How to Calculate the Total Debt Using Financial Statements

You can calculate a company's total debt using its financial reports.

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.

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Step 1

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.

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Step 2

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.

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Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

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Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Warning

Liabilities listed on the balance sheet reflect the book value of a company’s debt and may differ from the market value of debt.

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