balance-sheet formats

Methods of presenting a balance sheet, as set out in the Companies Act (1985). There are two formats: one vertical (format 1) and one horizontal (format 2). Both formats give the same basic disclosures, but format 1 also requires the calculation and disclosure of the net current assets and liabilities. The items are classified under letters, Roman numerals, and Arabic numbers. Items preceded by letters and Roman numerals must be shown on the face of the balance sheet, while those preceded by Arabic numbers may be shown in the notes to the accounts. Unless the directors believe there are valid arguments for a change, a company must adhere to the format it has chosen. Details of any changes and the reasons for making them must be disclosed in the notes to the accounts.

Accounting dictionary. 2014.

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