What are Retained Earnings Anyway?Retained earnings are an important part of any business. They are the funds that a company sets aside to cover expenses during tough times or to reinvest in the business. (Like now, when the entire world is topsy turvy and the economic circumstances are unstable and unpredictable, to say the least.)
Retained earnings are an important concept in accounting. The term refers to the historical profits earned by a company, minus any dividends it paid in the past. The word “retained” captures the fact that because those earnings were not paid out to shareholders as dividends they were instead retained by the company. For this reason, retained earnings decrease when a company either loses money or pays dividends, and increase when new profits are created. —Investopedia.comDuring normal circumstances, retained earnings are generally used to expand. Examples include hiring additional employees, purchasing new equipment, bringing in new or more inventory to sell, or even acquiring new commercial property. But, when sales slow and the business isn’t earning enough, retained earnings can be used as savings to bridge the gap.