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Accounting

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									             Accounting


             Snowplowing
         Animalrights League
           Subsidized Fuel


How   to use Information from Accountng
                          Snowplowing
Joe Landscaper and Gill Snowfall are both in the business of plowing
   driveways for a number of years. Their only revenues are payments they
   receive for their plowing services. Their only expenses are from the
   purchase of gasoline and the wear and tear on their trucks.

A. Joe plows driveways in December and is paid $500 in cash.

B. Gil also plows driveways in December and sends his clients bills for
$ 600.

C. Joe gets $200 of gas in December and puts it on his credit card.

D. Gill buys $250 of gas in December and pays cash.

Who had a better month?

E. On January 1st, Gill’s old truck dies and he decides to purchase a new
   truck for $10,000.
           Who had a Better Month?
                                                       Joe
                                       Cash Joe
• Joe:                              Cash                         Income
                                                       Accounts Payable
                                                               db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                 $500                             $200
   – Paid $500 in cash          $500                                      $500

   – Buys $200 of gas on his credit                         Income
     card: Cost when?                                  db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                                                  $500
   – T account?                                           $200


• Gill:                                    Cash
                                                        Gill
                                         Accts Rec.
                                                $250              Income
                                                                 Gill
   – Bills for $600: Income when?       $600
                                                               db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                                                          $600
   – Gets $250 of gas, pays cash          Accts Rec.                Income
                                                               db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                         $600
   – T account?                                                          $600
                                                                 $250
• Income statements
   – Net income for Joe
   – For Gill
   – Which is higher?
   Gill purchases a new truck: $10,000
• Purchase of truck
• Depreciation thereafter
                        Gill
          Cash
          Cash                         Income
                                       Income
                                  db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                     [cost] cr [revenue]
              $10,000
              $10,000
                                 $2,000
                                      ?
                               [depr 2002]
                                 $2,000
                               [depr 2003]
      Equipment
      Equipment
    $10,000
    $10,000     $2,000
              [depr 2002]
                $2,000
              [depr 2003]
      How to Use Accounting Information
• Who are you?
  –   Lender--wants to know if he will be paid back
  –   Supplier--wants to know if he will be paid. Lawyer, for instance.
  –   Employee
  –   Investor, interested in long term expectations of the firm
• What do you want to know?
  –   Will the firm be able to meet its short term obligations?
  –   Is the firm solvent?
  –   How well run is the firm?
  –   How profitable is the firm?
    Will the firm be able to meet short term obligations?
•   Compare short term assets (Cash, accounts receivable, inventory)
•   To short term liabilities (bills payable, short term loans, …)
•   Is "assets more than liabilities" enough?
•   Depends how fast that is likely to change
     – Lender has some control over that via contract
     – Can require borrower to maintain some financial ratio
• Rule of thumb: current assets should be at least 1.5 to 2 times current liabilities
• What if current assets almost all in inventory? In accounts receivable?
• How could a firm improve its short term situation?
     –   Take out a long term loan
     –   Increase its cash, or …
     –   Reduce short term debts
     –   Does not increase long term solvency, but …
          • The fact that someone is willing to make a long term loan to them
          • Is evidence that the lender thought they were solvent
          • But … might want to check on the interest rate.
            Is the firm Solvent? Long Term
• Look at ratio of liabilities to
    –   Assets, or …
    –   Equity.
    –   Are these really different measures?
    –   Could a firm look good on one and bad on the other?
• Leverage
    –   Consider a firm with $10 million in assets, $9 million in liabilities
    –   What are the good things about that situation?
    –   What are the bad things?
    –   For whom?
         • Stockholders
         • Lenders
    – Why would much higher degree of leveraging be acceptable in some industries than
      in others?
         • How predictable is the value of Apple's inventory of iPods vs
         • Merrill Lynch's inventor of securities?
• Look at interest payments vs earnings available to pay them
    – Interest coverage
         • Calculate from Figure 4-3
         • Operating Earnings/Inerest expense
    – How close is the firm to being unable to pay interest on its debts?
             How Well Run is the Firm?
• Accounts receivable/sales revenue--how long does it take the
  average customer to pay?
   – Depends on the industry as well as management
   – How long does it take MacDonald's average customer to pay?
• Turnover ratio: How fast does the firm turn over its inventory?
   – "Just in time production" is a limiting case
   – But a firm that is doing a bad job of estimating demand will have inventory
     build up, or …
   – Be short--high turnover ratio could be evidence of a mistake
   – But also success--high demand for their goods.
• What is the average interest rate the firm pays on its loans?
   – A high rate might be evidence of bad shopping for loans, or …
   – A high risk premium
• For all of these, one would want to compare to other firms in the
  same industry
                     How Profitable is the Firm?
•   Note that "profit" means a lot of different things
•   Revenue minus cost
     –   The supermarket pays a dollar for that box of cereal
     –   Sells it for two dollars
     –   So their profit is 100%!
     –   If only we cut out the middle man …
           •   Set up a consumer's coop
           •   Get government to distribute food instead of the supermarket
     –   But all of those alternatives require
