The balance sheet serves as an historical report. It identifies the accumulated change in value since inception. The balance sheet is organized into two halves and both sides must be equal in value. In addition, the balance sheet is a snapshot of the financial condition at a single moment in time along the lifetime timeline of the company.
The current assets are a section of the assets side of the balance sheet. It refers to cash and cash equivalents such as receivables, inventory, and investments.
Working capital management is a function of finance whereby management ensures adequate cash is available to meet operational needs over the typical working capital cycle. The underlying elements of working capital management include 1) understanding the different forms of current assets and current liabilities and their corresponding cash cycles; 2) recognizing the relationships of production and sales flow; and 3) planning the inflows and uses (outflows) of cash.
Most small businesses use the annual inventory system to determine ending inventory value. Any adjustments are to the income statement inside the cost of goods sold formula. This is acceptable if management only wanted accurate financial statements once a year. But this is unrealistic for a small business.
Construction accounting consists of three major groups of accounts. The first and most understood set are the accounts found on the profit and loss statement. Customarily referred to as Cost of Goods Sold or Costs of Construction, these accounts convey the total costs of construction against the revenue earned for those contracts. The second major group is located on the balance sheet in the current assets section. This group is called the ‘Construction in Process’ (CIP) accounts. The third major group is also located on the balance sheet down in the current liabilities section and is called ‘Construction Billings’ or ‘Construction Deposits and Draws’.
This article explains the balance sheet accounts related to Construction in Process. I will explain how they are designed, formatted and presented. In addition, I’ll explain the impact either the completed contract or percentage of completion method has on the corresponding project’s account balance. Finally, I’m going to explain to you how to interpret the information presented.
In another article I will go into detail related to Construction Billings and the corresponding deposits and draws. This article will focus on the Construction in Process/Progress or what is commonly shortened to CIP.
Tangible and intangible are terms with several different meanings. A lot of well educated folks have a difficult time providing an all inclusive definition. Someone once described tangible as ‘something that can be burned’. Well, land is tangible and yet, you can’t burn it. Actually, in Boy Scouts, we teach the boys to use dirt to put out fires! But the best overall definition for these terms that I heard was a synonymous statement made by a Supreme Court Justice when trying to define pornography in relation to art. He said something along the line of ‘I don’t have a definition, but I just know it when I see it’. Basically the gray area for the definition is vast. This is true for these two terms because there are various levels of definitions related to their respective use.
There is the classic college textbook definition. It is straight forward, but it doesn’t really begin to get involved in the gray area definitions. Then there is the more extended definition as used in accounting and customarily in the traditional business setting. Really getting into higher thinking and use of the terms comes into play when discussing value. Finally, there is the relationship to each other with regards to economics and the evolving concept of wealth. They are similar to the theory of the Yin and the Yang of life itself.
Every business owner needs to know the difference between insolvency and bankruptcy. Often these two terms are misunderstood and improperly used in conversation. You need to know their correct meaning because both are used in civil law and both have different issues to address during the process. In addition, understanding these two terms builds a better comprehensive understanding of financing your business.
The quick ratio is a formula used in business to identify the ability of a business to pay its current liabilities. It is also known as the ‘Acid Test’ formula (ratio). In the large markets this formula is one of the financial industry ratios used to value the stock of a corporation. In the arena of the small business, you should only use this ratio as a means to gauge ability to pay your bills right now.