Printing - FASB-OP for export to PDF

Printing - FASB-OP for export to PDF

Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 6 CON6 Status Page Elements of Financial Statements a replacement of FASB Concepts Statement No. 3 (in...

653KB Sizes 0 Downloads 4 Views

Recommend Documents

Printing - FASB-OP for export to PDF
The amount capitalized is to be an allocation of the interest cost incurred during the period required to complete the a

Export to PDF - JammaBoards.com
http://www.jammaboards.com/faq/article/installing-the-60-in-1-jamma-pcb-into-an-original-centipede-cabinet-11.html. With

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
In the United States, the federal government imposed rent control (and other ... Summary Article: Rent Control from Ency

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
danegeld. It was abolished 1340 after it had been superseded by grants of taxation voted by Parliament. Summary Article:

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
They claimed that the Nonintercourse Act of 1790, which prohibited the transfer of land from Indians to non-Indians unle

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
the Supremes, and Cindy Birdsong replaced Florence Ballard. Ross is a Tony and Golden Globe winner and an Academy Award

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
1980 Founded Kingdom Holding Company. 1985. Received Master of Social Science degree at the Maxwell School of Citizenshi

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
Highway connects the city to the Alaska Highway and the Parks Highway. The international airport ... Portage Glacier and

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
Treasury official turned academic Phillip Swagel has argued that political constraints have severely limited the role of

Download PDF for Printing - Credo Reference
Government Under the 1849 constitution, as revised by the Basic Law of .... Catholic Church in Denmark, the lands of the

Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 6 CON6 Status Page

Elements of Financial Statements a replacement of FASB Concepts Statement No. 3 (incorporating an amendment of FASB Concepts Statement No. 2)

December 1985

Financial Accounting Standards Board of the Financial Accounting Foundation 401 MERRITT 7, P.O. BOX 5116, NORWALK, CONNECTICUT 06856-5116

Copyright © 1985 by Financial Accounting S tandards Board. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any for m or by any m eans, electronic, mechanical, photocopyi ng, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written perm ission of the Fi nancial Accounting Standards Board.

Page 2

Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 6 Elements of Financial Statements December 1985 CONTENTS

Paragraph bers Num

Highlights Introduction.................................................................................................................1–23 Scope and Content of Statement .............................................................................1–8 Other Possible Elements of Financial Statements ............................................3–4 Elements and Financial Representations ..........................................................5–7 Other Scope and Content Matters.........................................................................8 Objectives, Qualitative Characteristics, and Elements .........................................9–19 Interrelation of Elements—Articulation .............................................................20–21 Definition, Recognition, Measurement, and Display .........................................22–23 Definitions of Elements .........................................................................................24–133 Assets ..................................................................................................................25–34 Characteristics of Assets...............................................................................26–31 Transactions and Events That Change Assets ..............................................32–33 Valuation Accounts.............................................................................................34 Liabilities ............................................................................................................35–43 Characteristic s of Liabilities .........................................................................36–40 Transactions and Events That Change Liabilities.........................................41–42 Valuation Accounts.............................................................................................43 Effects of Uncertainty .........................................................................................44–48 Equity or Net Assets ..........................................................................................49–59 Equity of Business Enterprises and Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations ..................................................50–53 Equity and Liabilities................................................................................................54–59 Equity of Business Enterprises ...........................................................................60–65 Characteristics of Equity of Business Enterprises ..............................................60–63 Transactions and Events That Change Equity of Business Enterprises..............64–65 Investments by and Distributions to Owners............................................................66–69 Characteristics of Investments by and Distributions to Owners.........................68–69 Comprehensive Income of Business Enterprises................................................70–77 Concepts of Capital Maintenance .......................................................................71–72 Characteristics, Sources, and Components of Comprehensive Income........73–77 Revenues ............................................................................................................78–79 Characteristics of Revenues ...............................................................................79

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution Page 3

Paragraph Num bers Expenses .............................................................................................................80–81 Characteristics of Expenses ...............................................................................81 Gains and Losses ...............................................................................................82–89 Characteristics of Gains and Losses .............................................................84–86 Revenues, Expenses, Gains, and Losses.......................................................87–89 Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations .....................................................90–106 Characteristics of Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations....................90–91 Classes of Net Assets ..................................................................................92–102 Donor-Im posed Restrictions ...................................................................95–97 Tem porary and Permanent Restrictions................................................98–100 Restrictions Affect Net Assets Rather Than Particular Assets ...........101–102 Maintenance of Net Assets .......................................................................103–106 Transactions and Events That Change Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations ..............................................107–116 Revenues, Expenses, Gains, and Losses...................................................111–113 Reclassifications .......................................................................................114–116 Changes in Classes of Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations................117–133 Change in Permanently Restricted Net Assets .........................................119–122 Characteristics of Change in Permanently Restricted Net Assets ......120–122 Change in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets..........................................123–126 Characteristics of Change in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets.......124–126 Change in Unrestricted Net Assets ...........................................................127–133 Characteristics of Change in Unrestricted Net Assets ........................128–133 Accrual Accounting and Related Concepts ..........................................................134–152 Transactions, Events, and Circumstances.......................................................135–138 Accrual Accounting ........................................................................................139–140 Accrual and Deferral (Including Allocation and Amortization).....................141–142 Realization and Recognition...................................................................................143 Recognition, Matching, and Allocation..........................................................144–152 Appendix A: Background Information .................................................................153–163 Appendix B: Characteristics of Assets, Liabilities, and Equity or Net Assets and of Changes in Them ...............................................................164–255 Purpose and Summary of Appendix ...............................................................164–170 Characteristics of Assets.................................................................................171–191 Future Economic Benefits...............................................................................172–182 Assets and Costs .......................................................................................178–182 Control by a Particular Entity ...................................................................183–189 Control and Legal Rights ..........................................................................186–187 Noncontrolled Benefits .............................................................................188–189 Occurrence of a Past Transaction or Event.....................................................190–191 Characteristics of Liabilities ...........................................................................192–211 Required Future Sacrifice of Assets .........................................................193–198 Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution Page 4

Paragraph Num bers Liabilities and Proceeds ..............................................................................198 Obligation of a Particular Entity...............................................................199–205 Occurrence of a Past Transaction or Event...............................................206–211 Characteristics of Equity of Business Enterprises ..........................................212–214 Residual Interest ...............................................................................................213 Invested and Earned Equity ..............................................................................214 Characteristics of Comprehensive Income of Business Enterprises and Its Components ................................................215–220 Interest in Information about Sources of Comprehensive Income .....219–220 Characteristics of Net Assets and Changes in the Classes of Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations ....................................................................221–228 Residual Interest ...............................................................................................222 Interest in Information about Changes in Classes of Net Assets..............223–228 Examples to Illustrate Concepts .....................................................................229–255 Deferred Gross Profit on Installment Sales ..............................................232–234 Debt Discount, Premium, and Issue Cost .................................................235–239 Deferred Income Tax Credits....................................................................240–242 Deferred Investment Tax Credits..............................................................243–245 Deferred Costs of Assets...........................................................................246–250 Estimated Loss on Purchase Commitments..............................................251–253 Minority Interests and Stock Purchase Warrants..............................................254 Examples Do Not Govern Practice ...................................................................255 Summary Index of Concepts Defined or Discussed ............................................ page 75 Amendment of FASB Concepts Statement No. 2, Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information.................................. page 78

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution Page 5

CON 6: Elements of Financial Statements a replacement of FASB Concepts Statement No. 3 (incorporating an amendment of FASB Concepts Statement No. 2)

CON 6 HIGHLIGHTS [Best understood in context of full Statement]



Elements of financial statem ents are the buildi ng blocks with which financial statem ents are constructed—the classes of item s that financial statem ents comprise. The item s in financial statements represent in words and num bers certain entity resources, claim s to those resources, and the effects of transactions and other events and circum stances that result in changes in those resources and claims.



This Statement replaces FASB Concepts Statement No. 3, Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, expanding its scope to encom pass not-for-profit organizations as well.



This Statem ent def ines 10 interrelated elem ents that are directly related to m easuring performance and status of an entity. (Other po ssible elements of financial statements are not addressed.) — Assets are probable future econom ic benefits obtained or controlled by a particular entity as a result of past transactions or events. — Liabilities are probable future sacrifices of econom ic benefits arising from present obligations of a particular entity to transf er assets or provide services t o other entities in the future as a result of past transactions or events. — Equity or net assets is the residual interest in the assets of an entity that rem ains af ter deducting its liabilities. In a business enterprise, the equity is the ownership int erest. In a not-for-profit organization, which has no owne rship interest in the sam e sense as a

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 6

business enterprise, net assets is divided into three classes based on the presence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions—permanently restricted, temporarily restricted, and unrestricted net assets. — Investments by owners are increases in equity of a particular business enterprise resulting from transf ers to it f rom other entities of som ething valuable to obtain or increase ownership interests (or equi ty) in it. Assets are m ost commonly received as investm ents by owners, but that which is received m ay also include services or satisfaction or conversion of liabilities of the enterprise. — Distributions to owners are decreases in equity of a particular bu siness enterprise resulting f rom transf erring assets, renderi ng services, or incurring liabilities by the enterprise to owners. Distributions to owners decrease ownership interest (or equity) in an enterprise. — Comprehensive income is the change in equit y of a business enterprise during a period from transactions and other events and circ umstances from nonowner sources. It includes all changes in equity during a period excep t those resulting from investments by owners and distributions to owners. — Reve nues are inf lows or other enhancem ents of assets of an entity or settlem ents of its liabilities (or a com bination of both) fr om delivering or producing goods, rendering services, or other activities that constitute the entity's ongoing major or central operations. — Expenses are outf lows or other using up of assets or incurrences of liabilities (or a combination of both) from delivering or producing goods, rendering services, or carrying out other activities that constitute the entity's ongoing major or central operations. — Gains are increases in equity (net assets) fr om peripheral or incidental transactions of an entity and f rom all other transactions and ot her events and circum stances af fecting the entity except those that result from revenues or investments by owners. — Losses are decreases in equity (net assets) from peripheral or incidental transactions of an entity and f rom all other transactions and ot her events and circum stances af fecting the entity except those that result from expenses or distributions to owners.



The Statem ent defines three classes of net a ssets of not-for-profit organizations and the changes in those classes during a period. Each class is composed of the revenues, expenses, gains, and losses that affect that class and of reclassifications from or to other classes. — Change in perm anently restricted net a ssets during a period is the total of (a) contributions and other inflows during the pe riod of assets whose use by the organization is limited by donor-imposed stipulations that neither expire by passage of tim e nor can be fulfilled or otherwise rem oved by actions of the organization, (b) other asset enhancements and dim inishments during the period that are subject to the sam e kinds of

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 7

stipulations, and (c) reclassifications f rom (or to) other classes of net assets during the period as a consequence of donor-imposed stipulations. — Change in temporarily restricted net assets during a period is the total of (a) contributions and other inflows during th e period of assets whose use by the organization is lim ited by donor-imposed stipulations that either expire by passage of tim e or can be fulfilled and removed by actions of the organization pursuan t to those stipulations, (b) other asset enhancements and dim inishments during the period subject to the sam e kinds of stipulations, and (c) reclassifications to (or from) other classes of net assets during the period as a consequence of donor-im posed s tipulations, their expiration by passage of time, or their f ulfillment and rem oval by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations. — Change in unrestricted net assets during a peri od is the total change in net assets during the period less change in perm anently restri cted net assets and change in tem porarily restricted net assets for the period. It is the ch ange during the period in the part of net assets of a not-for-profit organization that is not limited by donor-imposed stipulations. Changes in unrestricted net assets include (a) revenues and gains that chan ge unrestricted net assets, (b) expenses and losses that change unrestricted net assets, and (c) reclassifications from (or to) other cla sses of net assets as a consequence of donor-imposed stipulations, their expiration by passage of tim e, or their fulfil lment and removal by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations.



The Statement also defines or describes certain other concepts that underlie or are otherwise closely related to the 10 elements and 3 classes defined in the Statement.



Earnings is not defined in this Statem ent. FASB Concepts Statem ent 5 has now described earnings for a period as excluding certain cumulative accounting adjustm ents and other nonowner changes in equity that are included in comprehensive income for a period.



The Board expects m ost assets and liabilities in present practice to continue to qualif y as assets or liabilities under the definitions in this Statem ent. The Board em phasizes that the definitions neither require nor presage upheavals i n present practice, although they m ay in due time lead to som e evolutionary changes in practice or at least in the ways certain item s are viewed. They should be especially helpful in understanding the content of financial statements and in analyzing and resolving new financial accounting issues as they arise.



The appendixes are not part of the definiti ons but are intended for readers who m ay find them useful. They describe the background of the Statem ent and elaborate on the descriptions of the essential char acteristics of the elem ents and c lasses, including som e discussions and illustrations of how to apply the definitions.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 8



This Statem ent am ends FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 2, Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information, to apply it to financial reporting by not-for-profit organizations.

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts This Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts is one of a series of publications in the Board's conceptual fram ework for financial acc ounting and reporting. Statem ents in the series are intended to set forth objectives and fundam entals that will be the basis for developm ent of financial accounting and reporting standards. The objectives identify the goals and purposes of financial reporting. The fundam entals are the underlying concepts of fina ncial accounting—concepts that guide the selection of transactions, events, and circum stances to be accounted for; their recognition and m easurement; and the m eans of sum marizing and communicating them to interested partie s. Concepts of that type are fund amental in the sense that other concepts flow from them and rep eated reference to them will be necessary in establishing, interpreting, and applying accounting and reporting standards. The conceptual fram ework is a coherent system of interrelated objectiv es and fundamentals that is expected to lead to consis tent standards and that prescribes the nature, function, and lim its of financial accounting and re porting. It is expected to serve the public interest by providing structure and direction to financial accounting and reporting to facilitate the provision of evenhanded financial and related in formation that helps prom ote the efficient allocation of scarce resources in the econom y and society, including assisting capital and other markets to function efficiently. Establishment of objectives and identificati on of fundam ental concepts will not directly solve financial accounting and reporting problem s. Rather, objectives give direction, and concepts are tools for solving problems. The Board itself is likely to be the most direct beneficiary of the guidance provided by the Statements in this series. They will guide the Board in developing accounting and reporting standards by providing the Board with a co mmon foundation and basic reasoning on which to consider merits of alternatives. However, knowledge of the objectives and c oncepts the Board will use in developing standards also should enable those who are aff ected by or interested in financial accounting standards to understand better the purposes, conten t, and characteristics of inform ation provided by financial accounting and reporting. That knowledge is expected to enhance the usefulness of, and confidence in, financial accounting and repor ting. The concepts also m ay provide som e guidance in analyzing new or em erging problem s of fina ncial accounting and reporting in the absence of applicable authoritative pronouncements. Statements of Financial Accounting Concep ts do not establish standards prescribing accounting procedures or disclosure practices for particular items or events, which are issued by the Board as Statem ents of Financial Accounting Standards. Rather, Statem ents in this series describe concepts and relations that will underlie future financial accounting standards and practices and in due course serve as a basis for evaluating existing standards and practices.* The Board recognizes that in certain re spects current generally accepted accounting Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 9

principles may be inconsistent with those that m ay derive from the objectives and concepts set forth in Statements in this series. However, a Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts does not (a) require a change in existing generally accepted accounting principles; (b) amend, modify, or interpret Statem ents of Financial Accounting Standards, Int erpretations of the FASB, Opinions of the Accounting Principles Boar d, or Bulletins of the Com mittee on Accounting Procedure that are in effect; or (c) justify e ither changing existing generally accepted accounting and reporting practices or interpreting t he pronouncements listed in item (b) based on personal interpretations of the objectives and concepts in the Statem ents of Financial Accounting Concepts. Since a Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts does not establish generally accepted accounting principles or standards for the disclosure of financial information outside of financial statements in published financial reports, it is not intended to invoke application of Rule 203 or 204 of the Rules of Conduct of the C ode of Professional Ethics of the Am erican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (of successor rules or arrangements of similar scope and intent).† Like other pronouncem ents of the Board, a St atement of Financial Accounting Concepts may be am ended, superseded, or withdrawn by approp riate action under the Board' s Rules of Procedure

INTRODUCTION Scope and Content of Statement 1. This Statem ent defines 10 elem ents of financ ial statem ents: 7 elem ents of f inancial statements of both business enterprises and not-f or-profit organizations—assets, liabilities, equity (business enterprises) or net assets (not-f or-profit o rganizations), revenues, expenses, gains, and losses—and 3 elem ents of fina ncial statem ents of business enterprises only—investments by owners, distributions to owners, and com prehensive incom e.1 It also defines three classes of net assets of not-for-profi t organizations and the changes in those classes during a period—change in perm anently restricted net assets, change in tem porarily restricted net assets, and change in unrestricted net assets. The Statement also defines or describes certain other concepts that underlie or are otherwise related to those elements and classes (See Summary Index). 2. This Statem ent replaces FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 3, Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, extending that Statem ent's definitions to not-for-profit organizations.2 It confirm s conclusions in paragraph 2 of Concepts St atement 3 that (a) assets and liabilities are com mon to all organizations and can be def ined the sam e f or business and not-for-profit organizations, (b) th e definitions of equity (net assets), revenues, expenses, gains, and losses fit both business and not -for-profit organizations, and (c) not-for-profit organizations have no need for elem ents such as investm ents by owners, distributions to owners, and Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 10

comprehensive incom e. Thus, this Statem ent continues unchanged the elem ents defined in Concepts Statement 3, although it contains added explana tions stemming from characteristics of not-for-profit organizations and their operations. It also defines three classes of net assets of not-for-profit organizations, distinguish ed by the presence or absence of donorimposed restrictions, and the changes in those classes during a period—change in perm anently restricted, temporarily restricted, and unrestricted net assets. Other Possible Elements of Financial Statements

3. Although the elem ents defined in this Statem ent include basic elem ents and are probably those m ost com monly identified as elem ents of financial statem ents, they are not the only elements of financial statements. The elements defined in this Statement are a related group with a particular focus—on assets, liabilities, equity, a nd other elements directly related to m easuring performance and status of an entity. Inform ation about an entity' s perform ance and status provided by accrual accounti ng is the prim ary focus of financial reporting (FASB Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises, paragraphs 40-48, and FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 4, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Nonbusiness Organizations, paragraphs 38-53). Other statements or focuses may require other elements.3 4. Variations of possible statem ents show ing the ef fects on assets and liabilities of transactions or other events and circum stances during a period are alm ost lim itless, and all of them have classes of item s that m ay be called elem ents of fi nancial statements. For exam ple, a statement showing funds flows or cash flows during a period may include categories for funds or cash provided by (a) operations, (b) borrowing, (c) issu ing equity securities, (d) sale of assets, and so forth. Other projects may define additional elements of financial statements as needed. Elements and Financial Representations

5. Elements of financial statements are the building blocks with which f inancial statements are constructed—the classes of item s that financial statem ents com prise. Elements refers to broad classes, such as assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. Particular econom ic things and events, such as cash on hand or selling m erchandise, that m ay meet the definitions of elem ents are not elem ents as the term is used in this Statem ent. Rather, they are called items or other descriptive names. This Statement focuses on the broad cla sses and their characteristics instead of defining particular assets, liabilities, or ot her item s. Although notes to financial statem ents are described in som e authoritative pronouncem ents as an integral part of financ ial statements, they are not elem ents. They serve different functions, including am plifying or com plementing information about items in financial statements.4 6. The item s that are form ally incorporated in financial statem ents are financial representations (depictions in words and num bers) of certain resources of an entity, claim s to those resources, and the effects of transactions and other events and circumstances that result in changes in those resources and claim s. That is, sym bols (words and num bers) in financial statements stand for cash in a bank, buildings, wa ges due, sales, use of labor, earthquake damage Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 11

to property, and a host of other e conomic things and events pertaining to an entity existing and operating in what is sometimes called the "real world." 7. This Statem ent follows the com mon practi ce of calling by the sam e nam es both the financial representations in financial statem ents and the resources, claim s, transactions, events, or circum stances that they represent. For exam ple, inventory or asset m ay ref er either to merchandise on the floor of a retail enterprise or to the words and num bers that represent that merchandise in the entity' s f inancial statem ents; and sale or revenue m ay ref er either to the transaction by which som e of that merchandise is transferred to a custom er or to the words and numbers that represent the transaction in the entity's financial statements.5 Other Scope and Content Matters

