## The Balance Sheet

This lesson will introduce the balance sheet, a representation of a firm's financial position at a single point in time. The balance sheet is one of the four major financial statements. You will be able to identify assets, liability, and shareholder's equity, and learn how to compute the balance sheet equation. You will also be able to create a balance sheet.

Book value is the price paid for a particular asset, while market value is the price at which you could presently sell the same asset.

### LEARNING OBJECTIVE

• Distinguish between market value and book value.

#### KEY POINTS

• Market value is the price at which an asset would trade in a competitive auction setting.
• Book value or carrying value is the value of an asset according to its balance sheet account balance. For assets, the value is based on the original cost of the asset less any depreciation, amortization or impairment costs made against the asset.
• In many cases, the carrying value of an asset and its market value will differ greatly. However, they are interrelated.

### Term

• amortization

The distribution of the cost of an intangible asset, such as an intellectual property right, over the projected useful life of the asset.

Market value is the price at which an asset would trade in a competitive auction setting. Market value is often used interchangeably with open market value, fair value, or fair market value. International Valuation Standards defines market value as "the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm's-length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without compulsion".

In accounting, book value or carrying value is the value of an asset according to its balance sheet account balance. For assets, the value is based on the original cost of the asset less any depreciation, amortization, or impairment costs made against the asset. An asset's initial book value is its its acquisition cost or the sum of allowable costs expended to put it into use. Assets such as buildings, land, and equipment are valued based on their acquisition cost, which includes the actual cash price of the asset plus certain costs tied to the purchase of the asset, such as broker fees. The book value is different from market value, as it can be higher or lower depending on the asset in question and the accounting practices that affect book value, such as depreciation, amortization and impairment. In many cases, the carrying value of an asset and its market value will differ greatly. If the asset is valued on the balance at market value, then its book value is equal to the market value.

Depreciation methods which are essential in calculating book value

4 Depreciation methods (1. Straight-Line method, (2. Double-Declining Balance method, (3. Sum-of-the-Years' Digits method, (4.Productive output method)

Ways of measuring the value of assets on the balance sheet include: historical cost, market value or lower of cost or market. Historical cost is typically the purchase price of the asset or the sum of certain costs expended to put the asset into use. Market value is the asset's worth if it were to be exchanged in the open market in an arm's length transaction; it can also be derived based on the asset's present value of the expected cash flows it will generate. Certain assets are disclosed at lower of cost or market in order to conform to accounting's conservatism principle, which stresses that assets should never be overstated.