Help with a balance sheet, I'm new at this...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Grott, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Grott

    Grott LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 55

    I'm looking at purchasing an existing lawn care co. The owner is taking a job in a different part of the state and would like to sell out to some one who will be hands on.

    My problem is this, he used the business to hide income and create wright-offs against his other household income.

    His balance sheet shows a steady loss for the past three years.

    Where can I find reasonable percentages for fuel,repairs,labor....

    I have his numbers but he was quite creative with the books.

    The equipment inventory is 2 walk behind, 2 zero turn, 4 string trimmers, 2 backpack blowers, a truck mount leaf vac , 2 trucks with plows and a customer list with 60ish lawn customers and 30 plowing accounts.

    I plow now that part is not a problem and I can split that out.

    The lawn care is new to me, help would be appreciated.


    THRIFTY LawnSite Member
    from (913)
    Messages: 208

    With some shaky accounting history from previous years, I would sit down with an accountant before I did anything. Let them fix his qwerks so you can start fresh.
  3. lawnmowerstl

    lawnmowerstl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    A balance sheet would not show a loss. A balance sheet will show assets, liabilities and owners equity. An income statement, on the other hand, would show profit and losses.

    You have to take the balance sheet and income statement together to get a real picture of how the business is as a whole.
  4. Grott

    Grott LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 55

    My accountant is the one looking for some idea of the expense structure of a lawn care business.

    The numbers we are working from come out like percentage of Gross Income.

    Fuel expense 16%
    wearable parts 5%
    equipment repair 12%
    labor 38%

    Are these in line with others in the business?

    Insurance and other expenses we can check but these are more job specific.
    Is there an estimating reference with jobs broken down like this?

    Thanks for your help,


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