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Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting

2.2 Define, Explain, and Provide Examples of Current and Noncurrent Assets, Current and Noncurrent Liabilities, Equity, Revenues, and Expenses

Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting2.2 Define, Explain, and Provide Examples of Current and Noncurrent Assets, Current and Noncurrent Liabilities, Equity, Revenues, and Expenses
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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

In addition to what you’ve already learned about assets and liabilities, and their potential categories, there are a couple of other points to understand about assets. Plus, given the importance of these concepts, it helps to have an additional review of the material.

To help clarify these points, we return to our coffee shop example and now think of the coffee shop’s assets—items the coffee shop owns or controls. Review the list of assets you created for the local coffee shop. Did you happen to notice many of the items on your list have one thing in common: the items will be used over a long period of time? In accounting, we classify assets based on whether or not the asset will be used or consumed within a certain period of time, generally one year. If the asset will be used or consumed in one year or less, we classify the asset as a current asset. If the asset will be used or consumed over more than one year, we classify the asset as a noncurrent asset.

Another thing you might have recognized when reviewing your list of coffee shop assets is that all of the items were something you could touch or move, each of which is known as a tangible asset. However, as you also learned in Describe the Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows, and How They Interrelate, not all assets are tangible. An asset could be an intangible asset, meaning the item lacks physical substance—it cannot be touched or moved. Take a moment to think about your favorite type of shoe or a popular type of farm tractor. Would you be able to recognize the maker of that shoe or the tractor by simply seeing the logo? Chances are you would. These are examples of intangible assets, trademarks to be precise. A trademark has value to the organization that created (or purchased) the trademark, and the trademark is something the organization controls—others cannot use the trademark without permission.

Similar to the accounting for assets, liabilities are classified based on the time frame in which the liabilities are expected to be settled. A liability that will be settled in one year or less (generally) is classified as a current liability, while a liability that is expected to be settled in more than one year is classified as a noncurrent liability.

Examples of current assets include accounts receivable, which is the outstanding customer debt on a credit sale; inventory, which is the value of products to be sold or items to be converted into sellable products; and sometimes a notes receivable, which is the value of amounts loaned that will be received in the future with interest, assuming that it will be paid within a year.

Examples of current liabilities include accounts payable, which is the value of goods or services purchased that will be paid for at a later date, and notes payable, which is the value of amounts borrowed (usually not inventory purchases) that will be paid in the future with interest.

Examples of noncurrent assets include notes receivable (notice notes receivable can be either current or noncurrent), land, buildings, equipment, and vehicles. An example of a noncurrent liability is notes payable (notice notes payable can be either current or noncurrent).

Why Does Current versus Noncurrent Matter?

At this point, let’s take a break and explore why the distinction between current and noncurrent assets and liabilities matters. It is a good question because, on the surface, it does not seem to be important to make such a distinction. After all, assets are things owned or controlled by the organization, and liabilities are amounts owed by the organization; listing those amounts in the financial statements provides valuable information to stakeholders. But we have to dig a little deeper and remind ourselves that stakeholders are using this information to make decisions. Providing the amounts of the assets and liabilities answers the “what” question for stakeholders (that is, it tells stakeholders the value of assets), but it does not answer the “when” question for stakeholders. For example, knowing that an organization has $1,000,000 worth of assets is valuable information, but knowing that $250,000 of those assets are current and will be used or consumed within one year is more valuable to stakeholders. Likewise, it is helpful to know the company owes $750,000 worth of liabilities, but knowing that $125,000 of those liabilities will be paid within one year is even more valuable. In short, the timing of events is of particular interest to stakeholders.

Think It Through

Borrowing

When money is borrowed by an individual or family from a bank or other lending institution, the loan is considered a personal or consumer loan. Typically, payments on these types of loans begin shortly after the funds are borrowed. Student loans are a special type of consumer borrowing that has a different structure for repayment of the debt. If you are not familiar with the special repayment arrangement for student loans, do a brief internet search to find out when student loan payments are expected to begin.

Now, assume a college student has two loans—one for a car and one for a student loan. Assume the person gets the flu, misses a week of work at his campus job, and does not get paid for the absence. Which loan would the person be most concerned about paying? Why?

Equity and Legal Structure

Recall that equity can also be referred to as net worth—the value of the organization. The concept of equity does not change depending on the legal structure of the business (sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation). The terminology does, however, change slightly based on the type of entity. For example, investments by owners are considered “capital” transactions for sole proprietorships and partnerships but are considered “common stock” transactions for corporations. Likewise, distributions to owners are considered “drawing” transactions for sole proprietorships and partnerships but are considered “dividend” transactions for corporations.

As another example, in sole proprietorships and partnerships, the final amount of net income or net loss for the business becomes “Owner(s), Capital.” In a corporation, net income or net loss for the business becomes retained earnings, which is the cumulative, undistributed net income or net loss, less dividends paid for the business since its inception.

The essence of these transactions remains the same: organizations become more valuable when owners make investments in the business and the businesses earn a profit (net income), and organizations become less valuable when owners receive distributions (dividends) from the organization and the businesses incur a loss (net loss). Because accountants are providing information to stakeholders, it is important for accountants to fully understand the specific terminology associated with the various legal structures of organizations.

