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Accounting For Reserves And Surplus

Just the way we categorize our expenditures at the end of every month, various business organisations include Reserves and Surplus in their balance sheet keeping their future needs as an organisation in the picture. In simple words, they are the savings of big corporates which can be used as assets during a crisis.

What Do Reserves And Surplus Mean?
A financial accounting Reserve is a part of the shareholder’s equity except for basic share capital. A Reserve is profits that have been appropriated for a particular purpose. In accounting terminology, reserve implies the amount set aside for future activities which include buying assets, paying for bonuses or even legal settlements.

Surplus describes the amount of an asset or resource that exceeds the portion that is actively utilised. In the budgetary context, a Surplus occurs when income earned exceeds expenses paid.
Reserves and Surplus, as the name suggests, are the accumulated profits that a company has earned and retained over time. Retained profits are the profits that are left after repaying the shareholders. General Reserves are created out of profits and kept aside for the financial strengthening of the company in bad years.

Difference Between Reserves And Surplus
Reserves are the primary amounts that are earmarked by the organisation for specific purposes. Whereas Surplus is where all the profits of the company reside.

Types Of Reserves And Surplus
Depending on their purpose there are various types of Reserves used in a balance sheet.

Capital Reserve
A Capital Reserve is the type of Reserve that is created from capital profits. Capital Reserve is maintained to prepare the company for sudden hazards like inflation, business expansion and funds for new ventures.

  • Cash received by selling current assets
  • Excess on revaluation of liabilities and assets

are a few examples of Capital Reserves.

Capital Redemption Reserve (CRR) 
Capital Redemption Reserve is created when the preference shares or the capital is redeemed. It is a statutory Reserve. When a company wishes to redeem shares a Capital Redemption Reserve account is created to benefit both the creditors and employees.

A Capital Redemption Reserve comes in handy for the company on a rainy day. Several litigations are attached to this reserve such that the company can open this reserve only under certain circumstances.

Security Premium Reserve
It is the additional amount charged on the face value of any share when the shares are issued, redeemed and forfeited. Security premium account is a part of the Shareholders Fund, it refers to the difference between market value and the face value of a share.

Debenture Redemption Reserve
A Debenture is a debt security that lets the investors borrow money at a fixed rate. A Debenture Redemption Reserve must be created to protect investors from the possibility of a company defaulting.

Debentures are not backed by any kind of asset, lien or collateral. Free Reserves are those Reserves upon which the company can freely draw, Debenture Redemption Fund is one such Reserve.

Revaluation Reserve
Organisations have the freedom to construct line items for assets on the balance sheet when they believe it is a necessity for correct accounting to be presented. Revaluation Reserves are not inherently normal, but they can be used when a business assumes that the value of their assets will fluctuate after a certain time frame.

Other Reserves: Specifying Nature And Purpose

Surplus i.e balance in statement of profit and loss disclosing allocations and appropriation such as dividend, bonus, shares and transfer to/from Reserve etc.

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Why Are Reserves And Surplus Called Liabilities?
Aren’t Reserves supposed to be good? They are money set aside for future endeavours and hazards, How is being financially safe considered a liability? Isn’t having surplus money a boon?

Well here are the answers to all your queries,

Reserves are considered on the liabilities side of a balance sheet because they are sums of money that have been set aside to be paid out on a future date. To be more precise Reserves are considered a liability keeping the peasant scenarios in mind. Reserve is considered a liability keeping all the future requirements in mind.

Reserves also represent the obligations that the form has, which makes Reserves a liability item. Reserves can be future or potential obligations to various stakeholders or future use of funds to benefit various stakeholders.

For a better understanding, we can compare Reserves to a bank, though the bank is always expected to have money, yet it is considered a liability keeping in mind that money is not for the bank but to meet up with the financial needs of their account holders.

What Is Meant By A Negative Reserve?
Negative Reserves are considered as assets, for example, the money which is due to the policyholders i.e debtors. But these are assets which may be realised or forgetting that the policyholders may withdraw, leading to a policy lapse.

To conclude, accounting at the end of the day is an asset to our lives, it is a massive ocean of its own, here is the address of an Accounting institute in Ahmedabad, they offer various  Accounting Training in Ahmedabad that will turn you from a liability to an asset.

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