What are Current Liabilities: How to Calculate & Formula

Cody Cromwell
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Current Liabilities Formula

If you keep track of your financial records, you’re probably aware of the current assets of your business. Current liabilities are the balances owed to creditors that have been incurred over the past year. So no matter how advanced your accounting system may be, you’ll need a little bit of help calculating your current liabilities. Current liabilities are assets that are usually one year or more old. Although the formula for calculating current liabilities isn’t difficult, it’s really hard to keep track of all your liabilities, so it’s important to keep a written record.

Notes Payable

When a company accepts sales on time, they are issuing its notes to pay. When a company credits their notes to pay, they are getting paid. When a company says it will make payment on or after a certain date, they are reporting their account current on that date.

The statement of financial position, balance sheet or statement of financial condition is the financial report of a business prepared from the accounting records. This report should reconcile the balance sheet of the business to the statement of income or loss.

Textbooks have one formula which is a short and bullet free formula to calculate current liabilities from the balance sheet. The formula is:
All my online courses and books on this subject have a different, and fat, formula which is explained in the course and taught on how to calculate current liabilities. The fat formula is:
The fat formula is important for a few reasons.

It is more robust and complete. It gives you current liabilities using two different journal entries.

As an accountant, I could not afford to take it short. It gives me every detail from the starting balance to the zero balance.
A complete and robust formula will always win. And the fat formula gives you the current liabilities. So why learn a formula which so many books and online courses give you and why the fat formula is always the same I don't know.

Accounts Payable

Current liabilities are short-term operating liabilities.

Current liabilities is the liability account that includes the payables due within the coming year and payable within the month. These liabilities are always due within the same month of the reporting period, and they are expected to be paid within that same month. Current liabilities are the total amount of liabilities one owes in a month.

How to Calculate Current Liabilities:

Current Liabilities = Accounts Payable – Debts Payable

You can use the formula below to calculate what is currently owed to someone:

  • Current Liabilities = Accounts Payable – Credit Notes – Accrued Expenses – Credit Notes
  • Accounts payable – Debts Payable = Listings · Liabilities – Accounts Receivable – Allowances for Doubtful Debts – Amounts due from Merchandise Trade

You can use the following formula to determine what is currently coming in to the account:

Current Assets – Current Liabilities = Cash – Notes Receivable – Merchandise Trade Receivables – Inventories – Other Current Assets – Prepaid Expenses – Income Tax Debts – Taxes Payable – Debts Payable – Other Liabilities

Short-Term Loans

One of the key things to consider when calculating the cash reserves needed to start a business is the new lender requirements.

Before you even start writing your business plan, you need to be aware of where you may get funding. There are two types of lenders:

Short-Term Loans are for less than one year

You may need a short-term loan to get you through the start-up phase of your business. With short-term loans, it’s easy to obtain money when you need it. In fact, you can usually borrow four times your monthly business expenses in a seven-year period.

Although short-term loans can be a life saver when you’re having cash problems, they come with a high interest rate and strict financial requirements.

Long-Term Loans Are for over a Year

Long-term loans are for more than a year, and they generally have multiple draw periods with lower interest rates. These loans are more expensive than short-term loans, but they do provide you with the opportunity to spread out the loan payments.

There are big pros and cons about getting both short-term and long-term loans. It’s important to evaluate each type of lender based upon your specific situation.

Accrued Expenses

Unearned Revenue

One of the financial statements that a business will produce in its annual fiscal reports is the balance sheet. The first thing you’ll notice in a business’ balance sheet is that it will include total assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity. The total of these three financial pieces will equal total shareholders’ equity or total capital.

Total liabilities, or current liabilities, represent the debts, obligations, and liabilities that are part of a business’s operations that are due within the next one, two, three, and four years and thus must be paid or are expected to be paid within a year.

Most accounts payable will be collected within 60 days. The majority of accounts payable will be settled within this time frame. However, sometimes there could be a delay where a business may not collect payments for up to six months.

The accounts receivable management plan will set guidelines for the period of time to allow for payment to be received following a sale. Keeping within the guidelines set by the accounting department allows for greater flexibility when it comes to collecting on accounts receivable.

Current Portions of Long-Term Debts

The word liabilities is defined as the future obligations that a business must fulfill or pay. This concept might come in handy when describing some of the most complex financial terms used in the corporate world. They’re referred to as current portions of long-term assets and long-term debt.

To help you better understand the word liability and its relation to current portions of long-term assets and long-term debt, consider the following definitions.

Assets are tangible, usable objects that a company owns, such as furniture, cars, and buildings. Assets are also referred to as assets of a company.

