How to Read Financial Statements: From Confusion to Clarity

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Jeff Purcell

Over 30 years in business as an owner, restaurateur, and consultant, offering a unique understanding of business and marketing expertise.

Financial fitness is not a pipe dream or a state of mind. It’s a reality if you are willing to pursue it and embrace it.

~ Will Robinson
Key Takeaways
  • Why is understanding financial statements important?
    • Essential for making informed decisions, assessing financial health, and strategic planning.
  • What are the main types of financial statements and their purposes?
    • Balance Sheet: Shows financial standing (assets, liabilities, equity).
    • Income Statement: Details profitability and operating performance (revenue, expenses, profit).
    • Cash Flow Statement: Indicates cash movements.
  • How can financial statements inform strategic decision-making?
    • Offer insights through financial ratios for pricing, cost management, spotting trends, and preparing for future opportunities and challenges.
  • What practical tips should small business owners follow when analyzing financial statements?
    • Pay attention to footnotes for context.
    • Compare with past statements and industry benchmarks.
    • Look beyond the bottom line for a comprehensive financial understanding.
  • How can small business owners leverage financial statements for business improvement?
    • Identify cost-saving opportunities and manage debt.
    • Improve cash management.
    • Set financial goals and plan strategic growth based on historical data and future forecasts.

How to Read Financial Statements: Essential Insights for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner myself, I understand firsthand the challenges and importance of understanding financial statements. It might seem like a daunting task, especially if you're not a financial expert. But trust me, understanding these documents is essential for steering your business in the right direction. Today, I'm sharing my journey and insights on how to read financial statements. I hope to add some clarity to the process and highlight why it's so critical for us, the small business community.

Why Financial Statements Matter for Small Businesses

Financial statements are more than just sheets of paper filled with numbers; they are the financial blueprint of our businesses. They tell us where our money is coming from, where it's going, and how much is left at the end of the day. For small business owners, being able to read these statements is key to making informed decisions about budgeting, planning, and growth strategies. It's about understanding the financial health of your business at a glance.

Decoding the Basics for Small Businesses

At their core, financial statements for small businesses revolve around three main documents: the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement, and the Cash Flow Statement. Each document serves a specific purpose, offering insights into different aspects of your business's financial health.

The Balance Sheet for Small Businesses

Think of the Balance Sheet as a snapshot of your business's financial standing at any given moment. It shows what your business owns (assets), what it owes (liabilities), and what's left over for you, the owner (equity).

  • Assets: These might include cash in the bank, inventory, or even the equipment you use daily. It's anything of value your business owns.
  • Liabilities: This is essentially what your business owes to others, like loans, credit card debts, or money owed to suppliers.
  • Equity: This is what remains when you subtract liabilities from assets. It's what you, as the owner, truly “own” in your business.
The Income Statement for Small Businesses

Also known as the Profit and Loss Statement, this document shows your business's revenue, expenses, and profits over a certain period. It tells the story of how your business performed financially during that time.

  • Revenue: This is the total amount of money your business made from selling goods or services before any expenses are deducted.
  • Expenses: These are all the costs incurred to operate your business, such as rent, salaries, and materials.
  • Net Income: What's left after subtracting your expenses from your revenue. This number shows whether your business made a profit.
The Cash Flow Statement for Small Businesses

The Cash Flow Statement breaks down the cash that's coming into and going out of your business. It's crucial to understand how well your business manages its cash, pays bills, and funds operations.

  • Operating Activities: Includes cash received from sales and cash spent on day-to-day operations.
  • Investing Activities: Reflects cash spent on or received from buying or selling assets, like equipment or property.
  • Financing Activities: Involves cash moving between the business and its owners, loans, or investors.

Learning to read financial statements has been a game-changer for me. It's not just about tracking numbers; it's about gaining insights into how to grow and sustain your business. Throughout this guide, I'll share practical tips, examples, and scenarios to help you level up your reading of your financial statements. It's about empowering you with the knowledge to make informed decisions that drive your business forward.

How to Read and Understand the Balance Sheet

Navigating the Balance Sheet can seem daunting at first, but it's a powerful tool for understanding your small business's financial standing. As someone who's been there, I'll break down the essentials of the Balance Sheet—focusing on assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity—using a straightforward example to help you grasp these concepts.

