ASSESSED VALUE Definition

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ASSESSED VALUE is the estimated value of property used for tax purposes.

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KEEP-WELL AGREEMENTS, also known as comfort letters, are documents from one party written to another party in regards to contingent liability. Comfort letters have been held by courts to be legally enforceable commitments if they meet certain standards criteria of language. Comfort letters meeting these standards are loss contingencies in that they are construed to guarantee a financial commitment and must be reported under Statement of Financial Accounting Standard 5 as a guarantee. Auditors should review the language of all comfort letters and seek to discover contingent liabilities not disclosed in financial statements in situations where comfort letters exist. Sources of information concerning the contingent liabilities of comfort letters include: management and third parties. Auditors should document within the client representations letter management assurances that loss contingencies have been reported.

FORWARD INTEREST RATE AGREEMENT is where two entities agree to a fixed interest rate in the future. If the actual rate is different than the fixed rate, one party will pay the other party the present value of the difference between the interest cash flows. Essentially the two entities are gambling on which way the interest rate of an index will change. These contracts are not traded on an established exchange but rather are private contracts between parties.

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