How to Calculate Retained Earnings on a Balance Sheet
Retained earnings are the accumulated net income of a company that has been reinvested back into the business. They are an essential component of the balance sheet, as they demonstrate the company’s ability to use its profits for growth and stability. In this article, we will explore how to calculate retained earnings on a balance sheet through a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Gather the Required Financial Data
To calculate retained earnings, you will need to gather the following financial data:
1. Beginning retained earnings: Obtain the opening balance of your retained earnings from the previous accounting period or financial year.
2. Net income (or loss): This is the total revenue minus total expenses for the current accounting period.
3. Dividends paid: This includes any cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders during the accounting period.
Step 2: Calculate Retained Earnings
Follow these simple steps to calculate retained earnings:
1. Start with beginning retained earnings.
2. Add net income (or subtract net loss).
3. Subtract any dividends paid.
The formula for calculating retained earnings is as follows:
Retained Earnings = Beginning Retained Earnings + Net Income – Dividends Paid
Let’s say the beginning retained earnings for XYZ Company are $50,000, its net income is
$20,000, and it has distributed $5,000 in dividends during the accounting period. The calculation would look like this:
Retained Earnings = $50,000 + $20,000 – $5,000
Retained Earnings = $65,000
In this example, XYZ Company’s retained earnings on its balance sheet would be $65,000.
Calculating retained earnings on a balance sheet is a straightforward process that requires gathering crucial financial data and applying a simple formula. Retained earnings play a significant role in demonstrating a company’s financial health, as they indicate the company’s ability to redistribute earnings for growth and maintain stability.
Understanding how to calculate retained earnings allows business owners and investors to assess their organization’s performance and make informed financial decisions.