1. The income statement is important because it provides investors and creditors with information that helps them predict the amount, timing, and uncertainty of future cash flows. It helps investors and creditors predict future cash flows in a number of different ways. First, investors and creditors can use the information on the income statement to evaluate the past performance of the enter-prise. Second, the income statement helps users of the financial statements to determine the risk (level of uncertainty) of income—revenues, expenses, gains, and losses—and highlights the relationship among these various components.
It should be emphasized that the income statement is used by parties other than investors and creditors. For example, customers can use the income statement to determine a company’s ability to provide needed goods or services, unions examine earnings closely as a basis for salary discussions, and the government uses the income statements of companies as a basis for formulating tax and economic policy.
2. Information on past transactions can be used to identify important trends that, if continued, provide information about future performance. If a reasonable correlation exists between past and future performance, predictions about future earnings and cash flows can be made. For example, a loan analyst can develop a prediction of future performance by estimating the rate of growth of past income over the past several periods and project this into the next period. Additional information about current economic and industry factors can be used to adjust the trend rate based on historical information.
3. Some situations in which changes in value are not recorded in income are:
a) Unrealized gains or losses on available-for-sale investments,
b) Changes in the market values of long-term liabilities, such as bonds payable,
c) Changes (increases) in value of property, plant and equipment, such as land, natural resources, or equipment,
d) Changes (increases) in the values of intangible assets such as customer goodwill, brand value, or intellectual capital.
Note that some of these omissions arise because the items (e.g., brand value) are not recognized in financial statements, while others (value of land) are recorded in financial statements but measurement is at historical cost.
4. Some situations in which application of different accounting methods or estimates lead to comparison problems include:
a. Inventory methods—LIFO vs. FIFO,
b. Depreciation Methods—straight-line vs. accelerated,
c. Accounting for long-term contracts—percentage-of-completion vs. completed-contract,
d. Estimates of useful lives or salvage values for depreciable assets,
e. Estimates of bad debts,
f. Estimates of warranty returns.
5. The transaction approach focuses on the activities that have occurred during a given period and instead of presenting only a net change, a description of the components that comprise the change is included. In the capital maintenance approach, only the net change (income) is reflected whereas the transaction approach not only provides the net change (income) but the components of income (revenues and expenses). The final net income figure should be the same under either approach given the same valuation base.
Questions Chapter 4 (Continued)
6. Earnings management is often defined as the planned timing of revenues, expenses, gains and losses to smooth out bumps in earnings. In most cases, earnings management is used to increase income in the current year at the expense of income in future years. For example, companies prematurely recognize sales before they are complete in order to boost earnings. Earnings management can also be used to decrease current earnings in order to increase income in the future. The classic case is the use of “cookie jar” reserves, which are established, by using unrealistic assumptions to estimate liabilities for such items as sales returns, loan losses, and warranty returns.
7. Earnings management has a negative effect on the quality of earnings if it distorts the information in a way that is less useful for predicting future cash flows. Within the Conceptual Framework, useful information is both relevant and reliable. However, earnings management reduces the reliability of income, because the income measure is biased (up or down) and/or the reported income is not representationally faithful to that which it is supposed to report (e.g., volatile earnings are made to look more smooth).
8. Caution should be exercised because many assumptions and estimates are made in accounting and the income figure is a reflection of these assumptions. If for any reason the assumptions are not well-founded, distortions will appear in the income reported. The objectives of the application of generally accepted accounting principles to the income statement are to measure and report
the results of operations as they occur for a specified period without recognizing any artificial exclusions or modifications.
9. The term “quality of earnings” refers to the credibility of the earnings number reported. Companies that use aggressive accounting policies report higher income numbers in the short-run. In such cases, we say that the quality of earnings is low. Similarly, if higher expenses are recorded in the current period, in order to report higher income in the future, then the quality of earnings is considered low.
10. The major distinction between revenues and gains (or expenses and losses) depends on the typical activities of the enterprise. Revenues can occur from a variety of different sources, but these sources constitute the entity’s ongoing major or central operations. Gains also can arise from many different sources, but these sources occur from peripheral or incidental transactions of an entity. The same type of distinction is made between an expense and a loss.