8. Appendix A of this Statem ent contains background inform ation. Appendix B contains explanations and examples pertaining to the characteristics of elements of financial statements of business enterprises and not-for-profit organizations. Objectives, Qualitative Characteristics, and Elements 9. The focus of the FASB concepts Statem ents that underlie this one is usefulness of financial reporting inform ation in m aking econom ic decisions—reasoned choices am ong alternative uses of scarce resources. Concepts Statem ent No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises, em phasizes usefulness to present and potential investors, creditors, and others in m aking rational investm ent, credit, and sim ilar decisions. Concepts Statement No. 4, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Nonbusiness Organizations, emphasizes usefulness to present and potential resource provi ders and others in m aking rational decisions 6 Concepts Statem ent No. 2, about allocating resources to not-for-profit organizations. Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information, em phasizes that usefulness of financial reporting information for those decisions rests on the cornerstones of relevance and reliability. 10. The definitions in this Statem ent are of econom ic things and events that are relevant to investment, credit, and other resource-allocation decisions and thus are relevant to financial reporting.7 Those decisions involve committing (or continuing to commit) resources to an entity. The elements defined are an entity' s resources, the claims to or interests in those resources, and the changes therein from transactions and other events and circum stances involved in its use of resources to produce and distribute goods or services and, if it is a business enterprise, to earn a profit. Relevance of inform ation about item s that m eet those definitions stem s from the significance of an entity' s resources and changes in resources (including those af fecting profitability). 11. Economic resources or assets and changes in them are central to the existence and operations of an individual entity. Both business enterprises and not-for-profit organizations are in essence resource or assets processors, and a resourc e's capacity to be exchanged for cash or Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 12

other resources or to be com bined with other resources to produce needed or desired scarce goods or services gives it utility and value (future economic benefit) to an entity. 12. Business enterprises and not-for-profit organi zations obtain the resources they need from various sources. Business enterprises and som e not-for-profit organizations sell the goods and services they produce for cash or claim s to cash. Both buy goods and services for cash or by incurring liabilities to pay cash. Business enterprises receive resources from investments in the enterprise by owners, while not -for-profit organizations com monly receive significant am ounts of resources from c ontributors who do not expect to receive either repaym ent or econom ic benefits proportionate to resources provided. Those contributions are the m ajor source of resources for m any not-for-profit organizations but are not significant for other not-for-profi t organizations or for most business enterprises.8 13. A not-for-profit organization obtains and uses resources to provide certain types of goods or services to members of society, and the nature of those goods or services or the identity of the groups or individuals who receive them is ofte n critical in donors' or other resource providers' decisions to contribute or otherwise provide cash or other assets to a particular organization. Many donors provide resources to support certain type s of services or for the benefit of certain groups and may stipulate how or when (or both) an organization m ay use the cash or other resources they contribute to it. Those donor-im posed restrictions on a not-for-profit organization's use of assets may be either permanent or temporary. 14. Resources or assets are the lifeblood of a not -for-profit organization, and an organization cannot long continue to achieve its operating objectives unless it can obtain at least enough resources to provide goods or services at levels an d of a quality that are satisf actory to resource providers. Organizations that do not provide adequate goods or services often find it increasingly difficult to obtain the resources they need to continue operations. 15. Economic resources or assets are also the lifeblood of a business enterprise. Since resources or assets confer their benefits on an enterprise by being exchanged, used, or otherwise invested, changes in resources or assets are the purpo se, the m eans, and the result of an enterprise's operations, and a business enterprise exists prim arily to acquire, use, produce, and distribute resources. Through those activities it both provides goods or services to m embers of society and obtains cash and other assets with which it co mpensates those who provide it with resources, including its owners. 9 and com pensation received by 16. Although the relation between profit of an enterprise owners is com plex and often indirect, profit is the basic source of com pensation to owners for providing equity or risk capital to an enterprise. Profi table operations generate resources that can be distributed to owners or reinvested in the enterprise, and investors' expectations about both distributions to owners and reinvested prof it m ay affect m arket prices of the enterprise' s equity securities. Exp ectations that owners will be ade quately com pensated—that they will receive returns on their investm ents commensurate with their risks—are as necessary to attract Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 13

equity capital to an enterprise as are expecta tions of wages and salaries to attract em ployees' services, expectations of repaym ents of borro wing with interest to attract borrowed funds, or expectations of payments on account to attract raw materials or merchandise. 17. Repayment or com pensation of lenders, em ployees, suppliers, and other nonowners for resources provided is also related to profit or loss in the sense that prof itable enterprises (and those that break even) generally are able to repay bor rowing with interest, pay adequate wages and salaries, and pay for other goods and servi ces received, while unprofitable enterprises often become less and less able to pay and thus find it increasingly difficult to obtain the resources they need to continu e operations. Thus, inform ation about profit and its com ponents is of interest to suppliers, employees, lenders, and other providers of resources as well as to owners. 18. In contrast to business enterprises, not-f or-profit organizations do not have defined ownership interests that can be sold, transferre d, or redeem ed, or that convey entitlem ent to a share of a residual distribution of resources in the ev ent of liquidation of the organization. A not-for-profit organization is required to use its resources to provide goods and services to its constituents and benef iciaries as specif ied in its articles of incorporation (or com parable document for an unincor porated association) or by-laws and generally is prohibited from 10 Thus, distributing assets as dividends to its m embers, directors, officers, or others. not-for-profit organizations have operating purpos es that are other than to provide goods or services at a profit or profit equivalent, and resource providers do not focus primarily on profit as an indicator of a not-for-profit organization's performance.11 19. Instead, providers of resources to a not-fo r-profit organization are interested in the services the organization provides and its ability to continue to provide them . Since prof it indicators are not the focus of their resource-allocatio n decisions, resource providers need other information that is usef ul in assessing an organization's perform ance during a period and in assessing how its m anagers have discharged their stewardship responsibilities, not only for the custody and safekeeping of the organization's resources, but al so for their efficient and effective use—that is, inform ation about the am ounts a nd kinds of inflows and outflows of resources during a period and the relations between them and information about service efforts and, to the extent possible, service accomplishments.12 Interrelation of Elements—Articulation 20. Elements of financial statem ents are of two different types, which are som etimes explained as being analogous to photographs and motion pictures. The elem ents defined in this Statement include three of one type and seven of the other. ( Three of the latter apply only to business enterprises.) Assets, liabilities, and equ ity (net assets) describe levels or am ounts of resources or claims to or interests in resources at a moment in time. All other elem ents describe effects of transactions and other events and circumstances that affect an entity during intervals of time (periods). In a business enterprise, the second type includes comprehensive income and its components—revenues, expenses, gains, a nd losses—and investm ents by owners and Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 14

distributions to owners. In a not-for-profit or ganization, it includes revenues, expenses, gains, and losses.13 21. The two types of elements are related in such a way that (a) assets, liabilities, and equity (net assets) are changed by elem ents of the other type and at any tim e are their cumulative result and (b) an increase (decrease) in an asset ca nnot occur without a corresponding decrease (increase) in another asset or a corresponding in crease (decrease) in a liability or equity (net assets). Those relations are som etimes collectively referred to as "articulation." They result in financial statements that are fundam entally interrelated so that statements that show elem ents of the second type depend on statements that show elements of the first type and vice versa.14 Definition, Recognition, Measurement, and Display 22. All matters of recognition, measurement, and display have purposely been separated from the definitions of the elem ents of financial st atements in the Board' s conceptual fram ework project. The definitions in this Statem ent are concerned with the essential characteristics of elements of financial statem ents. Other phases of the conceptual fram ework project are concerned with questions such as which financ ial statem ents should be provided; which item s that qualify under the definitions sho uld be included in those statem ents; when particular item s that qualify as assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and so forth should be form ally recognized in the financial statem ents; which attributes of those item s should be m easured; which unit of measure should be used; and how the inform ation included should be classified and otherwise displayed.15 23. Definitions of elements of financial statements are a significant first screen in determining the content of financial statements. An item 's having the essential characteristics of one of the elements is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for form ally recognizing the item in the entity's financial statements. To be included in a particular set of financial statements, an item must not only qualify under the definition of an elem ent but also m ust m eet criteria for recognition and have a relevant attribute (or surrogate for it) that is capable of reasonably reliable measurement or estim ate.16 Thus, som e items that m eet the definitions m ay have to be excluded from form al incorporation in fina ncial statem ents because of recognition o r measurement considerations (paragraphs 44-48).

DEFINITIONS OF ELEMENTS 24. All elem ents are def ined in relation to a particular entity, which m ay be a business enterprise, an educational or charitable organiza tion, a natural person, or the like. An item that qualifies under the definitions is a particular entity's asset, liability, revenue, expense, or so forth. An entity m ay comprise two or m ore affiliated entities and does not necessarily correspond to what is often described as a "legal entity." The definitions m ay also refer to "other entity," Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 15

"other entities," or "entities other than the enterprise ," which m ay include individuals, business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and the like. For exam ple, em ployees, suppliers, customers or beneficiaries, lenders, stockholders, donors, and governm ents a re all "other entities" to a particular entity. A subsidiary com pany that is part of the same entity as its parent company in consolidated f inancial statem ents is an "other entity" in the separate f inancial 17 statements of its parent. Assets 25. Assets are probable 18 future econom ic benefits obtained or controlled by a particular entity as a result of past transactions or events. Characteristics of Assets

26. An asset has three essential characteristics: (a) it em bodies a probable future benefit that involves a capacity, singly or in com bination w ith other assets, to contribute directly or indirectly to f uture net cash inf lows, (b) a particul ar entity can obtain the benef it and control others' access to it, and (c) the transaction or ot her event giving rise to the entity' s right to or control of the benefit has already occurred. A ssets com monly have other features that help identify them —for example, assets m ay be acquired at a cost 19 and they m ay be tangible, exchangeable, or legally enforceable. However, those features are not essential characteristics of assets. Their absence, by itself, is not sufficient to preclude an item 's qualifying as an asset. That is, assets m ay be acquired without co st, they m ay be intangible, and although not exchangeable they m ay be usable by the entity in producing or distributing other goods or services. Sim ilarly, although th e ability of an entity to obtai n benefit from an asset and to control others' access to it generally rests on a foundation of legal rights, legal enforceability of a claim to the benef it is not a prerequisite f or a be nefit to qualif y as an asset if the entity has the ability to obtain and control the benefit in other ways. 27. The kinds of item s that qualify as assets under the definition in paragraph 25 are also commonly called economic resources. They are the scarce means that are useful for carrying out economic activities, such as consumption, production, and exchange. 28. The com mon characteristic possessed by all a ssets (econom ic resources) is "service potential" or "future economic benefit," the scarce cap acity to provide services or benefits to the entities that use them . In a business enterprise, tha t service potential or future econom ic benefit eventually results in net cash in flows to the enterprise. In a not-for-profit organization, that service potential or future econom ic benefit is used to provide desired or needed goods or services to benefici aries or other constituents, which m ay or m ay not directly result in net cash inflows to the organization. Some not-for-profit organizations rely significantly on contributions or donations of cash to supplem ent selli ng prices or to replace cash or other assets used in providing goods or services. The relationship between service potential or future econom ic benefit of its assets and net cash inf lows to an entity is often indirect in both business enterprises Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 16

and not-for-profit organizations. 29. Money (cash, including deposits in banks) is va luable because of what it can buy. It can be exchanged for virtually any good or service that is available or it can be saved and exchanged for them in the future. Money' s "command over resources"—its purchasing power—is the basis of its value and future economic benefits.20 30. Assets other than cash benefit an entity by being exchanged for cash or other goods or services, by being used to produce goods or services or otherwise increase the value of other assets, or by being used to settle liabilities. To carr y out their operating purposes, both business enterprises and not-for-profit organizations commonly produce scarce goods or services that have the capacity to satisf y human wants or needs. Both create utility and value in essentially the sam e way—by using goods or services to produce other goods or services that their customers or constituents desire or need. Business enterprises expect custom ers to pay f or the utility and value added, and they price th eir outputs accordingly. Many not-for-profit organizations also distribute som e or all of thei r outputs of goods or services at prices that include the utility and value they have added. Other not-f or-profit organizations com monly distribute the goods or services they pr oduce to beneficiaries gratis or at nominal prices. Although that may make measuring the value of their outputs difficult, it does not deprive them of value. 31. Services provided by other entities, including pe rsonal services, cannot be stored and are received and used sim ultaneously. They can be assets of an entity only m omentarily—as the entity receives and uses them —although their use m ay create or add value to other assets of the entity. Rights to receive services of other entitie s for specified or determ inable future periods can be assets of particular entities. Transactions and Events That Change Assets

32. Assets of an entity are changed both by its transactions and activities and by events that happen to it. An entity obtains cash and other assets from other entities and transf ers cash and other assets to other entities. It adds value t o noncash assets through operations by using, combining, and transforming goods and services to make other desired goods or services. Som e transactions or other events decrease one asset a nd increase another. An entity' s assets or their values are also commonly increased or decreased by other events and circum stances that may be partly or entirely beyond the control of the entity and its m anagement, for exam ple, price changes, interest rate changes, technological changes, im positions of taxes and regulati ons, discovery, growth or accretion, shrinkage, vandalis m, thefts, expropriations, wars, fires, and natural disasters. 33. Once acquired, an asset continues as an a sset of the entity until the entity collects it, transfers it to another entity, or uses it up, or some other event or circum stance destroys the future benefit or removes the entity's ability to obtain it. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 17

Valuation Accounts

34. A separate item that reduces or increases the carrying am ount of an asset is som etimes found in financial statem ents. For exam ple, an estim ate of uncollectible am ounts reduces receivables to the amount expected to be collected, or a prem ium on a bond receivable increases the receivable to its cost or present value. Those "valuation accounts" are part of the related assets and are neither assets in their own right nor liabilities. Liabilities 35. Liabilities are probable 21 future sacrifices of econom ic benefits arising from present obligations 22 of a particular entity to transf er assets or provide services to other entities in the future as a result of past transactions or events. Characteristics of Liabilities

36. A liability has three essential characteristics: (a) it em bodies a present duty or responsibility to one or m ore other entities that entails settlement by probable future transfer or use of assets at a specified or determ inable date, on occurrence of a specified event, or on demand, (b) the duty or responsibility obligates a particular entity, leaving it little or no discretion to avoid the future sacrifice, and (c) the transaction or other event obligating the entity has already happened . Liabilities com monly have other f eatures that help identif y them —for example, most liabilities require the obligated entity to pay cash to one or m ore identified other entities and are legally enforceable. Howeve r, those features are not essential char acteristics of liabilities. Their absence, by itself, is not sufficient to preclude an item's qualifying as a liability. That is, liabilities m ay not require an entity to pa y cash but to convey other assets, to provide or stand ready to provide services, or to use assets. And the identity of the recipient need not be known to the obligated entity before the tim e of settlement. Sim ilarly, although m ost liabilities rest generally on a foundation of legal rights and duties, existence of a legally enforceab le claim is not a prerequisite for an obligation to qualify as a liability if for other reasons the entity has the duty or responsibility to pay cash, to transfer othe r assets, or to provide services to another entity. 37. Most liabilities stem f rom hum an inventions—s uch as f inancial instrum ents, contracts, and laws—that facilitate the functioning of a highly developed econom y and are com monly embodied in legal obligations and rights (or the equivalent) wi th no existence apart from them. Liabilities facilitate the functi oning of a highly developed econom y prim arily by perm itting delay—delay in payment, delay in delivery, and so on.23 38. Entities routinely incur most liabilities to acquire the funds, goods, and services they need to operate and just as routinely settle the lia bilities they incur. For exam ple, borrowing cash obligates an entity to repay the amount borrowed, usually with interest; acquiring assets on credit obligates an entity to pay for them, perhaps with interest to compensate for the delay in payment; Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 18

using employees' knowledge, skills, time, and efforts obligates an enterprise to pay for their use, often including fringe benefits; selling products w ith a warranty or guarantee obligates an entity to pay cash or to repair or replace those th at prove defective; and accepting a cash deposit or prepayment obligates an entity to provide goods or services or t o refund the cash. In short, m ost liabilities are incurred in exchange transactions to obtain needed resources or their use, and m ost liabilities incurred in exchange transactions are contractual in nature—based on written or oral agreements to pay cash o r to provide goods or services to specified or determ inable entities on demand, at specified or determinable dates, or on occurrence of specified events. 39. Although m ost liabilities result from agreem ents between entities, som e obligations are imposed on entities by governm ent or courts or are accepted to avoid im position by government or courts (or costly efforts related thereto), and som e relate to other nonreciprocal transfers from an entity to one or m ore other entities. Thus, taxes, laws, regulations, and other governm ental actions com monly require business enterprises (and som etimes not-for-profit organizations) to pay cash, convey ot her assets, or provide services either directly to specified governmental units or to others for purposes or in ways specified by government. An entity may also incur liabilities for donations pledged to educational or charitable organizations or for cash dividends declared but not paid. 40. Similarly, although m ost liabilities stem from legally enforceable obligations, som e liabilities rest on equitable or constructive oblig ations, including som e that arise in exchange transactions. Liabilities stemming from equitable or constructive obligations are commonly paid in the sam e way as legally binding contracts, but they lack the legal sanction that characterizes most liabilities and may be binding primarily because of social or moral sanctions or custom. An equitable obligation stems from ethical or moral constraints rather than from rules of common or statute law, that is, f rom a duty to another entity to do that which an ordinary conscience and sense of justice would deem fair, just , and right—to do what one ought to do rath er than what one is legally required to do. For exam ple, a business enterprise m ay have an equitable obligation to com plete and deliver a product to a custom er that has no other source of supply even though its failure to deliver would legally require onl y return of the custom er's deposit. A constructive obligation is created, inferred, or cons trued from the f acts in a particular situation rather than contracted by agreem ent with another entity or im posed by governm ent. For example, an entity m ay create a constructive obligation to em ployees for vacation pay or year-end bonuses by paying them every year ev en though it is not contractually bound to do so and has not announced a policy to do so. The line between equitable or constructive obligations and ob ligations that are enforceable in courts of law is not always clear, and the line between equitable or constructive obligations and no ob ligations m ay often be even m ore troublesom e because to determine whether an en tity is actually bound by an obligation to a third party in the absence of legal enforceability is often extremely difficult. Thus, the concepts of equitable and constructive obligations must be applied with great care. To interpret equitable and constructive obligations too narrowly will tend to exclude signif icant actual obligations of an entity, while to interpret them too broadly will ef fectively nullify the def inition by including item s that lack an essential characteristic of liabilities. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 19

Transactions and Events That Change Liabilities

41. Liabilities of an entity are changed both by its transactions and activities and by events that happen to it. The preceding paragraphs not e most major sources of changes in liabilities. An entity's liabilities are also sometimes affected by price changes, interest rate changes, or other events and circum stances that m ay be partly or wholly beyond the cont rol of an entity and its management. 42. Once incurred, a liability continues as a liability of the entity until th e entity settles it, or another event or circumstance discharges it or removes the entity's responsibility to settle it. Valuation Accounts

43. A separate item that reduces or increases the carrying am ount of a liability is som etimes found in financial statem ents. For exam ple, a bond premium or discount increases or decreases the face value of a bond payable to its proceeds or present value. Those "valuation accounts" are part of the related liability and are neither liabilities in their own right nor assets. Effects of Uncertainty 44. Uncertainty about econom ic and business activitie s and results is pervasive, and it often clouds whether a particular item qualifies as an a sset or a liability of a particular entity at the time the definitions are applied. The presence or absence of future econom ic benefit that can be obtained and controlled by the entity or of the entity's legal, equitable, or constructive obligation to sacrifice assets in the f uture can of ten be discerned reliably only with hindsight. As a result, some item s that with hindsight actually qualified as assets or liabilities of the entity under the definitions m ay, as a practical m atter, have b een recognized as expenses, losses, revenues, or gains or remained unrecognized in its financial statem ents because of uncertainty about whether they qualified as assets or liabilities of the en tity or because of recognition and m easurement considerations stem ming from uncertainty at the tim e of assessm ent. Conversely, som e item s that with hindsight did not qualify u nder the definitions m ay have been included as assets or liabilities because of judgments made in the face of uncertainty at the time of assessment. 45. An effect of uncertainty is to increase the costs of financial reporting in general and the costs of recognition and m easurement in partic ular. Som e item s that qualify as assets or liabilities under the definitions m ay therefore be reco gnized as expenses, losses, revenues, or gains or remain unrecognized as a result of cost and benefit analyses indicating that their form al incorporation in financial statements is not useful enough to justify the tim e and effort needed to do it. It m ay b e possible, for exam ple, to m ake the inform ation m ore reliable in the face of uncertainty by exerting greater effort or by spe nding more money, but it also m ay not be worth the added cost. 46.