Assets, Liabilities, and Owner’s Equity

The Balance Sheet is essentially a financial snapshot of your business at a specific point in time. It helps you answer a crucial question: What is my business's net worth?


Assets are what your business owns. They can be divided into current assets (cash or items that can be converted into cash within a year) and fixed (or non-current) assets (items that are more permanent, like equipment and real estate).

Example: Let's say your business has $10,000 in the bank, $5,000 worth of inventory, and a piece of equipment valued at $15,000. Your total assets would be $30,000.


Liabilities represent what your business owes to others—debts that need to be paid off. These are also split into current liabilities (due within a year) and long-term liabilities (due after a year).

Example: If your business has a loan that requires a payment of $4,000 in the next year and a mortgage on the property that's $6,000 due after a year, your total liabilities would be $10,000.

Owner’s Equity

Owner's equity is what's left over for the business owner once all liabilities have been subtracted from assets. It's essentially the net worth of your business from an owner's perspective.

Example: With total assets of $30,000 and total liabilities of $10,000, your business's owner's equity would be $20,000.

Analyzing Your Small Business’s Financial Health Through the Balance Sheet

Understanding your Balance Sheet is crucial for analyzing your business’s financial health. It gives you a clear picture of where your business stands financially, helping you make informed decisions.

  • A Strong Asset Base: If your assets significantly outweigh your liabilities, your business is likely in a good financial position. This means you have a strong base to support operations and potential growth.
  • Manageable Liabilities: Keeping liabilities under control is key. If your liabilities start to approach your assets too closely, it may be time to reassess your debt strategy to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Healthy Owner’s Equity: An increasing owner’s equity over time indicates that your business is growing its net worth, a positive sign for any small business owner.

Scenario Example: Imagine it's the end of the year, and you're reviewing your Balance Sheet. You notice that while your assets have increased to $35,000, thanks to increased inventory and cash from strong sales, your liabilities have also increased to $15,000 due to a new loan for upgrading equipment. However, your owner’s equity has grown to $20,000. This scenario suggests that while you’re taking on more debt, it's being used to finance growth, which is reflected in the increased equity.

Income Statement: On How to Read Financial Statements

Understanding the Income Statement is crucial for small business owners. It shows whether your business is making money, breaking even, or operating at a loss over a specific period. As someone who's navigated these waters, I'll guide you through the key components of the Income Statement—revenue, costs, expenses—and explain the significance of profit margins in financial analysis.

Breaking Down Revenue, Costs, and Expenses

The Income Statement provides a detailed account of your business's financial activities, specifically how your business generates revenue and incurs costs and expenses.


Revenue, or sales, is the income your business earns from its normal business activities. It's the starting line of the Income Statement.

Example: Suppose your small business sells handcrafted furniture. If you sold $50,000 worth of furniture in a year, that amount is your annual revenue.

Costs and Expenses

Costs are directly tied to the production of goods or services, such as raw materials and labor. Expenses, on the other hand, are the costs of operating your business that aren't directly linked to production, like rent, utilities, and marketing.

Example: Continuing with our furniture business, let's say your costs of materials and direct labor for the year are $20,000. Additionally, you have expenses like rent and marketing totaling $10,000. Your total costs and expenses would be $30,000.

Profit Margins and Their Significance in Financial Analysis

Profit margins, calculated from the information on the Income Statement, are critical indicators of your business's financial health and efficiency.

  • Gross Profit Margin: This measures the profitability of your products or services before other expenses are taken into account. It's calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold (COGS) from revenue.
  • Operating Profit Margin: This reflects the efficiency of your business operations, calculated by subtracting operating expenses from your gross profit.
  • Net Profit Margin: This is the percentage of net income to revenue, showing how much profit your business keeps from its total revenue.

Scenario Example: Using the numbers from our example, let's calculate the profit margins.

  • Gross Profit: $50,000 (Revenue) – $20,000 (Costs) = $30,000
  • Operating Profit: $30,000 (Gross Profit) – $10,000 (Expenses) = $20,000
  • Net Profit: Assuming an additional $5,000 in taxes, your net profit would be $15,000.