11. The advantages of the single-step income statement are: (1) simplicity and conciseness, (2) probably better understood by the layperson, (3) emphasis on total costs and expenses, and net income, and (4) does not imply priority of one revenue or expense over another. The disadvantages are that it does not show the relationship between sales and cost of goods sold and it does not show other important relationships and information, such as income from operations, income before taxes, etc.
12. Operating items are the expenses and revenues which relate directly to the principal activity of the concern; they are revenues realized from, or expenses which contribute to, the sale of goods or services for which the company was organized. The nonoperating items result from secondary activities of the company. They are not directly related to the principal activity of the company but arise from incidental activities.
13. The current operating performance income statement contains only the revenues and usual expenses of the current year, with all unusual gains or losses or material corrections of prior periods’ revenues and expenses appearing in the retained earnings statement. The modified all-inclusive income statement includes most items including irregular ones, as part of net income. The retained earnings statement then would include only the beginning balance (adjusted for the effects of errors and changes in accounting principles), the net amount transferred from income summary, dividends, and transfers to and from appropriated retained earnings.
Questions Chapter 4 (Continued)
In APB Opinion No. 9, the APB recommended a modified all-inclusive income statement, excluding from the income statement only those items, few in number, which meet the criteria for prior period adjustments and which would thus appear as adjustments to the beginning balance in the retained earnings statement. Subsequently a number of pronouncements have reinforced this position. Recently, changes in accounting principle are also adjusted through the beginning retained earnings balance.
14. Items considered corrections of errors should be charged or credited to the opening balance of retained earnings.
15. (a) This might be shown in the income statement as an extraordinary item if it is a material, unusual, and infrequent gain realized during the year. However, in general and in accordance with APB Opinion No. 30, this transaction would normally not be considered extraordinary, but would be shown in the nonoperating section of a multiple-step income statement. If unusual or infrequent but not both, it should be separately disclosed in the income statement.
(b) The bonus should be shown as an operating expense in the income statement. Although the basis of computation is a percentage of net income, it is an ordinary operating expense to the company and represents a cost of the service received from employees.
(c) If the amount is immaterial, it may be combined with the depreciation expense for the year and included as a part of the depreciation expense appearing in the income statement. If the amount is material, it should be shown in the retained earnings statement as an adjustment to the beginning balance of retained earnings.
(d) This should be shown in the income statement. One treatment would be to show it in the statement as a deduction from the rent expense, as it reduces an operating expense and therefore is directly related to operations. Another treatment is to show it in the other revenues and gains section of the income statement.
(e) Assuming that a provision for the loss had not been made at the time the patent infringement suit was instituted, the loss should be recognized in the current period in computing net
income. It may be reported as an unusual loss.
(f) This should be reported in the income statement, but not as an extraordinary item because it relates to usual business operations of the firm.
16. (a) The remaining book value of the equipment should be depreciated over the remainder of the five-year period. The additional depreciation ($425,000) is not a correction of an error and is not shown as an adjustment to retained earnings. It is considered a change in estimate.
(b) The loss should be shown as an extraordinary item, assuming that it is unusual and infrequent.
(c) Should be shown either as other expenses or losses or in a separate section, appropriately labeled as an unusual item, if unusual or infrequent but not both. It should not be shown as an extraordinary item.
(d) Assuming that a receivable had not been recorded in the previous period, the gain should be recognized in the current period in computing net income, but not as an extraordinary item.
(e) A correction of an error should be considered a prior period adjustment and the beginning balance of Retained Earnings should be restated.
(f) The cumulative effect of the change is reported as an adjustment to beginning retained earnings. Prior years’ statements are recast on a basis consistent with the new standard.
17. (a) Other expenses or losses section or in a separate section, appropriately labeled as an unusual item, if unusual or infrequent but not both.
(b) Operating expense section or other expenses and losses section or in a separate section, appropriately labeled as an unusual item, if unusual or infrequent but not both. APB Opinion No. 30 specifically states that the effect of a strike does not constitute an extraordinary item.
(c) Operating expense section, as a selling expense, but sometimes reflected as an administrative expense.