A highly significant practical consequence of th e features described in the preceding two

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 20

paragraphs is that the existence or am ount (or both) of m ost assets and m any liabilities can be probable but not certain. 24 The def initions in this Statement are not intended to require that the existence and am ounts of item s be certain for them to qualify as assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and so f orth, and estimates and approximations will often be required unless f inancial statements are to be restricted to reporting only cash transactions. 47. To apply the def initions of assets and liabilities (and other elem ents of f inancial statements) thus com monly requires assessm ents of probabilities, but degrees of probability are not part of the definitions. That is, the degree of prob ability of a future economic benefit (or of a future cash outlay or other sacrifice of future econom ic benefits) and the degree to which its amount can be estim ated with reasonable reliability that are required to recognize an item as an asset (or a liability) are matters of recognition and measurement that are beyond the scope of this Statement. The distinction needs to be m aintained between the def initions themselves and steps that m ay be needed to apply them . Ma tters involving m easurement problem s, eff ects of uncertainty, reliability, and num erous other f actors may be signif icant in applying a def inition, but they are not part of the de finition. Particular item s that qualify as assets or liabilities under the definitions m ay need to be excluded from fo rmal incorporation in f inancial statem ents f or reasons relating to m easurement, uncertainty, or unreliability, but they are not excluded by the definitions. Sim ilarly, the attitude com monly known as conservatism m ay be appropriate in applying the definiti ons under uncertain conditions, but c onservatism is not part of the definitions. Definition, recognition, m easurement, and display are separate in the Board' s 25 conceptual framework (paragraphs 22 and 23). 48. All practical financial accounting and reporti ng models have lim itations. The preceding paragraphs describe one lim it that may affect various models—how recognition or measurement considerations stem ming from uncertainty m ay result in n ot recognizing as assets or liabilities some items that qualify as such under the defi nitions or may result in postponing recognition of some assets or liabilities until their existence b ecomes more probable or their m easures become more reliable. Equity or Net Assets 49. Equity or net assets is the residual interest deducting its liabilities.

in the assets of an entity that rem ains af ter

Equity of Business Enterprises and Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations

50. The equity or net assets 26 of both a business enterprise and a not-for-profit organization is the difference between the entity's assets and its liabilities. It is a residual, af fected by all events that increase or decrease total asset s by different am ounts than they increase or decrease total liabilities. Thus, equity or net assets of bot h a business enterprise and a not-f or-profit organization is increased or decreased by the entity' s operations and other events and circumstances affecting the entity. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 21

51. A major distinguishing characteristic of the equ ity of a business enterprise is that it m ay be increased through investm ents of assets by ow ners who also m ay, from time to time, receive distributions of assets from the entity. Owners in vest in a business enterprise with the expectation of obtaining a return on their invest ment as a result of the enterprise' s providing goods or services to custom ers at a profit. Owner s benefit if the enterpri se is profitable but bear the risk that it may be unprofitable (paragraphs 11, 12, 15-17). 52. In contrast, a not-for-profit organization has no ownership interest or profit purpose in the same sense as a business enterprise and thus receives no investm ents of assets by owners and distributes no assets to owners. Rather, its net assets often is increased by receipts of assets from resource providers (contributors, donors, grantors , and the like) who do not expect to receive 27 but who are either repaym ent or econom ic benefits proportionate to the assets provided nonetheless intere sted in how the organization m akes us e of those assets and often im pose temporary or permanent restrictions on their use (paragraphs 11-13, 18, and 19). 53. Since the interests of investor-owners of business enterprises and the interests of donors to not-for-profit organizations differ, this Statem ent discusses separately (a) equity of business enterprises (paragraphs 60-63) and the transact ions and events that change equity (paragraphs 64-89) and (b) net assets of not-for-profit orga nizations (paragraphs 90-106) and the transactions and events that change net assets (paragraphs 107-133). Equity and Liabilities

54. An entity's assets, liabilities, and equity (net a ssets) all pertain to the sam e set of probable future economic benefits. Assets are probable future economic benefits owned or controlled by the entity. Its liabilities are claim s to the entity' s assets by other entities and, once incurred, involve nondiscretionary future sacrifices of a ssets that m ust be satisfied on dem and, at a specified or determ inable date, or on occurrence of a specified event. In contrast, equity is a residual int erest—what rem ains af ter liabilities are deducted f rom assets—and depends significantly on the profitability of a business en terprise or on fund-raising or other m ajor or central operations of a not-for-profit orga nization. A not-for-profit organization m ay provide goods or services to resource providers who are also employees, members, or beneficiaries, but except upon dissolution or final liquidation of th e organization, it cannot distribute assets to members or other resource providers as owners. A bus iness enterprise m ay distribute assets resulting from income to its owners, but distributions to owners are discretionary, depending on the volition of owners or their representatives af ter considering the needs of the enterprise and restrictions imposed by law, regulation, or agreement. An enterprise is generally not obligated to transfer assets to owners except in the event of the enterprise' s liquidation. An enterprise' s liabilities and equity are m utually exclusive claim s to or interests in the enterp rise's assets by entities other than the enterprise, and liabilities take precedence over ownership interests. 55.

Although the line between equity and liabilities is clear in concept, it m ay be obscured in

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 22

practice. Applying the definitions to particul ar situations m ay involve practical problem s because several kinds of securities issued by busines s enterprises seem to have characteristics of both liabilities and equity in varying degrees or because the nam es given som e securities m ay not accurately describe their essential characteristic s. For example, convertible debt instruments have both liability and residual-interest characteristics, which may create problems in accounting for them. (APB Opinion No. 14, Accounting for Convertible Debt and Debt Issued with Stock Purchase Warrants, and APB Opinion No. 15, Earnings per Share, both discuss proble ms o f that kind.) Preferred stock also often has bot h debt and equity characteristics, and som e preferred stocks m ay effectively have m aturity am ounts and dates at which they m ust be redeemed for cash. 56. Similarly, the line between net assets and liabilities of not-for-profit organizations may be obscured in practice because donors' restrictions th at specify the use of contributed assets m ay seem to result in liabilities, although m ost do not. The essence of a not -for-profit organization is that it obtains and uses resources to provide speci fic types of goods or services, and the nature of those goods or services is often critical in donors' decisions to contribute cash or other assets to a particular organization. Most donors contribute asse ts (restricted as well as unrestricted) to an organization to increase its capacity to provide those goods or services, and receipt of donated assets not only increases the assets of the organization but also imposes a fiduciary responsibility on its m anagement to use those assets effectiv ely and efficiently in pursuit of those service objectives. 57. That responsibility pertains to all of the organization' s assets and does not constitute an equitable or constructive obligation as descri bed in paragraphs 36-40. In other words, a not-for-profit organization 's fiduciary responsibility to use assets to provide services to beneficiaries does not itself create a duty of the organization to pay cash, transfer other assets, or provide services to one or m ore creditors. Rath er, an obligation to a creditor results when the organization buys s upplies for a project, its em ployees work on it, and the like, and the organization therefore owes suppliers, em ployees, and others for goods and services they have provided to it.28 58. A donor's restriction focuses that fiduciary responsibility on a stipulated use for specified contributed assets but does not change the basic nature of the organization' s fiduciary responsibility to use its assets to provide services to beneficiaries. A donor' s gift of cash to be spent for a stipulated purpose or of another a sset to be used for a stipulated purpose—for example, a mansion to be used as a m useum, a house to be used as a dorm itory, or a sculpture to be displayed in a cem etery—imposes a responsibility to spend the cash or use the asset in accordance with the donor' s instructions. In its effect on the liabilities of the organization, a donor's restriction is essentially the same as management's designating a specified use for certain assets. That is, the responsibility im posed by earm arking assets for specified uses is fundamentally different, both econom ically a nd legally, from the responsibility im posed by incurring a liability, which involves a creditor' s claim . Conseque ntly, m ost donor-im posed restrictions on an organization's use of contributed assets do not create obligations that qualify as Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 23

liabilities of the organization. 59. To determ ine whether liabilities or equity (net assets) result f rom issuing specif ic securities with both debt and equity characteristics or from specific donors' stipulations presents practical problem s of appl ying definitions rather th an problem s of determ ining the essential characteristics of those definitions. Adequate de finitions are the starting point. They provide a basis for assessing, for example, the extent to which a particular application meets the qualitative characteristic of representational faithfulness, whic h includes the notion of reporting econom ic substance rather than legal form (Concepts Statement 2, paragraphs 63-80 and 160). Equity of Business Enterprises Characteristics of Equity of Business Enterprises

60. In a business enterprise, the equ ity is the ownership interest. 29 It stem s from ownership rights (or the equivalent) 30 and involves a relation between an enterprise and its owners as owners rather than as em ployees, suppliers, custom ers, lenders, or in som e other nonowner role.31 Since equity ranks after liabilities as a claim to or interest in the assets of the enterprise, it is a residual interest: (a) equity is the sam e as net assets, the difference between the enterprise' s assets and its liabilities, and (b) equity is enhanced or burdened by increases and decreases in net assets from nonowner sources as well as investments by owners and distributions to owners. 61. Equity sets lim its, of ten legal lim its, on dist ributions by an enterprise to its owners, whether in the form of cash dividends or other distributions of assets. Owners' and others' expectations about distributions to owners m ay affect t he market prices of an enterprise' s equity securities, thereby indirectly af fecting owners' compensation for providing equity or risk capital to the enterprise (paragraph 16). Thus, the essential characteristics of equity center on the conditions for tran sferring enterprise assets to owners . Equity—an excess of assets over liabilities—is a necessary but not sufficient cond ition; distributions to owners are at the discretion and volition of the owners or their representatives after satisfying restrictions imposed by law, regulation, or agreements with other entities. Generally, an enterprise is not obligated to transfer assets to owners except in the event of the enterprise' s liquidation unless the enterprise formally acts to distribute assets to owners, f or example, by declaring a dividend. 32 Owners may sell their interests in an enterprise to othe rs and thus m ay be able to obtain a return of part or all of their investm ents and perhaps a return on investments through a securities m arket, but those transactions do not normally affect the equity of an enterprise or its assets or liabilities. 62. An enterprise m ay have several classes of equity (for exam ple, one or m ore classes each of com mon stock or preferred st ock) with different degrees of risk stem ming from different rights to participate in distributions of enterprise asset s or dif ferent priorities of claim s on enterprise assets in the event of liquidation. That is, some classes of owners m ay bear relatively more of the risks of an enterprise' s unprofita bility or m ay benefit relatively m ore from its Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 24

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution Page 25

profitability (or both) than other classes of owners. However, all classes depend at least to som e extent on enterprise prof itability f or distributions of enterprise assets, and no class of equity carries an unconditional right to receive fu ture transfers of assets from the ente rprise except in liquidation, and then only after liabilities have been satisfied. 63. Equity is originally created by owners' investments in an enterprise and m ay from time to time be augm ented by additional investm ents by ow ners. Equity is reduced by distributions by the enterprise to owners. However, the distinguishing characteristic of equity is that it inevitably is affected by the enterprise' s operations and other events and circum stances affecting the enterprise (which together constitute comprehensive income—paragraph 70). Transactions and Events That Change Equity of Business Enterprises

64. The following diagram shows the sources of ch anges in equity (class B) and distinguishes them from each other and from other transacti ons, events, and circum stances affecting an entity during a period (classes A and C). Specifically, the diagram shows that (a) class B (changes in equity) com prises two m utually exclusive cla sses of transactions and other events and circumstances, B1 and B2, each of which has signi ficant subclasses, and (b) classes B1, B2, and A are the sources of all incre ases and decreases in assets and liabilities of an enterprise; class C includes no changes in assets or liabilities. In the diagram , dotted lines rather than solid boundary lines separate revenues and gains and separate expenses and losses because of disp lay considerations that are beyond the scope of this Statement. Paragraphs 78-89 of this Statem ent define and discuss revenues, expenses, gains, a nd losses as elem ents of financial statem ents but do not precisely distinguish between revenues and gains on the one hand or between expenses and losses on the other. Fine distinctions between revenues and gains and between expenses and losses, as well as other distinctions within com prehensive incom e are m ore appropriately considered as part of display or reporting.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 26

65. The full width of the diagram , represented by the two-pointed arrow labeled "All transactions and other events and circum stances that affect a business enterprise during a period," encom passes all potentially record able events and circum stances affecti ng an entity. Moving from top to bottom of the diagram , each level divides the preceding level into classes that are significant for the definitions and related concepts in this Statem ent. (Size of classes 33 does not indicate their relative volume or significance.) A. All changes in assets and liabilities not accom panied by changes in equity. This class comprises f our kinds of exchange trans actions that are com mon in m ost entities. (Exchanges that affect equity belong in class B rather than class A.) 1. Exchanges of assets for assets, for exam ple, purchases of assets for cash or barter exchanges 2. Exchanges of liabilities f or liabilities, f or ex ample, issues of notes payable to settle accounts payable or refundings of bonds payable by issuing new bond s to holders that surrender outstanding bonds 3. Acquisitions of assets by incurring liabilities, f or exam ple, purchases of assets on account, borrowings, or receipts of cash advan ces for goods or services to be provided in the future 4. Settlements of liabilities by transf erring assets, f or example, repayments of borrowing, payments to suppliers on account, paym ents of accrued wages or salaries, or repairs (or payments for repairs) required by warranties B. All changes in assets or liabilities accom panied by changes in equity. This class is the subject of this section and comprises: 1. Comprehensive income (defined in paragr aph 70) whose com ponents (broadly defined and discussed in paragraphs 78-89) are: a. Revenues b. Gains c. Expenses d. Losses 2. All changes in equity f rom transf ers be tween a business enterprise and its owners (defined in paragraphs 66 and 67): a. Investments by owners in the enterprise b. Distributions by the enterprise to owners C. Changes within equity that do not af fect assets or liabilities (f or example, stock dividends, conversions of preferred stock into com mon stock, and som e stock recapitalizations). This class contains only changes within equity and does not affect the definition of equity or its amount. The definitions in paragraphs 70-89 are those in class B1—com prehensive incom e—and its subclasses—revenues, expenses, gains, and losses.34 Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 27

Investments by and Distributions to Owners 66. Investments by owners are increases in equity of a particular business enterprise resulting from transf ers to it f rom other entities of som ething valuable to obtain or increase ownership interests (or equity) in it. Assets are most commonly received as investments by owners, but that which is received m ay also include services or satisfaction or convers ion of liabilities of the enterprise. 67. Distributions to owners are decreases in equity of a particular business enterprise resulting from transferring assets, rendering services, or incurring liabilities by the enterprise to owners. Distributions to owners decrease ownership interest (or equity) in an enterprise.35 Characteristics of Investments by and Distributions to Owners

68. Investments by owners and distributions to ow ners are transactions between an enterprise and its owners as owners. Through investm ents by owners, an enterprise obtains resources it needs to begin or expand operations, to retire debt secu rities or other liabilities, or f or other business purposes; as a result of investing res ources in the enterprise, other entities obtain ownership interests in the enterprise or increase ownership interests they already have. Not all investments in the eq uity securities of an enterprise by other entities are investm ents by owners as that concept is defined in this Statem ent. In an investm ent by owners, the enterprise that issues the securities acquired by an owner always receives the proceeds or their ben efits; its net assets increase. If the purchaser of equity securities becom es an owner or increases its ownership interest in an enterprise by purchas ing those securities f rom another owner that is decreasing or terminating its ownership interest, the tra nsfer does not affect the net assets of the enterprise. 69. Distributions by an enterprise to its owne rs decrease its net assets and decrease or terminate ownership interests of those that recei ve them. Reacquisition by an entity of its own equity securities by transf erring assets or incurring l iabilities to owners is a distribution to owners as that concept is defined in this St atement. Since owners becom e creditors for a dividend declared until it is paid, an enterprise' s incurrence of a liability to transf er assets to owners in the f uture con verts a part of the equity or owners hip interest of the enterprise into creditors' claims; settlement of the liability by transfer of the assets is a transaction in class A4 in the diagram in paragraph 64 rather than in class B2(b). That is, equity is red uced by the incurrence of the liability to owners, not by its settlement. Comprehensive Income of Business Enterprises 70. Comprehensive incom e is the change in equ ity of a business enterprise during a period from transactions and other events and circum stances from nonowner sources. It includes all changes in equity during a period except those resulting fr om investm ents by owners and Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 28

distributions to owners. Concepts of Capital Maintenance

71. A concept of m aintenance of capital or recovery of cost is a prerequisite for separating return on capital f rom return of capital because only inflows in excess of the am ount needed to maintain capital are a return on equity. Two major concepts of capital maintenance exist, both of which can be m easured in units of either m oney or constant purchasing power: the financial capital concept and the physical capital concept (which is often expressed in term s of maintaining operating capability , that is, m aintaining the capacity of an enterprise to provide a constant supply of goods or services). The m ajor difference between them involves the effects of price changes on assets held and liabilities owed during a period. Under the financial capi tal concept, if the effects of those price changes are recognized, they are called "holding gains and losses" and are included in return on capital. Under the physical capital concept, those changes would be recognized but called "capital m aintenance adju stments" and would be included directly in equity and would not be included in return on capital. Under that concept, capital maintenance adjustments would be a separate element rather than gains and losses. 72. The f inancial capital concept is the traditi onal view and is generally the capital maintenance concept in present primary financial statements. Comprehensive income as defined in paragraph 70 is a return on financial capital.36 Characteristics, Sources, and Components of Comprehensive Income

73. Over the life of a business enterprise, its com prehensive income equals the net of its cash receipts and cash outlays, excluding cash (and cash equivalent of noncash assets) invested by owners and distributed to owners (Concepts Statem ent 1, paragraph 46). That characteristic holds whether the am ounts of cash and com prehensive income are m easured in nom inal dollars or constant dollars. Although the am ounts in cons tant dollars may differ from those in nom inal dollars, the basic relationsh ip is not changed because both nom inal and constant dollars express the same thing using different m easuring units. Matters such as recognition criteria and choice of attributes to be m easured 37 also do not affect the am ounts of comprehensive income and net cash receipts over the life of an enterprise but do affect the tim e and way parts of the total are identified with the periods that constitute the entire life. Tim ing of recognition of revenues, expenses, gains, and losses is also a m ajor difference between accounting based on cash receipts and outlays and accrual accounting. Accrual accounting m ay encom pass various tim ing possibilities—for example, when goods or services are provided, when cash is received, or when prices change. 74. Comprehensive income of a business enterprise results from (a) exchange transactions and other transf ers between the enterprise and ot her entities that are not its owners, (b) the 38 enterprise's productive efforts, and (c) price changes , casualties, and other ef fects of interactions between the enterprise and the econom ic, legal, social, political, and physical environment of which it is part. An enterpri se's productive efforts and m ost of its exchange Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 29

transactions with other entities are ongoing major activities that constitute the enterprise's central operations by which it attem pts to fulfill its basic function in the econom y of producing and distributing goods or services at prices that are sufficient to enable it to pay for the good s and services it uses and to provide a satisfactory return to its owners. 75. Comprehensive incom e is a broad concept. Although an enterprise' s ongoing m ajor or central operations are generally intended to be the prim ary source of com prehensive incom e, they are not the only source. Most entities occasionally engage in activities that are peripheral or incidental to their central activities. Moreove r, all entities are affected by the econom ic, legal, social, political, and physical environm ent of which they are part, and com prehensive income of each enterprise is affected by events and circum stances that may be partly or wholly beyond the control of individual enterprises and their managements. 76. Although cash resulting from various sources of com prehensive incom e is the sam e, receipts from various sources m ay vary in stability, risk, and predictability. That is, characteristics of various sources of com prehensive incom e m ay dif fer significantly from one another, indicating a need for inform ation about various com ponents of com prehensive income. That need underlies the distinctions between re venues and gains, between expenses and losses, between various kinds of gains and losses , and between measures found in present practice such as incom e from continuing operations and inco me af ter extraordinary item s and cum ulative effect of change in accounting principle. 77. Comprehensive income comprises two related but distinguishable types of components. It consists of not only its basic com ponents—revenues, expenses, gains, and losses—but also various intermediate components that result from combining the basic com ponents. Revenues, expenses, gains, and losses can be com bined in various ways to obtain several m easures of enterprise perform ance with varying degrees of inclusiveness. Exam ples of interm ediate components in business enterprises are gross m argin, income from continuing operations before taxes, incom e from continuing operations, and operating incom e. Those interm ediate components are, in effect, subtotals of com prehensive incom e and often of one another in the sense that they can be com bined with each other or with the basic components to obtain other intermediate measures of comprehensive income.39 Revenues 78. Revenues are inf lows or other enhancem ents of assets of an entity or settlem ents of its liabilities (or a com bination of both) from delivering or producing goods, rendering services, or other activities that constitute the entity's ongoing major or central operations. Characteristics of Revenues

79. Revenues represent actual or expected cash infl ows (or the equivalent) that have occurred or will eventuate as a result of the entity' s ongoing m ajor or central operations. The assets Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 30

increased by revenues 40 may be of various kinds—for example, cash, claims against customers or clients, other goods or services received, or increased value of a product resulting from production. Sim ilarly, the transactions and events from which revenues arise and the revenues themselves are in many forms and are called by various nam es—for example, output, deliveries, sales, f ees, interest, dividends, royalties, and rent—depending on the kinds of operations 41 involved and the way revenues are recognized. Expenses 80. Expenses are outf lows or other using up of assets or incurrences of liabilities (or a combination of both) from delivering or producing goods, 42 rendering services, or carrying out other activities that constitute the entity's ongoing major or central operations. Characteristics of Expenses

81. Expenses represent actual or expected cash outflows (or the equivalent) that have occurred or will eventuate as a result of the entity' s ongoing major or central operations. The assets that flow out or are used or the liabilities that ar e incurred 43 may be of various kinds—for exam ple, units of product delivered or produced, em ployees' services used, kilowatt hours of electricity used to light an office building, or taxes on cu rrent incom e. Sim ilarly, the transactions and events from which expenses arise and the expenses them selves are in many forms and are called by various nam es—for exam ple, cost of goods so ld, cost of services provided, depreciation, interest, rent, and salaries and wages—de pending on the kinds of operations involved and the way expenses are recognized. Gains and Losses 82. Gains are increases in equity (net assets) from peripheral or incidental transactions of an entity and f rom all other transactions and othe r events and circum stances af fecting the entity except those that result from revenues or investments by owners. 83. Losses are decreases in equity (net assets) from peripheral or incidental transactions of an entity and f rom all other transactions and othe r events and circum stances af fecting the entity except those that result from expenses or distributions to owners. Characteristics of Gains and Losses

84. Gains and losses result f rom entities' peripheral or incidental transactions and f rom other events and circum stances stem ming from the environm ent that m ay be largely beyond the control of individual entities and their m anagements. Thus, gains and losses are not all alike. There are several kinds, even in a single entity, a nd they m ay be described or classified in a variety of ways that are not necessarily mutually exclusive. 85.

