The fundamental principle of accounting, the accounting equation, posits that the total assets of a company are equal to the sum of its liabilities and shareholders' equity, serving as a cornerstone of financial analysis and reporting. This straightforward relationship between assets, liabilities, and equity is deemed to be the foundation of the double-entry accounting system. This equation shows the balance sheet's structure and lays the groundwork for double-entry accounting, also referred to as double-entry bookkeeping.
Assets, liabilities, and shareholders' equity are the three variables in the accounting equation.The sum of a company's assets is equal to the sum of its liabilities and shareholders' equity. The widely accepted double-entry bookkeeping technique is designed to accurately reflect all of a company's assets.
Any object that a firm owns and has a market value and that it can employ now or in the future to advance its interests is considered an asset. They consist of permanent assets like buildings and machines. Financial resources like stocks and bonds that have been invested in may be among them. Additionally, they might be intangible assets like goodwill, trademarks, and patents.
All aspects of a company's outstanding debts are included in its liabilities. Loans, accounts payable, mortgages, deferred income, bond issuances, warranties, and accumulated expenses are a few examples.
The shareholders' equity is the enterprise value of the company, expressed in dollars. In other words, it is the sum that would be left over after the firm sold all of its assets and settled all of its debts. The residual amount represents the shareholders' equity, signifying the funds that are distributable to them.
Assets = ( Liabilities + Owner’s Equity )
The following components of the accounting equation are contained on the balance sheet.
- Identify the company's total assets from the relevant balance sheet
- Calculate the total liabilities listed separately on the same balance sheet to obtain a comprehensive view of the company's financial position.
- Add the total liabilities to the amount of total shareholder equity.
- The sum of the liabilities and the total equity will equal the entire assets.
Let's take ABC Corporation, a trailblazer in the F&B industry, as an example. Here's a glimpse into its latest fiscal year's balance sheet, which sheds light on its financial standing.
- Total assets: $ 100 Million
- Total liabilities: $50 Million
- Total shareholders' equity: $50 Million
If we calculate the right-hand side of the accounting equation (Equity + Liabilities), we arrive at ($50 Million + $50 Million) = $100 Million, which matches the value of the assets reported by ABC Corporation.
- The main benefit of using the accounting equation is that it provides an easy way to verify the accuracy of book-keeping.
- It also helps measure the profitability of the business. Are liabilities significantly higher than assets? This may indicate financial inefficiencies. On the other hand, if the equation balances, it is a good indication that finances are on the right track.
- The accounting equation shows how a company's assets, liabilities, and equity are related and how a change in one aspect, typically results in a change in another, as it encapsulates every moving part of a firm’s financial structure.
- In double-entry accounting, the outcomes must always balance on both sides of the accounting equation.. For example, if business assets total $200,000, the sum of liabilities plus the owners’ or stockholders’ equity also equals $200,000. If it doesn’t balance, revisit the books and check for an accounting or data entry error.