Saturday, November 20, 2010

Accounting principle- Accrual Basis

 Figures generated / kept in accordance to accounting principle is prepared on accrual basis. For instance, accountant record the provision for warranty ( based on estimate) even though there's no actual cash/ economic outflow yet.

In finance, cash basis figures are more relatively more valuable , as compared to accrual basis ( advocated by accounting principle), in order to value a business.

What do you think ? You prefer a an accrual method or cash method in valuing a business?

Auditing Creditors- Creditor Turnover Analysis

 In audit, it's essential to form an expectation of the Company's results before we really drill into the details. We compare the actual Company's results to our expectation, and investigate the variances accordingly. This is the analytical procedures adopted by most of the audit Company. Besides, we also compare the result / financial position with prior period.

Creditors' turnover anlaysis is one of the auditing procedure we performed. What are we expecting from the audit client, in general. We expect the creditors turnover (days) to increase, as compared to prior period.

To illustrate, majority of our audit clients are affected by the economy turmoil. They are squeezing suppliers' credit ( by delyaing the repayment), in order to maintain the Company's working capital, as our audit client's working capital are most likely affected by the delay of repayment from customers.

We have formed an expectation, and we will compare the actual result with our expectation. Any unusual movements need to be identified.

Auditing: Annual Budget vs Actual Results

 Company prepare budget and use budget as a performance benchmark and monitoring tools. For instance, senior management can question sales department if their actual yeat-to-date entertainment has exceeded the budget before the end of the year. Budget is , usually, prepared and approved at the beginning of the year or before that.

Budget has incorporated management's forecast, estimation and outlook of the business in the coming times.

Is management's budget useful to auditor?

The answer is yes. Budget, which represents management's expectation, should be compared against the actual results. Significant variances should be investigated. Apparently, management would have to explain the variances. It's important for auditor to find out the reason of the variances to identify potential changes in business operation, significant developments during the year.

Understanding how management view the business (by looking at the budget) is a crucial stage in audit planning, it enhance our knowledge and understanding on the business, the industry and the overall economy as a whole.

Disposing capital-intensive business

What's happening in the corporate world now?

Capital-intensive require heavy investment of resources, including, but not limimted to: cash, human resource,management's effort, etc. As part of the restructuring exercise to scale down, there are evidence that a lot of corporate are disposing off capital-intensive business.

How would disposing capital-intensive business benefit the corporate?

- immediate liquidity ( i.e. proceeds from disposal)
- better working capital management
- allow management to evaluate other business opportunities
- lesser resources are required, which allow the business to scale down
- higher return on asset ("ROA") ratio

However, it's always not easy to dispose off a capital-intensive business unit/ busines during this business environment, unless a substantial discount is given to the potential buyers.

Accounting treatment for tax penalty

One of our Accounting & Audiitng blog reader inquired us the following:

" How should penalty on late repayment for tax been accounted for?"

Should it be a tax expense? Should it be other expenses?

To clarify: penalty imposed by inland revenue authority on late repayment for tax should not be accounted for as tax expense; it should be accounted for as administrative expense/ other expense.

No depreciation charge on asset held for sale

This is to confirm that if a property is classified as asset held for sale, no depreciation is to be recorded.

To illustrate, Company ABC entered into Sales & Purchase agreement with 3rd party to dispose one of its property. The Sales & Purchase agreement may take months to complete. In this instance, Company ABC re-classified the property from Property, Plant & Equipment to Asset held for Sale upon entering the Sales & Purchase agreement.

Asset held for sale is de-recognised from the balance sheet upon the completion of the Sales & Purchase agreement.

Auditing Creditors

One of the procedures required to audit trade creditors account is to audit the creditors' statement received from the audit client's suppliers (i.e. external audit evidence).

In normal business circumstances, suppliers will send their monthly Statement of Account to their customers to inform the customers in relation to the outstanding balances. Hence, our audit client will , most likely, receive statement of account from the suppliers.

As part of audit procedure, we can check the suppliers' statement (received by our audit customers) against the creditors' balance recorded in their book. Discrepancies need to be investigated. Statement of account served as an external confirmation to check if our audit client's book has been prepared properly.

However, there are suppliers who do not have practices of sending out Statement of Account to their customers. In this instance, we can send external audit confirmation to the suppliers to confirm outstanding balances.