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1. Financial reporting.

In financial reporting, liabilities are amounts or obligations of a reporting entity arising from past transactions or events, the settlement of which may result in:

  • The transfer or use of assets, for example payments of money
  • The provision of services or
  • Other yielding of economic benefits in the future.

Examples include overdrafts, trade payables, accruals and provisions.

Liabilities are represented in the balance sheet by credit balances.


More generally, liabilities are any obligations or amounts owed to others (whether or not they are obligations of a financial reporting entity).

See also