How to Find Payable Common Stock Dividends

by Keela Helstrom

    One of the rewards of being a common stock shareholder is receiving income from the corporation in the form of cash dividends. When the company announces a dividend, the corporation is obligated to distribute the cash to its shareholders at a future date. The obligation to pay the cash dividends is properly recorded in the corporation's books by increasing the balance sheet liability account "dividends payable."

    Step 1

    Obtain a copy of the corporation's balance sheet, a financial statement that is prepared both monthly and annually. Check the date of the balance sheet to make sure you have the data for the current year.

    Step 2

    Locate the liabilities section of the company's balance sheet. Look through each line item listed under this section until you find "common stock dividends payable."

    Step 3

    Examine the account balance, which represents all common stock dividends declared by the board of directors that will be paid at a future date, usually weeks after the announcement. Confirm that the account has been reconciled with the preparer of the balance sheet.

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    About the Author

    Keela Helstrom began writing in 2010. She is a Certified Public Accountant with over 10 years of accounting and finance experience. Though working as a consultant, most of her career has been spent in corporate finance. Helstrom attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has her Bachelor of Science in accounting.

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