Current liabilities

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on January 25, 2024.


Current liabilities are financial obligations and debts that a company is expected to settle within one year or within the normal operating cycle of the business.

What are current liabilities?

This type of liabilities represent the portion of a company’s liabilities that are due in the short term.

Common examples of current liabilities include:

  1. Accounts payable: These are amounts owed by a company to its suppliers or vendors for goods or services received on credit. 
  2. Short-term debt: This includes any loans, notes, or credit facilities that are due for repayment within one year.
  3. Accrued liabilities: These are expenses that have been incurred but have not yet been paid.
  4. Deferred revenue: This represents payments received from customers in advance of goods or services being delivered. It is a liability until the product or service is provided.

Current liabilities, along with current assets, form a critical component of a company’s working capital. Maintaining an appropriate balance between current assets and current liabilities is essential for managing cash flow and short-term financial obligations.

Current liabilities are prominently featured in a company’s balance sheet, providing a snapshot of its financial position at a specific point.

Distinguishing between current and long-term liabilities is essential for understanding a company’s financial health. Creditors and investors closely monitor a company’s current liabilities as part of their assessment of its financial stability and ability to meet short-term obligations.

Example of current liabilities

Here’s an example of current liabilities for a fictional company, ABC Corporation:

  • Accounts Payable: ABC Corporation owes £50,000 to suppliers for raw materials and services that have been received but not yet paid.
  • Short-Term Loans: The company has a short-term loan with a bank, and the outstanding amount due within the next year is £30,000.
  • Accrued liabilities: ABC Corporation has accrued £20,000 for wages and other expenses that have been incurred but not yet paid.
  • Income taxes payable: The company owes £15,000 in income taxes for the current fiscal year.
  • Short-term portion of long-term debt: ABC Corporation has a long-term loan, and £40,000 of it is due for payment within the next year.

Now, if you sum up these current liabilities:

Current liabilities = £50,000 + £30,000 + £20,000 + £15,000 + £40,000 = £155,000

In this example, ABC Corporation has £155,000 in current liabilities, representing obligations that are expected to be settled within the next year.

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