A balance sheet (资产负债表 zī chǎn fù zhài biǎo) is a financial statement that reflects a firm’s total assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity in a given time period. It can help stakeholders and financial analysts to get an overview of the company’s general financial position and net worth.
- Literally, “资产负债表” (zī chǎn fù zhài biǎo) means “assets-liabilities sheet”, in which “assets” refers to “资产” (zī chǎn), “liabilities” refers to “负债” (fù zhài), and “sheet” refers to “表” (biǎo).
- Balance (资产负债 zī chǎn fù zhài) here refers to the balance (平衡 píng héng) between assets (资产 zī chǎn) and liabilities (负债 fù zhài).
- In the form of a single word, “balance” (收支 shōu zhī) is the net sum of income (收入 shōu rù) and expenditures (支出 zhī chū). See “收支”.
Part 1: Breakdown of Words
- “资产” (zī chǎn) means “assets”, which derives from:
- “负债” (fù zhài) means “liabilities”, which derives from:
- “表” (biǎo) as in “sheet” (表格 biǎo gé), “clock” (钟表 zhōng biǎo), or “indicate” (表示 biǎo shì).
Part 2: Examples
- Fed balance sheet (美联储资产负债表 měi lián chǔ zī chǎn fù zhài biǎo).
- National balance sheet (国家资产负债表 guó jiā zī chǎn fù zhài biǎo).