COMMON SIZED PERCENTAGES Definition

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COMMON SIZED PERCENTAGES are financial statements in which each item is expressed as a percentage of a major financial statement component. In the Income Statement, each "Common Size %" is the field amount expressed as a percent of "Net Revenues." In the Balance Sheet, each "Common Size %" is the amount in the category as a percent of Total Assets. Common sized financial statements can be used to: a. identify key structural changes in a company's financial data over a period of time; b. more easily compare the financial data of firms that vary significantly in size; and, c. compare a company's financial data to industry norms.

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TRANSFER JOURNAL ENTRY is used to allocate an expense or revenue from one account or sponsored project to another, or to transfer funds between object codes within an account or sponsored project. Transfers journal entries should include a description of the item(s) and explanation of why the transfer is necessary.

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.

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