- The money the company will use to pay its bills in the near term (within the year) will come when its currentassets are converted into cash (that is, inventory is sold and accounts receivable are paid).
(c) Current Assets: Cash
- Cashis the ultimate liquid asset: on-demand deposits in a bank as well as the dollars and cents in the petty cash drawer.
- When you write a check to pay a bill you are taking money out of cash assets.
- Like all the rest of the Balance Sheet, cash is denominated in U.S. dollars for corporations in the United States. A U.S. company with foreign subsidiaries would convert the value of any foreign currency it holds (and also other foreign assets) into dollars for financial reporting.
(e) Current Assets: Accounts Receivable
- When the enterprise ships a product to a customer on credit, the enterprise acquires a right to collect money from that customer at a specified time in the future.
- These collection rights are totaled and reported on the Balance Sheet as accounts receivable.
- Accounts receivableare owed to the enterprise from customers (called "accounts") who were shipped goods but have not yet paid for them. Credit customers - most business between companies is done on credit - are commonly given payment terms that allow 30 or 60 days to pay.
(f) Current Assets: Inventory
- Inventoryis both finished productsfor ready sale to customers and also materials to be made into products. A manufacturer's inventoryincludes three groupings:
1. Raw material inventoryis unprocessed materials that will be used in manufacturing products.
2. Work-in-processinventory is partially finished products in the process of being manufactured.
3. Finished goods inventoryis completed products ready for shipment to customers when they place orders.
- As finished goodsinventory issold it becomes an accounts receivableand then cashwhen the customer pays.
(g) Current Assets: Prepaid Expenses
- Prepaid expensesare bills the company has already paid but for services not yet received.
- Prepaid expensesare things like prepaid insurance premiums, prepayment of rent, deposits paid to the telephone company, salary advances, etc.
- Prepaid expensesare current assets not because they can be turned into cash, but because the enterprise will not have to use cash to pay them in the near future. They have been paid already.
(h) Current Asset Cycle
- Current assetsare said to be "working assets" because they are in a constant cycle of being converted into cash. The repeating current asset cycleof a business is shown below:
cash buys inventory
inventory when sold
becomes accounts receivable
collection becomes cash
(i) More asset types
- In addition to a company's current assets, there are two other major asset groups listed on the Balance Sheet: Other assetsand fixed assets.These so-called "non-current assets" are not converted into cash during the normal course of business.
- Other assetsis a catchall category that includes intangible assets such as the value of patents, trade names and so forth.
- The company's fixed assets(so-called property, plant and equipment or PP&E) is generally the largest and most important non-current asset grouping.
(j) Fixed Assets
- Fixedassets are productive assets not intended for sale. They will be used over and over again to manufacture the product, display it, warehouse it, transport it and so forth.
- Fixedassets commonly include land, buildings, machinery, equipment, furniture, automobiles, trucks, etc.
- Fixedassets are normally reported on the Balance Sheet as net fixed assets - valued at original cost minus an allowance for depreciation.
- Depreciationis an accounting convention reporting (on the Income Statement) the decline in useful value of a fixed asset due to wear and tear from use and the passage of time.
- Depreciatingan asset means spreading the cost to acquire the asset over the asset's whole useful life.
- Accumulated depreciation(on the Balance Sheet) isthe sum of all the depreciation charges taken since the asset was first acquired.
- Depreciationcharges taken in a period do lower profitsfor the period, but do not lower cash. Cash was required to purchase the fixed asset originally.
(l) Net Fixed Assets
- The net fixed assetsof a company are the sum of its fixed assets' purchase prices ("fixed assets @ cost") minus the depreciation charges taken on the Income Statement over the years ("accumulated depreciation").
- The so-called book value of an asset - its value as reported on the books of the company - is the asset's purchase price minus its accumulated depreciation.
- Note that depreciation does not necessarily relate to an actual decrease in value. In fact, some assets appreciate in value over time. However, such appreciated assets are by convention still reported on the Balance Sheet at their lower book value.
(m) Other Assets
- The other assetcategory on the Balance Sheet includes assets of the enterprise that cannot be properly classified into current asset or fixed asset categories.
- Intangible assets(a major type of other assets) are things owned by the company that have value but arenot tangible (that is, not physical property) in nature.
For example, a patent, a copyright, or a brand name can have considerable value to the enterprise, yet these are not tangiblelike a machine or inventory is.
- Intangible assetsare valued by management according to various accounting conventions usually very complex, arbitrary and confusing (not for us to delve into).
(n) Current Liabilities
- Current liabilitiesare bills that must be paid within one yearofthe date ofthe Balance Sheet. Current liabilitiesare a reverse of current assets:
current assets...provide cash within 12 months
current liabilities...take cash within 12 months.
- The cash generated from current assets is used to pay current liabilitiesas they become due.
- Current liabilitiesare grouped depending on to whom the debt is owed:
(1) accounts payable owed to suppliers,
(2) accrued expenses owed to employees and others for services,
(3) current debt owed to lenders
(4) taxes owed to the government.
(o) Current Liabilities: Accounts Payable
- Accounts payableare bills, generally to other companies for materials and equipment bought on credit, that the corporation must pay soon.
- When it receives materials, the corporation can either pay for them immediately with cash or wait and let what is owed become an account payable.
- Business-to-business transactions are most often done on credit. Common trade payment terms are usually 30 or 60 days with a discount for early payment like 2% off if paid within 10 days, or the total due in 30 days ("2% 10; net 30").
