Being a business owner, it’s safe to assume that you’ve accumulated debt. The question, however, is how much do you actually know about your debt?
Having a firm grasp on the details of your payment schedules and interest rates is important. This information allows you to make more informed decisions about how to plan for and execute business growth, payment strategies, and handle any other unexpected costs.
One of the most effective ways to gain a clearer understanding of your company’s obligations is by using a business debt schedule. These straightforward schedules exhibit how easy it is to keep tabs on your business’s debts. To understand how they work, let’s dig a little deeper into how they function.
What is a Business Debt Schedule?
A business debt schedule is as simple as it sounds. It is a table that includes the list of debts your business owes.
This schedule can include:
- Accounts Payable
- Other Periodic Payables
While very common, business expenses like short-term accounts payable and accumulated liabilities are not typically listed in a schedule.
A business debt schedule allows you to gather and review your company’s debts easily so you can accurately and effectively plan for repayments. They can even help you understand if your company can take on an additional small business loan.
Debt schedules promote accuracy and accountability while helping you to develop positive habits to enhance your business. Another benefit to using a debt schedule is how it can help you to analyze your cash flow.
This is possible because the schedule connects three essential financial documents: the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement.
Interest expenses listed in the debt schedule are tied into your income statement, while the balance sheet includes the same closing debt balance. The third tie-in comes from the principal repayments which influence the cash flow statement.
Having this kind of visibility and harmony within your finances can truly make running your business much simpler.
What Should My Business Debt Schedule Include?
As you build your business debt schedule, there are a few essential categories you will need to include.
Adding the details of each debt enables you to get a fuller picture of the commitments and variables in your business, each aspect allowing you to strategize more effectively for today and tomorrow.
These details include:
- Your Creditor or Lender
- Original Date
- Original Amount
- Current Balance
- Interest Rate
- Monthly Payment
- Maturity Date (Due Date)
- Collateral Posted
Since this schedule is used almost exclusively for internal purposes, feel free to include notes about each debt, their function, and any other information that you’d like to keep close by.
To give you a better idea of how simple this is, we created a sample business debt schedule template below.
|Creditor||Original Date||Original Amount||Balance||Interest Rate||Monthly Payment||Collateral||Maturity Date||Notes|
|XYZ Lending||6/30/16||$20,000||$11,200.94||7%||$396.02||Business Equipment||6/30/21|
Why Should I Use a Business Debt Schedule?
As we’ve explored, a business debt schedule is most commonly used only for your own convenience and reference. Not only does it simplify your business finances, it provides advantages you may not even realize.
Let’s take a look at the benefits a business debt schedule provides:
Don’t Miss a Payment
There are few things worse than missing a payment, especially when you’re trying to reduce your debts. As one of the most essential functions of a debt schedule, having all of your payments in one place should grant you peace of mind.
Create a Payment Strategy
Knowing exactly when your bills are the most concentrated each month gives you the time to properly evaluate your cash flow. With your payments aligned, you’ll be able to make payments with more confidence, knowing that you’ve properly planned ahead.
Refinance Your Rates
Once you’ve optimized your payment strategy and established a consistent track record, you will have greater leverage to potentially renegotiate your interest rates. Renegotiating can help ease the strain of high-interest payments and put your business in a more comfortable position.
Keep Your Books Organized
Perhaps the most consistent, practical feature of using a business debt schedule is how well kept your financial records become. Regardless of how you need to use your financial information, it will always be close at hand and simple to analyze.
Build More Accurate Forecasts
Business forecasts are one of the most time-consuming and challenging items for do for a small business owner. What makes them easier to produce is having easy access to the information required to create accurate, responsible decisions for the year ahead.
Make Better Borrowing Decisions
Business needs change quickly. When you need to make a fast, well-educated decision on whether or not you can take on more debt through a cash flow loan or a line of credit, a business debt schedule can make your life a lot easier.
The Final Word on Business Debt Schedules
Clearly, a debt schedule can be incredibly effective when used appropriately. By maintaining your schedule with up-to-date information regularly, you’ll be able to reap the benefits when opportunity finds you.
Taking the time to complete your debt schedule will help you or future investors and creditors gain a full scope of your business and how you can grow. You’ll thank yourself later.