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Get to grips with budgets by A & C Black Publishers

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8 Reading a balance sheet

One essential step in getting to grips with budgets is to understand some of the documents related to them. At first glance, they can seem like meaningless lists of figures, but with practice, you’ll see that they can actually tell you a lot about the state a business is in currently and how it may perform in the future.

Let’s start with a balance sheet. Balance sheets tell us something about the financial strength of a business on the day that the balance sheet is drawn up. That situation changes constantly, so it’s more like a snapshot of something than a film. Although the method of producing a balance sheet is standard, there can be a certain element of subjectivity in interpreting it. Different elements of the ...

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