Gains and losses m ay be described or classi fied according to sources. Som e gains or

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 31

losses are net results of com paring the proceeds a nd sacrifices (costs) in peripheral or incidental transactions with other entities—for example, from sales of investments in marketable securities, from dispositions of used equipment, or from settlements of liabilities at other than their carrying amounts. Other gains or losses result from nonreciprocal transfers between an entity and other entities that are not its owners—for exam ple, from gifts or donations, 44 from winning a lawsuit, from thefts, and from assessments of fines or damages by courts. Still other gains or losses result from holding assets or liabilities while their values change—f or exam ple, from price changes that cause inventory items to be written down from cost to market, from changes in market prices of investments in m arketable equity securities acc ounted for at m arket values or at the lower of cost and m arket, and from changes in for eign exchange rates. And still other gains or losses result from other environmental factors, such as natural catastrophes—for example, damage to or destruction of property by earthquake or flood. 86. Gains and losses m ay also be described or classified as "operating" or "nonoperating," depending on their relation to an entity' s m ajor ongoing or central operations. For exam ple, losses on writing down inventory from cost to m arket are usually considered to be operating losses, while major casualty losses are usually considered nonoperating losses. Revenues, Expenses, Gains, and Losses

87. Revenues and gains are sim ilar, and expenses and losses are similar, but some differences are significant in conveying inform ation about an enterprise' s perform ance. Revenues and expenses result from an entity's ongoing major or central operations and activities—that is, f rom activities such as producing or delivering goods, rendering services, lending, insuring, investing, and financing. In contrast, gains and losses resu lt from incidental or peripheral transactions of an enterprise wit h other entities and f rom other events and circum stances af fecting it. Som e gains and losses m ay be considered "operating" gains and losses and m ay be closely related to revenues and expenses. Revenues and expenses are com monly displayed as gross inflows or outflows of net assets, while gains and losses are usually displayed as net inflows or outflows. 88. The definitions and discussion of revenues, e xpenses, gains, and losses in this Statem ent give broad guidance but do not distinguish preci sely between revenues and gains or between expenses and losses. Distinctions between revenues and gains and between expenses and losses in a particular entity depend to a signif icant extent on the nature of the entity, its operations, and its other activities. Item s that are revenues f or one kind of entity may be gains f or another, and items that are expenses f or one kind of entity m ay be losses f or another. For exam ple, investments in securities that m ay be sources of revenues and expenses f or insurance or investment com panies m ay be sources of gain s and losses in m anufacturing or m erchandising companies. Technological changes m ay be sources of gains or losses for m ost kinds of enterprises but m ay be characteristic of the ope rations of high-technology or research-oriented enterprises. Events such as com modity price changes and foreign exchange rate changes that occur while assets are being used or produced or liabilities are owed m ay directly or indirectly affect the amounts of revenues or expenses for most enterprises, but they are sources of revenues Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 32

or expenses only for enterprises for which trading in foreign exchange or commodities is a major or central activity. 89. Since a primary purpose of distinguishing gain s and losses from revenues and expenses is to make displays of information about an enterprise's sources of comprehensive income as useful as possible, fine distinctions between revenues and gains and between expenses and losses are principally matters of display or reporting (paragraphs 64, 219-220, and 228). Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations Characteristics of Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations

90. In a not-for-profit organization, as in a business enterprise, net assets (equity) is a residual, the difference between the entity's assets and its liabilities but, in contrast to equity of a business enterprise, it is not an ownership i nterest. Distinguishing characteristics of a not-for-profit organization include absence of ownership interest (s) in the sam e sense as a business enterprise, operating purposes not centered on profit, and significant receipts of contributions, m any involving donor-imposed restrictions (paragraphs 11-15, 18 and 19, and 49-53). 91. Net assets of not-for-profit organizations is divided into three m utually exclusive classes, permanently restricted net assets, temporarily restricted net assets, and unrestricted net assets.45 Classes of Net Assets

92. Permanently restricted net assets is the part of the net assets of a not-f or-profit organization resulting (a) from contributions a nd other inflows of assets whose use by the organization is limited by donor-imposed stipulations that neit her expire by passage of tim e nor can be fulfilled or otherwise rem oved by actions of the organization, (b) from other asset enhancements and dim inishments subject to th e sam e kinds of stipulations, and (c) from reclassifications from (or to) other classes of net assets as a consequence of donor-im posed stipulations. 93. Temporarily restricted net assets is the part of the net assets of a not-for-profit organization resulting (a) from contributions a nd other inflows of assets whose use by the organization is limited by donor-imposed stipulations that either expire by passage of time or can be fulfilled and rem oved by actions of the organi zation pursuant to those stipulations, (b) f rom other asset enhancem ents and dim inishments subject to the sam e kinds of stipulations, and (c) from reclassifications to (or from) other classes of net assets as a consequence of donor-im posed stipulations, their expiration by passage of time, or their f ulfillment and rem oval by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations. 94. Unrestricted net assets is the part of net assets of a not-for-profit organization that is neither permanently restricted nor tem porarily restricted by donor-imposed stipulations—that is, Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 33

the part of net assets resulting (a) f rom all rev enues, expenses, gains, and losses that are not changes in perm anently or tem porarily restricted net assets and (b) from reclassifications from (or to) other classes of net assets as a consequence of donor-im posed stipulations, their expiration by passage of tim e, or their f ulfillment and rem oval by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations. The only lim its on unrestricted net assets are broad lim its resulting from the nature of the organization and the purposes specified in its articles o f incorporation (or com parable docum ent for an unincorporated association) or bylaws and perhaps lim its resulting from contractual agreem ents—for exam ple, loan covenants—entered into by the organization in the course of its operations. Donor-Imposed Restrictions

95. The three classes of net assets reflect differences in, or absence of, donor-im posed restrictions on a not-for-profit organization' s use of its assets. Thus, restriction and restricted in this Statem ent refer to lim its placed on a not-for-profit organization's use of assets by donors' stipulations that are more specific than broad lim its resulting from the nature of the organization and the purposes specified in its article s of incorporation (or com parable doc ument for an unincorporated association) or bylaws. Re strictions generally do not create liabilities (paragraphs 56-58), but they do restrain the orga nization from using part of its resources for purposes other than those specif ied, for example, to settle liabilities, purchase goods, or provide services not within the scope of the restrictions. 96. Donors need not explicitly limit uses of contributed assets for a not-for-profit organization to classify the increase in net assets as rest ricted if circum stances surrounding those receipts make clear the donor' s im plicit stipulation of restricted use. For exam ple, use of contributed assets is restricted despite absence of a donor' s explicit stipulation about use if the assets are received in a fund-raising drive declared to be for a specific purpose, such as to add to the organization's endowment, to acquire a particular propert y, or to obtain resources for next year' s operations. 97. Only donors' explicit, or clearly evident im plicit, stipulations that lim it a not-for-profit organization's use of its assets can result in perm anently or tem porarily restricted net assets (as this Statem ent uses those term s). Decisions , resolutions, appropriations, or the like by the directors, trustees, or m anagers of a not-fo r-profit organization m ay im pose seem ingly sim ilar limits on the use of net assets that were not stipulated by donors. However, unless lim its are imposed by dono rs' stipulations that place them beyond the organization' s discretion to change, they differ substantively from donor-im posed lim its that result in restricted net assets. For example, a voluntary resolution by the trus tees of an organization to earm ark a portion of its unrestricted net assets to function as an endowm ent is a revocable internal designation that does not give rise to restricted net assets. 46 Only in the relatively few instances in which self-imposed limits become legally irrevocable are they substantively equivalent to donor-imposed restrictions and the cause of restricted net assets.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 34

Temporary and Permanent Restrictions

98. Contributions (or other enhancem ents) of a ssets with donor-im posed lim its on their use increase assets and net assets of a not-for-prof it organization in the period in which it receives them, but the y do not increase unrestricted net assets, nor are they generally available for payment to creditors, as long as the restriction remains. Donor-im posed restrictions on use of assets may be either temporary or permanent.47 99. Some donors stipulate that their contributions be used in a later period or after a specified date rather than be expended immediately; those are often called time restrictions. Other donors stipulate that their contributions be used f or a specified purpose, such as sponsoring a particular program or service, acquiring a particular building, or settling a particular liability; those are often called purpose restrictions. Time and purpose restrictions have in common that they can be satisfied, either by passage of tim e or by actions of the organization, and that the contributed assets can be expended. Those restrictions are temporary. Once the stipulation is satisfied, the restriction is gone. 100. Still other donors stipulate that resources be m aintained perm anently—not used up, expended, or otherwise exhausted—but perm it the organization to use up or expend the incom e (or other economic benefits) derived from the donated assets. That type of restricted gift is often called an endowment. The restriction lasts in eff ect forever. It cannot be rem oved by actions of the organization or passage of tim e. Th e donations do not increase the organization' s unrestricted net assets in an y period, and the donated assets ar e not available for paym ent to creditors. Restrictions Affect Net Assets Rather Than Particular Assets

101. Restrictions im pose responsibilities on m anagement to ensure that the organization uses donated resources in the m anner stipulated by resource providers. Som etimes donor-im posed restrictions limit an organization' s ability to sell or exchange the particular asset received. For example, a donor may give a painting to a museum stipulating that it must be publicly displayed, properly maintained, and never sold. 102. More com monly, donors' stipulations perm it the organization to pool the donated assets with other assets and to sell or exchange the donated assets for other suitable assets as long as the economic benefits of the donated assets are no t consumed or used for a purpose that does not comply with the stipulation. For example, a donor may contribute 100 shares of Security A to an organization's endowment, thereby requiring that th e amount of the gift be retained perm anently but not requirin g that the specific shares be held indefi nitely. Thus, perm anently restricted net assets and tem porarily restricted net assets ge nerally refer to am ounts of net assets that are restricted by donor-imposed limits, not to specific assets.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 35

Maintenance of Net Assets

103. Although not-for-profit organizations do not have ownership interests or profit in the same sense as business enterprises, they nonethele ss need a concept of capital m aintenance or its equivalent to reflect "the relation between inflows and outflows of resources during a period." 48 The activities of an organization during a pe riod m ay draw upon resources received in past periods or may add resources that can be used in future periods. 104. Unless a not-f or-profit organization m aintains its net assets, its ability to continue to provide services dwindles; either future res ource providers m ust m ake up the deficiency or services to f uture beneficiaries will decline. For ex ample, use of an asset such as a building to provide goods or services to beneficiaries cons umes part of the future econom ic benefits or service potential constituting the asset, and that decrease in future econom ic benefits is one of the costs (expenses) of using the asset for that purpose. 49 The organization's net assets decrease as it uses up an asset unless its revenues and gains at least equal its expenses and losses, including the cost of consum ing part of th e asset during the period (depreciation). Even if that organization plans to replace the asset through fu ture contributions from donors, and probably will be able to do so, it has not maintained its net assets during the current period. 105. Maintenance of net assets in not-for-prof it organizations, as in business enterprises (paragraph 72), is based on the m aintenance of f inancial capital—that is, a not-f or-profit organization's capital has been maintained if the financial (money) amount of its net assets at the end of a period equals or exceeds the financial am ount of its net assets at the beginning of the period. 106. Since donor-im posed restrictions affect the t ypes and levels of service a not-for-profit organization can provide, whether an organization has m aintained certain classes of net assets may be more significant than whether it has maintained net assets in the aggregate. For example, if net assets were m aintained in a period only because perm anently restricted endowm ent contributions m ade up for a decline in unrestr icted net assets, inform ation focusing on the aggregate change m ight obscure the fact that the organization ha d not m aintained the part of its net assets that is fully available to support services in the next period. Transactions and Events That Change Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations 107. The following diagram shows the sources of ch anges in the am ount of or the restrictions on a not-for-profit organization' s net assets a nd distinguishes them from each other and from other transactions, events, and circum stances affecting the organization during a period. W hile similar in m any respects to the diagram in paragr aph 64 f or business enterprises, it ref lects the different characteristics and financial reporting obj ectives of not-for-profit organizations. The importance to th ose organizations of donor-im posed restri ctions on use of som e assets focuses financial reporting inform ation on changes in rest rictions on net assets as well as on changes in the amount of net assets. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 36

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution Page 37

108. The full width of the diagram , represented by the two-pointed arrow labeled "All transactions and other events and circum stances that affect a not-for-profit organization during a period," encom passes all potentially recordable events and circum stances affecting a not-for-profit organization. [This diagram has been deleted in the electronic version of Original Pronouncements. If there is a need to reference this diagram , please refer to the printed version of Original Pronouncem ents.] Moving down the diagram , the next level is divided into three mutually exclusive classes that are the sam e as those of business enterprises (classes A, B, and C). Continuing down the diagram, however, classes B and C are divided differently from classes B and C in the business-enterprise diagram because not-for-profit organizations have no owners or transactions with owners in the sam e sense as business enterprises and because restrictions on net assets and changes in the restrictions are significant in n ot-for-profit organizations. (Size of classes does not indicate their relative volume or significance.) A. All changes in assets and liabilities not accom panied by changes in net assets. This class comprises four kinds of exchange transactions that are common in m ost entities; paragraph 65 includes exam ples. (Exchanges that affect the am ount of net assets belong in class B rather than A.) 1. Exchanges of assets for assets 2. Exchanges of liabilities for liabilities 3. Acquisitions of assets by incurring liabilities 4. Settlements of liabilities by transferring assets B. All changes in assets or liabilities accompanied by changes in the amount of net assets. This class comprises four kinds of items that also exist for business enterprises: 1. Revenues 2. Gains 3. Expenses 4. Losses C. All changes within net assets that do not affect assets or liabilities. 1. Reclassifications between classes of ne t assets from changes in donor-im posed restrictions, for example, temporarily restricted net assets become unrestricted net assets when a donor-im posed tim e stipulation expires. This class com prises events that increase one class of net assets while decreasing another but do not change the am ount of net assets. 2. Changes within a class of net assets, for exam ple, an internal designation by trustees to establish a working capital reserve from a portion of the entity's unrestricted net assets. 109. The shaded arrow that is divided horizontally into three classes—change in perm anently restricted net assets, change in tem porarily rest ricted net assets, and change in unrestricted net assets—encompasses all transactions and other eve nts and circum stances that change either the amount of net assets or the donor-im posed restric tions on net assets. It thus encom passes the Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 38

transactions and other events and circum stances that com prise class B (revenues, expenses, gains, losses), and class C1 (reclassifications), combined. 110. In other words, the third and fourth levels of the diagram show in two different ways the same set of transactions and other events and circum stances affecting net assets of a not-for-profit organization and the com position of its thre e classes during a period. The third level em phasizes sources of changes in net asse ts—transactions or other events that result in revenues, expenses, gains, or losses or in recla ssifications within net assets. The f ourth level emphasizes the effects of those events on each of the three classes of net assets—perm anently restricted net assets, tem porarily restricted net assets, and unrestricted net assets. The components of class B—revenues, expenses, ga ins, and losses—are discussed collectively in paragraphs 111-113; reclassifications (class C1) are defined and discussed in paragraphs 114-116; and changes in classes of net assets (t he fourth level) are defined and discussed in paragraphs 117-133. Revenues, Expenses, Gains, and Losses

111. Revenues, expenses, gains, and losses are defined and discussed in paragraphs 78-89. Collectively, they include all transactions and ot her events and circum stances that change the amount of net assets of a not-for-profit organization. All resource inflows and other enhancements of assets of a not-f or-profit organization or settlem ents of its liabilities that increase net assets are either revenues or gains and have characteristics similar to the revenues or gains of a business enterpri se. Likewise, all resource outflow s or other using up of assets or incurrences of liabilities that decrease net assets are either expenses or losses and have characteristics similar to expenses or losses of business enterprises. 112. Net assets of a not-for-profit organization changes as a result of (a) exchange transactions, (b) contributions and other nonreciprocal transf ers from or to and other entities, (c) the organization's service-providing efforts, 50 and (d ) price changes, casualties, and other ef fects of interactions between the organization and th e econom ic, legal, social, political, and physical environment of which it is a part. 113. A not-for-profit organization's service-providing efforts, most of its fund-raising activities, and most of its exchange transactions with other entities are generally ongoing m ajor activities that constitute the organization' s central operations by which it attem pts to f ulfill its basic function of providing goods or services to its constituency and thus are the sources of its revenues and expenses. Its gains and losses result from activities that are peripheral or incidental to its c entral operations and from interactions with its environm ent, which give rise to price changes, casualties, and other effects that m ay be partly or wholly beyond the control of individual organizations and their m anagements. Item s that are revenues (or ex penses) for one kind of organization may be gains (or losses) for another. For example, donors' contributions are revenues to m any not-for-profit organizations but are gains to others that do not actively seek them and receive them only occasionally. Similarly, contributions such as those for endowments Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 39

are usually gains because they occur only occasionally for most not-for-profit organizations. Reclassifications

114. Reclassifications between classes of net a ssets result from donor-im posed stipulations, their expiration by passage of tim e, or thei r f ulfillment and rem oval by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations. Reclassificati ons simultaneously increase one class and decrease another class of net assets; they do not involve inflows, outfl ows, or other changes in assets or liabilities. 115. Reclassifications include events that rem ove or im pose restrictions on an organization' s use of its existing resources. Restrictions are removed from tem porarily restricted net assets when stipulated conditions expire or are f ulfilled by the organization. Tim e-restricted net assets generally become unrestricted when the stipulated time arrives; for exam ple, net assets that are restricted by contribution of assets during 1985 for use in 1986 becom e unrestricted on January 1, 1986. Pur pose-restricted net assets generally becom e unrestricted when the organization undertakes activities pursuant to the specified purpose, perhaps over several periods, depending on the nature of donors' stipulations. The resulting reclassifications increase unrestricted net assets, of ten at the sam e tim e that the activities that rem ove the restrictions result in expenses that decrease unrestricted net assets (paragraphs 151 and 152). Tem porarily restricted net assets may becom e unrestricted when an organiza tion incurs liabilities to vendors or em ployees as it undertakes the activities required by donor stipulations, rather than at the tim e those liabilities are paid. Restrictions occasionally m ay be withdrawn by the donor or rem oved by judicial action. 116. A donor's gift may impose restrictions on otherwise unrestricted net assets. For exam ple, some donors provide endowm ent gifts on the cond ition that the organization agree to "m atch" them by perm anently restricting a stated am ount of i ts unrestricted net assets. "Matching agreements" that are not reversible without donors' consent result in a reclassification of unrestricted net assets to permanently restricted net assets or to temporarily restricted net assets. Changes in Classes of Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations 117. Those who provide, or m ay provide, resources to a not-for-profit organization usually need inform ation not only about sources of cha nges in its net assets—about transactions and other events that result in revenues, expenses, gains, and losses—but also about their effects, and the effects of events that change donor-im posed restrictions, on classes of net assets. Effects on classes of net assets often m ay be m ore signi ficant to them than sources of changes because donor-imposed restrict ions m ay significantly affect the type s and levels of services that a not-for-profit organization can provide. 118. Events that result in reclassif ications within net assets and revenues, expenses, gains, and losses together encom pass the transactions and other events and circum stances that com prise Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 40

change in perm anently restricted net assets, chang e in tem porarily restricted net assets, and change in unrestricted net assets (paragraphs 108-110). Change in Permanently Restricted Net Assets

119. Change in perm anently restricted net assets of a not-for-profit organization during a period is the total of (a) contributions and othe r inflows during the period of assets whose use by the organization is lim ited by donor-im posed stipulations that neither expire by passage of tim e nor can be fulfilled or otherwise rem oved by actions of the organization, (b) other asset enhancements and dim inishments during the pe riod that are subject to the sam e kinds of stipulations, and (c) reclassifi cations from (or to) other classes of net assets during the period as a consequence of donor-imposed stipulations. Characteristics of Change in Permanently Restricted Net Assets

120. Most increases in perm anently restricted ne t assets of a not-for-p rofit organization are from its accepting contributions of assets that donors stipulate m ust be maintained in perpetuity. Receipt of a contribution increases perm anently restricted net assets if the donor stipulates that the resources received m ust be m aintained pe rmanently and those resources are capable of providing future econom ic benefit indefinitely. Only assets that are not by their nature used up in carrying out the organization' s activities are capable of providing econom ic benefits indefinitely. Gifts of cash, securities, or nonexha ustible property, such as land and art objects, to be added to an o rganization's endowment or collections are com mon examples of those types of assets. 121. Donors' perm anent restrictions on the use of contributed assets m ay also extend to enhancements of those assets or to inflows that result from them. For exam ple, increases in the value of endowm ent investm ents that by donor stipulatio n or law becom e part of endowm ent principal also increase perm anently restricted net assets. Events that dim inish perm anently restricted net assets m ay also occur. Exam ples include destruction of or dam age to a permanently restricted work of art by fire, flood, or vandalism ; decline in value of endowm ent investments that by donor stipulation or law re duces endowment principal; or external m andate (by judicial or similar authority) to transfer endowment securities to another organization. 122. Reclassifications also m ay increase the am ount of perm anently restricted net assets or occasionally decrease it (paragraphs 114-116). Change in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

123. Change in temporarily restricted net assets of a not-for-profit organization during a period is the total of (a) contributions and other infl ows during the period of assets whose use by the organization is limited by donor-imposed stipulations that either expire by passage of time or can be fulfilled and rem oved by actions of the organi zation pursuant to those stipulations, (b) other asset enhancem ents and dim inishments duri ng the period subject to the sam e kinds of Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 41

stipulations, and (c) reclassifications to (or from ) other classes of net assets during the period as a consequence of donor-im posed stipulations, th eir expiration by passage of tim e, or their fulfillment and removal by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations. Characteristics of Change in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

124. Most increases in temporarily restricted net assets of a not-for-profit organization are from its accepting contributions of assets that donors lim it to use after a specif ied f uture tim e—for example, to be used for next year' s operations or to be invested for 10 years before becom ing available for operations—or for a specified purpose—for exam ple, sponsoring a particular program activity or acquiring a particular building o r piece of equipm ent. Tem porary restrictions pertain to contributions with donor s tipulations that expire or can be fulfilled and removed by using assets as specifi ed. And, in contrast to perm anent restrictions, which pertain to assets that can provide economic benefits indefinitely and must be maintained in perpetuity by the receiving organization, tem porary restrictions pe rtain to assets that by their nature are spent or used up in carrying out the receiving or ganization's activities or, if capable of p roviding economic benefits indefinitely, need not be retained after a stipulated time. 125. Donors' restrictions on the use of contributed assets m ay also extend to enhancem ents of those assets or to inflows that result from them. For exam ple, if a donor stipulates that interest income derived from investment of contributed assets is lim ited to use af ter a specif ied date or for a specified operating purpose, the interest in come is a restricted inflow that increases temporarily restricted net assets. Events that diminish tem porarily restricted net assets, other than expirations and removals of restrictions (next paragraph), may also occur and are much like those that affect permanently restricted net assets (paragraph 121). 126. Reclassifications are the m ost com mon source of decreases in tem porarily restricted net assets. Events resulting in the expiration or rem oval of tem porary restrictions result in reclassifications from temporarily restricted net assets to unrestricted net assets. Change in Unrestricted Net Assets

