How to Prepare Accounting 201 Financial Statements

In accounting, there are four parts that make up the financial statements. The four parts are as follows: Retained Earnings (RE), Income Statement (IS), Balance Sheet (BS), and Statement of Cash Flows (CF). For purposes of this article, I will explain the three main parts of the financial statements that are needed in accounting 201. The three main parts that are needed are the Income Statement, Statement of Retained Earnings, and the Balance Sheet.

In order to begin your Income Statement, you must first include the header. This usually consists of Name of Company, Income Statement, and Dates for which the Income statement is being conducted for. Example: August 31, 2010 – September 30 2010. Next, must create a column for where your “Revenue” accounts can be listed. Then go over a few columns and put “Debit” and “Credit” (each in their own column). Now, you should list all of your Revenue accounts underneath the “Revenue” column. A few examples of revenue accounts are Sales and Revenue Earned. After you have listed all of your revenue accounts, you must then insert into the debit column the amount of each account. Once that is done, you then add all of your revenue accounts to come out with total amount of revenue which is then placed in the credit column. After this is done, you must then skip a space and create a new column of accounts. These accounts will be your “Expenses”. Just as before, you must now list your expenses underneath this heading. Examples of expenses are: supplies expenses, insurance expenses, and miscellaneous expenses. Once again, you must record the amount of your expenses and place them into the correct account in the debit column. After this is done, you then add all of your expenses to come out with your total amount expenses. This number is recorded into the credit column. And now to finish your Income Statement, you take your Total Revenue subtracted from your Total Expenses. This will give you the amount of your Net Income or Total Income. If you have a positive number then you are gaining money (net profit). If you have a negative number, you are losing money (net loss).

Next, you must create your Statement of Retained Earnings. Just as before, you must include your header, which contains the Name of the Company, Statement of Retained Earnings, and the Dates for which it is being calculated. To begin, you must create a column where your Retained Earnings can be listed. Once again, go over a few columns and write “debit” and “credit” (in their own columns). Now you can begin listing your accounts under Retained Earnings. These accounts will be Retained Earnings-August 31, 2010 and Net Income (the amount from September). You must then record the amount of each account into the debit column. Once that is done, you must then add these amounts together to come out with an answer which is placed into the credit column. After you have reached an answer, you must then skip a space and write Dividends into the Retained Earnings column. You must then record the amount for Dividends into the debit column. After that is finished, you then subtract Dividends from the total amount of Retained Earnings-August and Net Income to come out with your final answer for the Retained Earnings-September 2010.

Lastly, you create the Balance Sheet. Again, you must include the header (same as the previous two). To set up the Balance Sheet, you must set it up with Assets on the left, and Liabilities and Owner’s Equity on the right (it is usually easier to have your Owner’s Equity below your Liabilities). It is also important to have a Debit and Credit column for each of these categories (Liabilities and Owner’s Equity will match up if you did the one beneath the other). Now you begin to plug your accounts to where they belong. Example: Cash goes to assets, Accounts payable goes to liability, and Retained earnings goes to owner’s equity. Once that is finished, you then plug the amount of each account into the debit column. After this, we then begin to add all of the accounts together. The asset column adds all of the assets together and subtracts the amount of depreciation used on those assets to give you the Total amount of Assets. The liabilities are added together to give you the Total amount of Liabilities, and the Owner’s Equity is added together to give you the Total amount of Owner’s Equity. Once that is done, you must then add your Total Liabilities plus your Total Owner’s Equity in order to balance the amount with your Total Assets.

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Finance Education for Business Executives

Whether you are in sales, operations, or managing technology in an organization, as you grow in your career, you will be required to make financial decisions. What’s the best way to allocate the team budget? How can the company maximize its return on investments? Can the company afford to make capital investments? These are some of the questions that are not limited to just the finance professionals.

As the world of business becomes more complex, all the employees of the company are expected to be able to speak the language of finance and accounting to make the system more efficient.

Lack of basic financial understanding can seriously hamper your growth prospects. Even if you have all the skills to become a CEO, if you can’t read and interpret a company’s balance sheet, you don’t stand a chance to get that coveted position.

There are various ways to equip yourself with what you need to know about finance as a business executive. The first step towards your finance education is to grab a book that teaches you the basics. There are plenty of good books that have been written with non-finance professionals in mind.

Most business schools offer part-time Executive MBA or other executive programs for working professionals. This is a good option as you study from the experts, and also earn a degree or certificate at the end of the program.

The objective is to get decent knowledge of finance and accounting and be able to apply it when required. Let’s take a look at some of the important concepts that you need to know as a business executive. First and foremost, you need to realize the importance of finance and accounting function and the difference between the two. You also need to know some basic accounting terminology, such as double-entry accounting, debt, credit, assets, and liabilities.

The most important thing that you need to know is how to read and interpret the key financial statements of a company. The three commonly used financial statements are balance sheet, income statement, and the statement of cash flows. As a senior business executive, you are expected to know these statements, and how they are interrelated with each other. Based on your knowledge, you should be able to pick up the key financial data from these financial statements and use it for making key decisions. For example, if you are in a meeting discussing a future project, you should be able to take a call on whether the firm is able to finance this new project, depending on how much the company already owes, or how much profit the company has retained. Apart from these you should also have some knowledge about costing and budgeting techniques.

In summary, having a grasp on the key finance concepts and your ability to interpret financial data can provide a significant boost to your career and enhance your reputation among your colleagues.

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