Financial information to management for decision making
This activity helps students recognize the significant role accounting plays in providing financial information to management for decision making through the evaluation of financial statements. This experiential assignment requires students to use ratios to evaluate and analyze a company’s liquidity, solvency, and profitability.
Resources: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), University Library, Library resources: Company Directories and Financials
Tutorial help on Excel® and Word functions can be found on the Microsoft® Office website. There are also additional tutorials via the web offering support for Office products.
Select a publicly traded, U.S. corporation with which you are familiar or one where you currently work or have worked in the past.
Research the company on the Internet and download the Income Statement, Statement of Shareholders’ Equity, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows.
Develop a minimum 700-word examination of the financial statements and include the following:
Determine the net income for the current fiscal year (FY). Is this income up or down from the prior year?
Explain the relevance of changes in net income to investors.
Determine the ending balance in shareholders’ equity. Why would organizations such as labor unions be interested in this?
Determine the total value of assets.
Discuss the relevance of the total value of assets to potential creditors and why this is important.
Compute the return on assets. Discuss the relative profitability of the company based on your results.
Compute the working capital and current ratio. Evaluate the relative liquidity of the company based on your results.
Compute the debt to assets ratio and the free cash flow for your company. Analyze the results and comment on the relative solvency of the company.
Discuss how the financial statements are used in your current role or a position you would like to hold. How might these aid you in managerial decision making?
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
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