127. Change in unrestricted net assets of a not-f or-profit organization during a period is the total change in net assets during the period less ch ange in perm anently restricted net assets and change in tem porarily restricted net assets f or the period. It is the change during the period in the part of net assets of a not-for-profit organization that is not lim ited by donor-im posed stipulations. Characteristics of Change in Unrestricted Net Assets

128. Changes in unrestricted net assets include (a) revenues and gains that change unrestricted net assets, (b) expenses and losses that cha nge unrestricted net assets, and (c) reclassif ications from (or to) other classes of net assets as a consequence of donor-im posed stipulations, their expiration by passage of tim e, or their f ulfillment and rem oval by actions of the organization Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 42

pursuant to those stipulations. 129. Revenues and gains that increase unrestricted net assets of a not-for-profit organization have characteristics sim ilar to those of revenue s and gains of business enterprises. Those revenues and gains and the transactions that give ris e to them are in m any forms and are called by various nam es—for exam ple, fees for services, m embership dues, unrestricted gifts, or bequests, interest income, and gains on sales of marketable securities. 130. Expenses and losses that decrease unrestricted net assets of a not-for-profit organization have characteristics sim ilar to those of expenses and losses of business enterprises. Except for diminishments of donor-restricted contributed assets that decrease either perm anently restricted or temporarily restricted net assets, all types of transactions, other events, and circumstances that decrease net assets of an organization are expens es or losses that decrease unrestricted net assets (paragraphs 121 and 125). Those expenses and losses and the transactions that give rise to them are in many forms and are called by various names—for example, cost of services provided, cost of goods sold, salaries and wages, rent, supplies, interest expense , depreciation, flood dam age, and gifts to other entities.51 131. Reclassifications, although not changing the amount of net assets, may change the amount of unrestricted net assets. Reclassifications m ore com monly increase rather than decrease unrestricted net assets. Events resulting in the expir ation or rem oval of tem porary restrictions result in reclassif ications f rom tem porarily rest ricted net assets that increase unrestricted net assets. 132. A not-for-profit organization' s activities that fulfill stipulated conditions and result in removing donor-imposed purpose restrictions on us e of donated assets also com monly result in expenses that decrease unrestricted net assets. A ctivities undertaken pursuant to a specified purpose remove the related restriction, often as the organization pays cash or incurs liabilities to vendors or em ployees to carry out a stipulated activity (paragraph 115). Those transactions result in expense s either when cash is paid or liabilities are incurred or as the organization uses up assets acquired in the transactions. 133. Information about whether a not-for-profit orga nization has m aintained particular classes of net assets m ay be m ore significant than whethe r it has m aintained net assets in the aggregate (paragraph 106). Change in unrestricted net assets for a period indicates whether an organization has m aintained the part of its net assets that is fully available—that is, free of donor-im posed restrictions—to support the organization' s services to beneficiaries in the next period. The combined change in unrestricted net assets and change in temporarily restricted net assets f or a period indicates whether an organization has m aintained the part of its net assets that is now or can som eday be available—that is, free of perm anent restrictions—to support its services to beneficiaries in future periods.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 43

ACCRUAL ACCOUNTING AND RELATED CONCEPTS 134. Items that qualify under the definitions of elem ents of financial statem ents and that m eet criteria for recognition and m easurement (par agraph 23) are accounted for and included in financial statem ents by the use of accrual accounting p rocedures. Accrual accounting and related concepts are therefore significant not only for defining elem ents of financial statem ents but also for understanding and considering othe r aspects of the conceptual fram ework for financial accounting and reporting . Paragraphs 135-152 define or describe several significant financial accounting and reporting concepts that ar e used in this Statem ent and other concepts Statements. Transactions, Events, and Circumstances 135. This Statement commonly uses transactions and other events and circumstances affecting an entity to describe the sources or causes of cha nges in assets, liabilities, and equity or net assets. An event is a happening of consequence to a n entity. It m ay be an internal event that occurs within an entity, such as using raw m aterials or equipment in production, or it m ay be an external event that involves interaction between an entity and its environm ent, such as a transaction with another entity, a change in price of a good or service that an entity buys or sells, a flood or earthquake, or an im provement in technology by a com petitor.52 Many events are combinations. For exam ple, acquiring services of em ployees or others involves exchange transactions, which are external events; using those services, often sim ultaneously with their acquisition, is part of production, which involves a series of internal events (paragraph 79, footnote 40). An event m ay be in itiated by an entity, such as a pu rchase of m erchandise or use of a building, or it m ay be partly or wholly beyond the control of an entity and its m anagement, such as an interest rate change, an act of va ndalism or thef t, the im position of taxes, or the expiration of a donor-imposed time restriction. 136. Circumstances are a condition or set of conditi ons that develop from an event or a series of events, which m ay occur alm ost im perceptibly and m ay converge in random or unexpected ways to create situations that m ight otherwise not have occurred and m ight not have been anticipated. To see the circum stance m ay be fairly easy, but to discern specifically when the event or events that caused it occurred m ay be di fficult or im possible. For exam ple, a debtor' s going bankrupt or a thief's stealing gasoline may be an event, but a creditor' s facing the situation that its debtor is bankrupt or a warehouse' s f acing the fact that its tank is em pty m ay be a circumstance. 137. A transaction is a particular kind of extern al event, nam ely, an external event involving transfer of som ething of valu e (future econom ic benefit) between two (or m ore) entities. The transaction m ay be an exchange in which each parti cipant both receives and sacrifices value, Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 44

such as purchases or sales of goods or serv ices; or the transaction m ay be a nonreciprocal transfer in which an entity incurs a liability or transfers an asset to another entity (or receives an asset or cancellati on of a liability) without directly receiving (or giving) value in exchange. Nonreciprocal transfers contrast with exchanges (w hich are reciprocal transfers) and include, for example, investments by owners, distributi ons to owners, im positions of taxes, g ifts, charitable or educational contributions given or received, and thefts.53 138. This Statem ent does not use the term internal transaction (which is essentially contradictory). Transferring materials to production processes, using plant and equipment whose wear and tear is represente d by depreciation, and other ev ents that happen within an entity are internal events, not internal transactions. Accrual Accounting 139. Accrual accounting attempts to record the financial effects on an entity of transactions and other events and circum stances that have cash consequences f or the entity in the periods in which those transactions, events, and circum stances occur rather than only in the periods in which cash is received or paid by the entity. Accrual accounting is concerned with an entity' s acquiring of goods and services and using th em to produce and distribute other goods or services. It is concerned wit h the process by which cash expended on resources and activities is returned as more (or perhaps less) cash to the entity, not just with the beginning and end of that process. It recognizes that the buying, producing, selling, distributing, and other operations of an entity during a period, as well as other events that affect entity perform ance, often do not coincide with the cash receipts and paym ents of the period (FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises, paragraph 44, and FASB Concepts Statement No. 4, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Nonbusiness Organizations, paragraph 50). 140. Thus, accrual accounting is based not only on cash transactions but also on credit transactions, barter exchanges, nonreciprocal tran sfers of goods or services, changes in prices, changes in f orm of assets or liabilities, and other tra nsactions, events, and circum stances that have cash consequences for an entity but involve no concurrent cash m ovement. By accounting for noncash assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, gains, and losses, accrual accounting links an entity's operations a nd other transactions, events, and circum stances that affect it with its cash receipts and outlays. Accrual accounting thus provi des information about an entity' s assets and liabilities and changes in them that cannot be obtained by accounting for only ca sh receipts and outlays. Accrual and Deferral (Including Allocation and Amortization) 141. Accrual accounting attempts to recognize noncash events and circumstances as they occur and involves not only accruals but also deferra ls, including allocations and am ortizations. Accrual is concerned with expected future cash receipts and paym ents: it is the accounting Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 45

process of recognizing assets or liabilities and th e related liabilities, assets, revenues, expenses, gains, or losses for am ounts expected to be r eceived or paid, usually in cash, in the future. Deferral is concerned with past cash receipts and paym ents—with prepayments received (often described as collected in advance) or paid: it is the accounting process of recognizing a liability resulting from a current cash receipt (or th e equivalent) or an asset resulting from a current cash payment (or the equivalent) with deferred recognition of revenues, expenses, gains, or losses. Their recognition is deferred until the obligati on underlying the liability is partly or wholly satisfied 54 or until the future econom ic benefit underlying the asset is partly or wholly used or lost. Common examples of accruals include purchases and sales of goods or services on account, interest, rent (not yet paid), wages and salaries , taxes, and decreases and increases in m arketable securities accounted for at lower of cost and m arket. Com mon exam ples of deferrals include prepaid insurance and unearned subscriptions.55 142. Allocation is the accounting process of assigni ng or distributing an am ount according to a plan or a form ula. It is broader than and includes amortization, which is the accounting process of reducing an am ount by periodic paym ents or write-downs. Specifically, am ortization is the process of reducing a liability recorded as a result of a cash receipt by recognizing revenues or reducing an asset recorded as a result of a cash paym ent by recognizing expenses or costs of production. That is, am ortization is an allocation process for accounting for prepaym ents and deferrals. Common examples of allocations include assigning manufacturing costs to production departments or cost centers and thence to units of product to determ ine "product co st," apportioning the cost of a "basket purchase" to the individual assets acquired on the basis of their relative market values, and spreading the cost of an insurance policy or a building to two or more accounting periods. Com mon exam ples of am ortizations include recognizing expenses for depreciation, depletion, and insurance and recognizing earned subscription revenues. Realization and Recognition 143. Realization in the m ost precise sense m eans the process of converting noncash resources and rights into money and is most precisely used in accounting and financial reporting to refer to sales of assets for cash or claim s to cash. The related terms realized and unrealized therefore identify revenues or gains or losses on assets sold and unsold, respectively. Those are the meanings of realization and related term s in the Board' s conceptual fram ework. Recognition is the process of form ally recording or incorporating an ite m in the f inancial statem ents of an entity. Thus, an asset, liability, revenue, expens e, gain, or loss m ay be recognized (recorded) or unrecognized (unrecorded). Realization and recognition are not used as synonym s, a s they sometimes are in accounting and financial literature.56 Recognition, Matching, and Allocation 144. Accrual accounting recognizes num erous noncash assets, liabilities, and transactions and other events that affect them (paragraphs 139-141). Thus, a m ajor difference between accrual Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 46

accounting and accounting based on cash receipts and outlays is tim ing of recognition of revenues, expenses, gains, and losses. Investm ents by an entity in goods and services for its operations or other activities com monly do not all o ccur in the sam e period as revenues or other proceeds from selling the re sulting products or providing the re sulting services. Several periods may elapse between the time cash is invested in raw materials or plant, for example, and the time cash is returned by collecting the sales pri ce of products from customers. A report showing cash receipts and cash outlays of an enterprise for a short period cannot indicate how m uch of the cash received is return of investm ent and how m uch is re turn on investm ent and thus cannot indicate whether or to what extent an enterprise is successf ul or unsuccessful. Sim ilarly, goods or services that a not-for-profit organization provides gratis to beneficiaries com monly result from using goods or services acquired with cas h received and spent in earlier periods. A report showing cash receipts and outlays of the organization for a short period cannot tell m uch about the relation of goods or services provided to the resources used to provide them and thus cannot indicate whether or to what extent an orga nization is successful or unsuccessful in carry ing out its service objectives. Cash receipts in a par ticular period m ay largely reflect the effects of activities of a business enterprise or a not-f or-profit organization in earlier periods, while m any of the cash outlays may relate to its activities and efforts expected in future periods. 145. Accrual accounting uses accrual, deferral, and allocation procedures whose goal is to relate revenues, expenses, gains, and losses to periods to ref lect an entity's performance during a period instead of m erely listing its cash receipt s and outlays. Thus, recognition of revenues, expenses, gains, and losses and the related increm ents or decrem ents in assets and liabilities—including m atching of costs and re venues, allocation, and am ortization—is the essence of using accrual accounting to m easure perf ormance of entities. The goal of accrual accounting is to account in the periods in whic h they occur for the effects on an entity of transactions and other events and circum stances, to the extent that those financial effects are recognizable and measurable. 146. Matching of costs and revenues is sim ultaneous or com bined recognition of the revenues and expenses that result directly and jointly f rom the same transactions or other events. In m ost entities, som e transactions or events result sim ultaneously in both a revenue and one or m ore expenses. The revenue and expense(s) are directly related to each other and require recognition at the sam e tim e. In present practice, for exam ple, a sale of product or m erchandise involves both revenue (sales revenue) for receipt of cash or a recei vable and expense (cost of goods sold) for sacrifice of the product or m erchandise sold to custom ers. Other exam ples of expenses that may result from the same transaction and be directly related to sales revenues ar e transportation to customers, sales commissions, and perhaps certain other selling costs. 147. Many expenses, however, are not related directly to particular revenues but can be related to a period on the basis of transactions or ev ents occurring in that period or by allocation. Recognition of those expenses is largely independ ent of recognition of particular revenues, but they are deducted from particular revenues by being recognized in the same period.57 Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 47

148. Some costs that cannot be directly related to particular revenues are incurred to obtain benefits that are exhausted in the period in which the costs are incurred. For example, salesmen's monthly salaries and electricity used to light an office building usually fit that description and are usually recognized as expenses in the period in which they are incurred. Other costs are also recognized as expenses in the period in which they are incurred because the period to which they otherwise relate is indeterminable or not worth the effort to determine. 149. However, many assets yield their benef its to an entity over several periods, f or example, prepaid insurance, buildings, and various kinds of equipment. Expenses resulting from their use are normally allocated to the periods of their e stimated useful lives (the periods over which they are expected to provide benefits) by a "syste matic and rational" allocation procedure, for example, by recognizing depreciation or other amortization. Although the purpose of expense allocation is the sam e as that of other expense recognition—t o reflect the using up of assets as a result of transactions or other events or circ umstances affecting an entity—allocation is applied if causal relations are generally, but not specifically, identified. For example, wear and tear from use is known to be a m ajor cause of the expense called depreciation, but the am ount of depreciation caused by wear and tear in a period norm ally cannot be measured. Those expenses are not related directly to either specific revenues or particular periods. Usually no traceable relationship exists, and they are recognized by allocating costs to periods in which assets are expected to be used and are related only indirectly to the revenues that are recognized in the same period. 150. Some revenues and gains result from nonrecipr ocal transfers to an entity from other entities and thus relate to the period in which cash or other assets are received by the entity, or in which its liabilities are reduced. Recognition of those nonreciprocal transfers seldom involves allocation or matching procedures. For exam ple, not-for-profit organizations com monly receive donations in cash, and tim ing of cash receipts is nor mally readily verifiable. Sim ilarly, receipts of other ass ets, including receivables (prom ises by anothe r entity to pay cash or transfer other assets), or of reductions or rem issions of liabilities are also usually readily identifiable with the periods in which they occur, and there is nothing to allocate to other periods. 151. Nonreciprocal transf ers to an entity rarely result directly and jointly f rom the sam e transactions as expenses. Most contributions and expenses are m uch m ore closely related to time periods than to each othe r. For exam ple, the receip t by a not-for-profit organization of contributed assets that involve donor stipulations restricting their use to particular types of services m ay be a cause of the expenses incu rred in providing those services; however, the receipt of contributed assets— revenues or gains—and the subsequent incurring of liabilities or reduction of assets in providing services—expenses—are separate events recognized in the periods in which they occur. 152. Removal of restrictions on temporarily restricted net assets of a not-for-profit organization is an event that often occurs at the sam e tim e as the incurring of particular expenses. The discussion of donor-im posed restrictions in this Statem ent contem plates that rem ovals of Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 48

restrictions on net assets—reclassifications—m ay be shown in f inancial statements in the sam e period(s) as the activities that remove the restrictions. This Statement was adopted by the unanimous vote of the seven members of the Financial Accounting Standards Board: Donald J. Kirk, Chairman Frank E. Block Victor H. Brown Raymond C. Lauver David Mosso Robert T. Sprouse Arthur R. Wyatt

Appendix A: Background Information 153. The need for a conceptual fram ework fo r financial accounting and reporting, beginning with consideration of the objectives of financial reporting, is generally recognized. The Accounting Principles Board issued APB Statem ent No. 4, Basic Concepts and Accounting Principles Underlying Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, in 1970. W hen the Financial Accounting Standards Board cam e into existence, the Study Group on the Objectives of Financial Statem ents was at work, and its repor t, Objectives of Financial Statements, was published in October 1973 by the Am erican Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Although that report focused prim arily on business enterprises, it also included a brief discussion of "objectives of financial statements for governmental and not-for-profit organizations." 154. The Financial Accounting Standards Bo ard issued a Discussion Mem orandum, Conceptual Framework for Accounting and Reporting: Consideration of the Report of the Study Group on the Objectives of Financial Statements, dated June 6, 1974, a nd held a public hearing on September 23 and 24, 1974 on the objectives of financial statements. 155. The Board first concentrated on concepts of financial accounting and reporting by business enterprises and issued th ree documents on Decem ber 2, 1976: Tentative Conclusions on Objectives of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, FASB Discussion Memorandum, Conceptual Framework for Financial Accounting and Reporting: Elements of Financial Statements and Their Measurement, and Scope and Implications of the Conceptual Framework Project. The sam e task force, with only one m embership change, provided counsel in preparing both Discussion Mem orandums. Eleven persons from academ e, the financial com munity, industry, and public accounting served on the ta sk force while the Discussion Mem orandums were written.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 49

156. The Board held public hearings (a) August 1 and 2, 1977 on the Tentative Conclusions on Objectives of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises and on Chapters 1-5 of the Discussion Memorandum concerning definitions of the elem ents of financial statem ents and (b) January 16-18, 1978 on the rem aining chapters of the Discussion Mem orandum concerning capital m aintenance or cost recovery, qualities of usef ul f inancial inf ormation (qualitative characteristics), and measurement of the elements of financial statements. 157. The Board received 283 written com munications on the subject of the August 1977 hearing, of which 221 com mented on the elem ents, and 27 parties presented their views orally and answered Board m embers' questions at the hearing. The Boa rd issued an Exposure Draft of a proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts, Objectives of Financial Reporting and Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, dated Decem ber 29, 1977 and received 135 letters of comment. 158. During 1978, the Board divided the subject m atter of the Exposure Draft. One part became FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises, which was issued in Novem ber 1978. A second part becam e the basis for the revised Exposure Draft, Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, issued December 28, 1979, on which the Board received 92 le tters of com ment. That Exposure Draft led in December 1980 to FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 3, Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, following FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 2, Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information, which was issued in May 1980. 159. The Board' s work on concepts of financial accounting and reporting by not-for-profit organizations began in August 1977. Professor Robert N. Anthony of the Harvard Business School prepared an FASB Research Report, Financial Accounting in Nonbusiness Organizations, published in May 1978, which was followed by a related Discussion Memorandum and an Exposure Draft. FASB Concepts Statement No. 4, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Nonbusiness Organizations, was issued in December 1980. 160. The four concepts Statem ents described are part of a single conceptual fram ework for financial accounting and reporting by all entities. The Board noted in Concepts Statements 2 and 3 its expectation that the qualitative characteristi cs and definitions of elem ents of financial statements should apply to both business enterp rises and not-for-profit organizations and its intent to solicit views on that matter. 161. The Board issued an Exposure Draft, Proposed Amendments to FASB Concepts Statements 2 and 3 to Apply Them to Nonbusiness Organizations, on July 7, 1983. In considering similarities and dif ferences of business enterprises and not-f or-profit organizations that may affect qualitative characteristics of acc ounting information and definitions of elem ents of financial statem ents, the Board had the couns el of a task force consisting of 32 m embers knowledgeable about not-for-profit organizatio ns and their financial reporting. The Board received 74 letters of comment on the Exposure Draft, and 20 parties presented their views orally Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 50

and answered Board members' questions at public hearings held on November 14 and 15, 1983. 162. That Exposure Draft was in two parts, and the Board m ade decisions on both. First, it reaffirmed the conclusion of the Exposure Draf t that the qualitative characteristics of accounting information set f orth in Concepts Statem ent 2 (re levance, reliability, com parability, and related qualities) apply to not-for-profit organizations as well as to business enterprises. Second, based on suggestions of respondents to the Exposure Draft and on its own further consideration of similarities an d differences between business enterprises and not-for-profit organizations, the Board revised the proposed am endments to Concepts Statement 3 and issued a revised Exposure Draft, Elements of Financial Statements, on September 18, 1985. The following desc ribe major changes from the 1983 Exposure Draft and identify major changes suggested but not made.









