Balancing Assets against Liabilities and Equity

In This Chapter

^ Defining assets, liabilities, and equity ^ Exploring the basics of balance sheets ^ Reviewing assets ^ Understanding liabilities ^ Examining equity

icture a tightrope walker carefully making her way across a tightrope. W As if that isn't challenging enough, imagine that she's carrying plates of equal weight on both sides of a wobbling rod. What would happen if one of those plates were heavier than the other? You don't have to understand squat about physics to know that it isn't gonna be a pretty sight.

Just as the tightrope walker must be in balance, so must a company's financial position. If the assets aren't equal to the claims against those assets, then that company's financial position isn't in balance, and everything topples over. In this chapter, I introduce you to the balance sheet, which gives the financial report reader a snapshot of a company's financial position.

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