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Unclassified Balance Sheet

Balance sheets that are issued to investors and creditors are almost always classified balance sheets. These balance sheets split the asset and liability accounts into important categories like current assets, noncurrent assets, fixed assets, current liabilities, noncurrent liabilities, and shareholder loans. These classifications are important to investors and creditors because investors and creditors use these classifications to analyze the business performance and improvement over time. Investors and creditors use ratios like the quick ratio and acid test ratio that depend on accurate balance sheet classification.

An unclassified balance sheet, on the other hand, does not group asset and liability accounts into categories. Instead, an unclassified balance sheet lists all assets in order of liquidity starting with assets like cash and accounts receivable. The liabilities are listed in order of term. Short-term liabilities like accounts payable are listed first followed by long-term debt.

The unclassified balance sheet doesn't subtotal or group accounts into any categories other than the broad asset, liability, and equity categories. Obviously, this amount of information isn't very useful for creditors and investors. They can't tell what liabilities are due in the next year or how many current assets it would take to pay off the current liabilities. Unclassified balance sheets are usually used for internal purposes only. Managers and owners use unclassified balance sheets to gauge performance and business standings. Since an unclassified balance sheet is easier and faster to create, management can have one drafted much faster than an unclassified balance sheet.

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