Marshaling: Definition

The arrangement of assets and liabilities on the balance sheet in a particular order is called marshaling.

Marshaling: Explanation

The main purpose of the balance sheet is to show the financial position of the business. Therefore, assets and liabilities on the balance sheet should be shown in the proper order that facilitates a good understanding of the firm’s financial position.

To serve this purpose, assets and liabilities are recorded on the balance sheet in a specific order. This order of assets and liabilities on the balance sheet is called marshaling.

Methods of Marshaling

1. Order of Permanence

Under this method, assets are listed according to their permanency. Specifically, permanent assets are shown first and less permanent assets are shown afterward.

Similarly, the fixed or long-term liabilities are shown first under the order of permanence method, and the current liabilities are listed afterward.

A specimen of the balance sheet marshalled using order of permanence is shown below.
Order of Permanence Marshalled Balance Sheet

2. Order of Liquidity

Under the order of liquidity method, an organization’s current and fixed assets are entered in the balance sheet in the order of the degree of ease with which they can be converted into cash. Liabilities are presented based on the order of urgency of payment.

This approach is generally used by sole traders and partnership firms. The following is the format of the balance sheet under the order of liquidity method.
Order of Liquidity Marshalled Balance Sheet

3. Mixed Order

Under this order, assets are arranged according to the order of liquidity, whereas liabilities are arranged according to the order of permanency. The format of a balance sheet prepared using this method is shown below.
Mixed Order Marshalled Balance Sheet

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