Profit Margins:

  • Gross Profit Margin: ($30,000 / $50,000) * 100 = 60%
  • Operating Profit Margin: ($20,000 / $50,000) * 100 = 40%
  • Net Profit Margin: ($15,000 / $50,000) * 100 = 30%

These margins are powerful indicators of where your business stands. A high gross profit margin indicates your products are priced appropriately relative to their cost. The operating margin reveals how well you're managing your operating expenses, and the net profit margin shows your overall financial health after all expenses, including taxes.

The Essentials of Reading Cash Flow Statements

For small business owners, the Cash Flow Statement is a vital financial document. It differs from the Balance Sheet and Income Statement in that it focuses on the movement of cash in and out of your business rather than just accounting for profits or net worth. This statement is crucial for understanding how well your business manages its cash, which is the lifeblood of any business, big or small. Let me walk you through the essentials of reading Cash Flow Statements, highlighting the significance of operating, investing, and financing activities, and sharing strategies for managing your cash flow effectively.

Understanding Cash Flow: Operating, Investing, and Financing Activities

The Cash Flow Statement is divided into three main sections: operating activities, investing activities, and financing activities. Each section tells a different story about your business's cash flow.

Operating Activities

This section shows the cash generated or used by your business's core operations. It's a good indicator of how well your business is performing on a day-to-day basis.

Example: If your furniture business generates $40,000 in cash from customers but pays out $30,000 in expenses (materials, labor, rent, utilities), the net cash flow from operating activities would be $10,000.

Investing Activities

Investing activities reflect the purchase or sale of long-term assets, like equipment or property, that can help your business grow.

Example: If you spent $5,000 on a new piece of woodworking equipment, this would be recorded as a negative cash flow of $5,000 in investing activities, indicating money spent on investments.

Financing Activities

Financing activities involve cash moving between your business and its owners, lenders, or investors. This includes loans, repayments, and dividends.

Example: If you took out a new loan for $20,000 and repaid $4,000 of an existing loan, the net cash flow from financing activities would be $16,000 (ignoring any interest payments for simplicity).

Strategies for Managing Cash Flow Based on Financial Statements

Understanding your Cash Flow Statement is the first step toward better cash flow management. Here are some strategies that have worked for me and could potentially benefit your business too:

  • Accelerate Receivables: Try to speed up cash inflows by encouraging quicker payments from customers. This could involve offering discounts for early payment or improving your billing processes to ensure invoices are sent promptly.
  • Delay Payables: While maintaining good relationships with suppliers, manage your cash outflows by taking full advantage of payment terms. Ensure you're not paying too early unless there's a discount that justifies it.
  • Monitor Cash Flow Regularly: Make reviewing your Cash Flow Statement a regular part of your financial routine. This will help you spot trends, prepare for future cash needs, and make informed decisions about investing or financing activities.
  • Maintain a Cash Reserve: Use insights from your Cash Flow Statement to build and maintain a cash reserve for your business. This can provide a buffer against unexpected cash shortfalls and help you navigate through tough times without taking on unwanted debt.

Scenario Example: Let's say you're planning to expand your product line, but notice that your cash flow from operating activities has been declining over the past few quarters. Before proceeding with the expansion (which would fall under investing activities), you decide to focus on improving cash flow by tightening credit terms and reducing inventory levels. This strategic decision, informed by your Cash Flow Statement, helps ensure that your expansion doesn't put undue strain on your business's cash reserves.

The Cash Flow Statement is a powerful tool in your financial toolkit, providing insights that can help you make strategic decisions, avoid financial pitfalls, and position your business for success.

Financial Ratios: How to Read Financial Statements More Effectively

In our hike up the trail of mastering how to read financial statements, we arrive at an essential tool for small business owners: financial ratios. These ratios distill complex financial information into simple metrics that can be easily compared over time or against industry benchmarks. They offer invaluable insights into your business's profitability, liquidity, and solvency.

  • Gross Profit Margin: This ratio reveals the percentage of revenue that exceeds the cost of goods sold, indicating how efficiently you are producing or sourcing your products.
  • Net Profit Margin: It shows what percentage of your sales is actual profit after all expenses are paid. This is crucial for understanding your overall profitability.
  • Return on Assets (ROA): This measures how effectively your business uses its assets to generate profit. A higher ROA indicates more efficient use of assets.

Example: If your small business has a net profit of $15,000 on revenues of $50,000, your Net Profit Margin would be 30% ($15,000 / $50,000). This means for every dollar of sales, you keep $0.30 as profit.

