PRINCIPLES-BASED ACCOUNTING provides for few exact rules and little implementation guidance. Instead, general principles are put forward and companies must ensure that their financial statements fairly and accurately represent these principles. Proponents argue that this type of system does not allow for less than ethical financial engineering, where complex transactions are undertaken in order to get around following specific rules-based accounting standards. Critics believe a principles-based system allows too much leeway for companies, because they generally do not have to follow specific rules, only wide-arching principles. See also RULES-BASED ACCOUNTING.
GOODWILL is that intangible possession which enables a business to continue to earn a profit that is in excess of the normal or basic rate of profit earned by other businesses of similar type. The goodwill of a business may be due to a particularly favorable location, its reputation in the community, or the quality of its employer and employees. The evidence that goodwill exists is the proven ability to earn excess profits. Goodwill is created on the books of a newly purchased company to the extent that the purchase price of the company is greater than the value of its net tangible assets. There are a number of methods for valuing goodwill: a. Simple Capitalization - The net profit of the business is capitalized to determine the total value of the business. The value of all the tangible assets is subtracted from the total value to establish the value of the intangible assets, or goodwill. b. Excess Earnings - the amount of earnings that are in excess of those normally earned by a similar business are capitalized to determine the value of goodwill. c. Income Tax Method - The past five years net income is averaged and a reasonable expected rate of return for tangible assets and salary requirements are subtracted. The resulting value is then capitalized to arrive at the goodwill value. d. Market Value - The price a willing seller would accept and a willing buyer would pay for goodwill. e. Buy /Sell Agreement - The value of goodwill is established by a formula in the buy/ sell agreement. f. Rule of Thumb - Goodwill is worth one years gross income.
A firm that shows increasing goodwill over a multi-year period likely has a sustainable competitive advantage.
CORPUS FUND is the capital of the organization; the funds generated and kept for the existence and sustenance of the organization. Normally a corpus fund denotes a permanent fund kept for the basic expenditures needed for the administration and survival of the organization.
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