The Balance Sheet and Income Statement

By Consumer Dummies

Part of Bookkeeping All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Most businesses prepare at least two key financial reports, the balance sheet and the income statement, to show them to company outsiders, including the financial institutions from which the company borrows money and the company’s investors.

  • The balance sheet is a snapshot of your business’s financial health as of a particular date. The balance sheet should show that your company’s assets are equal to the value of your liabilities and your equity. It uses the formula Assets = Liabilities + Equity.

  • The income statement summarizes your company’s financial transactions for a particular time period, such as a month, quarter, or year. It starts with your revenues and then subtracts the costs of goods sold and any expenses incurred in operating the business. The bottom line of the income statement shows how much profit (or loss) the company made during the accounting period.