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If a company earns a profit, which balance sheet items change?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Profit

Profit is the result of revenues minus expenses.

How Profits Change the Balance Sheet

Since all business transactions affect at least two accounts, there will likely be an enormous number of changes to the balance sheet. Here are some of the changes:

  • Owner’s equity or stockholders’ equity will increase by the positive amount of net income
  • Accounts receivable will change by the amount of sales/services provided with credit terms
  • Inventory will decrease when goods are sold
  • Cash will increase when goods are sold for cash and when accounts receivable are collected
  • Cash will decrease when cash is paid for expenses, inventory, equipment, liabilities, etc.
  • Accounts payable will increase for expenses that were not paid with cash
  • Accumulated depreciation will change when an asset is depreciated

Again, the list is just a few of the balance sheet changes that may occur when a company has profitable operations.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

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