Financial Statements

Good record keeping by a business is not only wise, but is required by many laws. Legal and financial questions may be raised by various agencies, banks, and employees. These questions can be accurately1 answered when written records of business proceedings are kept.

By recording daily transactions2, the owner can learn from mistakes and avoid3 errors in the future. A record of all the events that occur in a business permits evaluation4, improvement, and a good chance for personal and financial success.

For a typical small business, it is suggested that the following records be kept: cash receipts5 and cash payments6 journal, record of credit sales7 (sales journal), record of purchases (purchases journal)8, record of wages (payroll), Operations statement9 (profit and loss statement or income statement), balance sheet10. The results of operations and the present financial position of the firm are reflected in the income statement and the balance sheet. Management decisions must be weighed in terms of their effect on these two basic financial statements.

THE INCOME STATEMENT (THE PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT OR THE OPERATIONS STATEMENT). This statement is a summary of the income and expenses of the business. The income statement summarizes these facts for any period of time. Income statements may be made for a year, a month, a quarter, or a half-year. Some firms have weekly or daily income statements. Although many items appear on the income statement, the basic idea is very simple. The formula is: NET SALES11 Minus COST OF GOODS equals PROFIT. Amount taken is minus Amount paid out equals PROFIT.

With a larger business, expenses change the formula somewhat:



In business there are two kinds of profit: GROSS PROFIT and NET PROFIT.



The operations statement is a summary of facts which have been recorded daily in the books of the business. No matter how complicated it may look, it is based on the following simple formulas:



The income statement might be compared to a "moving picture". It describes the business in action. It summarizes the results of past activities and gives hints of what the future holds. The final figure, net profit, is of the greatest importance. One might find, for instance, that even though sales had increased since last year, profits were less. The operations statement might show that expenses were too high, it might also show that the utilities increased or there was too much Loss13 on Bad debts14. Once a problem area is identified, steps can be taken to correct it.

When applying for a loan, the bank may want to examine several operations statements. The bank is interested in how sales compare with expenses, how much Inventory15 is carried, and credit which is extended by the business. The owner is provided with information about the business from the operating statement. Profits earned over a period of time, department performance, inventory size, overhead costs, and many other items are shown on the statement.

THE BALANCE SHEET. In contrast to the operations the balance sheet is a "still picture" of the business. Assets on one side are balanced against Liabilities16 on the other. ASSETS include everything that is owned by the business. LIABILITIES are those amounts which the business owes.

The principle is the same regardless of the size of the business. It is expressed in the formula: ASSETS minus LIABILITIES equals NET WORTH or ASSETS equals LIABILITIES plus NET WORTH.

The figures for the balance sheet come from the records kept by the business. Each item on the balance sheet is based on facts that have been recorded daily in different ledger accounts. The records used for the operations statement are also used in preparing a balance sheet.

CURRENT RATIO17. The assets are divided into current assets and fixed assets. The relationship between current assets and current liabilities is a prime measure of liquidity of any firm. Liquidity is the measure of ability to pay debts as they become due.

Current assets are assets that are in the form of cash or will convert into cash within 90 days. Current liabilities are those debts that will be due within one year. The relationship between current assets and current liabilities is called the current ratio. Sound financing demands that this ratio be at least 2 to 1. The current ratio is found by dividing the current assets by the current liabilities:

QUICK RATIO18. This ratio is also known as the acid test of liquidity. It is the relationship between only the most liquid assets (cash and accounts receivable) and the total of the current liabilities. The conservative rule is that this ratio should be at least 1 to 1. In other words, cash plus receivables should equal or exceed the current liabilities.

WORKING CAPITAL19. Working capital is the difference between current assets and current liabilities expressed in dollars.

THE PROPRIETORSHIP RATIO or owner's equity ratio is the relationship between the owner's investment in the firm and the total assets being used in the business. This ratio can be expressed as a ratio of owner investment to total assets or as a percentage of those assets.

There are many other ratios utilized in the analysis of business firm operations. Most small firms that maintain adequate current ratios, quick ratios, and working capital, proper inventories, and a 50 percent proprietorship ratio maintain Sound20 financial structure.

TRADING ON EQUITY. In connection with owner investment, prospective business owners and managers should become familiar with the phrase "trading on equity". This phrase refers to the relationship between the creditor capital (liabilities) in the business and the owner capital. Trading on too thin an equity is a term used to describe owners who have too little of their own money invested compared with the creditor capital (liabilities) used to finance the business. A proprietorship ratio of 50 percent indicates that the owner or owners have invested half the value of the total assets used in the business. When this ratio falls below 50 percent, the outside creditors are supplying more of the firm's total capital needs than the owners are. This indicates in most cases, that further capital will be more difficult to obtain either from current loans, sale of securities, or other investors. Such owners are truly trading on too thin an equity and probably need more investment capital of their own.


