The statement can be shown in either a vertical balance sheet format or a horizontal balance sheet format as indicated in the diagram below.
In the vertical layout assets are shown above liabilities and equity, in the horizontal layout assets are shown on the left and liabilities and equity on the right. The statement must always balance and satisfy the basic accounting equation:
assset = liability + EQUITY
The layout of a simple statement of financial position for a company for annual reporting purposes is legally defined. However, for management account purposes the layout should be in the format most useful for managing the business. The example below shows a typical and useful format for management purposes.
Example Basic Balance Sheet at 31 December 2018
Accounts receivable 300,000
Current assets 350,000
Long term assets 450,000
Total assets 800,000
Accounts payable 160,000
Other liabilities 75,000
Current liabilities 235,000
Long-term debt 165,000
Total liabilities 400,000
Retained earnings 250,000
Total equity 400,000
Total liabilities and equity 800,000
Notice how the statement is at a specific date (in this case 31 December 2018), and satisfies the accounting equation, total assets (800,000) of the business are equal to the liabilities (400,000) plus the equity (400,000) in the business.
Basic Balance Sheet Example
As an example, the Annual Report for Apple below shows a typical basic statement of financial position format for a listed company.