Common financial statements

In the reading and activities for this module we learned about the three common financial statements used in business and personal finance. They are the income statement, the cash flow statement, and the balance sheet. In this exercise we’re going to create our own balance sheet and cash flow statement. Here’s a reminder of what these statements are:

  • The balance sheet is a snapshot in time of your assets and liabilities; that is, everything you own and everything you owe. The balance sheet is unlike the other two statements because it does not cover a period of time at all; it’s just an instantaneous record, sort of like an inventory.
  • The cash flow statement includes everything that you’ve spent money on during a period of time (usually one year). “Everything” means non-recurring expenses as well as recurring expenses. So, for example, if you bought a car during this time period that would appear on the cash flow statement.

Together, these statements answer the questions “where am I?” and “what happened?” The balance sheet tells you where you are in terms of your finances – what you have and what you owe. And the cash flow statement tells you what happened – where your money came from and where it went. It’s a great idea to update these statements periodically (every year is most common) so you can keep track of your financial situation as you go through life.

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Please follow the steps below to create these two statements:

  1. Download and save the “Financial Worksheets” Excel file as well as the “Balance Sheet Instructions” and “Cash Flow Instructions” PDF files by clicking on the links below:
  2. Follow the step-by-step directions on the “Balance Sheet Instructions” sheet to create your own balance sheet in the Financial Statements Excel file.
  3. Follow the step-by-step directions on the “Cash Flow Instructions” sheet to create your own cash flow statement in the Financial Statements Excel file.
  4. Save the “Financial Statements” Excel file to your computer or an electronic storage device. (Don’t fill in any of the other tabs for now; you will reuse this sheet for some later assignments.)

To receive full credit your spreadsheets should be mathematically correct and contain all required information. Please enter 0’s in the spreadsheets where appropriate instead of leaving cells blank.

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