The equity section of a business’s balance sheet is the most difficult part to understand. The accounts that make up that section vary depending on the type of entity in which the business is structured. In this article, let’s take a look at what the equity section looks like for companies that are organized as partnerships.

The Equity Section

As a reminder, the balance sheet has three major sections: assets, liabilities, and equity. The equity section focuses on the investments that the owners have in the business. For partners, it consists of their capital accounts. The section could look like this:

Partners’ Capital

Partner A Capital        $25,000

Partner B Capital        $25,000

Partner C Capital        $50,000

Each partner has their own Capital account within the equity section of the balance sheet. A partnership with 100 partners will have 100 capital accounts in the equity section. Computing the balance for each partner is where the work comes in.

A partner’s capital account balance is affected by numerous transactions throughout the year as well as current earnings, which are distributed to the partners based on their ownership percentages. Ownership rules and percentages are spelled out in the partnership agreement.

Items Affecting Partners’ Capital

To compute a partner’s capital account balance, here is the basic formula:

Balance at beginning of period
Plus Contributions
+/- Partner’s share of net income/loss
Less Withdrawals
= Balance at end of period

Contributions to capital includes money that the partner has given the partnership out of their personal assets. Withdrawals are the opposite: this is money that the partner has taken out of the partnership and used for their personal use.

Net income is a bit more involved, with two more steps. First, the sum of the entire partnership’s income and expense accounts must be calculated. This number should be the same number as net profit or loss on the partnership’s income statement, from the beginning of the year to your balance sheet date. Second, the net income must be divided up to calculate each partner’s share based on their ownership percentages. These amounts are then rolled into each partner’s capital accounts.

To make sure the partnership equity section is accurate, good recordkeeping is a must for the partnership as well as each of the individual partners. If we can help you understand more about your partnership, please reach out any time.

How do you arrive at a price for the products and services you sell? While it depends on what industry your business is in, there are only a handful of foundational pricing methods that are useful to know. Here are several of them.

Time and Materials Pricing

Many service-based businesses price based on the time spent performing the service. An attorney usually has an hourly rate. A massage-therapist will charge based on a 50- or 80-minute service. Plumbers charge a minimum fee for the first hour and another rate for subsequent hours. A moving company charges by the hour (they may also charge by truck or have a fuel charge these days).

In some cases, time-based pricing may be loosely tied to the salary level of the person performing the service, but there must be a substantial markup to cover payroll taxes, health insurance, overhead, training, and any materials or tools that are included.

Cost-Plus Pricing

Cost-plus pricing is used in the retail industry where goods purchased from a manufacturer or wholesaler and made available for sale. This method is based on the cost of the item. A common example is keystone pricing, where an item is marked up to twice the purchase price plus one dollar.

Other industries that use cost-plus include groceries and auto dealers.

Market Pricing

Market pricing is pricing that is dependent on fluctuating market conditions. Commodities are the best example. Crops, oil and gas, and metals are a few items that are priced by market.

Target Pricing

Target pricing is where you start with a price that you feel customers will be willing to pay, then design a service or product around it. It’s most commonly used in the software industry. As an example, let’s say you come up with an idea for a software application that you feel people will pay $49 per month for. You then build a software development and support team around a budget that supports that price.

Value Pricing

Value pricing is based on what the client values and will pay for. For projects, it can be based on the client’s expected return on investment. Value pricing is used in internet marketing and for some services and products.

There is a fine line between premium pricing and value pricing. Some luxury brands may be premium-priced with some value pricing thrown in.

Pricing in Real Life

In business, determining a product or service’s price is part math and part art. It can be a combination of two or more of the methods listed above, or a method not listed above. Many factors and considerations should go into your pricing decisions.

One thing we can help with is to determine if your pricing is adequate for the profit margins you want. We can also help with what-ifs. For example, if you raised your price by ten dollars, but demand went down five percent, what would your numbers look like?

Pricing is a skill to pick up, just like selling, running a business, and customer service are skills you need. If we can help you with your pricing process, please reach out any time.

For small business owners, it seems like there is never enough time to get everything accomplished. One tool that will help you get the most out of your time is time batching, also called time blocking. If you haven’t heard of this before, it can revolutionize the way you approach work.

What Is Time Batching?

Time batching is where you group like tasks together on your calendar to gain economies of scale. Almost everything can be batched: answering emails, running errands, customer calls or appointments, employees’ questions, and even meetings.

Here are a couple of examples. Instead of running to the office supply on Tuesday, going to the printer on Thursday, and visiting the warehouse on Friday, why not do it all on Wednesday in one trip? Instead of answering emails throughout the day, plan to answer them for 30 minutes at 8AM, 1PM, and 4:30PM. Instead of having appointments scattered throughout the week, make them back-to-back on Monday.

The beauty to time batching is that your brain will be less exhausted at the end of the day. The reason is interruptions are minimized, as are switching costs. Switching cost is the time it takes your brain to switch from one task to the next. Too much switching strains the brain by making it change gears frequently. Time batching helps your brain get into and stay in “flow,” with more work accomplished in less overall time.

Business and Personal

You don’t have to restrict time batching to your work life.  It’s likely you are already practicing time batching at home and don’t know it. When you prepare the week’s meals on Sunday or wash several loads of laundry in a row, you are practicing a form of time batching.

While some things can’t be batched, like walking the dog, many more can. You just need to be open to the possibilities.

The Highest Payoff

The highest payoff with time batching comes when you can reduce the interruptions that happen to you the most. For example, when an employee has a question, could they write them down during the day and approach you at the end of the day with all of them at once?

