“The balance sheet reports an organization’s assets (what is owned) and liabilities (what is owed). The net assets (also called equity, capital, retained earnings, or fund balance) represent the sum of all the annual surpluses or deficits that an organization has accumulated over its entire history. If it happened in your financial past, the balance sheet reflects it.
“The balance sheet also indicates an organization’s liquidity by communicating how much cash an organization has at present and what assets will soon be available in the form of cash. Assets are usually listed on a balance sheet from top to bottom by rank of liquidity (i.e. from most easily turned into cash to those assets most difficult to turn into cash). Understanding liquidity is important to understand how flexible and responsive an organization can be.”—Propel Nonprofits, Balance Sheet Cheat Sheet, 2023