How to Find Payable Common Stock Dividends

A dividend announcement is welcome news for the company's common stock shareholders.

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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.