Emails and texts are constant interruptions for many. The first thing to do is turn off your email and text notifications so that you’re not interrupted every time one comes in. Then, decide how often during the day you want to check for new items. Aim for three or fewer times if your job allows it.

Phone calls can be another interruption. When possible, encourage callers to schedule a time to call you or let them know how much more efficient email is.

Getting It All Done

Time batching is something that you can practice for years and still get better at. Try implementing one piece of time batching at a time to avoid overwhelming yourself with change. Look intentionally for more items to batch every few months, no matter how long you’ve been practicing.

Time batching will not only help you get home sooner to your personal life; you’ll also be less drained and more energized at the end of the day. Try it and see what you think.

Your favorite number on the balance sheet might just be Cash. It’s easy to understand and something every business has. But there is a more meaningful number, at least in the long-term sense, and that’s equity. Let’s dive deeper into that part of the balance sheet.

The Equity Section

As a reminder, the balance sheet has three major sections: assets, liabilities, and equity. When it comes to equity, the accounts that are displayed are dependent on the type of entity of your business. Your business could be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, or something else. In this article, let’s focus on equity in a corporation.

Every corporation should have at least three equity accounts.

  1. Stock.

This account should reflect the amount of stock issued by the corporation. The amount and price of each share is usually spelled out in the Articles of Incorporation, the initial legal document of the corporation. For example, if the amount of shares the corporation can issue is 100,000, and they have a par value of $.01, then your stock account balance should be $1,000, which was paid in by cash by the corporation’s owner(s).

This account might also be named Capital Stock, Common Stock, or something similar. This account’s balance typically doesn’t change much over time for a small business. It’s only when new stock is purchased (issued), sold, retired or repurchased (by the corporation) that the account will see changes.

  1. Additional Paid in Capital (APIC)

Additional Paid in Capital occurs when investors and business owners pay in more than the par value price of stock. The balance represents the difference between what owners/investors paid into the company and the par value of the company stock.

  1. Retained Earnings

Retained Earnings is where the action is and is an important number to understand. It’s the accumulated earnings of the company less any dividends paid to shareholders.

For a small business, retained earnings will change once a year at the end of the fiscal year when net profit (or loss) from the current year is rolled into the retained earnings account. At this time, all of the income and expense accounts are zeroed out to start over for the new year, and the balance (which is profit or loss) is added (or subtracted, in the case of loss) to retained earnings. Your accounting system automatically does this for you, and you can check it out by running a balance sheet as of the last day of your fiscal year, then running a balance sheet on the following day – the first day on the next fiscal year and comparing what changed.

You can reconcile retained earnings by adding up all of your profits and losses for each year you are in business. Then subtract any dividends paid throughout the years, and you should come out with your retained earnings balance. You can have a negative retained earnings balance.

The retained earnings number is a measure of the long-term value of the business. It also plays a large role in determining your basis, or investment, so to speak, in the company, which is used for tax purposes.

An S Corporation will have an additional fourth account in its Equity section.

  1. Distributions

Distributions represent the money that the S Corporation owner has taken out of the business. This money is over and above the salary that is paid to the owner. It must be tracked for tax purposes, which is why it has a separate account on the balance sheet.  In simple terms, distributions are generally not taxable as long as the owner has enough basis to cover them. In this way, distributions are different from dividends that are issued in C Corporations, since they are taxable.

Last, if you run a balance sheet report in your accounting system on any date during the year, you may see an additional account:

  1. Current Year Earnings

This is the sum of all of your income and expense accounts. It should be the same number as net profit or loss on your income statement from the beginning of the year to your balance sheet date. On a formal balance sheet for external purposes, this number is rolled into the retained earnings account.

The equity section can be the most difficult section to understand on the balance sheet. Hopefully, the explanation above will provide a bit more clarity as well as shine a light on the significance of the retained earnings balance.

ClickUp™ is a versatile new web application that serves multiple functions for a small business. It’s primarily a CRM – customer relationship management – with project management and workflow features built in, and is adaptable across several industries.

ClickUp’s goal for its users is to save time and reduce redundancy by tying everything together in one app. Its integrations, which are called ClickApps, are truly its strength. The 1,000+ integrations set ClickUp apart from other offerings, and for this reason, ClickUp excels at automating processes that use multiple apps, including hard-to-automate processes like customer onboarding.

Some of the items people use ClickUp for include reminders, goals, whiteboards, templates, calendars, document flow, task management, dashboards, marketing processes, and team collaboration and communication.

One of the features that is frequently mentioned is the ability to create custom views exactly the way you want them. Views provide a summary of your work and come in many flavors. You can create task views, list views, boards, calendars, Gantt views, workload views, and box views.

If ClickUp has a weakness, it would be its complexity. You really need to be somewhat tech-savvy to get everything set up. The learning curve can be intimidating, but once you get through it, there is so much power in having everything customized and in one platform.

ClickUp does have a following of power users, and a certification of sorts is offered. Becoming ClickUp Verified means that you’ve earned expertise in the product. If the learning curve is too much for you or your team members, you can hire one of these ClickUp consultants to do the setup for you.

As of this writing, ClickUp hosts 4,000,000 users, including the ones on the free version that is for personal use. Monthly pricing for business users ranges from $5 to $19 per user, depending on the features you need. Enterprise options are also available.

ClickUp was founded in 2017, is headquartered in San Diego, CA, and has raised three rounds of funding as of this writing. You can find out more at