How to Read a Balance Sheet – Equity Section

The equity section of the balance sheet equals assets minus liabilities. Traditionally the equity section is referred to as the net worth of the company. If you were to dispose of all the assets through a sale and pay off liabilities, the money left over would be available for distribution to the shareholders. The shareholders basically own the equity section of the balance sheet.

Dividends and Distributions – Use in the Proper Context

Dividends and Distributions - Use in the Proper Context

Dividends and distributions refer to the payment of cash to investors. Why are there two separate terms? Well, the term is tied back to the type of entity that makes the payment. Simply stated, regular corporations, i.e. C-Corporations as identified in the Internal Revenue Code use the term ‘Dividends’ and S-Corporations (Small Business Corporations) use the term ‘Distributions’. In addition to S-Corporations, other closely held business use the term ‘Distributions’ to identify amounts disbursed to the respective owners or beneficiaries. These forms of entities include Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Trusts and Estates. 

Although it appears relatively simple at first, it is slightly more involved than this and this article addresses the proper definition and context use when using these two similar terms. In addition, there are more differences between the two terms than just the source of the payment. For a full and detailed understanding of the terms, continue reading. 

Insolvency and Bankruptcy – Know the Difference

Insolvency and Bankruptcy

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.

Common Stock – Definition

Common Stock

A document indicating ownership in a corporation is often referred to as common stock. It identifies an equity position in a business. The document or certificate is commonly referred to as a security and provides certain rights to the holder (owner). These rights include voting and residual value upon liquidation of the company.

What is Accrual Accounting?

Accrual Accounting

Accrual accounting is the preferred method of accounting for all business operations. Any publicly traded company must comply with the principles of accrual accounting. Small business operations can choose between cash and accrual accounting for their records. Although cash accounting is the easiest to work with as a small business operation, accrual accounting will provide a more accurate picture of the financial status and affairs of any business operation.

How to Read a Balance Sheet – Equity Section (Simple Format)

Stock

The equity section of the balance sheet equals assets minus liabilities. Traditionally the equity section is referred to as the net worth of the company. If you were to dispose of all the assets through a sale and pay off liabilities, the money left over would be available for distribution to the shareholders. The shareholders basically own the equity section of the balance sheet. 

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