Liability Analysis in Accounting Key Terms

Business.com / Accounting / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Liability analysis in accounting in today’s complicated business world is more difficult as each new financial vehicle comes to ...

Liability analysis in accounting in today’s complicated business world is more difficult as each new financial vehicle comes to market. A liability is any debt obligation that a company owes a third party. The two categories are short-term or current and long-term liabilities. Current liabilities are debts that a company must pay within a year. Anything longer than a year is a long-term debt. Liability analysis in accounting endeavors to classify and account for each of these on balance sheets to determine the financial viability of the company.

To understand the process of liability analysis in accounting, here are few key terms:

Variable and fixed liabilities

Variable liabilities can change given market conditions. You record the variable debt at certain price in the accounting ledger with the knowledge that it can increase or decrease in price. Employee stock options are an example of a variable liability. Fixed liabilities are price certain and the value of the debt doesn't change over time.

Current assets

Current assets are an integral component of any balance sheet. A current asset is convertible into cash within one business cycle. This cycle is usually between 60 and 180 days depending on the accounting procedures of the company. Examples of current assets are cash, investments, inventory, accounts receivable and pre-purchased expenses.

Debt ratio

The debt ratio is all company debt divided by all of the assets. A debt ratio that's larger than one indicates a company with more debt than assets. Conversely, a ratio smaller than one, means the company has more assets than debt. The debt ratio is an excellent tool to measure the ability of a company to pay future debt.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

All procedures in accounting liability analysis operate under a larger set of governing rules entitled the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP. The Financial Accounting Standards Board or FASB is the body that issues these rules and guidelines.

Cost capitalization

Cost capitalization is part of the uniform capitalization rules that state how your company should record costs for liability analysis.
Internal Revenue Service.

Balance sheet

In liability analysis, you'll concentrate specifically on the balance sheet which lists all liabilities of a given company. From the balance sheet and its accompanying information, a person should be able to conduct a thorough analysis.

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