What are Liabilities?


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In financial accounting, liabilities are defined as the financial obligations or debts that a company owes to others. This could include money owed to suppliers, loans from financial institutions, employee wages, rent for the business location, taxes, and any other amounts that the company is expected to pay in the future as a result of past transactions or events.

Liabilities are listed on a company’s balance sheet and are typically divided into two categories:

The liabilities of a company play a crucial role in the analysis of a company’s financial health. High levels of liabilities relative to assets can indicate financial risk, while lower levels may suggest the company has a more solid financial base.

Example of Liabilities

Let’s consider an example of how liabilities might appear on a company’s balance sheet:

Imagine a fictional company, “Techtron Inc.”


Current Liabilities:

  • Accounts Payable: $30,000
  • Accrued Expenses: $10,000
  • Short-term Loans: $20,000
  • Current Portion of Long-Term Debt: $5,000

Total Current Liabilities: $65,000

Long-Term Liabilities:

  • Long-Term Loans: $50,000
  • Bonds Payable: $100,000
  • Deferred Tax Liabilities: $15,000

Total Long-Term Liabilities: $165,000

Total Liabilities: $230,000

In this example, the total current liabilities of Techtron Inc. amount to $65,000 which are obligations expected to be paid within the next year. This could include payments to suppliers (accounts payable), salaries that are owed to employees but haven’t been paid yet (accrued expenses), and any short-term loans that are due within the year.

The total long-term liabilities are $165,000, which are obligations that are due after one year. This includes the remaining portion of any long-term loans or bonds issued by the company that are not due within the next year, and any deferred tax liabilities.

By adding up the current and long-term liabilities, we get the total liabilities for Techtron Inc. which is $230,000. This amount represents the total obligations that the company has to fulfill. When assessing the company’s financial health, this total would be examined in relation to the company’s total assets and equity.

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