Liquidity Ratios
  • Current Ratio: This ratio assesses your ability to pay short-term obligations with short-term assets, offering insight into your business's short-term financial health.
  • Quick Ratio: Also known as the acid-test ratio, it measures your ability to meet short-term liabilities with your most liquid assets, excluding inventory.

Example: If your business has current assets of $10,000 and current liabilities of $5,000, your Current Ratio would be 2.0 ($10,000 / $5,000), indicating a strong liquidity position.

Solvency Ratios
  • Debt to Equity Ratio: This ratio compares the total debt of your business to its equity, showing the extent to which your business is financed by debt versus your own investment.
  • Interest Coverage Ratio: It measures your ability to cover interest payments on your debt, an essential indicator of financial stability.

Example: With a total debt of $25,000 and equity of $75,000, your debt-to-equity ratio would be 0.33 ($25,000 / $75,000), suggesting a healthy balance between debt and equity.

Using Ratios to Benchmark and Improve Your Business Performance

Financial ratios gain power through comparison. By comparing your ratios with industry benchmarks, you can identify areas where your business excels or needs improvement.

  • Benchmarking: Look for industry reports or financial surveys to find benchmark ratios for your industry. Comparing your ratios to these benchmarks can highlight strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Tracking Over Time: Monitor your financial ratios over multiple periods to spot trends, whether positive or negative. This can help you address issues before they become serious problems or capitalize on positive momentum.
  • Goal Setting: Use your understanding of financial ratios to set realistic financial goals for your business. For example, if your Net Profit Margin is below the industry average, you could implement cost-cutting measures or price adjustments to improve it.

Scenario Example: Imagine discovering that your Gross Profit Margin is higher than the industry average, but your Net Profit Margin is lower. This discrepancy suggests that while your core business is strong, excessive operating expenses may be eating into your profits. With this insight, you can focus on reducing unnecessary expenses to boost your net profit margin.

Practical Tips: How to Read Financial Statements Accurately

Financial statements can seem overwhelming, especially for small business owners who might not have a formal background in finance. Over the years, I've learned that understanding these documents is not just about knowing what each line item means but also about applying this knowledge to improve your business's financial health.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Financial Statement Analysis

When analyzing your financial statements, it's easy to fall into a few common traps.

  • Overlooking the Footnotes: Financial statements come with footnotes that provide essential context and details about the numbers. These can include explanations of accounting methods, significant events affecting financial results, or commitments not fully evident from the statements themselves. Always read the footnotes to get a complete picture of your financial situation.
  • Ignoring Comparative Analysis: It's vital to compare your current financial statements with previous periods and, if possible, with industry benchmarks. This comparison can reveal trends, highlight areas of improvement, and help you understand your position relative to your competitors.
  • Focusing Solely on the Bottom Line: While net income is important, it doesn't tell the whole story. Cash flow, for example, is equally critical because a business can be profitable on paper but still face cash crunches that hinder operations.
Leveraging Financial Statements for Business Improvement

Financial statements are not just report cards; they're tools for making informed decisions. Here's how you can use them to your advantage:

  • Set Specific Financial Goals: Use your financial statements to set achievable goals for your business. For instance, if your cash flow from operating activities has been positive, you might aim to increase it by a certain percentage by optimizing operations or reducing costs.
  • Identify Cost-Saving Opportunities: Regularly review your Income Statement to identify areas where expenses can be reduced. Even small adjustments in cost of goods sold (COGS) or operating expenses can significantly impact your bottom line.
  • Manage Debt Wisely: Your Balance Sheet can help you manage your debt levels effectively. By keeping an eye on your liabilities in relation to your assets, you can make more informed decisions about when to borrow and how much.
  • Improve Cash Management: The Cash Flow Statement is invaluable for improving how you manage cash. It can help you plan for future cash needs, understand the impact of timing differences between receivables and payables, and maintain sufficient liquidity to cover your obligations.

Scenario Example: Imagine you've noticed that your inventory levels are consistently high, tying up cash that could be used elsewhere. By analyzing your financial statements, you decide to implement a just-in-time (JIT) inventory system to reduce inventory costs and free up cash. This decision, informed by your financial analysis, not only improves cash flow but also reduces storage and insurance costs associated with holding large amounts of inventory.

