A balance sheet reports a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholder equity at a specific point in time. It provides a basis for computing rates of return and evaluating the company’s capital structure. This financial statement provides a snapshot of what a company owns and owes, as well as the amount invested by shareholders.
The balance sheet shows a company’s resources or assets, and it also shows how those assets are financed—whether through debt under liabilities or by issuing equity as shown in shareholder equity. The balance sheet provides both investors and creditors with a snapshot of how effectively a company’s management uses its resources. Just like the other financial statements, the balance sheet is used to conduct financial analysis and to calculate financial ratios. Below are a few examples of the items on a typical balance sheet.