CHAPTER 2 – REVIEWING FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
LG1 1. List and describe the four major financial statements.
The four basic financial statements are:
1. The balance sheet reports a firm’s assets, liabilities, and equity at a particular point in time.
2. The income statement shows the total revenues that a firm earns and the total expenses the firm incurs to generate those revenues over a specific period of time—generally one year.
3. The statement of cash flows shows the firm’s cash flows over a given period of time. This statement reports the amounts of cash that the firm generated and distributed during a particular time period. The bottom line on the statement of ...view middle of the document...
What is the difference between current liabilities and long-term debt?
Current liabilities constitute the firm’s obligations due within one year, including accrued wages and taxes, accounts payable, and notes payable. Long-term debt includes long-term loans and bonds with maturities of more than one year.
LG1 4. How does the choice of accounting method used to record fixed asset depreciation affect management of the balance sheet?
Firm managers can choose the accounting method they use to record depreciation against their fixed assets. Two choices include the straight-line method and the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS). Companies often calculate depreciation using MACRS when they figure the firm’s taxes and the straight-line method when reporting income to the firm’s stockholders. The MACRS method accelerates deprecation, which results in higher deprecation expenses, lower taxable income, and lower taxes in the early years of a project’s life. The straight-line method results in lower depreciation expenses, but also results in higher taxes in the early years of a project’s life. Firms seeking to lower their cash outflows from tax payments will favor the MACRS depreciation method.
LG1 5. What are the costs and benefits of holding liquid securities on a firm’s balance sheet?
The more liquid assets a firm holds, the less likely the firm will be to experience financial distress. However, liquid assets generate no profits for a firm. For example, cash is the most liquid of all assets, but it earns no return for the firm. In contrast, fixed assets are illiquid, but provide the means to generate revenue. Thus, managers must consider the trade-off between the advantages of liquidity on the balance sheet and the disadvantages of having money sit idle rather than generating profits.
LG2 6. Why can the book value and market value of a firm differ?
A firm’s balance sheet shows its book (or historical cost) value based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Under GAAP, assets appear on the balance sheet at what the firm paid for them, regardless of what assets might be worth today if the firm were to sell them. Inflation and market forces make many assets worth more now than they were when the firm bought them. So in most cases, book values differ widely from the market values for the same assets—the amount that the assets would fetch if the firm actually sold them. For the firm’s current assets—those that mature within a year―the book value and market value of any particular asset will remain very close. For example, the balance sheet lists cash and marketable securities at their market value. Similarly, firms acquire accounts receivable and inventory and then convert these short-term assets into cash fairly quickly, so these assets’ book value is generally close to their market value.
LG2 7. From a firm manager’s or investor’s point of view, which is more important―the book value of a firm or the...