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Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting

1.3 Describe Typical Accounting Activities and the Role Accountants Play in Identifying, Recording, and Reporting Financial Activities

Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting1.3 Describe Typical Accounting Activities and the Role Accountants Play in Identifying, Recording, and Reporting Financial Activities
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Role of Accounting in Society
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 1.1 Explain the Importance of Accounting and Distinguish between Financial and Managerial Accounting
    3. 1.2 Identify Users of Accounting Information and How They Apply Information
    4. 1.3 Describe Typical Accounting Activities and the Role Accountants Play in Identifying, Recording, and Reporting Financial Activities
    5. 1.4 Explain Why Accounting Is Important to Business Stakeholders
    6. 1.5 Describe the Varied Career Paths Open to Individuals with an Accounting Education
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
  3. 2 Introduction to Financial Statements
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 2.1 Describe the Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows, and How They Interrelate
    3. 2.2 Define, Explain, and Provide Examples of Current and Noncurrent Assets, Current and Noncurrent Liabilities, Equity, Revenues, and Expenses
    4. 2.3 Prepare an Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, and Balance Sheet
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Multiple Choice
    8. Questions
    9. Exercise Set A
    10. Exercise Set B
    11. Problem Set A
    12. Problem Set B
    13. Thought Provokers
  4. 3 Analyzing and Recording Transactions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 3.1 Describe Principles, Assumptions, and Concepts of Accounting and Their Relationship to Financial Statements
    3. 3.2 Define and Describe the Expanded Accounting Equation and Its Relationship to Analyzing Transactions
    4. 3.3 Define and Describe the Initial Steps in the Accounting Cycle
    5. 3.4 Analyze Business Transactions Using the Accounting Equation and Show the Impact of Business Transactions on Financial Statements
    6. 3.5 Use Journal Entries to Record Transactions and Post to T-Accounts
    7. 3.6 Prepare a Trial Balance
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  5. 4 The Adjustment Process
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 4.1 Explain the Concepts and Guidelines Affecting Adjusting Entries
    3. 4.2 Discuss the Adjustment Process and Illustrate Common Types of Adjusting Entries
    4. 4.3 Record and Post the Common Types of Adjusting Entries
    5. 4.4 Use the Ledger Balances to Prepare an Adjusted Trial Balance
    6. 4.5 Prepare Financial Statements Using the Adjusted Trial Balance
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  6. 5 Completing the Accounting Cycle
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 5.1 Describe and Prepare Closing Entries for a Business
    3. 5.2 Prepare a Post-Closing Trial Balance
    4. 5.3 Apply the Results from the Adjusted Trial Balance to Compute Current Ratio and Working Capital Balance, and Explain How These Measures Represent Liquidity
    5. 5.4 Appendix: Complete a Comprehensive Accounting Cycle for a Business
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  7. 6 Merchandising Transactions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 6.1 Compare and Contrast Merchandising versus Service Activities and Transactions
    3. 6.2 Compare and Contrast Perpetual versus Periodic Inventory Systems
    4. 6.3 Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases Using the Perpetual Inventory System
    5. 6.4 Analyze and Record Transactions for the Sale of Merchandise Using the Perpetual Inventory System
    6. 6.5 Discuss and Record Transactions Applying the Two Commonly Used Freight-In Methods
    7. 6.6 Describe and Prepare Multi-Step and Simple Income Statements for Merchandising Companies
    8. 6.7 Appendix: Analyze and Record Transactions for Merchandise Purchases and Sales Using the Periodic Inventory System
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  8. 7 Accounting Information Systems
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 7.1 Define and Describe the Components of an Accounting Information System
    3. 7.2 Describe and Explain the Purpose of Special Journals and Their Importance to Stakeholders
    4. 7.3 Analyze and Journalize Transactions Using Special Journals
    5. 7.4 Prepare a Subsidiary Ledger
    6. 7.5 Describe Career Paths Open to Individuals with a Joint Education in Accounting and Information Systems
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  9. 8 Fraud, Internal Controls, and Cash
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 8.1 Analyze Fraud in the Accounting Workplace
    3. 8.2 Define and Explain Internal Controls and Their Purpose within an Organization
    4. 8.3 Describe Internal Controls within an Organization
    5. 8.4 Define the Purpose and Use of a Petty Cash Fund, and Prepare Petty Cash Journal Entries
