Equity is a residual value of assets which the owner has claim to after satisfying other claims on the assets (liabilities). There are five potential components that comprise the owner's equity section of the balance sheet:
  • Contributed capital. The amount of money which has been invested in the business by the owners. This includes preferred stocks and common stocks. Common stock is recorded at par value with the remaining amount invested contained in additional paid-in capital.

  • Minority interest.

  • Retained earnings. These are the total earnings of the company since its inception less all dividends paid out.

  • Treasury stock. This is a company's own stock that has
    • Already been fully issued and was outstanding;
    • Been reacquired by the company; and
    • Not been retired.
    It decreases stockholder's equity and total shares outstanding.

  • Accumulated comprehensive income. This includes items such as the minimum liability recognized for under-funded pension plans, market value changes in non-current investments, and the cumulative effect of foreign exchange rate changes. Refer to Reading 24 [Understanding the Income Statement] for details.
Statement of Changes in Shareholders' Equity

This statement reflects information about increases or decreases to a company's net assets or wealth. It reveals much more about the year's stockholders' equity transactions than the statement of retained earnings.

  • The statement of shareholders' equity is a financial statement that summarizes changes that occurred during the accounting period in components of the stockholders' equity section of the balance sheet. For example, it includes capital transactions with owners (e.g., issuing shares) and distributions to owners (i.e., dividends).
  • The shareholders' equity section of the balance sheet lists the items in contributed capital and retained earnings on the balance sheet date.


Do you want to join discussion? Click here to log in or create user.