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What is a Report Form Balance Sheet?

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Definition: A report form balance sheet is a  balance sheet  that presents asset,  liability , and  equity accounts in a vertical format. In  financial reporting , there are two general formats for balance sheets: the account format and the report format.

  • What Does Report Form Balance Sheet Mean?

The account format presents the asset accounts on the left side and the liabilities and equity accounts on the right. The report format presents all the accounts vertically. Although both balance sheet formats are acceptable, the report form is much more popular.

As the name implies, the report format looks more like a traditional report and is used more often in the  general-purpose financial statements . Here is an example of a report form balance sheet.

Report Form Balance Sheet Example

Download this  accounting example  in excel.

As you can see, all of the accounts are listed in a vertical fashion. The report form has a traditional balance sheet heading with subtotals for each of the asset, liability, and equity accounts. GAAP offers a lot of flexibility with the accounts that can be listed or not listed on the balance sheet. For example, some companies list  cash  as one account and cash equivalents as another. Other companies combine these accounts into one cash and cash equivalents account.

In some ways the report format is easier to read than the account format because all the account totals are listed on the right side of the report. This is especially true for multiple comparative balance sheets. Although the balance sheet above is only for one year, it could easily be converted into a two-year comparative report by adding another column of numbers for an additional year.

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Reporting form

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  • Report Forms

Why Report Forms Are Used [ Reasons, Types ]

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These reports are best printed and presented with the use of the appropriate form. The reports also serve as the compilation or the documentation of the overall data or information that are essential to the company or an organization. These could also serve as the basis of the business progress or performance when all essential details are provided. Thus, a status report form could also be referred to in order to determine the progress of your company business or firm.

Reports are presented using report forms to make sure that all general information are organized or categorized according to its classification. The forms for reports can be used to show the analysis of the data that are gathered or collected. These could also be presented using different styles and presentations, depending on what the information are pertained to and to whom should these be presented. Basically, there are few things that you need to take note of when you use a report . Refer to the following statements below to know what these three key factors that you need to take notice.

  • One is that you need to specify the purpose of why the report is necessary to be made. This could be identified if you fully understand what you are to report about. Thus, knowing and listing all the details and contact information that you need should be done at first.
  • Second is that the reports should suit the audiences’ needs. Or they should be satisfied with what they see in the reports. Technically, the reports should be based on what are the expected or desired results that supposedly satisfy the needs and wants of your audiences. A brief example is when you are to explain the results regarding a topic that everyone is confused about. Explaining the service reports should be based on your researches. Thus, your reports should answer all the questions that your audiences have in their individual minds.
  • Lastly, you need to specify the type of information that these reports should contain. Determine whether the type of information should be produced formally, or informally. In that way, you are able to determine how you are to present your reports, either creatively or solemnly.

By determining these factors, you will be able to show dependable reports.

The Reasons Why Report Forms Are Used

These report forms are used to present or produce important data in a presentable manner. These are used to summarize or show the summary of the overall statistics report. Furthermore, report forms are used to transmit information to its intended audiences in a timely manner. By basing to the physical report forms , all essential data are evaluated or assessed.

Technically, report forms are also used as the basis to see if your business is on track or on to the path/direction that you should be heading. And also by basing to these forms, you are able to formulate or implement effective decisions or actions. Reports are also used to determine if there are any discrepancies in your sales for the day. And by referring to these forms, you could determine what areas or factors are needed to be improved in the business management .

Common Types of Reports

Here are the basic or the common status reports that we often see and use in our work, education, and/or business. Examine these types and definitions, see what more examples you could give that best fall into these different types of reports.

List Reports

These kinds of reports refer to the list of general information . An example for this is the registration list of students attending to a seminar. After the event, the list to refer to in order to know how many attended is the registration list. The report list of students or the event registration  list shows the total number of attendees. Another example for this is the product list reports, wherein the list of products are indicated as the basis for a retail store when they do inventories of their products.

Test Reports

These kinds may refer to examination or experimentation test results. These are often summarized and categorized according to the classification of tests. An example for this is when you are taking an initial interview and examination for the job position or title that you are applying for. You are given some questions, as part of the recruitment process, that will test your capacity or knowledge in relation to your job application .

After the interview and examination, the recruiter explains to you the results by basing on the test reports. These test reports are categorized into few parts which depend on the recruiters. But these are often categories that surely tests your personality, organizational behavior, critical thinking, decision making, so on and so forth. Test reports could also be about the laboratory experiment results or those medical reports .

Documents Reports

These kinds of reports are also referred to as long reports. This is due to the fact that all supporting details must be included to support the final data or information. These document reports are more detailed or specified. These may also contain various of instructions. Examples for these are the manuals, guides, list of procedures (corrective and preventive actions , and the like), thesis documents, and all other reports that are used as supporting documents. Further example for these kind of reports are those documentation of online reviews for your business. The online reviews are also a great help that could boost your business reputation. This is due to the fact that social media is widely used, and it is the best way to get attention from your customers or clients.

Transaction Reports

These kinds of reports play a vital role mostly in businesses. This is due to the fact that these reports show the daily, weekly, quarterly, monthly, and even the annual sales report of a business company. These are used to track and monitor if there are any sales discrepancies or inconsistent reports. An example for these kinds are the receipts. Receipts display the purchased product, the overall total payable, the cash or amount rendered by the purchaser, the change, and the balance payable. The transaction reports are helpful to summarized the overall information in a business management appraisal . These reports often includes the product name, the total number of product sold, the overall amount received, the total sales. These reports could also determine the amount lost by the company.

