Balance Sheet Also Referred To As Statement Of Financial Position Accounting Essay

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Accountancy

Key concepts

Accountant · Accounting period · Bookkeeping · Cash and accrual basis · Constant Item Purchasing Power Accounting · Cost of goods sold · Debits and credits · Double-entry system · Fair value accounting · FIFO & LIFO · GAAP / International Financial Reporting Standards · General ledger · Historical cost · Matching principle · Revenue recognition · Trial balance

Fields of accounting

Cost · Financial · Forensic · Fund · Management · Tax

Financial statements

Statement of Financial Position · Statement of cash flows · Statement of changes in equity · Statement of comprehensive income · Notes · MD&A · XBRL

Auditing

Auditor's report · Financial audit · GAAS / ISA · Internal audit · Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Accounting qualifications

CA · CCA · CGA · CMA  · CPA · DIFA

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Historical financial statement

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A financial statement (or financial report) is a formal record of the financial activities of a business, person, or other entity. In British English-including United Kingdom company law-a financial statement is often referred to as an account, although the term financial statement is also used, particularly by accountants.

For a business enterprise, all the relevant financial information, presented in a structured manner and in a form easy to understand, are called the financial statements. They typically include four basic financial statements, accompanied by a management discussion and analysis:[1]

Balance sheet: also referred to as statement of financial position or condition, reports on a company's assets, liabilities, and Ownership equity at a given point in time.

Income statement: also referred to as Profit and Loss statement (or a "P&L"), reports on a company's income, expenses, and profits over a period of time. Profit & Loss account provide information on the operation of the enterprise. These include sale and the various expenses incurred during the processing state.

Statement of retained earnings: explains the changes in a company's retained earnings over the reporting period.

Statement of cash flows: reports on a company's cash flow activities, particularly its operating, investing and financing activities.

For large corporations, these statements are often complex and may include an extensive set of notes to the financial statements and management discussion and analysis. The notes typically describe each item on the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement in further detail. Notes to financial statements are considered an integral part of the financial statements.

Contents

[hide]

1 Purpose of financial statements by business entities

2 Government financial statements

3 Financial statements of non-profit organizations

4 Personal financial statements

5 Audit and legal implications

6 Standards and regulations

7 Inclusion in annual reports

8 Moving to electronic financial statements

9 See also

10 References

11 External links

Purpose of financial statements by business entities

"The objective of financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and changes in financial position of an enterprise that is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions."[2] Financial statements should be understandable, relevant, reliable and comparable. Reported assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses are directly related to an organization's financial position.

Financial statements are intended to be understandable by readers who have "a reasonable knowledge of business and economic activities and accounting and who are willing to study the information diligently."[2] Financial statements may be used by users for different purposes:

Owners and managers require financial statements to make important business decisions that affect its continued operations. Financial analysis is then performed on these statements to provide management with a more detailed understanding of the figures. These statements are also used as part of management's annual report to the stockholders.

Employees also need these reports in making collective bargaining agreements (CBA) with the management, in the case of labor unions or for individuals in discussing their compensation, promotion and rankings.

Prospective investors make use of financial statements to assess the viability of investing in a business. Financial analyses are often used by investors and are prepared by professionals (financial analysts), thus providing them with the basis for making investment decisions.

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Financial institutions (banks and other lending companies) use them to decide whether to grant a company with fresh working capital or extend debt securities (such as a long-term bank loan or debentures) to finance expansion and other significant expenditures.

Government entities (tax authorities) need financial statements to ascertain the propriety and accuracy of taxes and other duties declared and paid by a company.

Vendors who extend credit to a business require financial statements to assess the creditworthiness of the business.

Media and the general public are also interested in financial statements for a variety of reasons.

Government financial statements

See also: Fund accounting

The rules for the recording, measurement and presentation of government financial statements may be different from those required for business and even for non-profit organizations. They may use either of two accounting methods: accrual accounting, or cash accounting, or a combination of the two (OCBOA). A complete set of chart of accounts is also used that is substantially different from the chart of a profit-oriented business

Financial statements of non-profit organizations

The financial statements of non-profit organizations that publish financial statements, such as charitable organizations and large voluntary associations, tend to be simpler than those of for-profit corporations. Often they consist of just a balance sheet and a "statement of activities" (listing income and expenses) similar to the "Profit and Loss statement" of a for-profit. Charitable organizations in the United States are required to show their income and net assets (equity) in three categories: Unrestricted (available for general use), Temporarily Restricted (to be released after the donor's time or purpose restrictions have been met), and Permanently Restricted (to be held perpetually, e.g., in an Endowment).