Notes: 1. точно; 2. сделка; 3. избегать; 4. оценка; 5. денежные поступления; 6. уплата наличными; 7. продажа в кредит; 8. журнал учёта закупок; 9. отчёт о прибылях и убытках; 10. балансовый отчёт; 11. чистый объём продаж; 12. общефирменные расходы; 13. потеря, убыток; 14. безнадёжные долги; 15. запас, резерв; Р1. товарно-материальные запасы; 16. пассив; денежные обязательства; долги; 17. отношение оборотного капитала к краткосрочным обязательствам; 18. коэффициент «критической» оценки (отношение ликвидности фирмы к сумме долговых обязательств); 19. оборотный капитал; 20. устойчивый; платежеспособный; прочный, крепкий


1. Match the words with their definitions


1) Gross sales reduced by amounts allowed to customers as credits for goods returned, goods over-invoiced, etc.

2) A formal acknowledgment that money due has been paid or that goods have been received.

3) A sale for which payment will be made later, either as a lump sum on a certain date or by regular installments over a period. Goods bought in this way become the property of the buyer as soon as they have been delivered to him.

4) A book of prime entry, being that section of the day book in which a listing is made daily of all goods bought on credit by business. Each entry is posted as a credit to the supplier's account in the purchases (or bought) ledger, and totals are posted periodically to the debit side of the purchases account in that ledger.

5) The expenses of running a business, such as salaries and wages, rent, rates, telephones, postages, advertising and distribution, but not including direct cost of factory labour, materials, and other manufacturing costs.

6) A ratio used as a test of solvency ratio (relation) between current assets and current liabilities.

7) A test used in deciding solvency, by relating a concern's most liquid assets (usually its bank balance, money due from customers, cash, and quickly saleable investments) to its current liabilities.

8) The stock of money needed by a business in order to keep trading or to carry on production. It consists of stocks and liquid resources (cash and things that can quickly be turned into cash); and it is equal to the difference between the current assets and the current liabilities.

9) Debts that are likely never to be paid and must be treated as worthless by being entered as written off in a bad debts account.

10)The sums of money which a company or organization owes, for example because it has made promises or signed agreements.

2. Supply the sentences with the missing words


1) The ... of debts must not be delayed.

2) I may not have drawn it... enough.

3) You must... giving any unnecessary information evaluation.

4) A realistic... of the working of Britain's economy was done by the government.

5) I have a bank... at the start of every month.

6) The company announced a huge... for the first half of the year.

7) Industrial expansion was a... investment.

8) ... is all the merchandise you have on hand for sale.

9) Businesses which make regular use of... must have good credit ratings.

3. Choose the best alternative to complete the sentence.

1) It's up to the accountant to... the various financial statements.

A. interpret b. intercept c. invent d. translate

2) The bookkeeper keeps a record of every financial... .

A. action b. transaction c. entry d. transcription

3) It's essential to... the invoice number in any correspondence.

A. estimate b. quote c. say d. tell

4) One ... of the invoice goes to the customer, another copy goes to Sales and we keep the other one here in Accounts.

A. photocopy b. issue c. top copy d. account

5) We're in... with our supplier over this invoice so don't pay it until you hear from me.

A. argument b. dispute c. agreement d. distress

6) We send a... to customers who haven't settled their accounts.

A. reminder b. remainder c. remembrance d. memory

7) If these figures could be... into parts and labour, it would make them easier to understand.

A. set up b. broken down c. rounded up d. laid down

8) This company has a weekly... of about $100,000.

A. pay b. payroll c. salary d. wage

9) Buying that new machinery has seriously... our reserves.

A. depreciated b. depleted c. depressed d. deprived

10) By examining the balance... and other documents we were able to find out that the company was not doing as well as they claimed.

A. slip b. ledger c. account d. sheet

11) Surely we can set some of these expenses... tax.

A. against b. for c. on d. from

12) The rent for the office is already 3 months...!

A. overtime b. in the red c. in demand d. overdue

13) Due to the economic climate we have had to... more bad debts this year than ever before.

A. tell off b. write off c. find out d. note down

14) Do they have enough working... to keep trading?

A. capital b. expenses c. accounts d. currency

15) Such items as buildings and machinery are known as... assets.

A. current b. hidden c. fixed d. liquid

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