ALTMAN Z-SCORE Definition

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ALTMAN Z-SCORE reliably predicts whether or not a company is likely to enter into bankruptcy within one or two years: If the Z-Score is 3.0 or above - bankruptcy is not likely. If the Z-Score is 1.8 or less - bankruptcy is likely.A Z-Score between 1.8 and 3.0 is the gray area, i.e., a high degree of caution should be used. Probabilities of bankruptcy within the above ranges are 95% for one year and 70% within two years. A Z-Score between the two is the gray area. Obviously a higher Z-Score is desirable. It is best to assess each individual companys Z-Score against that of the industry. In low margin industries it is possible for Z-Scores to fall below the above. In such cases a trend comparison to the industry over consecutive time periods may be a better indicator. It should be remembered that a Z-Score is only as valid as the data from which it was derived i.e. if a company has altered or falsified their financial records/books, a Z-Score derived from those "cooked books" is of lesser use.

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REVIEW is an accounting service providing some assurance to the Board of Directors and interested parties as to the reliability of financial data without the CPA conducting an examination in accordance with generally accepted accounting standards. The AICPA auditing standards board formulates review standards for public companies while the AICPA Accounting and Review Services Committee provides review standards for non-public businesses.

OPERATING COST is the expense of maintaining property (e.g., paying property taxes and utilities and insurance) it does not include depreciation or the cost of financing or income taxes. Also known as OPERATING EXPENSE.

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