Demystifying your Balance Sheet

Do you understand the story your Balance Sheet tells about your business? It’s important you understand the components of your Balance Sheet and the key ratios that measure the health of your business.

1. It measures the net worth of your business.
You Balance Sheet is made up of all of your assets and liabilities; your net worth is your total assets less total liabilities.

2. It tells you if your business is solvent.
Solvency is the acid test for survival. If your business is insolvent, without immediate action to remedy this, it’s unlikely to survive for long. There are two components to solvency:

3. It allows you track the strength of your business.
By comparing your Balance Sheet to previous periods, you can track whether your net worth is increasing or decreasing. The stronger your Balance Sheet, the easier it will be for your business to survive a downturn. For example, if your retained earnings are diminishing over time, it’s clear that you need to take action to strengthen your Balance Sheet to ensure you’ll receive value upon the wind up or sale of your business.

4. You can calculate key ratios.
Key ratios not only allow you to compare your results year on year or to industry benchmarks, they also highlight areas for improvement.

For example, calculating your debtor days may show that it takes on average 35 days for customers to pay you. If your payment terms are within 7 days of invoice, it’s clear that your debtor processes need to be strengthened.

Perhaps you calculate how long it takes inventory to sell and see it’s taking twice as long to sell this year than it did last year. Or, maybe a specific product is taking a lot longer to sell than others, which may indicate you should discontinue it. Key ratios calculated using your Balance Sheet can tell us a multitude of things.

Every business owner should be able to read their Balance Sheet and understand what it's telling them. If you need help demystifying your Balance Sheet and identifying key areas for improvement, get in touch. 03 474 0475

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