This Statem ent does not define as elem ents of financial statem ents two that the 1983 Exposure Draft proposed: change in net assets (described as a concep t equivalent to comprehensive incom e of business enterprise s) and contributions. Instead, by identifying three broad classes of net assets of not-fo r-profit organizations—perm anently restricted, temporarily restricted, and unrestricted net assets—and chan ges in those classes, it emphasizes the im portance of donor-im posed restrictions on resources contributed to not-for-profit organizations and changes in bot h the am ount and nature of net assets based on the presence or absence of donor restrictions. Num erous respondents, both those interested in not-for-profit organizations a nd those interested in business enterprises, questioned whether defining contributions se parately from revenues and gains, though clearly possible, was either necessary or useful. Thi s Statement notes that inflows of assets in nonreciprocal transfers from nonowners (c ontributions), like other transactions that increase net assets, result either in revenue s (from ongoing m ajor operating activities) or in gains (from peripheral or incide ntal transactions). It also notes that whether a particular contribution results in a revenue or a gain is often less im portant than whether it increases permanently restricted, temporarily restricted, or unrestricted net assets. A separate diagram now shows interrelationships between s ources of changes in net assets of not-for-profit organizations (revenues, e xpenses, gains, and losses), reclassifications between classes of net assets, and changes in permanently restricted, temporarily restricted, and unrestricted net assets. This Statem ent reaffirm s the conclusion in the 1983 Exposure Draft that under the definitions in Concepts Statement 3 (and this Statement) contributions or donations, whether or not subject to donor-im posed restrictions, generally increase net assets (equity) rather than liabilities. Several respondents had ar gued that purpose-restricted, and perhaps time-restricted, contributions result in (or should be considered to result in) liabilities. This Statement reaffirms the conclusi on in the 1983 Exposure Draft that how an asset was acquired and whether and how it will be replaced are not germ ane to whether or not the entity's using it up results in an expense. Som e respondents to the Exposure Draft had suggested that depreciation o ften should not be an expense (or cost) of a not-for-profit organization, in part because the related assets were, and their replacem ents are expected to

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 51







be, funded by contributions or special assessments. Some respondents to the 1983 Exposure Draft had suggested that depreciation based on historical cost is not the m ost relevant way of measuring a not-for-profit organization' s cost of using up of long-lived assets. However, how depreciation expense should be measured is a measurement issue beyond the scope of this Statement. This Statement takes note of Board decisions on matters that were still under consideration as part of other projects at the tim e Concepts Statement 3 and the 1983 Exposure Draft were issued, particularly the recognition, m easurement, and display m atters for business enterprises that are the subjects of Concepts Statement 5. Although financial statem ent display is beyond th e scope of this Statem ent, the Board has attempted to respond at various points to requests by a num ber of re spondents for m ore explanation of the significance of the proposed definitions for reporting by not-for-profit organizations.

163. The Board received 60 letters of com ment on the revised Exposure Draft. Som e respondents reiterated the argum ents referred to in paragraph 162, while others expressed new concerns. The Board has considered those com ments. The follow ing describe and identify changes made to the revised Exposure Draft and identify changes suggested by respondents but not made.



• •

This Statem ent reaffirm s the conclusion that financial reporting by not-for-profit organizations requires a concept of m aintenance of net assets. Som e respondents suggested that depreciation is often irrelevant to not -for-profit organizations because the related expenses need not be "m atched" with revenue s to m easure income, which in their view is not im portant for not-for-pro fit organizations. However, this Statem ent describes depreciation as a cost of using assets, not as a technique for "m atching" expenses with revenues. This Statement reaffirms the conclusion in the Exposure Drafts that most restrictions do not create obligations that qualif y as liabilities. The discussion has been expanded (paragraphs 56-58) to clarify the point. Some respondents suggested that the revisions to the characteristics of assets and liabilities proposed in the revised Exposure Draft had ch anged the related definitions and expressed concern about the intent of the revisions. The troublesom e aspects of the revisions have been reworded to alleviate those concerns. Th e revisions to the last sentences in paragraph 26 and in paragraph 36 are m eant to avoid circularity in the use of the term probable in explaining probable future benefit and sacrifice, and clarify the intended point, that there are ways other than legal enforceability by which an entity m ay obtain an existing benefit or may be unable to avoid paying an existing obligation.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 52

Appendix B: CHARACTERISTICS OF ASSETS, LIABILITIES, AND EQUITY OR NET ASSETS AND OF CHANGES IN THEM Purpose and Summary of Appendix 164. This appendix elaborates on the descriptions of the essential characteristics that item s must have to qualify under the definitions of elem ents of financial statem ents in this Statem ent. It includes some discussion and illustrations of how to assess the characteristics of items that are potential candidates for form al inclusion in financ ial statements and in general how to apply the definitions. 165. The rem ainder of this section brief ly illustrates the relationship of the def initions to recognition, m easurement, and display issues a nd the function and som e consequences of the definitions. It is followed by a discussion of the cha racteristics of assets, liabilities, equity of business enterprises, comprehensive income of business enterprises and its com ponents, and net assets and changes in the classes of ne t assets of not-for-profit organizations. 58 The appendix concludes with a series of examples that are intended to illustrate the meanings of the definitions and the essential characteristics that form them. 166. This Statem ent em phasizes that the definiti ons of elem ents are not intended to answer recognition, m easurement, or display questions. 59 The definitions are, however, a significant first step in determining the content of financial statements. They screen out item s that lack one or m ore characteristics of assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, or other elem ents of f inancial statements (paragraphs 22 and 23). 167. Thus, unless an item qualifies as an asset of an entity under the definition in paragraph 25, for example, questions do not arise about whether to recognize it as an asset of the entity, which of its attributes to m easure, or how to di splay it as an asset in the financial statem ents of the entity. Although item s that fail to qualify under th e definitions of elem ents during a period do not raise recognition issues, they may nevertheless raise issues about whether and, if so, how and at what am ounts they should be disclosed. For exam ple, contingencies that have not yet, and may never, becom e assets or liabilities m ay need to be estim ated and disclosed. Thus, the f irst question about each potential candidate for formal inclusion in finan cial statements is whether it qualifies under one of the definitions of elem ents; recognition, m easurement, and display questions follow. 168. An item does not qualif y as an asset or liab ility of an entity if it lacks one or m ore essential characteristics. Thus, f or exam ple, an item does not qualif y as an asset of an entity under the definition in paragraph 25 if (a) the ite m involves no future econom ic benefit, (b) the Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 53

item involves future econom ic benefit, but the entity cannot obtain it, or (c) the item involves future economic benefit that the entity m ay in the future obtain, but the events or circum stances that give the entity access to and control of the benefit ha ve not yet occurred (or the entity in the past had the ability to obtain or control the f uture benef it, but events or circum stances have occurred to rem ove that ability). Sim ilarly, an item does not qualif y as a liability of an entity under the definition in paragraph 35 if (a) the item entails no future sacrifice of assets, (b) the item entails f uture sacrifice of assets, but the entity is not obligated to m ake the sacrif ice, or (c) the item involves a future sacrifice of assets that the entity will be obligated to m ake, but the events or circum stances that obligate the entity have not yet occurred (or the entity in the past was obligated to make the future sacrifice, but events or circumstances have occurred t o remove that obligation). 169. This appendix contains num erous examples of item s that com monly qualify as assets or liabilities of an entity under the definitions in this Statement. It also includes several illustrations showing that item s that m ay not qualify as a ssets may readily qualify as reductions (valuation accounts) of liabilities and that item s that m ay not qualify as liabilities m ay readily qualify as reductions (valuation accounts) of assets. The following exam ples illustrate item s that do not qualify as assets or liabilities of an entity under th e definitions: (a) "dry holes" drilled by an exploration enterprise that has not yet discove red hydrocarbon, mineral, or other reserves are not assets (except to the extent of sa lvageable m aterials or equipm ent) because they provide no access to probable future econom ic benefit; 60 (b) estimated possible casualty losses from future floods or fires are not liabilities or im pairments of assets because an event incurring a liability or impairing an asset has not occur red; (c) inventories or depreciable assets required (but not yet ordered) to replace sim ilar items that are being or have been used up are not assets because no future econom ic benefits have been acquired, and the requirem ent to sacrifice assets to obtain them is not a liability because the entity is not yet obligated to sacrifice assets in the future; (d) deferrals relating to assets no longer held or liabilities no longer owed—such as a deferred loss on selling an asset for cash or a deferred gain on sett ling a liability f or cash—are not assets or liabilities because they involve no future econom ic benefit or no required future sacrifice of assets; (e) receipts of grants of cash or othe r assets with no strings attached do not create liabilities because the entity is not required to sacrif ice assets in the f uture; (f) other receipts of cash in return f or which an entity is in no wa y required to pay cash, transf er other assets, or provide services do not create liabilities because the entity is not presently obligated to sacrifice assets in the f uture;61 (g)"know-how" of NASA or other governm ental agencies placed in the public dom ain is not an asset of an entity unle ss the entity spends funds or otherwise acts to secure benefits not freely available to everyon e; (h) estim ated losses for two years from a decision to start up a new product line next y ear are not liabilities because the entity is not legally, equitably, or constructively obligated to sacrifice assets in the f uture; and (i) "stock dividends payable" are not liabilities because they do not involve an obligation to m ake future sacrifices of assets. 170. The Board expects m ost assets and liabilities in present practice to continue to qualif y as assets or liabilities under the definitions in this Statement. That expectation is supported by the Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 54

examples in the preceding paragraph as wel l as by those throughout this appendix. The Board emphasizes that the definitions in this Statement neither require nor presage upheavals in present practice, although they may in due time lead to some evolutionary changes in practice or at least in the w ays certain item s are viewed. They s hould be especially helpful, however, in understanding the content of financial statem ents and in analyzing and resolving new financial accounting issues as they arise. Characteristics of Assets 171. Paragraph 25 defines assets as "probable futu re economic benefits obtained or controlled by a particular entity as a result of past transac tions or events." Paragraphs 26-34 am plify that definition. The following discussion further am plifies it and illustrates its m eaning under three headings that correspond to the three essential ch aracteristics of assets described in paragraph 26: future economic benefits, control by a particul ar entity, and occurrence of a past transaction or event. Future Economic Benefits

172. Future economic benefit is the essence of an asset (paragraphs 27-31). An asset has the capacity to serve the entity by being exchanged f or som ething else of value to the entity, by being used to produce something of value to the entity, or by being used to settle its liabilities. 173. The most obvious evidence of future econom ic benefit is a market price. Anything that is commonly bought and sold has future econom ic benefit, including the individual item s that a buyer obtains and is willing to pay for in a "basket purchase" of several item s or in a business combination. Sim ilarly, anything that creditors or others com monly accept in settlem ent of liabilities has future econom ic benefit, and anyt hing that is com monly used to produce goods or services, whether tangib le or intangible and whether or not it has a market price or is otherwise exchangeable, also has future econom ic benefit. 62 Incurrence of costs m ay be significant evidence of acquisition or enhancement of future economic benefits (paragraphs 178-180). 174. To assess whether a particular item constitutes an asset of a particular entity at a particular time requires at least two considerations in addition to the general kinds of evidence just described: (a) whether the item obtained by the entity em bodied future econom ic benefit in the first place and (b) whether all or any of the futu re economic benefit to the entity rem ains at the time of assessment. 175. Uncertainty about business and economic outcomes often clouds whether or not particular items that m ight be assets have the capacity to provide future econom ic benefits to the entity (paragraphs 44-48), som etimes precluding their recog nition as assets. The kinds of item s that may be recognized as expenses or losses rather than as assets because of uncertainty are som e in which management's intent in taking certain steps or initiating certain transactions is clearly to acquire or enhanc e future econom ic benefits available to the entity. For exam ple, business Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 55

enterprises engage in research and developm ent activities, advertise, develop markets, open new branches or divisions, and the like, and spend significant funds to do so. The uncer tainty is not about the intent to increase future econom ic benefits but about whether and, if so, to what extent they succeeded in doing so. Certain expenditure s for research and developm ent, advertising, training, start-up and preoperating activities, de velopment stage enterprises, relocation or rearrangement, and goodwill are exam ples of the ki nds of items for which assessm ents of future economic benefits may be especially uncertain. 176. Since many of the activities described in th e preceding paragraph involve incurring costs, the distinction between the item s just listed and assets, such as prepaid insurance and prepaid rent, that are described in paragraph 181 is oft en difficult to draw because the two groups tend to shade into each other. Indeed, the distinction is not based on the definition of assets in paragraph 25 but rather on the practical considerations of coping with the effects of uncertainty. If research or developm ent activities or advertising results in an entity' s acquiring or increasing f uture economic benefit, that future econom ic benefit qualifies as an asset as m uch as do the future benefits from prepaid insurance or prepaid rent. The practical pro blem is whether future economic benefit is actually present and, if so, how m uch—an assessm ent that is greatly complicated by the feature that the benefits may be realized far in the future, if at all. 177. Most assets presently included in financial statem ents qualify as assets under the definition in paragraph 25 because they have future economic benefits. Cash, accounts and notes receivable, interest and di vidends receivable, investm ents in securities of other entities, and similar items so obviously qualify as assets that they need no further comment except to note that uncollectible receivables do not qualify as asse ts. Inventories of raw m aterials, supplies, partially com pleted pro duct, finished goods, and m erchandise likewise obviously fit the definition as do productive resources, such as pr operty, plant, equipm ent, tools, furnishings, leasehold improvements, natural resource deposits, and patents. They are m entioned separately from cash, receivables, and investm ents only becau se they have com monly been described in accounting literature as "deferred costs" or occasi onally as "deferred charges" to revenues. The point requires noting because com ments received on the Discussion Mem orandum and earlier Exposure Drafts have m anifested som e m isunderstanding: som e respondents apparently concluded that all or most deferrals of costs were precluded by the definition of assets. Assets and Costs

178. An entity com monly incurs costs to obtain future econom ic benefits, either to acquire assets from other entities in exchange transactions or to add value through operations to assets it already has (paragraph 32). An entity acquires assets in ex changes with other entities by sacrificing other assets or by incurring liabilities to transfer assets to the other entity later. An entity also incurs a cost when it uses an asset in producing or distributing goods or services—future economic benefits are partially or wholly used up to produce or acquire other assets, for example, product in process, completed product, or receivables from customers.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 56

179. Although an entity norm ally incurs costs to ac quire or use assets, costs incurred are not themselves assets. The essence of an asset is its future economic benefit rather than whether or not it was acquired at a cost. However, costs may be significant to applying the definition of assets in at least two ways: as evidence of acquis ition of an asset or as a m easure of an attribute of an asset. 180. First, since an entity commonly obtains assets by incurring costs, incurrence of a cost may be evidence that an entity has acquired one or m ore assets, but it is not conclusive evidence. Costs m ay be incurred without receiving service s or enhanced future econom ic benefits. Or, entities m ay obtain assets without incurring cost s—for exam ple, from investm ent in kind by owners or contributions of securities or bu ildings by donors. The ultim ate evidence of the existence of assets is the future economic benefit, not the costs incurred. 181. Second, cost may measure an attribute of future economic benefit. Costs of assets such as inventories, plant, equipm ent, and patents are ex amples of costs or unam ortized costs of future benefits from present practice, as are prepaym ents such as prepaid insurance and prepaid rent, which are unamortized costs of rights to receive a service or use a resource. 182. Losses have no future econom ic benefits and cannot qualify as assets under the definition in paragraph 25. Stated conversely, item s that ha ve future economic benefits are not in concept losses, although practical considerations m ay sometimes make it im possible to distinguish them from expenses or losses. Control by a Particular Entity

183. Paragraph 25 defines assets in relation to speci fic entities. Every asset is an asset of some entity; m oreover, no asset can sim ultaneously be an asset of m ore than one entity, although a particular physical thing or other agent that p rovides future econom ic benefit m ay provide separate benefits to two or m ore entities at the same time (paragraph 185). To have an asset, an entity must control future econom ic benefit to th e extent that it can benefit from the asset and generally can deny or regulate access to that benefit by others, for example, by permitting access only at a price. 184. Thus, an asset of an entity is the future ec onomic benefit that the entity can control and thus can, within lim its set by the nature of the benefit or the entity' s right to it, use as it pleases. The entity having an asset is the one that can exchange it, use it to produce goods or services, exact a price f or others' use of it, use it to settle liabilities, hold it, or perhaps distribute it to owners. 185. The definition of assets focuses prim arily on the future econom ic benefit to which an entity has access and only secondarily on the physical things and other agents that provide future economic benefits. Many physical things and other agents are in effect bundles of future economic benefits that can be unbundled in va rious ways, and two or m ore entities m ay have different future econom ic benefits from the sam e agent at the sam e time or the sam e continuing Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 57

future econom ic benefit at dif ferent tim es. For exam ple, two or m ore entities m ay have undivided interests in a parcel of land. Each ha s a right to future econom ic benefit that m ay qualify as an asset under the definition in para graph 25, even though the right of each is subject at l east to som e extent to the rights of the other(s ). Or, one entity m ay have the right to the interest from an investm ent, while another has the right to the principal. Leases are com mon examples of agreements that unbundle the future economic benefits of a single property to give a lessee a right to possess and use the property and gi ve a lessor a right to receive rents and a right to the residual value. Moreover, a mortgagee may also have a right to receive periodic payments that is secured by the leased property. Control and Legal Rights

186. As som e of the preceding discussion indicat es, an entity' s ability to obtain the future economic benefit of an asset com monly stems from legal rights. Those rights share the com mon feature of conferring ability to obtain future economic benefits, but they vary in other ways. For example, ownership, a contract to use, and a contract to receive cash confer different rights. 187. Although the ability of an entity to obtain the future econom ic benefit of an asset and to deny or control access to it by others rests ge nerally on a foundation of legal rights, legal enforceability of a right is not an indispensable prerequisite for an entity to have an asset if the entity has the ability to obtain and control the benefit in some other way. For example, exclusive access to future economic benefit may be maintained by keeping secret a formula or process. Noncontrolled Benefits

188. Some future econom ic benefits cannot m eet the test of control. For exam ple, public highways and stations and equipm ent of m unicipal fire and police departm ents may qualify as assets of governm ental units but th ey cannot qualify as assets of other entities under the definition in paragraph 25. Sim ilarly, general access to things such as clean air or water resulting from environmental laws or requirements cannot qualify as assets of individual entities, even if the entities have incurred costs to help clean up the environment. 189. Those exam ples should be distinguished from sim ilar future econom ic benefits that an individual entity can control and thus are its assets. For exam ple, an entity can control benef its from a private road on its own property, clean air it provides in a laboratory or water it provides in a storage tank, or a private fire departm ent or a private security force, and the related equipment probably qualifies as an asset even if it has no other use to the entity and cannot be sold except as s crap. Equipm ent used to help provide clean air or water in the general environment m ay provide future econom ic benefit to the user, even if it has no other use and cannot be sold except as scrap. Moreover, a specific right to use a public highway from which the licensee m ight otherwise be excluded—for ex ample, a license to operate a truck on the highways within a state—m ay have future econom ic benefit to the licensee even though it does not keep everyone else off the highway. Similarly, riparian rights and airspace rights may confer Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 58

future economic benefits on their holders even though they do not keep others' boats off the river or prevent airplanes from flying overhead. Occurrence of a Past Transaction or Event

190. The definition of assets in paragraph 25 distinguishes between the future econom ic benefits of present and f uture assets of an entity. Only present abilities to obtain f uture economic benefits are assets under the definition, and they become assets of particular entities as a result of transactions or other events or circ umstances affecting the entity. For exam ple, the future economic benefits of a particular building can be an asset of a particular entity only after a transaction or o ther event—such as a purchase or a l ease agreement—has occurred that gives it access to and control of those benefits. Sim ilarly, although an oil deposit m ay have existed in a certain place for m illions of years, it can be an asset of a particular entity only after the entity either has discovered it in circum stances that perm it the entity to exploit it or has acquired the rights to exploit it from whoever had them. 191. Since the transaction or event giving rise to the entity' s right to the future econom ic benefit m ust already have occurred, the definition excludes from assets item s that m ay in the future become an entity's assets but have not yet bec ome its assets. An entity has no asset f or a particular future econom ic benefit if the transacti ons or events that give it access to and control of the benef it are yet in the f uture. The corolla ry is that an entity still has an asset if the transactions or events that use up or destroy a particul ar future econom ic benefit or rem ove the entity's access to and control of it are yet in the future. For exam ple, an entity does not acquire an asset merely by budgeting the purchase of a machine and does not lose an asset from fire until a fire destroys or damages some asset. Characteristics of Liabilities 192. Paragraph 35 defines liabilities as "probable futu re sacrifices of economic benefits arising from present obligations of a particular entity to transf er assets or provide services to other entities in the f uture as a result of past tran sactions or events." Paragraphs 36-43 am plify that definition. The following discussion further am plifies that definition and illustrates its m eaning under three headings that correspond to the three essential characteristics of liabilities described in paragraph 36: required future sacrifice of a ssets, obligation of a particular entity, and occurrence of a past transaction or event. Required Future Sacrifice of Assets

