As an entrepreneur, who is thinking of going into business, or who is already conducting business, you have to start learning about the basic concepts of Accounting because they are the concepts that are used in reporting your business activities. It is time you must know about one of the most fundamental concepts in accounting.

Accountants process data into documents called financial statements. It is the accounting equation that is the basis for the entire accounting system.

So what is this magical equation?

The Accounting Equation is:

ASSETS = LIABILITIES + OWNERS’ EQUITY.

Each is defined as,

  • ASSETS are economic resources of the business that are expected to bring benefits for the business in the future.
  • LIABILITIES are economic resources borrowed by the business from another person or an organization.
  • OWNERS’ EQUITY is the economic resources that was contributed by the owners of the business to the business.

One way of thinking of this equation is that the left side is what the business has including its money, equipment, building, land, furniture, etc… The right side indicates where these assets had come from. Were they borrowed from parties outside the business, or were they contributed by the people who own the business.

The other version of this equation, that you might bump into is the:

ASSETS – LIABILITIES = OWNERS’ EQUITY.

In other words, if the business’s assets pay off all its liabilities, you are left with a figure that indicates the economic resources that belong to the business’s owner.

It is pretty much the same thing, a concept of transposition in algebra.

If you take a look at a business’s BALANCE SHEET – or what is now modernly called A STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION – you’ll notice that all the items in there are arranged following this accounting equation in either one of its versions.

Of course in a BALANCE SHEET, it is written vertically, instead of horizontally as it is in the equation.

You’ll see the items arranged somewhat as:

ASSETS XXX

LIABILITIES YYY
OWNERS’ EQUITY ZZZ

Where, XXX = YYY + ZZZ.

So, next time you see a balance sheet aka statement of financial position, take the time to recognize this logic.

About the Author nextstepokc


He empowers service providers to pursue their purpose, monetize their passion, and plan their profits with the Master Business Blueprint.

He is the owner of Next Step Bookkeeping & Tax, and his Christian Business Coaching website can be found at BrotherJuan.me. He holds a Bachelor's in Business/Management, a Master's in Accounting and Financial Management, a Doctorate in Ministry (Biblical Counseling), and is a Certified Christian Business Coach and Consultant.

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