           •   Salary to employees
           •   Rent, utilities, maintainance on the facilities
           •   Interest on the money used to buy the inventory
           •   Allowance for spoilage, unsold goods, theft, …
•   Operating Earnings/Revenue
     –   Operating Earnings: Revenue minus cost of goods sold and indirect expenses
     –   What is available to pay interest, taxes, dividends, and increase equity
•   Return on assets
     –   Net income (after paying everything including interest and taxes)
     –   Divided by total assets
     –   If this company has a higher ROA than most, than either …
           •   It is unusually well run (or lucky), or …
           •   Someone else should get into the business too
           •   Duplicate its assets with an investment I, get higher than the usual return.
•   Return on equity
     –   Same as ROA if no liabilities
     –   Think of equity as what the owners would get if they liquidated the firm--carefully.
     –   If return on equity is more than the market interest rate, they are better off keeping the firm going
                       Qualifications
• Some of these will be different in different industries
• All of these are subject to the problems with accounting
  as a measure
   – Consider a firm
      • whose chief asset is land bought long ago for a million dollars, now
        worth $100 million
      • no large liabilities
      • And currently making $1 million/year
   – Making $1 million on assets of $1million is stellar performance
   – So is $1 million on equity of $1 million
   – Is the firm doing well? Should the owners keep going or sell
     out?
               Accounting vs Stock Price
• Book value of a share
   – Equity divided by number of shares
   – A good measure--if equity really measures what the stockholders own.
   – The usual problems
        • Historical costs
        • Neglect of intangibles
        • And contingencies
• Earnings per share
   –   Net income (after everything)
   –   divided by number of shares
   –   If an accurate measure
   –   And if likely to continue into the long future
   –   A good basis for what the share is worth, but …
   –   If it isn't worth that on the market, someone may know something you don't.
• Price/earnings ratio
  Taking Advantage of Accounting Flaws
• You are the CEO of a company, and want its balance sheet to look good
    –   Perhaps you are trying to get a loan
    –   Or issue some new stock
    –   Or justify your lavish retirement terms
    –   Or conceal the fact that you've been stealing from the company
• What perfectly legal steps might you take to increase equity
    – As defined by accountants
    – Other than increasing the real, long term value of the company.
• What if you want the balance sheet to look bad
    – Because you want to drive down the stock price before your friend buys lots of it
    – Or you are planning to take the company private, and want to pay the stockholders as
      little as possible
    – How do you lower equity as measured by accountants, without actually hurting the
      company, at least very much?
• Why are the answers to these questions of interest to you as a lawyer?
    – One reason is that you might want to advise a client as to legal ways of fooling people
• Is there another--perhaps more ethically attractive--reason?
              Animal Rights League
The Animal Rights League (ARL) is a small Boston-based,
non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of animals.
Tim Smith, ARL’s treasurer, deals with the association’s
financial matters, which have always been relatively straight-
forward. To date, Tim has maintained ARL’s financial
statements on a cash basis. For the past few years, cash
receipts from pledges – the association’s sole source of
revenue – have totaled approximately $300,000 and cash
expenditures (mostly for staff salaries and office rent) have
come to about $250,000. Over time, ARL has accumulated
an endowment of half a million dollars, which is currently
invested in a bank account.
Tim has decided to move the association to an accrual
system of accounting. He has a general idea how accrual
accounting works, but he wants your advice with respect to
two specific situations.
• First, Tim wants to know how to account for ARL’s pledges. Most of these pledges are
    made during an annual year-end phonothon. The vast majority of pledges (more than
    95 percent) are paid in cash within one or two months of the date of the original
    pledge. If a pledge is not paid within three months, Tim has discovered, the pledge is
    almost never paid. How should ARL account for these pledges and their payment on
    an accrual basis?
• Second, the organization recently hired Jane Chang as its new executive director. To
    persuade Jane to leave her previous job in California, ARL agreed to pay Jane’s
    moving expenses including various costs associated with selling her home in San
    Francisco and buying a new one in Boston. These moving expenses totaled
    $150,000. Once she joins ARL, Jane will earn an annual salary of $75,000. In
    discussions with ARL, Jane informally committed to remain as ARL’s executive
    director for at least five years, but her employment contract is, technically speaking,
    terminable by either party on 30 days’ notice. Tim wants to know, how should ARL
    account for both Jane’s moving expenses and her annual salary?
Please write a short memo explaining, with appropriate T- account entries, how you
    would suggest ARL account for these transactions and also noting any accounting
    issues the transactions present.
• First, Tim wants to know how to account for ARL’s pledges. Most of these
    pledges are made during an annual year-end phonothon. The vast majority
    of pledges (more than 95 percent) are paid in cash within one or two months
    of the date of the original pledge. If a pledge is not paid within three months,
    Tim has discovered, the pledge is almost never paid. How should ARL
    account for these pledges and their payment on an accrual basis?
                                                 Deferred Income
                                                  Income
                                                db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                             db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                                           $300,000
        Pledges Receivable                   $300,000 $300,000
                                             [Next year]
      $300,000
         Pledges Receivable
       $300,000                                  Revenues
                                                              $300,000
                                                              [Next year]
                      Next Year
• $285,000 of pledges paid, $15,000 not.
    Cash-in next year
                                      Revenues
   db [cost] cr [revenue]
                                                 $300,000
  $285,000                    $15,000
                              pledge writeoff


