Debt items will almost always appear solely in the liabilities section of the balance sheet. Short-term debt items are reported as part of current liabilities, while long-term debt is typically reported under other liabilities, or are broken out separately in its own section. Line items described as "payable," excluding accounts or trade payables, are usually interest-bearing debt items. They often consist of financial instruments such as mortgage notes payable, lines of credit, or installment notes, or have the words "notes" or "debt" in the line item. If the financial statements are audited, the notes to the financial statements should contain a footnote identifying all debt items.
If you have access to the company's general ledger, you can search for debt items associated with listed interest expenses. Notes payable to individuals, such as a company's founder, sometimes appear on the balance sheet as only the individual's name. In this case, if you have access to management, you can confirm the status of these line items. To obtain total debt on the balance sheet, calculate the sum of all debt items you have identified