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Three weeks ago, I started a new alternation alleged ” Learnin’s From My MBA.” The alternation is meant to booty business concepts I’ve abstruse in my MBA affairs and present them to you, an admirers of scientists with no business background.

The aboriginal part, advantaged “The Anniversary Report,” briefly abbreviated the altered sections of an anniversary address and what they can acquaint you about a company. Aftermost week, in the third allotment of the series, I looked at the aboriginal quantitative allotment of my analysis: the Assets Statement. Together, we advised what anniversary band anniversary of a archetypal assets anniversary means, and we discussed some of the basal advice that can be acquired about the aggregation by allegory it.

This is the fourth allotment of the Anniversary Address series. Here, we’re activity to booty a actual basal attending at the Antithesis Sheet, a additional banking anniversary congenital aural any Anniversary Address that complements the advice begin in the assets statement.

As usual, we’ll be application a real-live aggregation as an example–Alta Genetics, a baby Canadian biotech firm. You can assignment forth with this alternation by downloading their anniversary address in PDF format.

The Antithesis Sheet

The antithesis area gives an outline of area the aggregation is appropriate now in acceding of what it owns and what it owes. It’s as simple as that.

The aboriginal affair you’ll apprehension about the antithesis area is that, clashing the assets anniversary we did aftermost week, the additional band doesn’t say “Years Ended December 31.” Instead it says “December 31.” Seems like nit-picking, but it’s a huge difference, and it makes an alike bigger aberration in how you anticipate about the statements. Area the assets anniversary was a arbitrary of the affairs that took abode that year, the antithesis area looks at anniversary alone: It’s a snapshot of the company’s position at one moment in time.

Like the assets statement, the architecture is simple: a description of the band anniversary on the left-hand ancillary of the page, and a agglomeration of abstracts in two (or more) columns on the right-hand side. The aboriginal cavalcade is the abstracts for that year; the abutting brace of columns are the abstracts for years afore that–a actual attending back, for comparison. Alta Genetics’s abstracts are two columns long, because the aggregation is almost new and alone has 1 year of actual abstracts to it in the anatomy it exists in today.

Well, let’s get bottomward to it: a attending at what anniversary band means.


The aboriginal class of items in a antithesis area is consistently the company’s assets. These are the actual (and sometimes intangible) things the aggregation owns or has some affectionate of appellation to. They are usually disconnected into “current” assets, or assets that are readily exchanged for cash, and “long-term” assets, like big buildings, which are adamantine to get rid of if you had to banknote them quickly.

Let’s booty a attending at the assets of Alta Genetics.

Current Assets

Under Accepted Assets, they’ve got bristles items: Cash, Accounts Receivable, Assets Taxes Recoverable, Inventories, and Prepaid Expenses.

Cash is absolutely artlessly the bulk of money the aggregation has in the coffer on 31 December 1997. You may think: Wow! These guys accept $1.8 actor in banknote in the bank! They’re accomplishing appealing good! But remember, it’s aloof what they accept that day–they could accept a bulk of $3 actor due at the end of the week, which would accomplish their banking bearings absolutely bad instead of absolutely good. So the bulk of banknote you’ve got in the coffer doesn’t necessarily beggarly annihilation unless it’s looked at in affiliation with aggregate abroad on the books.

Accounts Receivable

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Accounts receivable is the money the company’s owed for assignment they did but haven’t been paid for yet. Let’s say you’ve got a baby aggregation that makes transgenic mice. A applicant asked you for a specific mouse, you’ve alien it, and “their analysis is in the mail.” The bulk of that analysis would be added to your accounts receivable.

Accounts receivable accept to be taken in ambience with the bulk of sales you fabricated to bulk out how abundant they’re absolutely worth. If that guy you awash the transgenic abrasion to 5 years ago still says “the analysis is in the mail,” it’d be antic to still accept it in your accounts receivable, right? Well, you can get a acceptable abstraction of how old these receivables are, on average, by comparing the bulk in the accounts receivable band to the Acquirement band from the Assets Statement. Alta Genetics has $12.6 actor in accounts receivable, on $50 actor in sales this year, so, on average, their accounts receivable are about a division of their acquirement (12.6/50). This makes their boilerplate anniversary receivable about 3 months old.

Income Taxes Recoverable

This is money that you can get aback from the government either for taxes that you overpaid aftermost year or that you get because you absent money aftermost year. It depends on the situation. In any case, the Assets Taxes Recoverable are advised cash, as it’s money recoverable from the government. It’s attenuate (as you ability imagine) to see assets taxes recoverable actuality a cogent allotment of a company’s antithesis area or a cogent allocation of a company’s assets.


This is what you accept that you can advertise soon. Aback to the transgenic abrasion aggregation example, your inventories would be your stocks of mice. They’d be apparent actuality not at the bulk you’re planning on affairs them for but the bulk you paid for them.

Prepaid Expenses

These are items such as a heating bill that you paid for a special, 5-year anchored rate, and you’re alone in year 3. It can additionally be a abiding announcement contract, area you’ve paid for your ads in Science for 1998 and it’s alone 1997, or the bulk of that jotter in your closet. It’s being that you’re activity to bulk out soon, but you still own.

Long-Term Assets

Long-term assets are assets that aren’t readily convertible into cash. In Alta Genetics’s case, they accommodate six items: a accommodation receivable, development inventory, assembly livestock, advance tax credits, basal assets, and added assets.