  Pledges Receivable
 $300,000
            $285,000
            $15,000
            pledge writeoff
Second, the organization recently hired Jane Chang as its new executive director. To
persuade Jane to leave her previous job in California, ARL agreed to pay Jane’s
moving expenses including various costs associated with selling her home in San
Francisco and buying a new one in Boston. These moving expenses totaled
$150,000. Once she joins ARL, Jane will earn an annual salary of $75,000. In
discussions with ARL, Jane informally committed to remain as ARL’s executive
director for at least five years, but her employment contract is, technically speaking,
terminable by either party on 30 days’ notice. Tim wants to know, how should ARL
account for both Jane’s moving expenses and her annual salary?


    Prepaid Moving exp                                            Expenses
                                              $30,000 each
    $150,000                                  year (“amortization”)         $300,000
                $30,000 each                                                [Next year]
                year (“amortization”)
  What if Jane Quits after one year?


Prepaid Moving exp          Expenses
$120,000               $120,000
           $120,000    write-off
           write-off
                 How to Account for Pledges
•   Debit pledges Receivable, credit Revenue
     –   Next year, $285,000 in pledges actually paid
     –   Debit cash $285,000, debit revenues $15,000 (pledge write-off)
     –   Credit pledges receivable $285,000 + $15,000 (two items)
     –   Note that pledges paid are an asset for asset swap
     –   Pledges written off reduce revenue
•   or…
•   Figure that pledges are payment for future services
     –   Debit pledges receivable
     –   Credit deferred income
     –   Then next year
     –   Debit deferred income
     –   Credit revenues
•   To decide, ask whether the revenue is from the telethon or advance payment for next
    year's work
•   Third alternative—expected value
     –   On average, $100 in pledges is only $95 in expected contributions
     –   So debit pledges receivable this year at $285,000, credit revenue with same
     –   Next year, credit pledges receivable, debit cash
     –   More accurate, less of a hard number (probability), more of an economist's approach, less of an
         accountant's
              New Director Moving + Salary
•   Capitalized (an investment, to be depreciated) or expensed?
•   Start by crediting cash $150,000, which is no longer in your account
•   If you expense it, debit expenses by $150,000, easy
•   If you capitalize it
     – A new asset—prepaid moving expenses, debit $150,000
     – Each year, credit that by that year's share, debit the same amount to expense (of having an
       executive director).
     – Amortize 1/5 each year
•   What if you capitalize it, and she quits after a year
     – Remaining $120,000 is written off—investment that went bad
     – Credit prepaid moving expenses (an asset, now reduced to zero)
     – Debit expenses (which will get subtracted from revenue)
•   Expensing easier, more common, but …
     – For a small company, large expense, amortizing it may be more realistic
     – Since otherwise you lose lots of money the first year.
•   Note that both of these raise the question of allocating income and expenses to the right
    period
•   In both cases, the way you do it depends on a guess about the future
     – Pledges might not be honored
     – Jane might quit
                      The Energy Cooperative
Moe Hennessy is the president of The Energy Cooperative (TEC), a small tax-exempt organization
established to provide inexpensive fuel to low- and moderate-income families in Massachusetts.
TEC buys fuel on the wholesale markets and resells the fuel at favorable rates to qualified families.
The organization has a small staff and rents office space in downtown Boston. Aside from its fuel
inventories and a modest bank account, TEC's only substantive assets are computers on which it
stores and analyzes information about the energy industry and consumption patterns of local
communities. TEC finances its operations through the combination of a bank loan and an initial
contribution from a charitable foundation run by Moe Hennessy's family.