Few Tips in Creating Reports

Creating a report should be carefully done with all the necessary details or information. This is for the reason that the overall results are determined with the use of report forms. Here are few tips that you can refer to when you create a report.

  • The reports should be well-written and well-structured. In this way, it is easier for the audiences or to the people to whom the reports should be addressed, to understand every detail written in it.
  • These should be written on the appropriate service report form . By means of this, lists or results are formally presented.
  • Do not forget to specify the title of what are these reports are pertained to. An example is if the report shows a list of students registered, then the title should be “Students’ Registration List”. You could name the report form differently but make sure that you specify what it contains.
  • Information indicated in the reports should have basis or reference release in order to produce concise, accurate, and absolute reports.
  • The reports should have a format basis. By means of having a format, all information are organize or in place.
  • The purpose of producing the report should be clearly specified. Remember that you do not just produce a project report without a purpose.
  • Reports should meet the expectations of the audiences. This means that the information that the reports contain should be what the people are expecting to see, and what they should know.

Summing it all up, report forms are used in order to summarize all the gathered information into one. Thus, helping you identify, evaluate and see the desired result. Just like when you are running a business consent with different departments. A good example for this is when you manage a resort or hotel company. You, as the manager, would want to know what are the services that your guests often avail. And so, in order to know what you are looking for, you need to look at the list of your sales report for services. The services transaction reports let you see the past transactions that were made by your receptionist or cashier. If it happens that there are some sales discrepancies, it will be easier to determine and keep track on what caused them. Also by referring to these reports, you are able to identify your target market.

These report forms are basically referred to as the final document that are often produce after a thorough analysis. And in order to come up with the final document, you need to congregate or gather the imperative information as one. In that way, you are able create reliable reports that are verifiable and suitable for your business development and needs.

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Difference Between Report Form and Account Form Balance Sheets

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The balance sheet is one of a company’s most important financial statements, because it gives investors a snapshot of the company’s financial health at any given moment in time. Essentially, it is a company’s account ledger, containing information about assets the company possesses, liabilities and obligations it needs to address, and owner equity in the company.

A balance sheet can be presented in account form and report form, but first, it is important to have a basic understanding of the types of financial statements to prepare and why they are important.

Statements of Financial Position Forms

There are four different statement of financial position forms that a company’s accountant prepares, and they each cover a very important piece of the company’s financial health. Statements of financial position forms provide a snapshot of the performance, overall financial position and cash flows of a business. These documents are reviewed by investors, lenders, creditors and management to evaluate a company.

Each of the documents relies on data from other statements, so they are usually prepared in a certain order.

  • Income statement . The income statement is the most important of the financial statements, because it reveals basic truths about the financial performance of a company for a given reporting period. Beginning with sales, it subtracts expenses and arrives at a net profit or loss, and, in the case of publicly reported companies, an earnings-per-share figure for investors.
  • Statement of retained earnings. If the income statement is a measure of financial health at any given moment, this document — also known as the statement of owner's equity, an equity statement or a statement of shareholders’ equity — offers the information over time. Management and investors want to know if they are making or losing money, so the statement reconciles the beginning and ending retained earnings for the period (for instance, over a year or so) using information such as net income from the other financial statements.
  • Balance sheet. This report shows the financial position of a business as of the report date, and like the income statement, it is a snapshot of financial performance at a given moment because it can change daily or hourly, depending on circumstances. The information is divided into the general classifications of assets, liabilities and equity. As a rule, the total amount of the company's assets is equal to the total amount of its liabilities plus the owners' equity in the company. This equation must always balance, with the same amount on each side of the sheet. Unlike the income statement, however, the balance sheet is much more detailed — it lists specific line items of assets and liabilities.
  • Statement of cash flows. This report reveals the cash inflows and outflows experienced by a company during a reporting period. These cash flows are broken down into three classifications: operating activities, investing activities and financing activities.

Account Form and Report Form Balance Sheets

A company’s balance sheet can be presented in one of two ways, account form and report form, depending on the preference of those who will review the document.

The account form balance sheet is presented in a horizontal format, with information in two columns beside each other. The left column of the account form balance sheet lists assets, while the right column lists liabilities and equity. Naturally, the last line in each column lists the total value of all assets and liabilities and equity, respectively. The account form balance sheet can be easier to use when information is being presented for multiple periods, and it allows the reader to verify that the ledger is in balance at a glance.

The report form balance sheet is presented in a vertical orientation, and is essentially one column that spans the entire width of a page. Starting with assets, the report form balance sheet provides a total value at the end of the assets section, followed by liabilities and equity, with the final line of the report form balance sheet providing the total combined value of liabilities and equity.

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John began his 25-year career in the editorial business as a newspaper journalist in his native Connecticut before moving to Boston in 2012. He started fresh out of college as a weekly newspaper reporter and cut his teeth covering news, politics, police, and even a visit from a waterskiing squirrel. He went on to work in the newsrooms of several busy daily newspapers, and developed a love for detailed storytelling, focusing on the lives and diverse tales that all people have to offer. Moving on to the business arena later in his career, John worked as a managing editor for a healthcare publishing company and a technology software firm. He’s used his background in broadcast journalism as a webinar moderator, voice-over specialist, and podcast narrator. John also holds a master’s degree as an elementary school teacher and spent 10 years working with and tutoring students of various ages and backgrounds, including multilingual students and students with special needs of all ages.

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