Business Debt Schedule: A Definition and Template
If your business carries debt, it’s important to be able to quickly monitor your obligations. A business debt schedule allows businesses to track and visualize their debts in order to make informed decisions about business growth, cash flow analysis and payment strategies.
What is a business debt schedule?
A business debt schedule is a table that lists your monthly debt payments in order of maturity. It helps you track cash flow and make informed, strategic decisions about paying off debt and potentially taking on new small business loans.
Here are the types of debt to include in a business debt schedule:
- Notes payable
Short-term business expenses — such as accounts payables, payroll and real estate taxes — are usually excluded from a debt schedule. Such obligations, like payroll and taxes, are instead accounted for on your business’s balance sheet. Keeping debt separate from these short-term expenses allows financial managers to get accurate accounting of the company’s longer-term debt burden.
How to make a business debt schedule
When you begin to make a debt schedule, list out all the relevant details of the debt, including:
- Creditor or lender name
- Origination date of the debt
- Original debt amount
- Current balance
- Interest rate
- Monthly payment
- Security or collateral pledged
- Maturity date
Including every aspect of the debt allows for informed decision-making about how to strategically manage business debt. You may also want to include notes, such as the reason for the loan or other information pertinent to the lender or the repayment process in your debt schedule.
Business debt schedule template
Making a business debt schedule is straightforward. Here’s an example of a debt schedule that a business might use:
It’s easy to make your own business debt schedule using a simple spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets. Accounting software, such Quickbooks, is an alternative to using a spreadsheet.
There are many business debt schedule templates available for free online. As an example, the Small Business Administration offers a business debt schedule template to download — plus, your bank or credit union may have their own templates, too.
Uses for a business debt schedule
Keeping a debt schedule is useful to get a bird’s-eye view of all your debts and construct a business cash flow analysis. In addition to monitoring financial obligations, using a business debt schedule offers multiple benefits to your business:
- Stay current with debt payments: A debt schedule lets you see all the amounts that you owe each month, at a glance. This is one of the tool’s most important functions, since there is little worse for your business’s finances than paying your debts late or forgetting to pay them entirely.
- Keep your books accurate: Having all the information about your debts easily accessible is a good way of ensuring that your debt schedule matches your other bookkeeping methods. For example, interest expenses listed in the debt schedule will inform your income statement and principal repayments listed there also appear on your cash flow statement.
- Negotiate better rates: When you’ve established a record of prompt payment on an outstanding loan, you may be able to negotiate a lower interest rate through a refinance. The debt schedule lays out which loans have the highest rates and monthly payments, information that can help you target your refinancing efforts.
- Strategize payments: A debt schedule can help you see the strategic benefit of paying certain debt off early. You can assess which of your debts to pay off first if you have the means to fast-track any of your repayments.
- Make borrowing decisions: Knowing whether you can afford to borrow more depends on knowing your total debt and monthly payments. If a potential new loan doesn’t fit into this financial picture, you’ll know right away if you should hold off until your financial picture improves.
- Provide accurate information: The data on your debt schedule can be used in various ways to inform potential new lenders, creditors and even prospective buyers about your business’s financial details. Having this data in one place helps you pull the appropriate reports easily.
- Monitor your business’s financial health: The debt schedule is a key part of the larger picture regarding how your company is faring financially. If the totals for balances and monthly payments are too large, you’ll be able to see that immediately and figure out a plan to bring those numbers down.