    6. 8.5 Discuss Management Responsibilities for Maintaining Internal Controls within an Organization
    7. 8.6 Define the Purpose of a Bank Reconciliation, and Prepare a Bank Reconciliation and Its Associated Journal Entries
    8. 8.7 Describe Fraud in Financial Statements and Sarbanes-Oxley Act Requirements
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  10. 9 Accounting for Receivables
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 9.1 Explain the Revenue Recognition Principle and How It Relates to Current and Future Sales and Purchase Transactions
    3. 9.2 Account for Uncollectible Accounts Using the Balance Sheet and Income Statement Approaches
    4. 9.3 Determine the Efficiency of Receivables Management Using Financial Ratios
    5. 9.4 Discuss the Role of Accounting for Receivables in Earnings Management
    6. 9.5 Apply Revenue Recognition Principles to Long-Term Projects
    7. 9.6 Explain How Notes Receivable and Accounts Receivable Differ
    8. 9.7 Appendix: Comprehensive Example of Bad Debt Estimation
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Multiple Choice
    12. Questions
    13. Exercise Set A
    14. Exercise Set B
    15. Problem Set A
    16. Problem Set B
    17. Thought Provokers
  11. 10 Inventory
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 10.1 Describe and Demonstrate the Basic Inventory Valuation Methods and Their Cost Flow Assumptions
    3. 10.2 Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and Ending Inventory Using the Periodic Method
    4. 10.3 Calculate the Cost of Goods Sold and Ending Inventory Using the Perpetual Method
    5. 10.4 Explain and Demonstrate the Impact of Inventory Valuation Errors on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet
    6. 10.5 Examine the Efficiency of Inventory Management Using Financial Ratios
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  12. 11 Long-Term Assets
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 11.1 Distinguish between Tangible and Intangible Assets
    3. 11.2 Analyze and Classify Capitalized Costs versus Expenses
    4. 11.3 Explain and Apply Depreciation Methods to Allocate Capitalized Costs
    5. 11.4 Describe Accounting for Intangible Assets and Record Related Transactions
    6. 11.5 Describe Some Special Issues in Accounting for Long-Term Assets
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  13. 12 Current Liabilities
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 12.1 Identify and Describe Current Liabilities
    3. 12.2 Analyze, Journalize, and Report Current Liabilities
    4. 12.3 Define and Apply Accounting Treatment for Contingent Liabilities
    5. 12.4 Prepare Journal Entries to Record Short-Term Notes Payable
    6. 12.5 Record Transactions Incurred in Preparing Payroll
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  14. 13 Long-Term Liabilities
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 13.1 Explain the Pricing of Long-Term Liabilities
    3. 13.2 Compute Amortization of Long-Term Liabilities Using the Effective-Interest Method
    4. 13.3 Prepare Journal Entries to Reflect the Life Cycle of Bonds
    5. 13.4 Appendix: Special Topics Related to Long-Term Liabilities
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  15. 14 Corporation Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 14.1 Explain the Process of Securing Equity Financing through the Issuance of Stock
    3. 14.2 Analyze and Record Transactions for the Issuance and Repurchase of Stock
    4. 14.3 Record Transactions and the Effects on Financial Statements for Cash Dividends, Property Dividends, Stock Dividends, and Stock Splits
    5. 14.4 Compare and Contrast Owners’ Equity versus Retained Earnings
    6. 14.5 Discuss the Applicability of Earnings per Share as a Method to Measure Performance
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  16. 15 Partnership Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 15.1 Describe the Advantages and Disadvantages of Organizing as a Partnership
    3. 15.2 Describe How a Partnership Is Created, Including the Associated Journal Entries
    4. 15.3 Compute and Allocate Partners’ Share of Income and Loss
    5. 15.4 Prepare Journal Entries to Record the Admission and Withdrawal of a Partner
    6. 15.5 Discuss and Record Entries for the Dissolution of a Partnership
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  17. 16 Statement of Cash Flows
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 16.1 Explain the Purpose of the Statement of Cash Flows
    3. 16.2 Differentiate between Operating, Investing, and Financing Activities
    4. 16.3 Prepare the Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
    5. 16.4 Prepare the Completed Statement of Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method
    6. 16.5 Use Information from the Statement of Cash Flows to Prepare Ratios to Assess Liquidity and Solvency
    7. 16.6 Appendix: Prepare a Completed Statement of Cash Flows Using the Direct Method
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  18. Financial Statement Analysis
  19. Time Value of Money
  20. Suggested Resources
  21. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
  22. Index

