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 THE FUNDAMENTAL ACCOUNTING EQUATION

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مُساهمةموضوع: THE FUNDAMENTAL ACCOUNTING EQUATION   2009-05-27, 19:13

THE FUNDAMENTAL ACCOUNTING EQUATION
THE ACCOUNTING EQUATION: The basic features of the accounting model we use today trace their roots back over 500 years. Luca Pacioli, a Renaissance era monk, developed a method for tracking the success or failure of trading ventures. The foundation of that system continues to serve the modern business world well, and is the entrenched cornerstone of even the most elaborate computerized systems. The nucleus of that system is the notion that a business entity can be described as a collection of assets and the corresponding claims against those assets. The claims can be divided into the claims of creditors and owners (i.e., liabilities and owners' equity). This gives rise to the fundamental accounting equation:
Assets = Liabilities + Owners' Equity

ASSETS: Assets are the economic resources of the entity, and include such items as cash, accounts receivable (amounts owed to a firm by its customers), inventories, land, buildings, equipment, and even intangible assets like patents and other legal rights and claims. Assets are presumed to entail probable future economic benefits to the owner.
LIABILITIES: Liabilities are amounts owed to others relating to loans, extensions of credit, and other obligations arising in the course of business.
OWNERS' EQUITY: Owners' equity is the owner's "interest" in the business. It is sometimes called net assets, because it is equivalent to assets minus liabilities for a particular business. Who are the "owners?" The answer to this question depends on the legal form of the entity; examples of entity types include sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person, and its equity would typically consist of a single owner's capital account. Conversely, a partnership is a business owned by more than one person, with its equity consisting of a separate capital account for each partner. Finally, a corporation is a very common entity form, with its ownership interest being represented by divisible units of ownership called shares of stock. These shares are easily transferable, with the current holder(s) of the stock being the owners. The total owners' equity (i.e., "stockholders' equity") of a corporation usually consists of several amounts, generally corresponding to the owner investments in the capital stock (by shareholders) and additional amounts generated through earnings that have not been paid out to shareholders as dividends (dividends are distributions to shareholders as a return on their investment). Earnings give rise to increases in "retained earnings," while dividends (and losses) cause decreases.
BALANCE SHEET: The fundamental accounting equation is the backbone of the accounting and reporting system. It is central to understanding a key financial statement known as the balance sheet (sometimes called the statement of financial position). The following illustration for Edelweiss Corporation shows a variety of assets that are reported at a total of $895,000. Creditors are owed $175,000, leaving $720,000 of stockholders' equity. The stockholders' equity section is divided into the $120,000 originally invested in Edelweiss Corporation by stockholders (i.e., capital stock), and the other $600,000 that was earned (and retained) by successful business performance over the life of the company.Does the stockholders' equity total mean the business is worth $720,000? No! Why not? Because many assets are not reported at current value. For example, although the land cost $125,000, the balance sheet does not report its current worth. Similarly, the business may have unrecorded resources to its credit, such as a trade secret or a brand name that allows it to earn extraordinary profits. If one is looking to buy stock in Edelweiss Corporation, they would surely give consideration to these important non-financial statement based valuation considerations. This observation tells us that accounting statements are important in investment and credit decisions, but they are not the sole source of information for making investment and credit decisions.

HOW TRANSACTIONS IMPACT THE ACCOUNTING EQUATION
THE IMPACT OF TRANSACTIONS: The preceding balance sheet for Edelweiss was static. This means that it represented the financial condition at the noted date. But, each passing transaction or event brings about a change in the overall financial condition. Business activity will impact various asset, liability, and/or equity accounts; but, they will not disturb the equality of the accounting equation. So, how does this happen? To reveal the answer to this question, let's look at four specific transactions for Edelweiss Corporation. You will see how each transaction impacts the individual asset, liability, and equity accounts, without upsetting the basic equality of the overall balance sheet.
EDELWEISS COLLECTS AN ACCOUNT RECEIVABLE: If Edelweiss Corporation collected $10,000 from a customer on an existing account receivable (i.e., not a new sale, just the collection of an amount that is due from some previous transaction), then the balance sheet would be revised as follows:
This illustration plainly shows that cash (an asset) increased from $25,000 to $35,000, and accounts receivable (an asset) decreased from $50,000 to $40,000. As a result total assets did not change, and liabilities and equity accounts were unaffected. Thus, assets still equal liabilities plus equity.