Long term assets are assets that a business sells or uses over a long period of time. Owners of a business need to think about the long term when making short-term decisions.

An asset’s current market value is the price that it could be sold for now if the company were to sell the asset. If the value of the asset is more than it’s stated book value or cost, it’s referred to as impaired.

A liability is an obligation the company has to another person or business that it will have to pay. Businesses are often obligated to make payments on existing assets, such as long term debts.

Other Debts/Payables

The figure above represents your "current liabilities". In other words, what you owe to customers and suppliers that you have to pay in the next 12 months. This sum can be broken down into short and long-term liabilities. It's critical to have accurate information on all your company's current liabilities because they are part of your company's liquidity.

Your current liabilities will include the amounts you owe to interest-bearing bank loans or a mixture of bank loans and time or money-supply loans (refer to the answer to the question "What are interest-bearing loans?").

It also includes the estimated amounts you'll need to repay for items or services that you're already receiving (for example, invoices, salary payments, etc.). It might also include the amount you owe for inventory that you're either selling or holding back for resale.

Generally, it should be larger than your current assets.

Assets Liabilities Non-current assets £43,000 Cash.

Fixed assets £15,000 Trade receivables.

Current assets £45,000 Accounts receivable.

Capital £15,000 Supplies £33,000 Current liabilities £15,000 Bank loans.

Intangible assets £15,000 Inventory.

Stock of Goods

It's important to make sure the figure is accurate. Even though it's unlikely to be incorrect, it's still possible to make a mistake and create an incorrect figure.

How to Calculate Average Current Liabilities

Current Liabilities are the debts that a company owes at any given time. It is created from the Reported Current Liabilities and the Unearned Revenues. This calculation helps in understanding the financial position of a company.

Steps to calculate Current Liabilities for a company:

Enter the signs of the Reported Current Liabilities, Unearned Revenues, and the Funded Debt into the Financial Statement Projection Formulas

(a) If the Unearned Revenue is greater than the Reported Current Liabilities, subtract the Unearned Revenue from the Reported Current Liabilities.

(b) Add the Total Funded Debt to the sign of the Reported Current Liabilities.

Calculate Average Current Liabilities :

Average Current Liabilities = Total Reported Current Liabilities Average Reported Current Liabilities

Solution : The Previous Statement is :

$ Signs of Reported Current Liabilities :

+$ Signs of Unearned Revenues :

$ Signs of Funded Debt :

$=Average Reported Current Liabilities

Calculate Funded Debt:

Funded Debt=Total of Current Liabilities + Total of Long Term Debt = Total Current Liabilities + Total Long Term Debt

Solution : The Previous Statement is :

$ Signs of Reported Current Liabilities :

+$ Signs of Unearned Revenues :

Why is it Important to Track Your Current Liabilities?

There are quite a few different terms that might be used in reference to personal debt, including liabilities, trade and unsecured loans. Some types of debt are owed by individuals, companies and the government. The amounts are significant as they are often large maturities or cash payments. These loans often require security (equity or collateral) or for a guarantee to be provided to lessen the risk to any lender.

There are several different types of liabilities that a company might have (most companies have multiple liabilities). Current liabilities are short-term liabilities due within one year. They are not hard to define and it is often the first category that financial analysts report. Trade and unsecured liabilities are long-term liabilities, which include accounts payable.

Current liabilities are important in analyzing a company because many of them will have other assets and liabilities, which could affect a company’s net worth, especially in the short term. As a result, it is important for a company to monitor its current liabilities over the long run while also looking at its assets to determine its long-term solvency.

Bottom Line

Current liabilities are a part of the balance sheet. Current liabilities are short term liabilities that are due within one year. It can consist of short term notes payable, accounts payable, as well as accrued liabilities.

Current liabilities have been the target of major liability reforms in recent decades. For example, in 1993, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings (GRH) Act was passed, which set fixed limits on how much budget deficit the government could run during any fiscal year. The current account deficit is any excess of total imports over total exports. The current account deficit is also a major determinant of the U.S current account balance.

In accounting, there are two main types of liabilities: current and noncurrent. Current liabilities are write-offs that you must pay off, and are due within one year. Namely, current liabilities include accounts payable, short-term notes payable, and accrued liabilities. Current liabilities also include any amounts that you have borrowed from a bank or lent to another party.

A current liability can be recorded as either an account or a short-term note payable.

Since a current liability has to be paid within one year, it must be stated on a company’s balance sheet for that particular year.

Current liabilities are NOT included in other liabilities like pension liability or share issue liability or long term mortgage liability.