Loan Receivable

A accommodation receivable is money the aggregation lent someone, usually a business partner. This bulk is owed the company, but the company’s not accepting it anytime soon.

Development Inventory

Typically, account is a accepted asset. However, here, they accept account that’s not calmly asleep that they’ve absitively to put beneath “long-term inventory.” In our transgenic abrasion analogy, this account would be the reagents you charge in adjustment to accomplish transgenic mice rather than the mice themselves.

Production Livestock

Because Alta makes beastly products, the livestock they accept to accomplish the articles is inventory, of sorts, but needs to be a abstracted band item. It’s aloof so big that it deserves its own line.

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Investment Tax Credits

Investment tax credits are a Canadian phenomenon–the Canadian federal or bigoted government gives tax credits (or banknote aback from taxes) to companies that accomplish biotech research. Because Alta is advantaged to these anniversary year, they’re an asset. Because they can’t be sold, or acclimated this year, they’re a abiding asset.

Capital Assets

The appellation basal assets usually refers to buildings, land, and “hard” assets of this nature.

Other Assets

You estimated it–this band anniversary is for annihilation you’ve got that doesn’t absolutely fit anywhere else. You usually call best of it in the addendum that accompany the anniversary report, and it’s not all that accepted to accept as abundant “other assets” as Alta has here, but I assumption a biotech aggregation has a lot of being they’re not abiding how to assort in acceptable ways.

Well, that’s it for what the aggregation owns. The total, at the bottom, is, in the case of Alta Genetics, $65.8 million. This doesn’t beggarly that, if they had a behemothic barn auction tomorrow, they could get $65.8 million, aloof that their “book value,” or the bulk of what they have, either at the bulk they paid for it or article abutting to that, is about $65 million.


Liabilities, like assets, are subcategorized into accepted liabilities and abiding liabilities, or liabilities the aggregation doesn’t charge to pay off this year or anytime soon. Accepted liabilities accommodate coffer indebtedness, accounts payable, assets tax payable, and the accepted allocation of the abiding debt.

Bank Indebtedness

This is the banknote you owe the coffer that’s payable appropriate away. Usually this is an operating acclaim band of some kind. Bethink that any abiding accommodation from the coffer would be in abiding debt, not here.

Accounts Payable

Accounts payable are, absolutely simply, what you owe your suppliers. They’re affectionate of the adverse of accounts receivable: They’re the bills you got in the mail but haven’t paid yet.

Income Tax Payable

Again, this is addition bill you got but haven’t paid yet, but this time it’s from the taxperson.

Current Allocation of Long-Term Debt

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This is the allocation of your abiding debt that’s due in the abutting year. It’s affectionate of like a mortgage: If you’ve got a 25-year mortgage for $100,000, and $10,000 is due this advancing year (part interest, allotment capital), you’d put $10,000 actuality and $90,000 beneath abiding debt.

Long-Term Liabilities

Long-term liabilities accommodate abiding debt, deferred assets taxes, deferred adopted barter accretion (loss), and adopted shares.

Long-Term Debt

The allocation of your mortgage (or your apprentice loan, etc.) that’s not due in the abutting year.

Deferred Assets Taxes

These are assets taxes that are due, but you’ve fabricated an acceding with Acquirement Canada not to pay for a while. I ambition I could do this as an individual!

Deferred Adopted Barter Accretion (Loss)

This aggregation has a accomplished agglomeration of being in the United States, or they’ve got barter in the U.S., and they accomplish their articles in Canada. Either way, they’ve got some cash, or something, in a adopted currency, and it’s represented actuality in Canadian dollars. So the aberration of the Canadian dollar to the adopted bill in which they accept their assets is represented (or counteracted) here.

Preferred Shares

Preferred shares are affectionate of like debt. They’re shares in your aggregation that you’ve awash to alfresco investors, but that affiance those investors a anchored bulk of acknowledgment (say, 14% absorption every year). So although these shareholders apparently own a allotment of the aggregation and should apparently be in the “Shareholders’ Equity” area of the antithesis sheet, they’re put here, aloof because, on a applied level, the shares attending so abundant like debt to the company.

Shareholders’ Equity

The difference, in theory, amid the bulk of being the aggregation has and the bulk it owes is alleged shareholders’ equity. It’s what the owners of the aggregation get.

Shareholders’ disinterestedness is usually disconnected into two headings: Allotment Basal and Retained Earnings. Retained antithesis are artlessly the net antithesis band from the assets statement. The allotment basal band is the accumulated net antithesis from year to year. But basically, the bulk the owners own additional the bulk they owe should, theoretically, be according to the bulk the company’s being is worth. And, through miracles of accounting, it consistently is–the assets consistently according the liabilities additional the owners’ disinterestedness on a antithesis sheet.

What the owners are absolutely worth, of course, depends on the cardinal of shares they accept and how abundant they can advertise those shares for on the accessible market, and not absolutely on the owners’ disinterestedness band of the antithesis sheet. And how the accessible bazaar ethics a aggregation is appealing complicated and doesn’t absolutely depend on the antithesis area all that much.

Well, now that we’ve gone through it, it absolutely doesn’t assume as complex, does it? Abutting week, we’ll accouterment the banknote breeze statement, commutual the basal attending at the abstracts in the anniversary report.

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Next: Finance 1, The Banknote Breeze Anniversary in the Anniversary ReportPart V of “Learnin’s From My MBA” Alternation

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