(d) Separate section after income from continuing operations, entitled discontinued operations.
(e) Other revenues and gains section or in a separate section, appropriately labeled as an unusual item, if unusual or infrequent but not both.
(f) Other revenues and gains section.
Questions Chapter 4 (Continued)
(g) Operating expense section, normally administrative. If a manufacturing concern, may be included in cost of goods sold.
(h) Other expenses or losses section or in separate section, appropriately labeled as an unusual item, if unusual or infrequent but not both.
18. Bonds and Glavine should not report the sales in a similar manner. This type of transaction appears to be typical of Bonds’ central operations. Therefore, Bonds should report revenues of $160,000 and expenses of $100,000 ($70,000 + $30,000). However, Glavine’s transaction appears to be a peripheral or incidental activity not related to its central operations. Thus, Glavine should report a gain of $60,000 ($160,000 – $100,000). Note that although the classification is different, the effect on net income is the same ($60,000 increase).
19. You should tell Rex that a company’s reported net income is the same whether the single-step or multiple-step format is used. Either way, the company has the same revenues, gains, expenses, and losses; they are simply organized in a different format.
20. Both formats are acceptable. The amount of detail reported in the income statement is left to the judgment of the company, whose goal in making this decision should be to present financial statements which are most useful to decision makers. We want to present a simple, understand-able statement so that a reader can easily discover the facts of importance; therefore, a single amount for selling expenses might be preferable. However, we also want to fully disclose the results of all activities; thus, a separate listing of expenses may be preferred. Note that if the condensed version is used, it should be accompanied by a supporting schedule of the eight components in the notes to the financial statements.
21. Intraperiod tax allocation should not affect the reporting of an unusual gain. The FASB specifically prohibits a “net-of-tax” treatment for such items to insure that users of financial statements can easily differentiate extraordinary items from material items that are unusual or infrequent, but not both. “Net-of-tax” treatment is reserved for discontinued operations, extraordinary items, and prior period adjustments.
22. Intraperiod tax allocation has no effect on reported net income, although it does affect the amounts reported for various components of income. The effects on these components offset each other so net income remains the same. Intraperiod tax allocation merely takes the total tax expense and allocates it to the various items which affect the tax amount.
23. If Letterman has preferred stock outstanding, the numerator in its computation may be incorrect.
A better description of “earnings per share” is “earnings per common share.” The numerator should include only the earnings available to common shareholders. Therefore, the numerator should be: net income less preferred dividends.
The denominator is also incorrect if Letterman had any common stock transactions during the year. Since the numerator represents the results for the entire year, the denominator should reflect the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the year, not the shares outstanding at one point in time (year-end).
24. The earnings per share trend is not favorable. Extraordinary items are one-time occurrences which are not expected to be reported in the future. Therefore, earnings per share on income before extraordinary items is more useful because it represents the results of ordinary business activity. Considering this EPS amount, EPS has decreased from $7.21 to $6.40.
25. Tax allocation within a period is the practice of allocating the income tax for a period to such items as income before extraordinary items, extraordinary items, and prior period adjustments.
The justification for tax allocation within a period is to produce financial statements which disclose an appropriate relationship, for example, between income tax expense and (a) income before extraordinary items, (b) extraordinary items, and (c) prior period adjustments (or of the opening balance of retained earnings).
Questions Chapter 4 (Continued)
26. Tax allocation within a period (intraperiod) becomes necessary when a firm encounters such items as discontinued operations, extraordinary items, or corrections of errors. Such allocation is neces-sary to bring about an appropriate relationship between income tax expense and income from continuing operations, discontinued operations, income before extraordinary items, extraordinary items, etc.
Tax allocation within a period is handled by first computing the tax expense attributable to income before extraordinary items, assuming no discontinued operations. This is simply computed by ascertaining the income tax expense related to revenue and expense transactions entering into the determination of such income. Next, the remaining income tax expense attributable to other items is determined by the tax consequences of transactions involving these items. The applicable tax effect of these items (extraordinary, prior period adjustments) should be disclosed separately because of their materiality.
