Why would a balance sheet list current liabilities as negative amounts?

Some accounting software will use minus signs or parentheses to indicate credit balances, while positive numbers indicate debit balances. The accounting software will usually have an option to print the liability account balances on the balance sheet without the negative signs. Look in a formatting section of the software, the balance sheet section, financial statements, or chart of accounts.

If only one liability account has a negative sign, it is possible that the liability account has a debit balance. For example, if the account Interest Payable had a credit balance of $600, and subsequently a payment of $605 was recorded in the account, the account Interest Payable will have a debit balance of $5. If a balance sheet is prepared at that point, it will list Accounts Payable with a negative balance of $5 (and the other liability amounts will be positive).

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