(p) Current Liabilities: Accrued Expenses
- Accrued expensesare monetary obligations similar to accounts payable. The business uses one or the other classification depending on to whom the debt is owed.
- Accounts payable is used for debts to regular suppliersof merchandise or services bought on credit.
- Examples of accrued expensesare salaries earned by employees but not yet paid to them; lawyers' bills not yet paid; interest due but not yet paid on bank debt and so forth.
(q) Current Debt and Long Term Debt
- Any notes payable and the current portion of long-term debt are both components of current liabilities and are listed on the Balance Sheet under current portion of debt.
- If the enterprise owes money to a bank and the terms of the loan say it must be repaid in less than 12 months, then the debt is called a note payable and is a current liability.
- A loan with an overall term of more than 12 months from the date of the Balance Sheet is called long-term debt. A mortgage on a building is a common example.
The so-called current portion of long-term debt is that amount due for payment within 12 months and is a current liability listed under current portion of debt.
(r) Current Liabilities: Taxes Payable
- Every time the company sells something and makes a profit on the sale, a percentage of the profit will be owed the government as income taxes.
- Income taxes payable are income taxes that the company owes the government but that the company has not yet paid.
- Every three months or so the company will send the government a check for the income taxes owed. For the time between when the profit was made and the time that the taxes are actually paid, the company will show the amount to be paid as income taxes payable on the Balance Sheet.
(s) Working Capital
- The company's working capital is the amount of money left over after you subtract current liabilities from current assets.
Current Assets - Current Liabilities = Working Capital
Cash Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable Accrued Expenses
Inventory Current Debt
Prepaid Expenses Taxes Payable
- Working capital is the amount of money the enterprise has to "work with" in the short-term.
- Working capital feeds the operations of the enterprise with dollar bills.
- Working capital is also called "net current assets" or simply "funds."
(t) Sources and Uses of Working Capital
- Sources of working capital are ways working capital increases in the normal course of business. This increase in working capital happens when:
1. current liabilities decrease and/or
2. current assets increase
- Uses of working capital (also called applications) are ways working capital decreases during the normal course of business. For example when:
1. current assets decrease and/or
2. current liabilities increase
- With lots of working capital it will be easy to pay your "current" financial obligations that come due in the next 12 months.
(u) Total Liabilities
- A company's total liabilities are just the sum of its current liabilitiesand its long-term debt.
- Long-term debt isany loan to the company to be repaid more than 12 months after the date of the Balance Sheet.
- Common types of long-term debt include mortgages for land and buildings and so-called chattel mortgages for machinery and equipment.
- There is not a separate line for total liabilities in most Balance Sheet formats.
(v) Shareholders' Equity
- If you subtract what the company owes (Total Liabilities) from what it has (Total Assets) you are left with companies value to its owners...its shareholders' equity.
- Shareholders' equity has two components:
1. Capital Stock. The original amount of money the owners contributed as their investment in the stock of the company.
2. Retained Earnings. All the earnings of the company that have been retained, that is, not paid out as dividends to owners.
- Note: Both "net worth" and "book value" mean the same thing as shareholders' equity.
(w) Capital Stock
- The original money to start and any add-on money invested in the business is represented by shares of capital stock held by owners of the enterprise.
- So-called common stockisthe regular "denomination of ownership" for all corporations. All companies issue common stock, but they may issue other kinds of stock, too.
- Companies often issue preferred stockthat have certain contractual rights or "preferences" over the common stock. These rights may include a specified dividend and/or a preference over common stock to receive company assets if the company is liquidated.
(x) Retained Earnings
- All of the company's profits that have not been returned to the shareholders as dividends are called retained earnings.
retained earnings = sum of all profits - sum of all dividends
- Retained earnings can be viewed as a "pool" of money from which future dividends could be paid. In fact, dividends cannot be paid to shareholders unless sufficient retained earnings are on the Balance Sheet to cover the total amount of the dividend checks.
- If the company has not made a profit but rather has sustained losses, it has "negative retained earnings" that are called its accumulated deficit.
(y) Changes in Shareholders' Equity
- Shareholders' equity is just the sum of the investment made in the stock of the company plus any profits (less any losses) minus any dividends that have been paidto shareholders.
- The value of shareholders' equityincreases when the company:
(1) makes a profit, thereby increasing retained earnings, or
(2) sells new stock to investors, thereby increasing capital stock.
- The value of shareholders' equity decreases when the company:
(1) has a loss, thereby lowering retained earnings, or
(2) pays dividends to shareholders, thereby lowering retained earnings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"Where do you get your ideas?"
That's the question that R. L. Stine is asked most often. "I don't know where my ideas come from," he says. "But I do know that I have a lot more scary stories in my mind that I can't wait to write."
So far, he has written nearly three dozen mysteries and thrillers for young people, all of them best-sellers.
Bob grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Today he lives in an apartment near Central Park in New York City with his wife, Jane, and fourteen-year-old son, Matt.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
ALADDIN, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Copyright © 1994 by Parachute Press, Inc.
THE BEAST® is a registered trademark of Paramount Parks Inc.
All rights reserved.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
ISBN: 978-0-671-88055-2 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-4424-8119-0 (eBook)
First Minstrel Books printing June 1994
ALADDIN is a trademark of Simon & Schuster Inc.