You can calculate a company's total liabilities to determine how much money a company owes to others and gauge the company's risk. Liabilities, or debts, are amounts a company owes to another entity or person, such as a supplier or a bank. A company reports its liabilities as either current or long-term on its balance sheet. Current liabilities are expected to be paid off within a year, while long-term liabilities are expected to be paid off farther into the future. A public company must also disclose any liabilities or contractual obligations not listed on its balance sheet in its quarterly and annual reports.
Find a company's current liabilities listed under "Current Liabilities" on its balance sheet. Current liabilities include items such as accounts payable, the portion of long-term debt that's due within a year, wages payable and income taxes payable.
Calculate the sum of the company's current liabilities. For example, calculate the sum of $150,000 in accounts payable, $100,000 in wages payable and $50,000 in taxes payable. This equals $300,000, which is the total amount of current liabilities.
Find a company's long-term liabilities listed under "Long-Term Liabilities" on its balance sheet. Long-term liabilities include items such as bank loans, long-term notes and deferred taxes.
Calculate the sum of the company's long-term liabilities. In the example, calculate the sum of $400,000 in bank loans and $500,000 in long-term notes. This equals $900,000, which is the total amount of long-term liabilities.
Find a company's liabilities that aren't listed on its balance sheet, which are known as off-balance sheet arrangements or liabilities, in its quarterly and annual reports, which are called the 10-Q and 10-K, respectively. A company typically lists these items in footnotes to its financial statements in its quarterly and annual reports. Off-balance sheet liabilities include items such as long-term lease agreements, purchase contracts and special purpose entities.
Calculate the sum of the company's off-balance sheet liabilities. In the example, calculate the sum of a $250,000 long-term lease agreement and a $300,000 purchase contract. This equals $550,000, which is the total amount of off-balance sheet liabilities.
Calculate the sum of the company's current, long-term and off-balance sheet liabilities to determine its total liabilities. In the example, calculate the sum of $300,000 in total current liabilities, $900,000 in total long-term liabilities and $550,000 in off-balance sheet liabilities. This equals $1.75 million in total liabilities, which is the company's total debt.
Liabilities listed on the balance sheet reflect the book value of a company’s debt and may differ from the market value of debt.
- Principles of Accounting.com; Chapter One: Welcome to the World of Accounting; Larry Walther; 2010
- Principles of Accounting.com; Chapter Four: The Reporting Cycle; Larry Walther\; 2010
- FindLaw; SEC Issues Final Rule Regarding Disclosure of Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements…; Laird H. Simons, et al.; 2003
- AccountingCoach; Balance Sheet Liabilities; Harold Averkamp, CPA; 2011
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Company Search