What Is a Classified Balance Sheet?

classified balance sheet categories

Like current assets, the current liabilities only have a life span of one accounting period, usually a year. These are short term debt obligations that need to be paid back either by utilizing the current assets or by taking on new current or long-term liabilities. The current liabilities can be of interest and non- interest https://www.bookstime.com/ bearing nature. These are short-term resources that are utilized within the operating period, usually a year. They can vary in their liquidity as some items will be more liquid than others. For instance, short-term securities held for sale will most likely be more than liquid than accounts receivable or inventory.

  • Balance sheet liabilities, like assets have been categorized into Current Liabilities and Long-Term Liabilities.
  • Thus, you will see that their inventory for resale on their balance sheet is simply called “Inventory.” This is the goods they have purchased for resale but have not yet sold.
  • This information is important to any potential investor or creditor.
  • The creditors and investors have all the required information to decide about investment or issuing loans.
  • The two most common categories that are used in a classified balance sheet are current and long-term.

Here is a classified balance sheet format and most of the items such a balance sheet contains. It corresponds to the amount paid to the shareholders if a company is liquidated and all assets are sold out. Another key limitation is the fact that a balance sheet reflects balances at only one given point in time.


This in-depth information is pivotal in driving investment decisions, strategic planning, and performance evaluation. Besides, it is also hard to identify different items relating to varying classifications. For example, you can take totals of current assets and current liabilities in the classified balance sheet to calculate the current ratio. Moreover, it organizes the information in an easily accessible way. Therefore, it is recommended that companies should use classified balance sheets to facilitate the users of their financial statements.

classified balance sheet categories

The classified balance sheet is thus broken down into three sections; assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity. If prepared correctly, the total assets on the balance sheet equals the total liabilities and owner’s equity sections of the balance sheet. Current classified balance sheet liabilities include all debts that will become due in the current period. In other words, this is the amount of principle that is required to be repaid in the next 12 months. The most common current liabilities are accounts payable and accrued expenses.

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This means that the account value could have been quite different on the day before or the day after the date of the balance sheet. For example, if a firm were concerned with certain ratios or investor/lender expectations of its cash balance, it could choose to not pay several vendor payments in the last week of December. Thus, on December 31, the firm reflects a high cash balance on its balance sheet.

Management can decide what types of classifications to use, but the most common tend to be current and long-term. Most companies use a straightforward format for the balance sheet, which comes from accounting standards. However, some investors prefer other presentations, such as the classified balance sheet.