We can classify organizations into three categories: for profit, governmental, and not for profit. These organizations are similar in several aspects. For example, each of these organizations has inflows and outflows of cash and other resources, such as equipment, furniture, and land, that must be managed. In addition, all of these organizations are formed for a specific purpose or mission and want to use the available resources in an efficient manner—the organizations strive to be good stewards, with the underlying premise of being profitable. Finally, each of the organizations makes a unique and valuable contribution to society. Given the similarities, it is clear that all of these organizations have a need for accounting information and for accountants to provide that information.

There are also several differences. The main difference that distinguishes these organizations is the primary purpose or mission of the organization, discussed in the following sections.

For-Profit Businesses

As the name implies, the primary purpose or mission of a for-profit business is to earn a profit by selling goods and services. There are many reasons why a for-profit business seeks to earn a profit. The profits generated by these organizations might be used to create value for employees in the form of pay raises for existing employees as well as hiring additional workers. In addition, profits can be reinvested in the business to create value in the form of research and development, equipment upgrades, facilities expansions, and many other activities that make the business more competitive. Many companies also engage in charitable activities, such as donating money, donating products, or allowing employees to volunteer in the communities. Finally, profits can also be shared with employees in the form of either bonuses or commissions as well as with owners of the business as a reward for the owners’ investment in the business. These issues, along with others, and the associated accounting conventions will be explored throughout this course.

In for-profit businesses, accounting information is used to measure the financial performance of the organization and to help ensure that resources are being used efficiently. Efficiently using existing resources allows the businesses to improve quality of the products and services offered, remain competitive in the marketplace, expand when appropriate, and ensure longevity of the business.

For-profit businesses can be further categorized by the types of products or services the business provides. Let’s examine three types of for-profit businesses: manufacturing, retail (or merchandising), and service.

Manufacturing Businesses

A manufacturing business is a for-profit business that is designed to make a specific product or products. Manufacturers specialize in procuring components in the most basic form (often called direct or raw materials) and transforming the components into a finished product that is often drastically different from the original components.

As you think about the products you use every day, you are probably already familiar with products made by manufacturing firms. Examples of products made by manufacturing firms include automobiles, clothes, cell phones, computers, and many other products that are used every day by millions of consumers.

In Job Order Costing, you will examine the process of job costing, learning how manufacturing firms transform basic components into finished, sellable products and the techniques accountants use to record the costs associated with these activities.

Concepts In Practice

Manufacturing

Think about the items you have used today. Make a list of the products that were created by manufacturing firms. How many can you think of? Think of the many components that went into some of the items you use. Do you think the items were made by machines or by hand?

If you are in a classroom with other students, see who has used the greatest number of items today. Or, see who used the item that would be the most complex to manufacture.

If you are able, you might consider arranging a tour of a local manufacturer. Many manufacturers are happy to give tours of the facilities and describe the many complex processes that are involved in making the products. On your tour, take note of the many job functions that are required to make those items—from ordering the materials to delivering to the customer.

Retail Businesses

Manufacturing businesses and retail (or merchandising) businesses are similar in that both are for-profit businesses that sell products to consumers. In the case of manufacturing firms, by adding direct labor, manufacturing overhead (such as utilities, rent, and depreciation), and other direct materials, raw components are converted into a finished product that is sold to consumers. A retail business (or merchandising business), on the other hand, is a for-profit business that purchases products (called inventory) and then resells the products without altering them—that is, the products are sold directly to the consumer in the same condition (production state) as purchased.

Examples of retail firms are plentiful. Automobile dealerships, clothes, cell phones, and computers are all examples of everyday products that are purchased and sold by retail firms. What distinguishes a manufacturing firm from a retail firm is that in a retail firm, the products are sold in the same condition as when the products were purchased—no further alterations were made on the products.