Personal financial statements

Personal financial statements may be required from persons applying for a personal loan or financial aid. Typically, a personal financial statement consists of a single form for reporting personally held assets and liabilities (debts), or personal sources of income and expenses, or both. The form to be filled out is determined by the organization supplying the loan or aid.

Audit and legal implications

Although laws differ from country to country, an audit of the financial statements of a public company is usually required for investment, financing, and tax purposes. These are usually performed by independent accountants or auditing firms. Results of the audit are summarized in an audit report that either provide an unqualified opinion on the financial statements or qualifications as to its fairness and accuracy. The audit opinion on the financial statements is usually included in the annual report.

There has been much legal debate over who an auditor is liable to. Since audit reports tend to be addressed to the current shareholders, it is commonly thought that they owe a legal duty of care to them. But this may not be the case as determined by common law precedent. In Canada, auditors are liable only to investors using a prospectus to buy shares in the primary market. In the United Kingdom, they have been held liable to potential investors when the auditor was aware of the potential investor and how they would use the information in the financial statements. Nowadays auditors tend to include in their report liability restricting language, discouraging anyone other than the addressees of their report from relying on it. Liability is an important issue: in the UK, for example, auditors have unlimited liability.

In the United States, especially in the post-Enron era there has been substantial concern about the accuracy of financial statements. Corporate officers (the chief executive officer (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO)) are personally liable for attesting that financial statements "do not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading with respect to the period covered by th[e] report." Making or certifying misleading financial statements exposes the people involved to substantial civil and criminal liability. For example Bernie Ebbers (former CEO of WorldCom) was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for allowing WorldCom's revenues to be overstated by $11 billion over five years.

Standards and regulations

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Different countries have developed their own accounting principles over time, making international comparisons of companies difficult. To ensure uniformity and comparability between financial statements prepared by different companies, a set of guidelines and rules are used. Commonly referred to as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), these set of guidelines provide the basis in the preparation of financial statements.

Recently there has been a push towards standardizing accounting rules made by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB"). IASB develops International Financial Reporting Standards that have been adopted by Australia, Canada and the European Union (for publicly quoted companies only), are under consideration in South Africa and other countries. The United States Financial Accounting Standards Board has made a commitment to converge the U.S. GAAP and IFRS over time.

Inclusion in annual reports

To entice new investors, most public companies assemble their financial statements on fine paper with pleasing graphics and photos in an annual report to shareholders, attempting to capture the excitement and culture of the organization in a "marketing brochure" of sorts. Usually the company's chief executive will write a letter to shareholders, describing management's performance and the company's financial highlights.

In the United States, prior to the advent of the internet, the annual report was considered the most effective way for corporations to communicate with individual shareholders. Blue chip companies went to great expense to produce and mail out attractive annual reports to every shareholder. The annual report was often prepared in the style of a coffee table book.

Moving to electronic financial statements

Financial statements have been created on paper for hundreds of years. The growth of the Web has seen more and more financial statements created in an electronic form which is exchangable over the Web. Common forms of electronic financial statements are PDF and HTML. These types of electronic financial statements have their drawbacks in that it still takes a human to read the information in order to reuse the information contained in a financial statement.

More recently a market driven global standard, XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language), which can be used for creating financial statements in a structured and computer readable format, has become more popular as a format for creating financial statements. Many regulators around the world such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have mandated XBRL for the submission of financial information.

The UN/CEFACT created, with respect to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, (GAAP), internal or external financial reporting XML messages to be used between enterprises and their partners, such as private interested parties (e.g. bank) and public collecting bodies (e.g. taxation authorities). Many regulators use such messages to collect financial and economic information.

Refrence link

Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_reporting

Financial statement analysis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Analysis of Financial Reports)

Jump to: navigation, search

Accountancy

Key concepts

Accountant · Accounting period · Bookkeeping · Cash and accrual basis · Constant Item Purchasing Power Accounting · Cost of goods sold · Debits and credits · Double-entry system · Fair value accounting · FIFO & LIFO · GAAP / International Financial Reporting Standards · General ledger · Historical cost · Matching principle · Revenue recognition · Trial balance

Fields of accounting

Cost · Financial · Forensic · Fund · Management · Tax

Financial statements

Statement of Financial Position · Statement of cash flows · Statement of changes in equity · Statement of comprehensive income · Notes · MD&A · XBRL

Auditing

Auditor's report · Financial audit · GAAS / ISA · Internal audit · Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Accounting qualifications

CA · CCA · CGA · CMA  · CPA · DIFA

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Financial statement analysis (or financial analysis) refers to an assessment of the viability, stability and profitability of a business, sub-business or project.

