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Ch_5_Ques_&_Brief_Exercises

Ch_5_Ques_&_Brief_Exercises - ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS...

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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1. The balance sheet provides information about the nature and amounts of investments in enterprise resources, obligations to enterprise creditors, and the owners equity in net enterprise resources. That information not only complements information about the components of income, but also contributes to financial reporting by providing a basis for (1) computing rates of return, (2) evaluating the capital structure of the enterprise, and (3) assessing the liquidity and financial flexibility of the enterprise. 2. Solvency refers to the ability of an enterprise to pay its debts as they mature. For example, when a company carries a high level of long-term debt relative to assets, it has lower solvency. Information on long-term obligations, such as long-term debt and notes payable, in comparison to total assets can be used to assess resources that will be needed to meet these fixed obligations (such as interest and principal payments). 3. Financial flexibility is the ability of an enterprise to take effective actions to alter the amounts and timing of cash flows so it can respond to unexpected needs and opportunities. An enterprise with a high degree of financial flexibility is better able to survive bad times, to recover from unexpected setbacks, and to take advantage of profitable and unexpected investment opportunities. Generally, the greater the financial flexibility, the lower the risk of enterprise failure. 4. Some situations in which estimates affect amounts reported in the balance sheet include: a) allowance for doubtful accounts. b) depreciable lives and estimated salvage values for plant and equipment. c) warranty returns. d) determining the amount of revenues that should be recorded as unearned. When estimates are required, there is subjectivity in determining the amounts. Such subjectivity can impact the usefulness of the information by reducing the reliability of the measures, either because of bias or lack of verifiability. 5. An increase in inventories increases current assets, which is in the numerator of the current ratio. Therefore, inventory increases will increase the current ratio. In general, an increase in the current ratio indicates a company has better liquidity, since there are more current assets relative to current liabilities. Note to instructors— When inventories increase faster than sales, this may not be a good signal about liquidity. That is, inventory can only be used to meet current obligations when it is sold (and converted to cash). That is why some analysts use a liquidity ratio—the acid test ratio—that excludes inventories from current assets in the numerator. 6. Liquidity describes the amount of time that is expected to elapse until an asset is converted into cash or until a liability has to be paid. The ranking of the assets given in order of liquidity is: (1) (d) Short-term investments.
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