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Bilanzsumme

English translation: balance sheet total or total assets or total liabilities and net worth, depending on context

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Bilanzsumme
English translation:balance sheet total or total assets or total liabilities and net worth, depending on context
Entered by: Dan McCrosky
Options:
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03:20 Sep 10, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Accounting
German term or phrase: Bilanzsumme
I've just finished reading the answers to "GuV (accounting financial)"

http://www.proz.com/v3/glossary/84527

where I noticed G2E suggested "balance sheet total" for "Bilanzsumme". All these years I have been using "total assets" as my standard translation for "Bilanzsumme". UK & US Google searches show about ten times as many hits for "total assets" as for "balance sheet total", but that is probably partly due to differences in context. Have I been doing it wrong all this time, or is there a difference here too, similar to the difference between "P&L statement" and "income statement" that Ralph mentioned?

TIA

Dan
Dan McCrosky
Local time: 06:50
balance sheet total / total assets / total liabilities and net worth
Explanation:
The first is always right.
The third is the same sum of the balance sheet posts that indicate where the money is coming from.
The first is the same sum of the balance sheet posts that indicate how the money is used.
Selected response from:

xxxHenri
Local time: 06:50
Grading comment
Nuff said.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1balance sheet total / total assets / total liabilities and net worthxxxHenri
5Balance sheet total
Mats Wiman
4balance sheet total
Alexander Schleber
1 +1I'm still not 100% sure "total assets" is wrongDan McCrosky
1my apologiesDan McCrosky


  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
balance sheet total / total assets / total liabilities and net worth


Explanation:
The first is always right.
The third is the same sum of the balance sheet posts that indicate where the money is coming from.
The first is the same sum of the balance sheet posts that indicate how the money is used.



    My banking experience
xxxHenri
Local time: 06:50
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Nuff said.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ralf Lemster: Correct - sometimes "total assets" is used when "balance sheet total" would be the technically correct term
1 min
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Balance sheet total


Explanation:
Total assets = Balance sheet total
if the accounting department has done their job
BUT
BST is a more correct term: A balance sheet has an asset AND a debt side


    B.Sc (Econ)
Mats Wiman
Sweden
Local time: 06:50
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish
PRO pts in category: 14
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
my apologies


Explanation:
I am convinced that "balance sheet total" is an absolutely correct term. After all, it shows up in all my dictionaries too.

I'm afraid I didn't formulate my question very well. I did not include the context in which I usually translate.

The context situations are where someone wants to give info about how big a corporation is. The German text often mentions the "Bilanzsumme" on such occasions but I still feel that the English equivalent statement would refer to "total assets" and not "balance sheet total".

Am I still wrong?

Thanks again,

Dan



Dan McCrosky
Local time: 06:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
balance sheet total


Explanation:
"total assets" is the sum of the assets. But a balance sheet also contains a balancing column called "liabilities", so the Bilanzsumme, for me, is balance sheet total. I have always preferred this term, because it makes a distinction between assets, liabilities, as components of a balance sheet. And all three terms can appear in the same translation.

The thing of course is, as I am sure you know, that assets and liabilities must always be equal in a balance sheet, which is probably the reason that "total assets" is used by some authors (and Zahn, Bank - und Börsenwesen, gives both terms as a translation).

HTBH? = has that been helpful?


    Zahn
Alexander Schleber
Belgium
Local time: 06:50
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 34
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I'm still not 100% sure "total assets" is wrong


Explanation:
I'm not quite sure I understand why everyone keeps telling me that a balance sheet has two sides. I don't remember saying it had only one. We all know that:

1. a Bilanz = balance sheet has two sides

2. one side is the Aktiva = Assets

3. the other side is the Passiva = Liabilities plus Equity

4. the total of all the amounts on the Aktiva side must equal the total of the total of all the amounts on the Passiva side.

5. the total, the number, the amount, the value at the bottom of EITHER side is the total, the number, the amount, the value that can be called the "balance sheet total" or the "Bilanzsumme".

6. the total, the number, the amount, the value at the bottom of Aktiva side is the total, the number, the amount, the value that can be called the "total assets" or the "Aktiva gesamt" or "Summe Aktiva".

7. the total, the number, the amount, the value at the bottom of Passive side is the total, the number, the amount, the value that can be called the "total liabilities and equity" or the "Passiva gesamt" or "Summe Passiva.

The reason my question has gone astray is that the original questions from Sonja Cooper were parts of a pure accounting exercise. I do not write many pure accounting translations. The reason I asked this question is that I was quite convinced until today that reports, articles, promotional materials and the like about businesses, at least where I come from (the US), did not usually contain the term "balance sheet total" whenever they wanted to provide info about the company size. I thought they normally wrote "total assets" because it sounded positive and not so much like green-eye-shade bookkeeper speak.

Apparently from all your answers above, this is not or is no longer true. From now on, when I want to write about the XYZ Corp, it will have to look something like this:

"The XYZ Corporation, headquartered in Hicksville, Tennessee, with a balance sheet total of $89.36, employing a workforce of three, all related, has recently established a subsidiary in Moundsville, West Virginia. The corporation's total assets consisting of one moonshine still, two bushels of corn and three Mason jars, blah, blah, blah…"

Here are some German sites using the term "Total Assets" for "Bilanzsumme":

http://www.wapme-systems.de/downloads/q1_2001.pdf

http://www2.mediantis.de/servlet/DigiTrade/home/company/inco...

http://www.boerseninfos.de/ak/adhoc/news/514000-20000216-074...

http://www.plambeck.de/Alt_Inhalte/quartal3.pdf

www.telegate.de/download/9_monatsbericht_1999.pdf

The total number of Google hits, in English, with .com domain, and these terms: +GAAP, -AG, "+balance +sheet +total" was 103.

The same search with "+total +assets" instead of "+balance +sheet +total" yielded 8,600 hits.

The total number of Google hits, in English, with .com domain, and these terms: +SEC +GAAP -AG, "+balance +sheet +total" was 39.

The same search with "+total +assets" instead of "+balance +sheet +total" yielded 4,200 hits.

As I mentioned in the beginning though, the context causes a large part of the predominance of "total assets".

Not only does Zahn – Wörterbuch Bank- und Börsenwesen, offer "total assets" for "Bilanzsumme" but so does Hamblock/Wessels – Großwörterbuch Wirtschaftsenglisch,

Thanks for your help so far.

Dan


Dan McCrosky
Local time: 06:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mats Wiman: Super that one can answer one's own questions. BI lanzsumme. BI=two
14 hrs
  -> yeah, this way all the info and research from everybody lands in one place in my archive
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Changes made by editors
Nov 15, 2007 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Field (specific)(none) » Accounting
Nov 15, 2007 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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