Strategic Decision-Making Using Insights from Financial Statements

As a small business owner, leveraging the insights from your financial statements for strategic decision-making can be a game changer. It's about looking beyond the numbers to understand what they mean for your business's future. In this section, we'll delve into how you can use these financial insights for effective pricing and cost management and how they can aid in planning and forecasting for future growth. Remember, the goal is not just to understand your financial statements but to use them as a strategic tool to drive your business forward.

Utilizing Financial Statements for Pricing and Cost Management

One of the most critical areas where financial statements can provide valuable insights is in pricing and cost management. The data contained within these documents can help you make informed decisions about how to price your products or services and manage your costs to maximize profitability.

  • Pricing Strategies: Your income statement can be a valuable tool for developing pricing strategies. By analyzing your gross profit margin (the difference between sales and the cost of goods sold, divided by sales), you can assess whether your current pricing model is sustainable. If your margins are slim, it might be time to consider raising prices. Conversely, if your margins are high, you might have room to offer promotions or discounts to increase volume.
  • Cost Management: The same statement can also highlight areas where you might be able to reduce costs. For example, if certain expenses are growing faster than revenue, it's a signal to investigate and potentially cut back. Additionally, your Cash Flow Statement can show you how effectively you're managing cash, particularly in relation to inventory purchases and supplier payments.
Planning and Forecasting for Future Growth

Your financial statements are not just snapshots of the past; they're also the foundation for future planning and forecasting. By understanding where your business has been financially, you can make more informed predictions about where it's going.

  • Trend Analysis: By consistently reviewing your financial statements over time, you can identify trends that affect your business. For instance, if you notice that your sales are consistently higher in the third quarter, you can plan your inventory and staffing accordingly to maximize this peak period.
  • Budgeting and Forecasting: Use your historical financial data to create budgets and forecasts. Your Income Statement can help you set realistic sales targets, while your Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement can inform your capital expenditure plans and cash flow management strategies.

Scenario Example: Let's say your review of the past year's financial statements reveals that your business's sales increased by 20% during the summer months due to a seasonal product line. Using this insight, you decide to allocate additional marketing dollars to this period in the upcoming year and adjust your inventory levels to meet the anticipated demand. This strategic decision, informed by your financial analysis, positions your business to capitalize on seasonal trends and potentially increase profitability.

Advanced Techniques in Reading Financial Statements

As you become more comfortable with the basics of reading financial statements, you can start to apply more advanced techniques to gain deeper insights into your business's financial health and prospects. Two particularly useful approaches are cash flow forecasting and break-even analysis. Additionally, understanding the role of taxes, depreciation, and amortization in your financial statements can provide you with a more nuanced view of your financial situation.

Cash Flow Forecasting and Break-even Analysis

Cash flow forecasting and break-even analysis are powerful tools for predicting future financial performance and ensuring the sustainability of your business.

  • Cash Flow Forecasting: This involves estimating the amount of money expected to flow in and out of your business over a specific period. By using the data from your Cash Flow Statement, you can identify patterns in your cash inflows and outflows and make informed predictions about your future cash position. This forecasting can help you make crucial decisions about when to invest in new assets, when to take out loans, and how to manage your operational expenses to avoid cash shortfalls.
  • Break-even Analysis: This technique helps you determine the point at which your business will be able to cover all its expenses and start generating a profit. By understanding your fixed costs (costs that don't change regardless of the number of goods or services you produce) and variable costs (costs that vary with production volume), you can calculate how much revenue your business needs to generate to break even. This analysis is crucial for pricing decisions, cost management, and evaluating the financial viability of new products or services.
The Role of Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization in Financial Statements

Taxes, depreciation, and amortization are accounting concepts that can significantly affect your business's reported income and assets.

  • Taxes: Your Income Statement includes tax expenses, which reduce your net income. Understanding your tax obligations and planning accordingly can help you manage your cash flow more effectively and avoid surprises during tax season.
  • Depreciation and Amortization: These are methods for allocating the cost of tangible and intangible assets over their useful lives. Depreciation relates to physical assets like equipment and buildings, while amortization relates to intangible assets like patents and software. These non-cash expenses reduce your reported income but do not impact your cash flow, which can affect decisions related to investments and business valuation.

