Statement of Financial Position [Balance Sheet]


Definition

Statement of Financial Position, also known as the Balance Sheet, presents the financial position of an entity at a given date. It is comprised of three main components: Assets, liabilities and equity.

Statement of Financial Position helps users of financial statements to assess the financial soundness of an entity in terms of liquidity risk, financial risk, credit risk and business risk.

Example

Following is an illustrative example of a Statement of Financial Position prepared under the format prescribed by IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements.


Statement of Financial Position as at 31st December 2013
Notes20132012
USDUSD
ASSETS
Non-current assets
Property, plant & equipment9130,000120,000
Goodwill1030,00030,000
Intangible assets1160,00050,000
220,000200,000
Current assets
Inventories1212,00010,000
Trade receivables1325,00030,000
Cash and cash equivalents148,00010,000
45,00050,000
TOTAL ASSETS265,000250,000
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES
Equity
Share capital4100,000100,000
Retained earnings50,00040,000
Revaluation reserve515,00010,000
Total equity165,000150,000
Non-current liabilities
Long term borrowings635,00050,000
Current liabilities
Trade and other payables735,00025,000
Short-term borrowings810,0008,000
Current portion of long-term borrowings615,00015,000
Current tax payable95,0002,000
Total current liabilities65,00050,000
Total liabilities100,000100,000
TATAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES265,000250,000

You may download a free blank excel template of the statement of financial position. The template is pre-linked with the cash flow statement and statement of changes in equity.

Classification of Components

Statement of financial position consists of the following key elements:

Assets

An asset is something that an entity owns or controls in order to derive economic benefits from its use. Assets must be classified in the balance sheet as current or non-current depending on the duration over which the reporting entity expects to derive economic benefit from its use. An asset which will deliver economic benefits to the entity over the long term is classified as non-current whereas those assets that are expected to be realized within one year from the reporting date are classified as current assets.

Assets are also classified in the statement of financial position on the basis of their nature:

  • Tangible & intangible: Non-current assets with physical substance are classified as property, plant and equipment whereas assets without any physical substance are classified as intangible assets. Goodwill is a type of an intangible asset.
  • Inventories balance includes goods that are held for sale in the ordinary course of the business. Inventories may include raw materials, finished goods and works in progress.
  • Trade receivables include the amounts that are recoverable from customers upon credit sales. Trade receivables are presented in the statement of financial position after the deduction of allowance for bad debts.
  • Cash and cash equivalents include cash in hand along with any short term investments that are readily convertible into known amounts of cash.

Liabilities

A liability is an obligation that a business owes to someone and its settlement involves the transfer of cash or other resources. Liabilities must be classified in the statement of financial position as current or non-current depending on the duration over which the entity intends to settle the liability. A liability which will be settled over the long term is classified as non-current whereas those liabilities that are expected to be settled within one year from the reporting date are classified as current liabilities.

Liabilities are also classified in the statement of financial position on the basis of their nature:

  • Trade and other payables primarily include liabilities due to suppliers and contractors for credit purchases. Sundry payables which are too insignificant to be presented separately on the face of the balance sheet are also classified in this category.
  • Short term borrowings typically include bank overdrafts and short term bank loans with a repayment schedule of less than 12 months.
  • Long-term borrowings comprise of loans which are to be repaid over a period that exceeds one year. Current portion of long-term borrowings include the installments of long term borrowings that are due within one year of the reporting date.
  • Current Tax Payable is usually presented as a separate line item in the statement of financial position due to the materiality of the amount.

Equity

Equity is what the business owes to its owners. Equity is derived by deducting total liabilities from the total assets. It therefore represents the residual interest in the business that belongs to the owners.

Equity is usually presented in the statement of financial position under the following categories:

  • Share capital represents the amount invested by the owners in the entity
  • Retained Earnings comprises the total net profit or loss retained in the business after distribution to the owners in the form of dividends.
  • Revaluation Reserve contains the net surplus of any upward revaluation of property, plant and equipment recognized directly in equity.

Rationale - Why the balance sheet always balances?

The balance sheet is structured in a manner that the total assets of an entity equal to the sum of liabilities and equity. This may lead you to wonder as to why the balance sheet must always be in equilibrium.

Assets of an entity may be financed from internal sources (i.e. share capital and profits) or from external credit (e.g. bank loan, trade creditors, etc.). Since the total assets of a business must be equal to the amount of capital invested by the owners (i.e. in the form of share capital and profits not withdrawn) and any borrowings, the total assets of a business must equal to the sum of equity and liabilities.

This leads us to the Accounting Equation: Assets = Liabilities + Equity

Purpose & Importance

Statement of financial position helps users of financial statements to assess the financial health of an entity. When analyzed over several accounting periods, balance sheets may assist in identifying underlying trends in the financial position of the entity. It is particularly helpful in determining the state of the entity's liquidity risk, financial risk, credit risk and business risk. When used in conjunction with other financial statements of the entity and the financial statements of its competitors, balance sheet may help to identify relationships and trends which are indicative of potential problems or areas for further improvement. Analysis of the statement of financial position could therefore assist the users of financial statements to predict the amount, timing and volatility of entity's future earnings.