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ASC 205, Presentation of Financial Statements, and ASC 210, Balance Sheet, provide authoritative guidance for presentation of the balance sheet for all US GAAP reporting entities. These rules closely align with SEC regulations, except for certain circumstances in which the SEC prescribes incremental requirements.
Commercial and industrial companies that are SEC registrants are generally subject to S-X Article 5, and should also comply with the guidance regarding presentation of the balance sheet in SAB Topic 11.E (codified in ASC 205-10-S99-9) and Article 3 and Article 4 within Regulation S-X:
  • S-X Article 5 provides for the presentation of the balance sheet and notes additional schedules that may be required.
  • SAB Topic 11.E provides guidance on the chronological ordering of financial data.
  • Article 3 provides general instructions applicable to all registrants. In particular, S-X 3-01 stipulates that the registrant and its subsidiaries should file a consolidated balance sheet as of the end of each of the two most recent fiscal years.
  • Article 4 (S-X 4-01 through S-X 4-03) provides general application rules regarding the form and order of the balance sheet and other statements.
Reporting entities subject to other SEC regulations include registered investment companies and business development companies (Article 6), employee stock purchase, savings and similar plans (Article 6A), insurance companies (Article 7), smaller reporting companies (Article 8), bank holding companies (Article 9), and brokers and dealers when filing Form X-17A-5. While Article 5 requires a classified balance sheet, no other articles within S-X contain this requirement. Reporting entities subject to the articles referred to above should refer to the applicable S-X guidance to determine their requirements.

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