued benefits, and other items due within a year. On the non-current side, liabilities can include lease obligations, deferred tax credits, customer deposits, and pension obligations, just to name a few. For new companies, a higher debt-to-equity ratio may be common if it’s relying on a bank loan or other financing to get the business up and running.

Reading the Balance Sheet

Small corporations—those with total receipts and total assets less than $250,000 at the end of the year­—are not required to complete the balance sheet in the tax return. It helps assess financial health using ratios, such as current ratio, debt-to-equity ratio and return on shareholder’s equity. The balance sheet comprises assets, liabilities and owner’s equity toward the end of the accounting period. According to the equation, a company pays for what it owns (assets) by borrowing money as a service (liabilities) or taking from the shareholders or investors (equity).

How Do You Read a Balance Sheet?

Not only will you need to know this figure, but potential buyers will want to know—and have the proof to back it up. Doing so allows you to see how your financial circumstances have changed and identify areas for opportunity and improvement. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 3-day trial of Shopify. Some of the relevant accounts for Western Forest Products are discussed below. Below is a sample balance sheet to give you an idea of how it looks. In all cases, net Program Fees must be paid in full (in US Dollars) to complete registration.

  • A balance sheet helps small business owners better understand their company’s financial health.
  • Liabilities may also include an obligation to provide goods or services in the future.
  • This can be seen in many parts of a business including but not limited to both sales and expenses.

Also known as a company’s book value, shareholders‘ equity can be thought of as the theoretical amount investors would have if a company closed its doors, sold off its assets, and paid its debts. Obviously, a large company wouldn’t be very likely to do that, but the idea is similar to how home equity works — if your home’s value is more than what you owe the bank, you have positive equity. Every publicly traded company issues a series of financial statements at least on a quarterly basis, and the balance sheet is perhaps the statement most indicative of a company’s financial health. A company can use its balance sheet to craft internal decisions, though the information presented is usually not as helpful as an income statement.

Analyze Non-Current Assets

If a company has an inventory turnover ratio of 2 to 1, it means that the company’s inventory turned over twice in the reporting period. To calculate EPS, you take the total net income and divide it by the number of outstanding shares of the company. Management, investors, shareholders and others use it to assess the performance and future prospects of a business. Ratios, such as gross margins, operating margins, price-to-earnings and interest coverage, paint a picture of financial performance. An asset is something that the company owns and that is beneficial for the growth of the business. Assets can be classified based on convertibility, physical existence, and usage.

How do you read a healthy balance sheet?

A balance sheet should always balance. Assets must always equal liabilities plus owners' equity. Owners' equity must always equal assets minus liabilities. Liabilities must always equal assets minus owners' equity.

While the P&L statement gives us information about the company’s profitability, the balance sheet gives us information about the assets, liabilities, and shareholders equity. The P&L statement, as you understood, discusses Reading the Balance Sheet the profitability for the financial year under consideration. However, the balance sheet is prepared on a flow basis, meaning, it has financial information about the company right from the time it was incorporated.