193. The essence of a liability is a duty or requirem ent to sacrif ice assets in the f uture. A liability requires an entity to transf er assets, provide services, or otherwise expend assets to satisfy a responsibility to one or m ore other entities that it has incurred or that has been im posed on it. 194. The most obvious evidence of liabilities are contracts or other agreem ents resulting from Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 59

exchange transactions and laws or governm ental regulations that require expending assets to comply. Although receipt of proceeds is not conclusi ve evidence that a liability has been incurred (paragraph 198), receipt of cash, other assets, or services without an accompanying cash payment is often evidence that a liability has b een incurred. Evidence of liabilities may also be found in declarations of dividends, lawsuits filed or in pr ocess, infractions that m ay bring fines or penalties, and the like. Reductions in prices paid or of fered to acquire an enterprise or a significant part of it to allow for item s that a buyer m ust assume that require fu ture transfers of assets or providing of services also m ay indi cate the kinds of item s that qualif y as liabilities. Moreover, liabilities that are not payable on de mand norm ally have specif ied or determ inable maturity dates or specified events whose occur rence requires that they m ust be settled, and absence of a specified maturity date or event may cast doubt that a liability exists. 195. To assess whether a particular item constitute s a liability of a particular entity at a particular time requires at least two considerati ons in addition to the general kinds of evidence just described: (a) whether the entity incurred a responsibility to sacrifice assets in the future and (b) whether all or any of the responsibility remains unsatisfied at the time of assessment. 196. Most liabilities presently included in financ ial statem ents qualify as liabilities under the definition in paragraph 35 because they require an entity to sacrifice assets in the future. Thus, accounts and notes payable, wages and sala ries payable, long-term debt, interest and dividends payable, and similar requirements to pay cash so obviously qualify as liabilities that they need no further com ment. Responsibilities such as those to pay pensions, deferred com pensation, and taxes and to honor warranties and guarantees also create liabilities under the definition. That they may be satisfied by providing goods or servi ces instead of cash, that their am ounts or times of settlement must be estim ated, or that the identity of the specif ic entities to whom an entity is obligated is as yet unknown does not disqualif y them under the definition, although som e may not be recognized because of uncertainty or measurement problems (paragraphs 44-48). 197. Deposits and prepaym ents received for goods or services to be provided—"unearned revenues," such as subscriptions or rent co llected in advance—likewise qualif y as liabilities under the definition because an entity is required to provid e goods or services to those who have paid in advance. They are m entioned separa tely from other liabilities only because they have commonly been described in the accounting literature and f inancial statem ents as "def erred credits" or "reserves." Com ments on the Discussion Mem orandum and earlier Exposure Drafts have m anifested som e m isunderstanding: som e respondents apparently concluded that all or most "deferred credits" and "reserves" were precluded by the definition of liabilities. Liabilities and Proceeds

198. An entity com monly receives cash, goods, or services by incurring liabilities (paragraph 38), and that which is received is often called proceeds, especially if cash is received. Receipt of proceeds m ay be ev idence that an entity has incurred one or m ore liabilities, but it is not conclusive evidence. Proceeds m ay be received from cash sales of goods or services or other Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 60

sales of assets, from cash contributions by donors, or from cash investm ents by owners, a nd entities m ay incur liabilities without receiving pr oceeds, for exam ple, by im position of taxes. The essence of a liability is a legal, equitable, or constructive obligation to sacrifice econom ic benefits in the future rather than whether proceeds were received by incurring it. Although proceeds received m ay be a useful attribut e in m easuring a liability incurred, proceeds themselves are not liabilities. Obligation of a Particular Entity

199. Paragraph 35 def ines liabilities in relation to specif ic entities. A required f uture sacrifice of assets is a liability of the particular entity that must make the sacrifice. 200. To have a liability, an entity m ust be obligated to sacrifice its assets in the f uture—that is, it must be bound by a legal, equitable, or construc tive duty or responsibility to transfer assets or provide services to one or m ore other entities. Not all probable future sacrifices of econom ic benefits (assets) are liabilities of an entity. For example, an entity's need to replace merchandise sold or raw materials or equipment used up, no matter how pressing, does not by itself constitut e a liability of the entity because no obligation to another entity is present. 201. Most obligations that underlie liabilities stem from contracts and other agreements that are enforceable by courts or from governmental actions that have the force of law, 63 and the fact of an entity's obligation is so evident that it is often taken for granted. To carry out its operations, an entity routinely m akes contracts and agreem ents that obligate it to repay borrowing, to pay suppliers and em ployees for goods and services they provide, to provide goods or services to customers, or to repair or replace defective products sold with warranties or guarantees. Governmental units also routinely assess tax ob ligations against business enterprises and som e not-for-profit organizations, and courts may impose obligations for damages or fines. 202. Equitable or constructive obligations m ay unde rlie liabilities as well as those that are legally enforceable. Legal obligations are much more common, and their existence may be more readily substantiated, but other kinds of obligation s are som etimes liabilities. For exam ple, the question, which has resulted in differences of opi nion, of the extent to which future paym ents under a lease agreem ent are legally enforceable ag ainst lessees is not necessarily significant in determining whether the obligations under lease agreements qualify as liabilities. 203. An entity m ay incur equitable or constructiv e obligations by actions to bind itself or by finding itself bound by circum stances rather than by m aking contracts or participating in exchange transactions. An entity is not obligated to s acrifice assets in the f uture if it can avoid the future sacrifice at its discretion without si gnificant penalty. The exam ple of an entity that binds itself to pay em ployees vacation pay or year-end bonuses by paying them every year even though it is not contractually bound to do so and has not announced a policy to do so has already been noted (paragraph 40). It could refuse to pay only by risking substantial em ployee-relations problems. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 61

204. Most liabilities are obligations of only one entity at a tim e. Som e liabilities are shared—for example, two or more entities may be "jointly and severally liable" f or a debt or f or the unsatisfied liabilities of a partnership. But most liabilities bind a single entity, and those that bind two or m ore entities are com monly ranked rather than shared. For exam ple, a prim ary debtor and a guarantor m ay both be obligated for a debt, but they do not have the sam e obligation—the guarantor must pay only if the prim ary debtor defaults and thus has a contingent or secondary obligation, which ranks lower than that of the primary debtor. 205. Secondary, and perhaps even lower ranked, obligations may qualify as liabilities under the definition in paragraph 35, but recognition cons iderations are highly significant in deciding whether they should form ally be included in financ ial statem ents because of the effects of uncertainty (paragraphs 44-48). For exam ple, th e probability that a secondary or lower ranked obligation will actually have to be paid must be assessed to apply the definition. Occurrence of a Past Transaction or Event

206. The definition of liabilities in paragraph 35 distinguishes between present and future obligations of an entity. Only present obligations are liabilities under the definition, and they are liabilities of a particular entity as a result of the occurrence of trans actions or other events or circumstances affecting the entity. 207. Most liabilities result from exchange transac tions in which an entity borrows funds or acquires goods or services and agrees to repay borrowing, usually with interest, or to pay for goods or services received. For exam ple, using em ployees' services obligates an entity to pay wages or salaries and usually fringe benefits. 208. In contrast, the acts of budgeting the purchase of a m achine and budgeting the paym ents required to obtain it result in neither acquiri ng an asset nor in incurring a liability. No transaction or event has occurred that gives the entit y access to or control of future econom ic benefit or obligates it to transfer assets or provide services to another entity. 209. Many agreements specify or im ply how a re sulting obligation is incurred. For exam ple, borrowing agreem ents specify interest rates, periods involved, and tim ing of paym ents; rental agreements specify rentals and periods to which they a pply; and royalty agreements may specify payments relating to periods or paym ents relating to production or sales. The occurrence of the specified event or events results in a liability. For example, interest accrues with the passage of time (that is, pr oviding loaned funds for another hour , day, week, m onth, or year), while royalties may accrue either with the passage of time or as units are produced or sold, depending on the agreement. 210. Transactions or events that result in liab ilities imposed by law or governm ental units also are often specified or inherent in the nature of the statute or regulation involved. For exam ple, taxes are com monly assessed for calendar or fiscal years, f ines and penalties stem f rom Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 62

infractions of the law or failure to comply with provisions of laws or regulations, dam ages result from selling defective products, and restoring the land after strip-mining the mineral deposit is a consequence o f rem oving the ground cover or overburden and ore. For those im posed obligations, as for obligations resulting f rom exchange transactions, no liability is incurred until the occurrence of an event or circum stance that obligates an entity to pay cash, tran sfer other assets, or provide services to other entities in the future. 211. A liability once incurred by an entity rem ains a liability until it is satisf ied in another transaction or other event or circum stance affecting the entity. Most liabilities are satisf ied by cash paym ents. Others are satisfied by the entity' s transf erring assets or providing services to other entities, and som e of those—for exam ple, liabilities to provide m agazines under a prepaid subscription agreement—involve performance to earn revenues. Liabilities are also som etimes eliminated by forgiveness, compromise, incurring another liability, or changed circumstances. Characteristics of Equity of Business Enterprises 212. Paragraph 49 defines equity or net assets as "t he residual interest in the assets of an entity that remains after deducting its liabilities." Characteristics of equity of business enterprises are briefly discussed under two headings: residual interest, and invested and earned equity. Although capital is not a precise term in referring to equity because it is also applied to assets and liabilities in various ways, it is used in this discussion because capital is part of so m any terms c ommonly used to describe aspects of equ ity of business enterprises; f or exam ple, investments by owners are com monly called capital contributions, distributions to owners are commonly called capital distributions, and di scussions of com prehensive incom e and its components often refer to capital m aintenance. (The distinguishing characteristics of net assets of not-for-profit organizations are discussed in paragraphs 50-53 and 90-106.) Residual Interest

213. Equity in a business enterprise is the ownership interest, and its am ount is the cum ulative result of investm ents by owners, com prehensive income, and distributions to owners. That characteristic, coupled with the characteristic that liabilities have priority over ownership interest as claim s against enterprise assets, m akes equity not determ inable independently of assets and liabilities. Although equity can be described in various ways, and different recognition criteria and measurement procedures can affect its amount, equity always equals net assets (assets minus liabilities). That is why it is a residual interest. Invested and Earned Equity

214. Equity is defined only in total in this Stat ement. Although equity of business enterprises is com monly displayed in two or m ore classes, usually based on actual or presum ed legal distinctions, those classes m ay not correspond to the tw o sources of equity: investm ents by owners and comprehensive income. For example, a traditional classification for corporate equity is capital stock, other contributed capital, and reta ined or undistributed profit, with the first two Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 63

categories described as invested or contributed capital and the third described as earned capital or capital from operations. That distinction holds reasonably well in the absence of distributions to owners or stock dividends; and cash di vidends or dividends in kind that are "from profit" may not cause significant classification problems. However, transactions and events such as stock dividends (proportional distributions of an ente rprise's own stock accom panied by a transfer of retained or undistributed profit to capital sto ck and other contributed capital) and reacquisitions and reissues of ownership interests (commonly called treasury stock transactions in corporations) mix the sources and m ake tracing of sources im possible except by using essentially arbitrary allocations. Thus, categories labeled invested or contributed capital or earned capital m ay or may not accurately reflect the sources of equity of an enterprise. However, those problem s are problems of measurement and display, not problems of definition. Characteristics of Comprehensive Income of Business Enterprises and Its Components 215. Paragraph 70 defines com prehensive incom e as "the change in equity of a business enterprise during a period from transactions and other events and circum stances from nonowner sources." It adds that "it includes all changes in equity d uring a period except those resulting from investm ents by owners and distributions to owners." Com prehensive incom e com prises four basic com ponents—revenues, expenses, gain s, and losses—that are defined in paragraphs 78-89. 216. The diagram in paragraph 64 shows that co mprehensive income and investm ents by and distributions to owners account for all changes in equity (net assets) of a business enterprise during a period. The sources of com prehensive incom e ar e therefore significant to those attempting to use financial statements to help them with investment, credit, and similar decisions about the enterprise, especially since various sources may differ from each other in stability, risk, and predictability. U sers' desire for inform ation about t hose sources underlies the distinctions between revenues, expenses, gains, and losses as well as other com ponents of com prehensive income that result f rom com bining revenues, expenses, gains, and losses in various ways (paragraphs 73-77). 217. The principal distinction between revenues and expenses on the one hand and gains and losses on the other is the distinction between an entity's ongoing major or central operations and its peripheral and incidental transactions and act ivities. Revenues and expenses result f rom an entity's productive efforts and most of its exchange transactions with other entities that constitute the entity' s ongoing m ajor or central operations. The details vary with the type of entity and activities involved. For example, a manufacturing or construction enterprise buys or contracts to use labor, raw m aterials, land, plant, equipm ent, and other goods and services it needs. Its manufacturing or construction operations convert those resources into a pr oduct—output of goods—that is intended to have a greater utility, a nd therefore a higher price, than the com bined inputs. Sale of the product should therefore bring in more cash or other assets than were spent to produce and sell it. Other kinds of enter prises earn more cash or other assets than they spend in producing and distributing goods or services thr ough other kinds of operations—for example, by Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 64

buying and selling goods without changing their form (such as retailers or wholesalers), by providing on e or m ore of a wide variety of services (such as garages, professional firm s, insurance companies, and banks), or by investing in securities of other entities (such as m utual funds, insurance com panies, and banks). Some enterprises sim ultaneously engage i n m any different ongoing major or central activities. 218. Most entities also occasionally engage in activities that are peripheral or incidental to their ongoing m ajor or central operations. For exam ple, m any entities invest in securities of other entities to earn a return on otherwise idle assets (rather than to control or inf luence the other entities' operations). Moreover, all entities are af fected by price changes, interest rate changes, technological changes, thefts, fires, natural disa sters, and sim ilar events and circum stances that may be wholly or partly beyond the control of individual entities and their m anagements. The kinds of events and circum stances noted in th is paragraph are com monly sources of gains and losses. Of course, the distinction between revenues and gains and betwe en expenses and losses depends significantly on the nature of an entity and its activities (paragraphs 87 and 88). Interest in Information about Sources of Comprehensive Income

219. Information about various com ponents of com prehensive incom e is usually m ore useful than merely its aggregate amount to investors, creditors, managers, and others who are interested in knowing not only that an entity' s net assets have i ncreased (or decreased) but also how and why. The am ount of com prehensive income for a period can, after all, be m easured merely by comparing the ending and beginning equity and eliminating the effects of investments by owners and distributions to owners, but that procedure has never provided adequate information about an entity's perform ance. Investors, creditors, m anagers, and others need inform ation about the causes of changes in assets and liabilities. 220. As the preceding paragraphs im ply, financial accounting and reporting inform ation that is intended to be usef ul in assessing an enterprise 's performance or prof itability focuses on certain components of comprehensive income. Ways of providing information about various sources of comprehensive incom e are m atters of display that are beyond the scope of this Statem ent. Pertinent issues involve questions such as: Should all components of comprehensive income be displayed in a single fina ncial statement or in two or m ore statements and, if the latter, which statements should be provided? W hat level of aggregation or disaggregation is needed for revenues, expenses, gains, and losses? W hich interm ediate com ponents or m easures resulting from combining those elem ents should be em phasized and which, if any, should be em phasized to the extent of being the "bottom line" of a financial statem ent? W hich, if any, interm ediate component or com ponents should be designated as earnings? Should som e c omponents of comprehensive income be displayed as direct increases or decreases of equity (net assets)? 64

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 65

Characteristics of Net Assets and Changes in the Classes of Net Assets of Not-for-Profit Organizations 221. Paragraph 49 defines equity or net assets as "t he residual interest in the assets of an entity that rem ains af ter deducting its liabilities." This Statement def ines net assets of not-f or-profit organizations in total and divides it int o three classes—perm anently restricted net assets, temporarily restricted net assets, and unrestricted net assets—based on the presence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions and the nature of t hose restrictions. The two restricted classes of net assets at any tim e ref lect existing lim its on the organization's use of assets resulting from donor stipulations. W hen the limiting conditions are met, expire, or are withdrawn, tem porarily restricted net assets are reclassifi ed as unrestricted net assets. Cha racteristics of net assets of a not-for-profit organization and the interests in in formation about changes in the classes of net assets are briefly discussed in the following paragraphs. Residual Interest

222. Net assets in a not-f or-profit organization is the cum ulative result of changes in permanently restricted, temporarily restricted, and unrestricted net assets, each of which, in turn, is the result of revenues, gains, expenses, and loss es and of reclassif ications within net assets. That characteristic, coupled with the characteristic that net assets is subject to the priority of liabilities as claims against organization assets, m akes net assets not determ inable independently of assets and liabilities. Although equity or net assets can be described in various ways, and different recognition criteria and m easurement procedures can affect its am ount, it is always the amount that remains after deducting liabilities from assets. That is why it is a residual interest. Interest in Information about Changes in Classes of Net Assets

223. Resource providers are interested in knowing not only that a not-for-profit organization' s net assets has increased (or decreased) but also how and why. That stem s from the com mon interests of contributors, creditors, and others who pr ovide resources to not-for-profit organizations in information about the services those organizations provide, their efficiency and effectiveness in providing those services, and th eir continuing ability to provide those services. Some resource providers, such as contributors and m embers, m ay be interested in that information as a basis for assessing how well th e organization has m et its objectives and for determining whether to continue their support. Other resource providers, such as lenders, suppliers, and employees, view a not-for-profit organization as a source of paym ent for the cash, goods, or services they supply and accordingly ar e interested in assessing the organization' s ability to generate the cash needed f or tim ely paym ent of the organization 's obligations to them.65 224. Because the use of resources provided to not-fo r-profit organizations is often restricted by providers to a particular purpose or tim e, in formation about the restrictions on the use of resources and the am ounts and kinds of inflows and outflows of resources that change its net Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 66

assets is usually m ore useful to present and potential resource providers than m erely the amount of change in net assets. The am ount of change in net assets for a period can be m easured by comparing the ending an d beginning net assets, but that procedure alone does not provide adequate information for assessing (a) the servi ces a not-for-profit organization provides, (b) its ability to continue to provide those services, or (c) how m anagers have discharged their stewardship responsibilities to contributors and others for use of its resources entrusted to them , all of which are important in assessing an organization's performance during a period. 225. Information about purpose restrictions m ay help assess the organization' s ability to provide particular types of services or to make cash paym ents to creditors. Sim ilarly, information about time restrictions may help creditors and oth ers assess whether an organization has sufficient resources to provide future serv ices or to m ake cash paym ents when due. Information about the am ounts and kinds of changes in those restrictions is useful in assessing the extent to which activities of a n ot-for-profit organization during a period m ay have drawn upon resources obtained in past periods or have added resources for use in future periods. 226. Information about perm anent restrictions is us eful in determ ining the extent to which an organization's resources m ay not be a source of cash for paym ents to present or prospective lenders, suppliers, or em ployees. Thus, inform ation t hat distinguishes perm anently restricted resource inflows from other kinds of changes in an organization' s net assets is useful in identifying the resource inflows that are not direc tly available for providing its services or cash for paying creditors in t hat (or any other) period (even though they may be a source of future income or other continuing economic benefits).66 227. Information about the change in unrestricted ne t assets for a period is a useful indicator of whether an organization's activities have drawn upon, m aintained, or added to the part of its net assets that is f ully available—that is, f ree of donor-im posed restrictions—to support the organization's operating activities. Inform ation a bout the com bined change in unrestricted net assets and in tem porarily restricted net assets for a period indicates whether an organization has maintained the part of its net assets that is now or, at some time will be, available to support its operating activities. 228. As the preceding paragraphs suggest, financial reporting information that is intended to be useful in assessing a not-for-profit organiza tion's perform ance focuses on inform ation about changes in the three cla sses of a not-for-profit o rganization's net assets, classes based on the effects of donor-im posed restrictions. 67 W ays of presenting inform ation about the various sources of those changes—revenues, expense, gains, and losses—and of changes in donor-imposed restrictions on net asset s—reclassifications—are m atters of display rather than problems of definition, and thus are beyond the scope of this Statement. Pertinent issues for later study involve questions such as: Should changes in classes of net assets be displayed in a single financial statement or in two or more statements? What level of aggregation or disaggregation is needed for revenues, expenses, gains, or losse s? How should reclassifications of tem porarily restricted net assets that become unrestricted be displayed? Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 67

Examples to Illustrate Concepts 229. The f ollowing paragraphs illustrate som e possible applications of the def initions and related concepts. Two cautions apply. Firs t, although the points involved are conceptually significant, they m ay be practically trivial—that is, the results m ay appear to m ake little difference in practice. However, since this Statement is part of the Board' s conceptual framework project, it is intended to em phasize concepts and sound analysis and to foster careful terminology, classification, and di sclosure. The illustrations are m eant to f ocus on substance rather than form. They illustrate, am ong other things, (a) that the presence or absence of future economic benefit rather than whether or not an entity incurred a cost ultim ately determ ines whether it has a particular kind of asset, (b) that th e presence or absence of a legal, equitable, or constructive obligation entailing settlement by future sacrifice of economic benefit (assets) rather than whether or not an entity received proceeds ultim ately determines whether it has a particular kind of liability, and (c) that debit balances are not necessarily assets and credit balances are not necessarily liabilities. 230. Second, the exam ples used are intended to illustrate concepts and are not intended to imply that the accounting illustrated or the disp lay described should necessarily be adopted in practice. Statements of Financial Accounting Standards, not Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts, establish generally accepted accounting principles. Decisions about what should be adopted in practice involve not only concepts but also practical considerations, including the relative benefits and co sts of procedures and the reliability of measures. For exam ple, some of the kinds of item s illustrated are significantly affected by the uncertainty that surrounds the activities of business enterprises and not-f or-profit organizations (paragraphs 44-48), and those effects should be considered in applying the definitions in this Statement. 231. A particular item to which the definitions m ay be applied m ay belong to either of two groups of elements: First Group

Second Group

an asset, a liability, 68 a reduction of a liability (liability valuation), a reduction of an asset (asset valuation),68 an expense, or a loss. a revenue, or a gain. (None of the exam ples involves investm ents by ow ners or distributions to owners, and only the last one involves equity; those elem ents are therefore omitted from the two groups.) The nature of the elem ents and the relations between them dictate that the sam e item can be, for exam ple, either an asset or an expense or either a liability or a gain, but the sam e item cannot be, for example, either an asset or a liability or either an expense or a gain. (Those who are f amiliar with the m echanics of accounti ng will recognize that the first group includes "debits" and the second group includes "credits.") Thus, to appl y the definitions involves determ ining the group Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 68

to which an item belongs and the element within the group whose definition it fits.69 Deferred Gross Profit on Installment Sales