Did you happen to notice that the product examples listed in the preceding paragraph (automobiles, clothes, cell phones, and computers) for manufacturing firms and retail firms are identical? If so, congratulations, because you are paying close attention to the details. These products are used as examples in two different contexts—that is, manufacturing firms make these products, and retail firms sell these products. These products are relevant to both manufacturing and retail because they are examples of goods that are both manufactured and sold directly to the consumer. While there are instances when a manufacturing firm also serves as the retail firm (Dell computers, for example), it is often the case that products will be manufactured and sold by separate firms.

Concepts In Practice

NIKEiD

NIKEiD is a program that allows consumers to design and purchase customized equipment, clothes, and shoes. In 2007, Nike opened its first NIKEiD studio at Niketown in New York City.1 Since its debut in 1999, the NIKEiD concept has flourished, and Nike has partnered with professional athletes to showcase their designs that, along with featured consumer designs, are available for purchase on the NIKEiD website.

A picture of the inside of a NIKEiD store showing shoes on shelves by glass windows with a view of many tall buildings.
Figure 1.4 NIKEiD Launch Store in Shanghai. (credit: “Nike-id-shanghai-launch” by “All.watson”/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

Assume you are the manager of a sporting goods store that sells Nike shoes. Think about the concept of NIKEiD, and consider the impact that this concept might have on your store sales. Would this positively or negatively impact the sale of Nike shoes in your store? What are steps you could take to leverage the NIKEiD concept to help increase your own store’s sales?

Considerations like this are examples of what marketing professionals would address. Nike wants to ensure this concept does not negatively impact the existing relationships it has, and Nike works to ensure this program is also beneficial to its existing distribution partners.

In Merchandising Transactions you will learn about merchandising transactions, which include concepts and specific accounting practices for retail firms. You will learn, among other things, how to account for purchasing products from suppliers, selling the products to customers, and prepare the financial reports for retail firms.

Service Businesses

As the term implies, service businesses are businesses that provide services to customers. A major difference between manufacturing and retail firms and service firms is that service firms do not have a tangible product that is sold to customers. Instead, a service business does not sell tangible products to customers but rather provides intangible benefits (services) to customers. A service business can be either a for-profit or a not-for-profit business. Figure 1.5 illustrates the distinction between manufacturing, retail, and service businesses.

Examples of service-oriented businesses include hotels, cab services, entertainment, and tax preparers. Efficiency is one advantage service businesses offer to their customers. For example, while taxpayers can certainly read the tax code, read the instructions, and complete the forms necessary to file their annual tax returns, many choose to take their tax returns to a person who has specialized training and experience with preparing tax returns. Although it is more expensive to do so, many feel it is a worthwhile investment because the tax professional has invested the time and has the knowledge to prepare the forms properly and in a timely manner. Hiring a tax preparer is efficient for the taxpayer because it allows the taxpayer to file the required forms without having to invest numerous hours researching and preparing the forms.

The accounting conventions for service businesses are similar to the accounting conventions for manufacturing and retail businesses. In fact, the accounting for service businesses is easier in one respect. Because service businesses do not sell tangible products, there is no need to account for products that are being held for sale (inventory). Therefore, while we briefly discuss service businesses, we’ll focus mostly on accounting for manufacturing and retail businesses.

Three pictures show an auto manufacturing plant, a car sales lot, and a taxi.
Figure 1.5 Manufacturing, Retail, and Service. An auto manufacturing plant, a car sales lot, and a taxi represent three types of businesses: manufacturing, retail, and service. (credit left: modification of “Maquiladora” by “Guldhammer”/Wikimedia Commons, CC0; credit center: modification of “Mercedes Benz Parked” by unknown/Pixabay, CC0; credit right: modification of “Taxi Overtaking Bus” by “Kai Pilger”/Pixabay, CC0)

Your Turn

Categorizing Restaurants

So far, you’ve learned about three types of for-profit businesses: manufacturing, retail, and service. Previously, you saw how some firms such as Dell serve as both manufacturer and retailer.

Now, think of the last restaurant where you ate. Of the three business types (manufacturer, retailer, or service provider), how would you categorize the restaurant? Is it a manufacturer? A retailer? A service provider? Can you think of examples of how a restaurant has characteristics of all three types of businesses?