Extraordinary item—gain on sale of plant (condemnation)
Less: Applicable income tax
28. The damages would probably be reported in Pierogi Corporation’s financial statements in the other expenses or losses section. If the damages are unusual in nature, the damage settlement might be reported as an unusual item. The damages would not be reported as a correction of an error (prior period adjustment).
29. The assets, cash flows, results of operations, and activities of the plants closed would not appear to be clearly distinguishable, operationally or for financial reporting purposes, from the assets, results of operations, or activities of the Tiger Paper Company. Therefore, disposal of these assets is not considered to be a disposal of a component of a business that would receive special reporting.
30. The major items reported in the retained earnings statement are: (1) adjustments of the beginning balance for corrections of errors or changes in accounting principle, (2) the net income or loss for the period, (3) dividends for the year, and (4) restrictions (appropriations) of retained earnings. It should be noted that the retained earnings statement is sometimes composed of two parts, unappropriated and appropriated.
31. Generally accepted accounting principles are ordinarily concerned only with a “fair presentation” of business income. In contrast, taxable income is a statutory concept which defines the base for raising tax revenues by the government, and any method of accounting which meets the statutory definition will “clearly reflect” taxable income as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. It should be noted that the Code prohibits use of the cash receipts and disbursements method as a method which will clearly reflect income in accounting for purchases and sales if inventories are involved.
The cash receipts and disbursements method will not usually fairly present income because:
1. The completed transaction, not receipt or disbursement of cash, increases or diminishes income. Thus, a sale on account produces revenue and increases income, and the incurrence of expense reduces income without regard to the time of payment of cash.
2. The matching principle requires that costs be matched against related revenues produced. In most situations the cash receipts and disbursements method will violate the matching principle.
Questions Chapter 4 (Continued)
3. Consistency requires that accountable events receive the same accounting treatment from accounting period to accounting period. The cash receipts and disbursements method permits manipulation of the timing of revenues and expenses and may result in treatments which are not consistent, detracting from the usefulness of comparative statements.
32. Problems arise both from the revenue side and from the expense side. There sometimes may be doubt as to the amount of revenue under our common rules of revenue recognition. However, the more difficult problem is the determination of costs expired in the production of revenue. During
a single fiscal period it often is difficult to determine the expiration of certain costs which may benefit several periods. Business is continuous and estimates have to be made of the future if we are to systematically apportion costs to fiscal periods. Examples of items which present serious obstacles include such items as institutional advertising costs.
Accountants have established certain rules for handling revenues and costs which are applied consistently and in a systematic manner. From period to period, application of these rules generally results in a satisfactory matching of costs and revenues unless there are large changes from one period to another. These rules, influenced by conservatism in the face of the uncertainties involved, tend to charge costs to expense earlier than might be ideally desirable if we had more knowledge of the future.
Costs or expenses of the types mentioned above, by their very nature, defy any attempt to relate them to revenues of a specific period or periods. Although it is known that institutional advertising will yield benefits beyond the present, both the amount of such benefits and when they will be enjoyed are shrouded in uncertainty. The degree of certainty with which their time distribution can be forecast is so small and the results, therefore, so unreliable that the accountant writes them off as applicable to the period or periods in which the expense was incurred.
33. Elements are the basic ingredients which comprise the income statement; that is, revenues, gains, expenses, and losses. Items are descriptions of the elements such as rent revenue, rent expense, etc.
In order to predict the future, the amounts of individual items may have to be reported. For example, if “income from continuing operations” is significantly lower this year and is reported as a single amount, users would not know whether to attribute the decrease to a temporary increase in an expense item (for example, an unusually large bad debt), a structural change (for example, a change in the relationship between variable and fixed expenses), or some other factor. Another example is income data that are distorted because of large discretionary expenses.
34. Other comprehensive income must be displayed (reported) in one of three ways: (1) a second separate income statement, (2) a combined income statement of comprehensive income, or (3) as part (separate columns) of the statement of stockholders’ equity.
35. The results of continuing operations should be reported separately from discontinued operations, and any gain or loss from disposal of a component of a business should be reported with the related results of discontinued operations and not as an extraordinary item. The following format illustrates the proper disclosure:
Income from continuing operations before income tax