Financial Statements: Take The Time To Read The Entire Story

A complete set of financial statements for your business contains three reports. Each serves a different purpose, but ultimately helps stakeholders — including managers, employees, investors and lenders — evaluate a company’s performance. Here’s an overview of each report and a critical question it answers. 1. Income statement: Is the company growing and profitable? The […]

Auditing WIP

Many types of businesses — such as homebuilders and manufacturers — turn raw materials into finished products for customers. Production is a continuous process. So, any work that’s been started but isn’t yet completed before the end of the accounting period is reported as work in progress (WIP) under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). […]

Follow The Cutoff Rules For Revenue And Expenses

Timing counts in financial reporting. Under the accrual method of accounting, the end of the accounting period serves as a strict “cutoff” for recognizing revenue and expenses. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, managers may be tempted to show earnings or reduce losses. As a result, they may extend revenue cutoffs beyond the end of the […]

Accounting Methods: Private Companies Have Options

Businesses need financial information that’s accurate, relevant and timely. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires publicly traded companies to follow U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), often considered the “gold standard” in financial reporting in the United States. But privately held companies can use simplified alternative accounting methods. What’s right for your business depends on […]

Accounting Estimates Present Challenges In Times Of Uncertainty

In today’s unprecedented market conditions, it can be challenging to predict metrics that underlie your company’s accounting estimates. Examples of key “unknowns” include how much longer certain pandemic issues will continue, how federal stimulus spending will affect the economy over the long run, and the extent to which tax laws and environment regulations may change […]

What’s “Fair Value” In An Accounting Context?

In recent years, the accounting rules for certain balance sheet items have transitioned from historical cost to “fair value.” Examples of assets that may currently be reported at fair value are asset retirement obligations, derivatives and intangible assets acquired in a business combination. Though fair value may better align your company’s financial statements with today’s […]

Liabilities For Unused Time Off Mount As Pandemic Lingers

During the pandemic, many employees have postponed using their allotted paid time off until COVID-related restrictions are lifted and safety concerns subside. This situation has caused an increase in accruals for certain employers. Here’s some guidance to help evaluate whether your company is required to report a liability for so-called “compensated absences” and, if so, […]

Minimize The Need To Make Year-End Financial Adjustments

If your not-for-profit periodically prepares internal financial statements for your board, you may have noticed that your auditors propose adjustments to these interim statements at year-end. Why do auditors do this? Generally, it reflects differences due to cash basis vs. accrual basis financial statements. But you can help minimize the need for such adjustments. Here’s […]

Accounting For Business Combinations

If your company is planning to merge with or buy another business, your attention is probably on conducting due diligence and negotiating deal terms. But you also should address the post-closing financial reporting requirements for the transaction. If not, it may lead to disappointing financial results, restatements and potential lawsuits after the dust settles. Here’s […]

What’s On The FASB’s 2021 Agenda?

In December 2020, Richard Jones stepped up as chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). After meeting with stakeholders in early 2021, Jones identified a list of high-priority projects that he plans to tackle under his leadership. Big picture The FASB is responsible for creating and updating U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the […]