FUND BALANCE Definition

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FUND BALANCE is when liabilities are subtracted from assets, there is a fund balance. A positive fund balance means there are more assets than liabilities; a negative fund balance means just the opposite. Fund balance can be complicated by the fact that part of the fund balance is reserved and part unreserved. The difference between reserved and unreserved is that the unreserved can potentially be authorized for future expenditures while the reserved cannot. Additionally, the fund balance is a residual and not necessarily a cash amount.

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EARNINGS BEFORE TAXES see PROFIT BEFORE TAXES.

SUBSTANCE OVER FORM is an accounting concept where the entity is accounting for items according to their substance and economic reality and not merely their legal form. This concept is one of the key determinants of reliable information. For most transactions there will be no difference, so no issue arises. In some cases however, the two diverge and the choice of how to present the transactions can give very different results. This difference occurs when an asset or liability is not recognized in the accounts even though benefits or obligations may result from the transaction, or oppositely.

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