It is performed by professionals who prepare reports using ratios that make use of information taken from financial statements and other reports. These reports are usually presented to top management as one of their bases in making business decisions. Based on these reports, management may:

Continue or discontinue its main operation or part of its business;

Make or purchase certain materials in the manufacture of its product;

Acquire or rent/lease certain machineries and equipment in the production of its goods;

Issue stocks or negotiate for a bank loan to increase its working capital;

Make decisions regarding investing or lending capital;

Other decisions that allow management to make an informed selection on various alternatives in the conduct of its business.

Contents

[hide]

1 Goals

2 Methods

3 See also

4 Notes

5 External links

[edit] Goals

Financial analysts often assess the firm's:

1. Profitability - its ability to earn income and sustain growth in both short-term and long-term. A company's degree of profitability is usually based on the income statement, which reports on the company's results of operations;

2. Solvency - its ability to pay its obligation to creditors and other third parties in the long-term;

3. Liquidity - its ability to maintain positive cash flow, while satisfying immediate obligations;

Both 2 and 3 are based on the company's balance sheet, which indicates the financial condition of a business as of a given point in time.

4. Stability- the firm's ability to remain in business in the long run, without having to sustain significant losses in the conduct of its business. Assessing a company's stability requires the use of both the income statement and the balance sheet, as well as other financial and non-financial indicators.

[edit] Methods

Financial analysts often compare financial ratios (of solvency, profitability, growth, etc.):

Past Performance - Across historical time periods for the same firm (the last 5 years for example),

Future Performance - Using historical figures and certain mathematical and statistical techniques, including present and future values, This extrapolation method is the main source of errors in financial analysis as past statistics can be poor predictors of future prospects.

Comparative Performance - Comparison between similar firms.

These ratios are calculated by dividing a (group of) account balance(s), taken from the balance sheet and / or the income statement, by another, for example :

n / equity =ROE

Net income / total assets = return on assets

Stock price / earnings per share = P/E-ratio

Comparing financial ratios is merely one way of conducting financial analysis. Financial ratios face several theoretical challenges:

They say little about the firm's prospects in an absolute sense. Their insights about relative performance require a reference point from other time periods or similar firms.

One ratio holds little meaning. As indicators, ratios can be logically interpreted in at least two ways. One can partially overcome this problem by combining several related ratios to paint a more comprehensive picture of the firm's performance.

Seasonal factors may prevent year-end values from being representative. A ratio's values may be distorted as account balances change from the beginning to the end of an accounting period. Use average values for such accounts whenever possible.

Financial ratios are no more objective than the accounting methods employed. Changes in accounting policies or choices can yield drastically different ratio values.

They fail to account for exogenous factors like investor behavior that are not based upon economic fundamentals of the firm or the general economy (fundamental analysis) [1].

Financial analysts can also use percentage analysis which involves reducing a series of figures as a percentage of some base amount[2]. For example, a group of items can be expressed as a percentage of net income. When proportionate changes in the same figure over a given time period expressed as a percentage is known as horizontal analysis[3]. Vertical or common-size analysis, reduces all items on a statement to a "common size" as a percentage of some base value which assists in comparability with other companies of different sizes [4].

Another method is comparative analysis. This provides a better way to determine trends. Comparative analysis presents the same information for two or more time periods and is presented side-by-side to allow for easy analysis.

Refrence link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analysis_of_Financial_Reports

Marketing communications

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Marketing communication)

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This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this article if you can. The talk page may contain suggestions. (March 2008)

Marketing

Key concepts

Product • Pricing

Distribution • Service • Retail

Brand management

Account-based marketing

Marketing ethics

Marketing effectiveness

Market research

Market segmentation

Marketing strategy

Marketing management

Market dominance

Promotional content

Advertising • Branding • Underwriting

Direct marketing • Personal Sales

Product placement • Publicity

Sales promotion • Sex in advertising

Loyalty marketing • Premiums • Prizes

Promotional media

Printing • Publication

Broadcasting • Out-of-home

Internet marketing • Point of sale

Promotional merchandise

Digital marketing • In-game

In-store demonstration

Word-of-mouth marketing

Brand Ambassador • Drip Marketing

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Marketing Communications (or MarCom or Integrated Marketing Communications) are messages and related media used to communicate with a market. Marketing communications is the "promotion" part of the "Marketing Mix" or the "four Ps": price, place, promotion, and product.