Scenario Example: Imagine you're considering purchasing new equipment for your manufacturing business. The equipment has a significant upfront cost, but it will depreciate over ten years. By incorporating depreciation into your financial forecasts, you realize that while the purchase will increase your expenses (and decrease your net income) in the short term, it won't affect your cash flow immediately. Furthermore, the equipment is expected to improve efficiency and reduce costs in the long run, making it a wise investment for future profitability.

Best Practices for Maintaining Accurate Financial Statements

Accurate financial statements are the foundation of sound business decisions. As a small business owner, ensuring the reliability of your financial records is paramount for assessing your business's health, planning for the future, and securing financing or investments.

Effective Record-Keeping
  • Use Accounting Software: Modern accounting software can simplify the process of tracking your revenues, expenses, and other financial transactions. These tools often come with features for generating financial statements automatically, reducing the risk of human error.
  • Stay Organized: Keep your financial documents, such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements, well organized. Establish a system for categorizing and storing these documents, making it easier to reference them when needed.
  • Reconcile Regularly: Make it a habit to reconcile your books with your bank statements regularly. This practice helps identify discrepancies early and ensures that your financial records accurately reflect your business's cash position.
When to Seek Professional Advice
  • Complex Financial Transactions: If your business undertakes complex transactions, such as mergers, acquisitions, or significant investments, consulting with a financial professional can help ensure these are accurately reflected in your financial statements.
  • Tax Planning and Compliance: Tax laws can be complex and subject to change. A tax professional can provide advice on compliance issues, tax planning strategies, and the tax implications of business decisions.
  • Audits and Financial Reviews: An external audit or review can provide credibility to your financial statements, especially if you're seeking loans or attracting investors. A professional accountant can conduct these audits, offering insights into areas for improvement.
Regular Review Practices for Financial Statements
  • Monthly Reviews: Conduct a monthly review of your financial statements. This allows you to monitor your business's performance closely, identify trends, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
  • Quarterly Check-ins: In addition to monthly reviews, a more in-depth quarterly review can be beneficial. This might include assessing your financial ratios, evaluating the effectiveness of your budget, and revising forecasts for the rest of the year.
  • Annual Assessments: Perform a comprehensive annual review of your financial statements. This is an opportunity to assess your business's financial health over the past year, set goals for the upcoming year, and make strategic decisions about investments, expansion, and other significant matters.


The world of financial statements may seem a bit daunting at first, especially for small business owners without a background in finance. However, understanding these documents is essential for making informed decisions.

As you continue to grow in your understanding and application of financial analysis, remember that this is a progressive journey. Each financial statement you analyze, every ratio you calculate, and all the strategic decisions you make based on these insights contribute to your evolving story as a business owner.

Glossary of Financial Statement Terms for Small Businesses:

Balance Sheet:

  • Assets: What you own, like cash, inventory, and equipment. (Think: Things you could sell if needed.)
  • Liabilities: What you owe, like loans, accounts payable, and taxes. (Think: Debts you need to repay.)
  • Owner's Equity: Your net worth (assets – liabilities). (Think: Your stake in the business.)

Income Statement:

  • Revenue: Money earned from selling products or services. (Think: Sales!)
  • Expenses: Money spent to run the business. (Think: Rent, salaries, materials.)
  • Net Income (Profit or Loss): Revenue minus expenses. (Think: Money left after paying all the bills.)

Cash Flow Statement:

  • Operating Activities: Cash coming in and going out from core business activities. (Think: Sales collections and payments for expenses.)
  • Investing Activities: Cash spent on buying or selling long-term assets (e.g., equipment).
  • Financing Activities: Cash received or paid from loans, investments, or owner contributions. (Think: Borrowing money or paying back investors.)

Key Ratios (Simplified):

  • Profit Margin: Net income / Revenue. (Shows how much profit you earn from each dollar of sales.)
  • Liquidity Ratio: Current Assets / Current Liabilities. (Indicates your ability to pay short-term debts.)
  • Debt-to-Equity Ratio: Total Liabilities / Owner's Equity. (Shows how much debt you have compared to your own investment.)

Additional Terms:

  • Accounts Receivable: Money owed to you by customers for products or services sold on credit.
  • Accounts Payable: Money you owe to suppliers for goods or services purchased on credit.
  • Inventory: Products you have on hand for sale.
  • Depreciation: The gradual decrease in the value of an asset over time.
  • Retained Earnings: Profits kept in the business instead of being paid out to owners.
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