What is a balance sheet?

A balance sheet is a snapshot of your business on a particular date. It lists all of your business's assets and liabilities. You can then find out what your net assets are at that time.

A balance sheet can also help you work out your:

  • working capital – money needed to fund day-to-day operations
  • business liquidity – how quickly you could pay your current debts

These give you an idea of the financial health of your business.

Create your balance sheet

Create a balance sheet listing all of your asset and liability items. At the end of the assets and liabilities sections, add a row for total assets and for total liabilities. You’ll add dollar amounts for each item for the next 3 years.

Use the outline below as your starting point for your balance sheet items for each year.

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Balance sheet template

An alternative spreadsheet version of this list is available to download and edit.

Complete your balance sheet

For each year, you'll need to fill in actual or estimated figures against each item. If you use estimated costs, make sure to label them clearly.

You’ll also need to clearly state on your balance sheet whether your figures are GST inclusive or exclusive.

Calculate the:

  • total assets
  • total liabilities
  • net assets

Read next

Check our information on how to organise your finances.

Find financial terms in our glossary.