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How a Loan Affects Your Financial Statements

How a Loan Affects Your Financial Statements

Getting your business loan can be an exciting step in the growth of your business. Recording your loan properly in your accounting system usually requires special handling by your accountant. Your loan statement will provide the information you need to get it booked properly.

You’ll need the following pieces of information about your loan:

  • Total amount borrowed
  • Date of loan
  • Date of first payment
  • Payment amount
  • Term of loan
  • Number of payments
  • Interest rate

The full amount of your loan should be recorded as a liability on your business’s balance sheet. Two liability accounts should be set up: one for short-term and one for long-term. The offset is either an increase to cash or the recording of new assets like a car, truck, or building.

Each payment you make consists of two parts: interest and principal. Interest is an expense and is recorded in an Interest Expense account. It will reduce your profit. Principal is the amount you pay toward paying off the loan. It reduces the liability account where the loan is recorded. It does not affect your profit, but it does improve your liquidity with each payment you make.

The interest and principal amounts are not the same for each payment. Early loan payments consist of higher interest and lower principal amounts. As you reach the end of paying off your loan, the interest portion is smaller and the principal becomes larger. An amortization schedule shows you the exact amount of interest and principal for each payment.

Each time you make a payment, cash is reduced for the entire amount of the payment. The offset is split between interest expense and your loan liability, using the amounts in the amortization schedule. When you code your loan payment, you can use the amortization schedule to get the correct amounts to both of those accounts.

In a simple service business with no assets except cash, your cash balance can mimic your profit level. When you introduce loans and new, non-cash assets with depreciation expense, that won’t be true anymore. You might wonder why you have no cash and more profits, or the opposite might be true. This is why it’s a good idea to understand how these transactions affect your Balance Sheet and Income Statement as well as your business’s overall financial health.

At year-end, your accountant can make correcting entries if needed between the loan balance and interest expense. They can also adjust the short-term and long-term liability accounts to reflect the correct balances for the upcoming year. The amount of principal reduction planned for less than one year goes into the short-term liability, and the rest goes into the long-term account.

If you failed to make payments or made them late, your accountant can make those allocations as well using manual journal entries.

Often, when you get a loan, you have also purchased some type of asset, such as a car or land and building. Those assets should be recorded on your books correctly as well. You should have some type of closing statement or purchase contract that has the details for your accountant. They will also compute and record the correct amount of depreciation for the asset type.

Your accountant can speak with you in more detail about your specific situation and can better explain the interplay between cash and profits if you are interested. Feel free to reach out to us anytime.