TEC is in the process of preparing its financial statements for its current fiscal year, which ends on
March 31, 2001. The organization's accountants have already prepared a projected balance sheet
and income statement for TEC's current fiscal year based on the organization's existing accounting
practices (reprinted on the next page). However, the accountants are proposing two changes that
could, if implemented, affect some of the projected figures on these statements.

• First, the accountants are recommending that the enterprise change to a last-in-firstout (LIFO)
system of accounting for the organization's fuel inventories. They believe this change is appropriate
because, as the price of fuel has risen significantly in the past year, a LIFO system would more
accurately reflect the organization's net income.

• Second, the accountants believe that roughly half (book value $20,000) of the enterprise's
computer equipment, is now obsolete and therefore should be written off immediately.
Moe Hennessy has asked you – his outside counsel – to review these two
changes. Moe wants to know whether these changes might have an impact
on the terms of the organization's bank loan. Under the loan agreement, TEC
will be in default (and therefore may have to repay the loan immediately) if its
annual return on assets (ROA) falls beneath five percent, or if its Total
Liabilities to Surplus ratio increases to above 200 percent.

Please write a brief memorandum explaining whether the changes that
TEC's accountants are proposing might cause the organization to fail to
comply with either or both of these two terms of the organization's loan
agreement. If you anticipate problems, could you suggest some plausible
arguments (based on your knowledge of accounting) that might be used to
persuade the bank that it should not penalize TEC for the impact of either or
both of these two proposed accounting changes? [For purposes of this
memorandum, assume that the date is early April 2001.]
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         Constraint: Loan default if …
• Return on Assets falls below 5% or
  –   What is it now
  –   Net Income=$31,000. Assets $300,000.
  –   ROA>10%
  –   No problem?
• Liabilities to Surplus           ratio   above   200%
  ("Surplus"="Equity”)
  – What is it now?
  – $200,000/$100,000=200%
  –Any more and we’re in default
                              LIFO will
• Raise the (accounting) cost of fuel sold (priced at higher current
  price)
   – So next net year's income will be less if we switch to LIFO
   – Lowering the Return on Assets
   – But unless the effect is big, no problem
• Assets will also be lower at the end of next year if we use LIFO
   – Since book value of remaining oil is lower
   – Which raises ROA, partly compensating for reduced revenue
   – Only partly because the reduction is a larger proportion of revenue than of
     assets
• But
   – Lower assets mean lower surplus mean higher liabilities/surplus
   – >200%
   –Oops We are in default
                          Computers
• Writing off computers
   –   Credit (Reduce) inventory, hence assets
   –   Reduce net income by $20,000
   –   Reduce surplus by $20,000
   –   If we did it for this year, net income from $31,000 to $11,000
   –   Assets from $300,000 to $280,000
   –   Pushing ROA below 5%, in default
• In each case, there are arguments for the change so …
   – Before making it
   – See if you can negotiate a change in loan terms, or …
   – Refinance
                    APEX Corporation
You are the attorney for an individual who has received an offer to join Apex
Corporation, a local manufacturing firm. The offer is for a management
position with salary and benefits that your client finds attractive. Before
accepting the offer, however, your client has asked you to take a look at the
firm's most recent financial statements (attached) and give your assessment
of the firm's financial position.

In a preliminary review of the financial statements, you have already
discovered that Apex Corp.'s financial statements from December 31, 1999,
through December 31, 2000, were exactly the same as the financial
statements of the hypothetical firm discussed in section 2 of Chapter Four.
The only new information in the Apex Corp. financial statements relates to
the period from December 31, 2000, through December 31, 2001.

For purposes of this assignment, you should focus your attention on Apex
Corp.'s financial performance during 2001 and its financial position as of
December 31, 2001. In particular, please calculate the measures of financial
performance described in section 6 of Chapter Four, and then consider the
most important ways in which the firm's financial position changed over the
course of 2001. To the extent relevant, you may wish to make comparisons
between Apex Corp.'s financial performance in 2001 and its performance in
the previous year. What advice would you give your client?
              Summary Measures
• Net Income has increased from $718,200 to
  $1,020,000
  – Increasing ROA and ROE
  – But why did it increase?
   Extraordinary Gain from Sale of Land: $450,000
•Cash way down despite huge inflow from sale of land
•And inventory way down!
•Assets held up by jump in
  –Accounts receivable and
  –Unbilled accounts receivable
•What happened to interest payments? Why?
•Dividends up--why?
 Run, do not Walk
to the Nearest Exit

								
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