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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1 The Equity Method Of Accounting For Investments Chapter Outline I. Three methods are principally used to account for an investment in equity securities along with a fair value option. A. Fair-value method: applied by an investor when only a small percentage of a companys voting stock is held. 1. Income is recognized when dividends are declared. 2. Portfolios are reported at market value. If market values are unavailable, investment is reported at cost. B. Consolidation: when one firm controls another (e.g., when a parent has a majority interest in the voting stock of a subsidiary or control through variable interests, their financial statements are consolidated and reported for the combined entity. C. Equity method: applied when the investor has the ability to exercise significant influence over operating and financial policies of the investee. 1. Ability to significantly influence investee is indicated by several factors including representation on the board of directors, participation in policy-making, etc. 2. According to a guideline established by the Accounting Principles Board, the equity method is presumed to be applicable if 20 to 50 percent of the outstanding voting stock of the investee is held by the investor. Current financial reporting standards allow firms to elect to use fair value for any investment in equity shares including those where the equity method would otherwise apply. However, the option, once taken is irrevocable. After 2008, can make the election for fair value treatment only upon acquisition of the equity shares. Dividends received and changes in fair value over time are recognized as income. II. Accounting for an investment: the equity method A. The investment account is adjusted by the investor to reflect all changes in the equity of the investee company. B. Income is accrued by the investor as soon as it is earned by the investee. C. Dividends declared by the investee create a reduction in the carrying amount of the Investment account. III. Special accounting procedures used in the application of the equity method A. Reporting a change to the equity method when the ability to significantly influence an investee is achieved through a series of acquisitions. 1. Initial purchase(s) will be accounted for by means of the fair-value method (or at cost) until the ability to significantly influence is attained. 2. At the point in time that the equity method becomes applicable, a retroactive adjustment is made by the investor to convert all previously reported figures to the equity method based on percentage of shares owned in those periods. 3. This restatement establishes comparability between the financial statements of all years....
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- Winter '11