The Accounting Equation

Recall the simple example of a home loan discussed in Describe the Income Statement, Statement of Owner’s Equity, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows, and How They Interrelate. In that example, we assumed a family purchased a home valued at $200,000 and made a down payment of $25,000 while financing the remaining balance with a $175,000 bank loan. This example demonstrates one of the most important concepts in the study of accounting: the accounting equation, which is:

Assets equal Liabilities plus Owner’s Equity.

In our example, the accounting equation would look like this:

$200,000=$175,000+$25,000$200,000=$175,000+$25,000

As you continue your accounting studies and you consider the different major types of business entities available (sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations), there is another important concept for you to remember. This concept is that no matter which of the entity options that you choose, the accounting process for all of them will be predicated on the accounting equation.

It may be helpful to think of the accounting equation from a “sources and claims” perspective. Under this approach, the assets (items owned by the organization) were obtained by incurring liabilities or were provided by owners. Stated differently, every asset has a claim against it—by creditors and/or owners.

Your Turn

The Accounting Equation

On a sheet of paper, use three columns to create your own accounting equation. In the first column, list all of the things you own (assets). In the second column, list any amounts owed (liabilities). In the third column, using the accounting equation, calculate, you guessed it, the net amount of the asset (equity). When finished, total the columns to determine your net worth. Hint: do not forget to subtract the liability from the value of the asset.

Here is something else to consider: is it possible to have negative equity? It sure is . . . ask any college student who has taken out loans. At first glance there is no asset directly associated with the amount of the loan. But is that, in fact, the case? You might ask yourself why make an investment in a college education—what is the benefit (asset) to going to college? The answer lies in the difference in lifetime earnings with a college degree versus without a college degree. This is influenced by many things, including the supply and demand of jobs and employees. It is also influenced by the earnings for the type of college degree pursued. (Where do you think accounting ranks?)

Solution

Answers will vary but may include vehicles, clothing, electronics (include cell phones and computer/gaming systems, and sports equipment). They may also include money owed on these assets, most likely vehicles and perhaps cell phones. In the case of a student loan, there may be a liability with no corresponding asset (yet). Responses should be able to evaluate the benefit of investing in college is the wage differential between earnings with and without a college degree.

Expanding the Accounting Equation

Let’s continue our exploration of the accounting equation, focusing on the equity component, in particular. Recall that we defined equity as the net worth of an organization. It is helpful to also think of net worth as the value of the organization. Recall, too, that revenues (inflows as a result of providing goods and services) increase the value of the organization. So, every dollar of revenue an organization generates increases the overall value of the organization.

Likewise, expenses (outflows as a result of generating revenue) decrease the value of the organization. So, each dollar of expenses an organization incurs decreases the overall value of the organization. The same approach can be taken with the other elements of the financial statements:

  • Gains increase the value (equity) of the organization.
  • Losses decrease the value (equity) of the organization.
  • Investments by owners increase the value (equity) of the organization.
  • Distributions to owners decrease the value (equity) of the organization.
  • Changes in assets and liabilities can either increase or decrease the value (equity) of the organization depending on the net result of the transaction.

A graphical representation of this concept is shown in Figure 2.4.

Assets (both current and noncurrent) equal Liabilities (both current and noncurrent) plus Owner’s Equity. Each of these has a big “T” below it. The current and non current assets each have the big “T” with a plus sign on the left side under the top line and a minus sign on the right side under the top line. The current and noncurrent liabilities each have a big “T” with a minus sign on the left side under the top line and a plus sign on the right side under the top line. The Owner’s Equity has a large “T” with a minus sign on the left side with Distribution to Owners, Expenses, Losses, and Comprehensive Income showing as the reasons. There is a plus sign on the right side with Investments by Owners, Revenues, Gains, and Comprehensive Income as the reasons.
Figure 2.4 Graphical Representation of the Accounting Equation. Both assets and liabilities are categorized as current and noncurrent. Also highlighted are the various activities that affect the equity (or net worth) of the business. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

The format of this illustration is also intended to introduce you to a concept you will learn more about in your study of accounting. Notice each account subcategory (Current Assets and Noncurrent Assets, for example) has an “increase” side and a “decrease” side. These are called T-accounts and will be used to analyze transactions, which is the beginning of the accounting process. See Analyzing and Recording Transactions for a more comprehensive discussion of analyzing transactions and T-Accounts.

Not All Transactions Affect Equity

As you continue to develop your understanding of accounting, you will encounter many types of transactions involving different elements of the financial statements. The previous examples highlighted elements that change the equity of an organization. Not all transactions, however, ultimately impact equity. For example, the following do not impact the equity or net worth of the organization:10

  • Exchanges of assets for assets
  • Exchanges of liabilities for liabilities
  • Acquisitions of assets by incurring liabilities
  • Settlements of liabilities by transferring assets

It is important to understand the inseparable connection between the elements of the financial statements and the possible impact on organizational equity (value). We explore this connection in greater detail as we return to the financial statements.

Footnotes

  • 10 SFAC No. 6, p. 20.
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