EDELWEISS BUYS EQUIPMENT WITH LOAN PROCEEDS: Now, if Edelweiss Corporation purchased $30,000 of equipment, agreeing to pay for it later (i.e. taking out a loan), then the balance sheet would be further revised as follows:
This illustration shows that equipment (an asset) increased from $250,000 to $280,000, and loans payable (a liability) increased from $125,000 to $155,000. As a result, both total assets and total liabilities increased by $30,000, but assets still equal liabilities plus equity.

EDELWEISS PROVIDES SERVICES TO A CUSTOMER ON ACCOUNT: What would happen if Edelweiss Corporation did some work for a customer in exchange for the customer's promise to pay $5,000? This requires further explanation; try to follow this logic closely! You already know that retained earnings is the income of the business that has not been distributed to the owners of the business. When Edelweiss Corporation earned $5,000 (which they will collect later) by providing a service to a customer, it can be said that they generated revenue of $5,000. Revenue is the enhancement to assets resulting from providing goods or services to customers. Revenue will bring about an increase income, and income is added to retained earnings. Can you follow that?
As you examine the following balance sheet, notice that accounts receivable and retained earnings went up by $5,000 each, indicating that the business has more assets and more retained earnings. And, guess what: assets still equal liabilities plus equity.

EDELWEISS PAYS EXPENSES WITH CASH: It would be nice if you could run a business without incurring any expenses. However, such is not the case. Expenses are the outflows and obligations that arise from the producing goods and services. Imagine that Example Corporation paid $3,000 for expenses:
GENERALIZING ABOUT THE IMPACT OF TRANSACTIONS: There are countless types of transactions that can occur, and each and every transaction can be described in terms of its impact on assets, liabilities, and equity. What is important to know is that no transaction will upset the fundamental accounting equation of assets = liabilities + owners' equity.
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN REVENUE AND INCOME: In day-to-day conversation, some terms can often be used casually and without a great deal of precision. Words may be treated as synonymous, when in fact they are not. Such is the case for the words "income" and "revenue." Each term has a very precise meaning, and you should accustom yourself to the correct usage. It has already been pointed out that revenues are enhancements resulting from providing goods and services to customers. Conversely, expenses can generally be regarded as costs of doing business. This gives rise to another "accounting equation":
Revenues - Expenses = Income
Revenue is the "top line" amount corresponding to the total benefits generated from business activity. Income is the "bottom line" amount that results after deducting the expenses from revenue. In some countries, revenue is also referred to as "turnover."
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: THE FUNDAMENTAL ACCOUNTING EQUATION   2009-05-27, 19:16

THE CORE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Your future will undoubtedly be marked by numerous decisions about investing money in the capital stock of some corporation. Another option that will present itself is to loan money to a company, either directly, or by buying that company's debt instruments known as "bonds." Stocks and bonds are two of the most prevalent financial instruments of the modern global economy. The financial press and television devote seemingly endless coverage to headline events pertaining to large public corporations. Public companies are those with securities that are readily available for purchase/sale through organized stock markets. Many more companies are private, meaning their stock and debt is in the hands of a narrow group of investors and banks.
If you are contemplating an investment in a public or private entity, there is certain information you will logically seek to guide your decision process. What types of information will you desire? What do you want to know about the companies in which you are considering an investment? If you were to prepare a list of questions for the company's management, what subjects would be included? Whether this challenge is posed to a sophisticated investor or to a new business student, the listing almost always includes the same basic components.
What are the corporate assets? Where does the company operate? What are the key products? How much income is being generated? Does the company pay dividends? What is the corporate policy on ethics and environmental responsibility?
Many such topics are noted within the illustrated "thought cloud." Some of these topics are financial in nature (noted in blue). Other topics are of more general interest and cannot be communicated in strict mathematical terms (noted in red).
Financial accounting seeks to directly report information for the topics noted in blue. Additional supplemental disclosures frequently provide insight about subjects such as those noted in red. But, you would also need to gain additional information by reviewing corporate web sites (many have separate sections devoted to their investors), filings with the securities regulators, financial journals and magazines, and other such sources. Most companies will have annual meetings for shareholders and host web casts every three months (quarterly). These events are very valuable in allowing investors and creditors to make informed decisions about the company, as well as providing a forum for direct questioning of management. You might even call a company and seek "special insight" about emerging trends and developments. Be aware, however, that the company will likely not be able to respond in a meaningful way. Securities laws have very strict rules and penalties that are meant to limit selective or unique disclosures to any one investor or group (in the United States: Regulation Full Disclosure/Reg. FD). It is always amusing, but rarely helpful, to review "message boards" where people anonymously post their opinions about a particular company.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS: Financial accounting information is conveyed through a standardized set of reports. You have already been introduced to the balance sheet. The other fundamental financial statements are the income statement, statement of retained earnings, and statement of cash flows. There are many rules that govern the form and content of each financial statement. At the same time, those rules are not so rigid as to preclude variations in the exact structure or layout. For instance, the earlier illustration for Edelweiss was first presented as a [url=http://www.principlesofaccounting.com/chapter%201.htm#Edelweiss Corporation]"horizontal" layout[/url] of the balance sheet. The subsequent Edelweiss examples were representative of [url=http://www.principlesofaccounting.com/chapter%201.htm#EDELWEISS COLLECTS AN ACCOUNT RECEIVABLE:]"vertical" balance sheet[/url] arrangements. Each approach, and others, is equally acceptable. The basic form and content of each core financial statement is as follows:


  • INCOME STATEMENT: A summary of an entity's results of operation for a specified period of time is revealed in the income statement, as it provides information about revenues generated and expenses incurred. The difference between the revenues and expenses is identified as the net income or net loss. The income statement can be prepared using a [url=http://www.principlesofaccounting.com/chapter%205.htm#Income Statement Enhancements]single-step or a multiple-step[/url] approach, and might be further modified to include a number of special disclosures relating to unique items. These topics will be amplified in a number of subsequent chapters. For now, take careful note that the income statement relates to activities of a specified time period (e.g., year, quarter, month), as is clearly noted in its title:


  • THE STATEMENT OF RETAINED EARNINGS: The example balance sheets for Edelweiss revealed how retained earnings increased and decreased in response to events that impacted income. You also know that retained earnings is reduced by dividends paid to shareholders.

The statement of retained earnings provides a succinct reporting of these changes in retained earnings from one period to the next. In essence, the statement is nothing more than a reconciliation or "bird's-eye view" of the bridge between the retained earnings amounts appearing on two successive balance sheets:

If you examine very many sets of financial statements, you will soon discover that many companies provide an expanded statement of stockholders' equity in lieu of the required statement of retained earnings. The statement of stockholders' equity portrays not only the changes in retained earnings, but also changes in other equity accounts such as capital stock. The [url=http://www.principlesofaccounting.com/chapter%2014.htm#STATEMENT OF STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY]expanded statement of stockholders' equity[/url] is presented in a subsequent chapter.

  • BALANCE SHEET: The balance sheet focuses on the accounting equation by revealing the economic resources owned by an entity and the claims against those resources (liabilities and owners' equity). The balance sheet is prepared as of a specific date, whereas the income statement and statement of retained earnings cover a period of time. Accordingly, it is sometimes said that balance sheets portray financial position (or condition) while other statements reflect results of operations. Quartz's balance sheet is as follows:


  • STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS: The statement of cash flows details the enterprise's cash flows. This operating statement reveals how cash is generated and expended during a specific period of time. It consists of three unique sections that isolate the cash inflows and outflows attributable to (a) operating activities, (b) investing activities, and (c) financing activities. Notice that the cash provided by operations is not the same thing as net income found in the income statement. This result occurs because some items hit income and cash flows in different periods. For instance, remember how Edelweiss (from the earlier illustration) generated income from a service provided on account. That transaction increased income without a similar effect on cash. These differences tend to even out over time.

Suffice it to say that the underpinnings of the statement cash flows require a fairly complete knowledge of basic accounting. Do not be concerned if you feel like you lack a complete comprehension at this juncture. A future chapter is devoted to the statement.

ARTICULATION: It is important for you to take note of the fact that the income statement, statement of retained earnings, and balance sheet articulate. This means they mesh together in a self-balancing fashion. The income for the period ties into to the statement of retained earnings, and the ending retained earnings ties into the balance sheet. This final tie-in causes the balance sheet to balance. These relationships are illustrated in the following diagram.
UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF ARTICULATION: It seems almost magical that the final tie-in of retained earnings will exactly cause the balance sheet to balance. This is reflective of the brilliance of Pacioli's model, and is indicative of why it has survived for centuries. This link jumps to a series of web pages that comprehensively illustrate how transactions impact the income statement, statement of retained earnings, and balance sheet. To conclude this chapter, you should click through the pages and study the impact of each transaction on the financial statements.

_________________
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: THE FUNDAMENTAL ACCOUNTING EQUATION   2009-05-27, 19:20

Thank you very much

keom

raiomh

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