Solution

Answers will vary. Responses may initially consider a restaurant to be only a service provider. Students may also recognize that a restaurant possesses aspects of a manufacturer (by preparing the meals), retailer (by selling merchandise and/or gift cards), and service provider (by waiting on customers).

Governmental Entities

A governmental entity provides services to the general public (taxpayers). Governmental agencies exist at the federal, state, and local levels. These entities are funded through the issuance of taxes and other fees.

Accountants working in governmental entities perform the same function as accountants working at for-profit businesses. Accountants help to serve the public interest by providing to the public an accounting for the receipts and disbursements of taxpayer dollars. Governmental leaders are accountable to taxpayers, and accountants help assure the public that tax dollars are being utilized in an efficient manner.

Examples of governmental entities that require financial reporting include federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration, state agencies such as the Department of Transportation, and local agencies such as county engineers.

Students continuing their study of accounting may take a specific course or courses related to governmental accounting. While the specific accounting used in governmental entities differs from traditional accounting conventions, the goal of providing accurate and unbiased financial information useful for decision-making remains the same, regardless of the type of entity. Government accounting standards are governed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). This organization creates standards that are specifically appropriate for state and local governments in the United States.

Not-for-Profit Entities

To be fair, the name “not-for-profit” can be somewhat confusing. As with “for-profit” entities, the name refers to the primary purpose or mission of the organization. In the case of for-profit organizations, the primary purpose is to generate a profit. The profits, then, can be used to sustain and improve the business through investments in employees, research, and development, and other measures intended to help ensure the long-term success of the business.

But in the case of a nonprofit (not-for-profit) organization the primary purpose or mission is to serve a particular interest or need in the community. A not-for-profit entity tends to depend on financial longevity based on donations, grants, and revenues generated. It may be helpful to think of not-for-profit entities as “mission-based” entities. It is important to note that not-for-profit entities, while having a primary purpose of serving a particular interest, also have a need for financial sustainability. An adage in the not-for-profit sector states that “being a not-for-profit organization does not mean it is for-loss.” That is, not-for-profit entities must also ensure that resources are used efficiently, allowing for inflows of resources to be greater than (or, at a minimum, equal to) outflows of resources. This allows the organization to continue and perhaps expand its valuable mission.

Examples of not-for-profit entities are numerous. Food banks have as a primary purpose the collection, storage, and distribution of food to those in need. Charitable foundations have as a primary purpose the provision of funding to local agencies that support specific community needs, such as reading and after-school programs. Many colleges and universities are structured as not-for-profit entities because the primary purpose is to provide education and research opportunities.

Similar to accounting for governmental entities, students continuing their study of accounting may take a specific course or courses related to not-for-profit accounting. While the specific accounting used in not-for-profit entities differs slightly from traditional accounting conventions, the goal of providing reliable and unbiased financial information useful for decision-making is vitally important. Some of the governmental and regulatory entities involved in maintaining the rules and principles in accounting are discussed in Explain Why Accounting Is Important to Business Stakeholders.

Your Turn

Types of Organizations

Think of the various organizations discussed so far. Now try to identify people in your personal and professional network who work for these types of agencies. Can you think of someone in a career at each of these types of organizations?

One way to explore career paths is to talk with professionals who work in the areas that interest you. You may consider reaching out to the individuals you identified and learning more about the work that they do. Find out about the positive and negative aspects of the work. Find out what advice they have relating to education. Try to gain as much information as you can to determine whether that is a career you can envision yourself pursuing. Also, ask about opportunities for job shadowing, co-ops, or internships.

Solution

Answers will vary, but this should be an opportunity to learn about careers in a variety of organizations (for-profit including manufacturing, retail, and services; not-for-profit; and governmental agencies). You may have an assumption about a career that is based only on the positive aspects. Learning from experienced professionals may help you understand all aspects of the careers. In addition, this exercise may help you confirm or alter your potential career path, including the preparation required (based on advice given from those you talk with).

Footnotes

  • 1 Nike. “Nike Opens New NIKEiD Studio in New York.” October 4, 2007. https://news.nike.com/news/nike-opens-new-nikeid-studio-in-new-york
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