Those who practice advertising, branding, brand language, direct marketing, graphic design, marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sponsorship, public relations, sales, sales promotion and online marketing are termed marketing communicators, marketing communication managers, or more briefly, marcom managers.

The communication process is sender-encoding-transmission device-decoding-receiver, which is part of any advertising or marketing program. Encoding the message is the second step in communication process, which takes a creative idea and transforms it into attention-getting advertisements designed for various media (television, radio, magazines, and others). Messages travel to audiences through various transmission devices. The third stage of the marketing communication process occurs when a channel or medium delivers the message. Decoding occurs when the message reaches one or more of the receiver's senses. Consumers both hear and see television ads. Others consumers handle (touch) and read (see) a coupon offer. One obstacle that prevents marketing messages from being efficient and effective is called barrier. Barrier is anything that distorts or disrupts a message. It can occurs at any stage in the communication process. The most common form of noise affecting marketing communication is clutter.[1]

Traditionally, marketing communications practitioners focused on the creation and execution of printed marketing collateral; however, academic and professional research developed the practice to use strategic elements of branding and marketing in order to ensure consistency of message delivery throughout an organization - a consistent "look & feel". Many trends in business can be attributed to marketing communications; for example: the transition from customer service to customer relations, and the transition from human resources to human solutions and the trends to blogs, email, and other online communication derived from an elevator pitch.

In branding, every opportunity to impress the organization's (or the individual's) brand upon the customer is called a brand touch point (or brand contact point.) Examples include everything from TV and other media advertisements, event sponsorships, webinars, and personal selling to even product packaging. Thus, every experiential opportunity that an organization creates for its stakeholders or customers is a brand touch point. Hence, it is vitally important for brand strategists and managers to survey all of their organization's brand touch points and control for the stakeholder's or customer's experience. Marketing communications, as a vehicle of an organization's brand management, is concerned with the promotion of an organization's brand, product(s) and/or service(s) to stakeholders and prospective customers through these touch points.

Marketing communications is focused on the product/service as opposed to corporate communications where the focus of communications work is the company/enterprise itself. Marketing communications is primarily concerned with demand generation and product/service positioning while corporate communications deal with issue management, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, etc.

Reference link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_communication

Market segmentation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Marketing

Key concepts

Product • Pricing

Distribution • Service • Retail

Brand management

Account-based marketing

Marketing ethics

Marketing effectiveness

Market research

Market segmentation

Marketing strategy

Marketing management

Market dominance

Promotional content

Advertising • Branding • Underwriting

Direct marketing • Personal Sales

Product placement • Publicity

Sales promotion • Sex in advertising

Loyalty marketing • Premiums • Prizes

Promotional media

Printing • Publication

Broadcasting • Out-of-home

Internet marketing • Point of sale

Promotional merchandise

Digital marketing • In-game

In-store demonstration

Word-of-mouth marketing

Brand Ambassador • Drip Marketing

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Market segmentation is a concept in economics and marketing. A market segment is a sub-set of a market made up of people or organizations with one or more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or services based on qualities of those products such as price or function. A true market segment meets all of the following criteria: it is distinct from other segments (different segments have different needs), it is homogeneous within the segment (exhibits common needs); it responds similarly to a market stimulus, and it can be reached by a market intervention. The term is also used when consumers with identical product and/or service needs are divided up into groups so they can be charged different amounts.The people in a given segment are supposed to be similar in terms of criteria by which they are segmented and different from other segments in terms of these criteria. These can broadly be viewed as 'positive' and 'negative' applications of the same idea, splitting up the market into smaller groups.

Examples:

Gender

Price

Interests

While there may be theoretically 'ideal' market segments, in reality every organization engaged in a market will develop different ways of imagining market segments, and create Product differentiation strategies to exploit these segments. The market segmentation and corresponding product differentiation strategy can give a firm a temporary commercial advantage.

Contents

[hide]

1 "Positive" market segmentation

2 Positioning

3 Using Segmentation in Customer Retention

3.1 Process for tagging customers

4 Price Discrimination