232. Deferred gross profit on installm ent sales falls into the second group. It is neither a revenue nor a gain; the recognition basis that resu lts in deferred gross profit (in substance a cash receipts basis) perm its no revenue or gain to be recognized at the tim e of sale, except to the extent of gross profit in a down payment. Designating the amount as "deferred gross profit" also indicates that it is not now a revenue or gain, although it may be in the future. 233. Nor is the def erred gross prof it a liability. Th e selling entity is not obligated to pay cash or to provide goods or services to the custom er, except perhaps to honor a warranty or guarantee on the item sold, but that is a separate li ability rather than part of the deferred gross profit. The deferred gross profit resulted because of doubt about the collectibility of the sales price (installment receivable), not because of cash paym ents or other asset transfers that the seller must make. 234. The essence of the installm ent sale trans action (using the recognition basis involved) is that the sale resulted in an increase in installm ent receivables and a decrease in inventory of equal amounts—the receivable reflects the unrecov ered cost of the inventory sold. Gross profit (revenue less the related cost of goods sold) is r ecognized as cash is collected on the installm ent receivable, and the receivable continues to re flect the unrecovered cost—as it should using a cash-receipts b asis of recognition—if the deferred gross profit is deducted from it. Thus, no matter how it is displayed in f inancial statem ents, deferred gross profit on installm ent sales is conceptually an asset valuation—that is, a reduction of an asset. Debt Discount, Premium, and Issue Cost

235. Unamortized or deferred debt discount belongs to the first group (paragraph 231) and was long commonly reported as an asset and am ortized to interest expense by straight-line m ethods. APB Opinion No. 21, Interest on Receivables and Payables, changed that practice by requiring debt discount to be (a) deducted directly from the liability (as a "valuation account") and (b) "amortized" by the "interest" m ethod using the effective interest or discount rate im plicit in the borrowing transacti on. That accounting reports the liability at the present value of the future cash payments for interest and m aturity amount, discounted at the effective rate (which is higher than the nominal rate specified in the de bt agreement), and reports interest expense at an amount determined by applying the effective rate to th e amount of the liability at the beginning of the period. 236. The definitions in this Statement support the accounting required by Opinion 21. The debt discount is not an asset because it provides no futu re economic benefit. The entity has the use of the borrowed funds but it pays a price for t hat use—interest. A bond discount m eans that the entity borrowed less than the face or maturity amount of the debt instrument and therefore pays a higher actual (effective) interest rate than the rate (nominal rate) specified in the debt agreement. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 69

Conceptually, debt discount is a liability valuati on—that is, a reduction of the face or m aturity amount of the related liability. 237. Debt issue cost also falls into the first group of elem ents and is either an expense or a reduction of the related debt liability. Debt issu e cost is not an asset f or the sam e reason that debt discount is not—it provides no future eco nomic benefit. Debt issue cost in effect reduces the proceeds of borrowing and increases the effective interest rate and thus may be accounted for the same as debt discount. However, debt issue co st may also be considered to be an expense of the period of borrowing. 238. Unamortized or deferred debt premium is the exact counterpart of unamortized or deferred debt discount, and Opinion 21 requires counterpa rt accounting. Unam ortized debt prem ium is not itself a liability—it has no existence apart f rom the related debt—and is accounted for under the Opinion by being (a) added directly to th e related liability and (b) "am ortized" by the "interest" m ethod using the effective interest or discount rate im plicit in the borrowing transaction. The lower intere st rate and lower interest cost result because the proceeds of borrowing exceeded the face or m aturity amount of the debt. Conceptually, debt prem ium is a liability valuation, that is, an addition to the face or maturity amount of the related liability. 239. Terms such as unamortized or deferred discount or premium and to amortize discount or premium are carry-overs from the days when debt discount was considered to be an am ortizable asset (paragraph 235) and do not describe accurately eit her the assets or liabilities and events involved or the interest m ethod of accounti ng for them . Paragraphs 141 and 142 of this Statement define and describe accrual, deferral, and amortization. A sim ple example shows the distinction described in footnot e 55: "... accounting for debt secu rities issued (or acquired as an investment) at a discount or prem ium by the 'interest' method is technically the result of accrual, not deferral or amortization, techniques." The proceeds are $87 (ignoring debt issue c osts) if a 2-year debt security with a $100 face am ount and 7 percent interest (payable annually) is issued to yield 15 percent. The interest m ethod gives this accounting (all am ounts are rounded to nearest dollar) if the usual valuation account—debt discount—is omitted. 1/1/X1_ _ Cash Debt payable

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

_ $87

__ __ $87

Not for redistribution

Page 70

12/31/X1

12/31/X2

Interest expense Interest payable (.15 × $87)

$13

Interest payable Cash

$7

$13

Interest expense Interest payable [.15 × ($87 + $6)]

$14

$7

Debt payable Interest payable Cash

$87 20

Thus, despite references to the interest method of amortization in Opinion 21 and APB Opinion No. 12, Omnibus Opinion—1967, the interest m ethod that both Opinions describe is straightforward accounting for cash receipts and pa yments and accrual of interest expense and interest payable at the effective rate. It i nvolves neither deferring costs nor am ortizing deferred costs. Sim ilarly, acc ounting for investm ents in debt securities by the interest m ethod involves accruing interest income and receivable but involves no deferrals or amortizations.70 Deferred Income Tax Credits

240. One view of deferred incom e tax credits—t he liability m ethod—is that they are taxes payable in f uture periods, that is, they are ob ligations of an entity that entail f uture cash payments. Another view—the net-of-tax m ethod—is that they are valuations related to the effects of taxability and tax deductibility on indivi dual assets. Deferred tax credits belong in the second group (paragraph 231), and the two views just noted exhaust the possibilities—deferred tax credits cannot be revenue s, or gains. 71 Both the liability m ethod and the net-of-tax m ethod are compatible with the definitions in this Statement. 241. Only the deferred m ethod that is prescribed by APB Opinion No. 11, Accounting for Income Taxes, does not fit the definitions. Deferred income tax credits are neither liabilities nor reductions of assets in Op inion 11. That Opinion re jects the liability m ethod and specifically denies that deferred tax credits are "payables in the usual sense" (paragraph 57). The Opinion also proscribes the net-of-tax m ethod. It re quires accounting for deferred tax credits as "tax effects of current t iming differences [that] are deferred currently and allocated to incom e tax expense of future periods when the tim ing differences reverse" (paragraph 23) rather than either as accrued taxes to be paid in future periods when the tim ing differences reverse or as reductions in related assets.72 242. The com patibility of two of th e three m ost widely suggested m ethods of accounting for tax effects of timing differences with the definitions in this Statement (and a possible compatible rationale for the results of the third m ethod) is noted because several com ments on the Discussion Memorandum and 1977 Exposure Draft ha d concluded, some with dismay and some with satisfaction, that the definitions ruled out deferred tax accounting or interperiod incom e tax Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 71

allocation. However, the definitions are neutral on that recognition question: they affect only the method of allocation and neither require tax allocation nor rule it out. Deferred Investment Tax Credits

243. Deferred investment tax credits we re created by APB Opinion No. 2, Accounting for the "Investment Credit," and the concept of deferred investm ent tax credits in that Opinion is the basis of this example. Those deferred credits fall int o the second group (paragraph 231) and are not revenues, or gains. Deferred investment tax credits differ from deferred income tax credits in lacking a characteristic of liabilities that def erred incom e tax credits m ay have: def erred investment tax credit s do not involve an obligation to pay taxes or otherwise sacrifice assets in the future. Conceptually, if investm ent tax credits are to be deferred and am ortized over the life of the related assets, they are reductions of the acquisition costs of assets, not liabilities. 244. The Accounting Principles Board concluded in Opinion 2 that an investment tax credit was in substance a reduction of the cost of the related asset acquired and thereby a reduction of depreciation expense over the life of the asset rath er than a reduction of incom e tax expense for the period of acquisition. The APB therefore conc luded that "reflection of the allowable credit as a reduction in the net am ount at which the acqui red property is stated (either directly or by inclusion in an offsetting account)" was "preferable in many cases," and it perm itted accounting for the credit as "deferred incom e" (a deferre d credit) only if it were am ortized over the productive life of the property (Opinion 2, paragraph 14). In other words, a deferr ed investment tax credit could be displayed as if it were a liability, and its amortization could be displayed as a reduction of income tax expense, but it must be accounted for as a reduction of an asset.73 245. The issue of whether the tax credit is a liab ility (def erred credit) or a reduction of the assets acquired is a significant conceptual questi on with a m uch less significant practical effect. Indeed, some consider the m atter trivial be cause it does not affect repor ted profit. The issue of whether the investment tax credit is an asset valuation or a liability focuses, however, directly on the heart of the def inition of liabilities. The essence of a liability is a legal, equitable, or constructive obligation to sacrifice econom ic bene fits (assets) in the future, and a deferred investment tax credit based on the analysis in Op inion 2 wholly lacks that characteristic. If , therefore, liabilities were def ined in a way that those def erred in vestment tax credits could qualify as liabilities, the concept would have virtually no m eaning—almost any credit balance would qualif y as a liability. A def inition m ust se t lim its to be usef ul, and a def inition broad enough to include deferred investm ent tax credits would be of little or no help in determ ining whether any other particular item was a liability of a particular entity. Deferred Costs of Assets

246. Accountants, and others, are accustom ed to describing costs incurred as assets, but costs incurred are at best evidence of the existence of assets (paragraphs 178-180). They result in assets only if an entity acquires or increases f uture economic benefits available to it in exchange transactions or through production. Once that conceptual point is m ade, however, it is obvious Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 72

that cost incurred (acquisition cost or som etimes "historical cost") is commonly the attribute that is m easured in financial reporting for m any assets. T hus, inventories, plant, equipm ent, land, and a host of other future economic benefits are now represented in financial statements by some variation of costs incurred to acquire or make them. 247. Other "deferred costs" that are not themselves assets may be costs of the kinds of assets of an entity described in the preceding paragraph. For exam ple, a procedure so long established that it rarely rates a second thought is to acco unt for the costs (less salvage value, if any) of units normally spoiled in producing a product as add itional costs of the salable units produced. Similarly, although a "dry hole" cannot by itself qualify as an asset, except perhaps for som e salvageable materials or equipm ent, the costs of drilli ng a dry hole m ay be part of the cost of developing the future economic benefits of a mineral deposit that has been discovered. 74 Or, the legal and other costs of successfully de fending a patent from infringem ent a re "deferred legal costs" only in the sense that they are part of the cost of retaining and obtaining the future economic benefit of the patent. 248. The examples in the preceding paragraph illust rate costs that are accounted for in current practice as costs of other assets rather than as assets by themselves. The examples in this and the next two paragraphs illustrate costs that a re of the same general nature but have som etimes been accounted for, and are com monly described, as if they were them selves assets. For exam ple, entities that incur relocation, repair, training, advertising, or sim ilar costs usually receive services (that is, som ething of value) in exchange for cash paid or obligations incurred. The question that needs to be answered to apply the definition of assets is whether the econom ic benefit received by incurring those costs was used up at the tim e the costs were i ncurred or shortly thereafter or future econom ic benefit remains at the tim e the definition is applied. Costs such as those of relocation, repair, tr aining, or advertising services do not by themselves qualify as assets under the definition in paragraph 2 5 any more than do spoiled units, dry holes, or legal costs. The reason for considering the possibility th at they might be accounted for as if they were assets stems from their possible relationship to future economic benefits. 249. Costs incurred for services such as research and development, relocation, repair, training, or advertising relate to future econom ic benefits in one of two ways. First, costs m ay represent rights to unperform ed services yet to be rece ived from other entities. For exam ple, advertising cost incurred m ay be for a series of advertisem ents to appear in national news m agazines over the next three m onths. Those kinds of costs incu rred are similar to prepaid insurance or prepaid rent. They are payments in advance f or services to be rendered to the entity by other entities in the future. Second, they m ay represent future ec onomic benefit that is expected to be obtained within the entity by using assets or in f uture exchange transactions with other entities. For example, prerelease advertising of a motion picture may increase the future economic benefits of the product, or repairs may increase the future economic benefits of a piece of equipment. Those kinds of costs m ay be accounted for as assets either by being added to other assets or by being disclosed separately. If costs are to be include d in assets because they enhance future econom ic benefits of two or m ore assets, the only practical alternative to arbitrarily allocating them to Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 73

those other assets may be to show them as separate assets. 250. The exam ples do not, of course, preclude acc ounting for the kinds of costs involved as expenses of the period in which they are in curred. Many, perhaps m ost, will not be shown as assets at all for practical reasons stem ming from considerations of uncertainty or m easurement (paragraphs 44-48 and 175 and 176). Estimated Loss on Purchase Commitments

251. Estimated loss on purchase com mitments belongs in the second group of elem ents (paragraph 231). It is not a revenue or gain because it results from a loss. It is at best part of a liability and is not by itself an obligation to pay ca sh or otherwise sacrif ice assets in the f uture. There is no asset from which it m ay be a deduction in present practice. Thus, it seem s not to fit in the second group, after all. That predicam ent results, however, because estim ated loss on purchase commitments is the recorded part of a series of transactions and events that are m ostly unrecorded. 252. A purchase com mitment involves both an item that might be recorded as an asset and an item that might be recorded as a liability. That is, it involves both a right to receive assets and an obligation to pay. 75 A decrease in the price that leaves the com mitted buyer in the position of now being able to buy the assets cheaper were it not committed to buy them at the former, higher price does not by itself create an obligation that was not already present. If both the right to receive assets and the obligation to pay were recorded at the tim e of the purchase com mitment, the nature of the loss and the valuation account that records it when the price falls would be clearly seen. The obligation to pay has been unaffected by the price decrea se—the full am ount must be paid if the assets are accepted upon deliver y, or dam ages must be paid if the assets are not accepted. However, the future econom ic benefit and value of the right to receive the assets has decreased because the m arket value of t he assets to be received has declined, and the estimated loss on purchase commitment is in concept a reduction of that asset. 253. As long as the com mitment transaction rem ains unrecorded, however, the only way to recognize the loss on the com mitment is to do as is done in current practice—to recognize the valuation account for estimated loss on purchase commitments and include it among the assets or liabilities. Although it can be deducted from assets in some way, even though the asset to which it applies is not recorded, it is now sometimes shown among the liabilities. Minority Interests and Stock Purchase Warrants

254. Minority interests in net assets of consolid ated subsidiaries do not represent present obligations of the enterprise to pay cash or distribute other assets to m inority stockholders. Rather, those stockholders have ownership or residual interests in com ponents of a consolidated enterprise. The def initions in this Statem ent do not, of course, preclude showing m inority interests separately f rom m ajority interests or preclude em phasizing the interests of m ajority stockholders for whom consolidated statements are primarily provided. Stock purchase warrants Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 74

are also som etimes called liabilities but entirely l ack the characteristics of liabilities. They also are part of equity. Examples Do Not Govern Practice

255. The Board reiterates that the exam ples in paragraphs 232-254 are intended to illustrate the definitions and related concepts, not to esta blish standards for accounting practice (paragraph 230). The exam ples are intended to help readers understand the essential characteristics of the definitions and related concepts and thereby to help them understand the definitions in this Statement.

Summary Index of Concepts Defined or Discussed In addition to defining 10 elem ents of financia l statements and 3 classes of net assets (of not-for-profit organizations) and changes in thos e classes during a period, this Statem ent defines or discusses other concepts, term s, or phrases that are used in the definitions or explanations or that are otherwise related to those elem ents and classes. This index identif ies the paragraphs in which those elem ents and classes and certain other sign ificant concepts, term s, or phrases are defined or discussed.

Accrual Accrual accounting Allocation Amortization Articulation Assets Attributes measured Capital maintenance Change in permanently restricted net assets Change in temporarily restricted net assets Change in unrestricted net assets Changes in classes of net assets of not-for-profit organizations Changes in financial position Circumstances

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Paragraph Numbers 141 134, 139–141, 145 142, 149–150 142, 149 20–21, 64, 107 25–34, 64–65, 107–108, 171–191 (footnote 37) 73 71–72, 103–106 107–110, 117–122, 226 107–110, 117–118, 123–126, 225 107–110, 117–118, 127–133, 227 107–110,117–133, 223–228 (footnote 13) 20 136

Not for redistribution

Page 75

Classes of net assets of not-for-profit organizations Comprehensive income of business enterprises Constructive obligations Cost Deferral Distributions to owners Donor-imposed restrictions Earnings Economic resources Elements of financial statements Entity Equitable obligations Equity of business enterprises Equity or net assets Events Exchange transactions Expenses External events Financial position Fund balance Future economic benefit Gains Internal events Internal transactions Investments by owners Item (contrast with element) Liabilities Losses Maintenance of net assets Matching of costs and revenues Measurement Net assets of not-for-profit organizations

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

91–94, 101–102, 221 64–65, 70–77, 215–220 (footnote 22) 35, 40,(footnote 28) 57, 202–203 (footnote 19) 26 141–142 64–69 56–58, 95–102 (footnote 1) 1 11–15, 27–31 5–7 24 (footnote 22) 35, 40, (footnote 28) 57, 202–203 49–55, 60–65, 212–214 49–65, (footnote 26) 50, 90–110, 212–214, 221–222 135–138 137 64–65, 80–81, 87–89, 107–113, 215–220 135, 137 (footnote 13) 20 (footnote 45) 91 26–30, 172–173 64–65, 82–89, 107–113, 215–220 135, 138 138 64–69 5–7 35–43, 54–59, 64–65, 107–108, 192–211 64–65, 82–89, 107–113, 215–220 71–72, 103–106 146 22, (footnote 37) 73 49–53, 56–58, 90–110, 221–222

Not for redistribution

Page 76

Net assets or equity Nonreciprocal transfers Not-for-profit organizations (distinguishing characteristics of) Obligations Other entities Ownership interest Permanently restricted net assets Permanent restrictions Prepayments Probable Production

Profit and loss Realization Realized Reclassifications (not-for-profit organizations) Recognition Residual interest Resources (economic) Restricted or restrictions (not-for-profit organizations) Revenues Service potential (synonym for future economic benefit) Service-providing efforts Systematic and rational allocation Temporarily restricted net assets Temporary restrictions Transactions Unrealized Unrestricted net assets Valuation accounts

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

49–65, (footnote 26) 50, 90–110, 212–214, 221–222 137, 150–151, (footnote 61) 169 (footnote 8) 12,90 (footnote 22) 35, 36–40, 193–194, 200–203 24 49–55, 60–65, 212–214 91–92, 218, 95–102, 107–110, 221 98–100 141 (footnote 18) 25,(footnote 21) 35, 46 30,(footnote 33)65,(footnote 38) 74, (footnote 40) 79, (footnote 50)112 (footnote 9) 16 143 143 107–110, 114–116, 152 22, 143 49–50, 90, 212–213, 221–222 11–15, 27–31 91–93, 95–102, 221 64–65, 78–79, 87–89, 107–113, 215–220 26–30, 172–173 (footnote 50),112 149 91, 93–95, 95–102, 107–110, 221 98–100 135, 137 143 91, 94, 107–110, 221 34, 43

Not for redistribution

Page 77

AMENDMENT OF FASB CONCEPTS STATEMENT NO. 2, QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF ACCOUNTING INFORMATION As discussed in Appendix A (paragraphs 160-162) the Board has reaffirm ed the conclusion that the qualitative characteristics of accounting inform ation set forth in Concepts Statem ent 2 (relevance, reliability, com parability, and related qual ities) apply to both not-f or-profit organizations and business enterprises. Acco rdingly, paragraph 4 and footnote 2 of Concepts Statement 2 are superseded and replaced by the following: 4. The qualities of inf ormation discussed in this Statem ent apply to financial information reported by business enterprises and by not-for-profit organizations. Although the discussion and the exam ples in this Statem ent are expressed in terms com monly related to business enterprises, they generally apply to not-for-profit organizations as well. "Objec tives of financial reporting by business enterprises," "investors and creditors," "investment and credit decisions," and similar terms are intended to encom pass their counterparts for not-for-profit organizations, "objectives of financial reporting by not-for-profit organizations," "resource providers," "resource allocation decisions," and similar terms.2 ______________

2This paragraph i s as am ended by FASB C oncepts Statement No. 6, Elements of Financial Statements (December 1985).

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 78

Footnotes Footnote *-- Pronouncements such as APB Statement No. 4, Basic Concepts and Accounting Principles Underlying Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, and the Accounting Terminology Bulletins will continue to serve their intended purpose--they describe objectives and concepts underlying standards and practices existing at the time of their issuance. Footnote †--Rule 203 prohibits a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants from expressing an opinion that financial statements conform with generally accepted accounting principles if those statements contain a material departure from an accounting principle promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, unless the member can demonstrate that because of unusual circumstances the financial statements otherwise would have been misleading. Rule 204 requires members of the Institute to justify departures from standards promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board for the disclosure of information outside of financial statements in published financial reports. CON6, Footnote 1-- Comprehensive income is the nam e used in this Statem ent and in FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 3, Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, for the concept that was called earnings in FASB Concepts Statem ent No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises, and other conceptual fram ework docum ents previously issued ( Tentative Conclusions on Objectives of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises [December 1976]; FASB Discussion Mem orandum, Elements of Financial Statements and Their Measurement [December 1976]; FASB Exposure Draft, Objectives of Financial Reporting and Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises [Decem ber 1977], and FASB Discussion Mem orandum, Reporting Earnings [July 1979]). Concepts Statem ent 3 did no t define earnings because the Board decided to reserve th e term for possible use to designate a component part, then undetermined, of comprehensive income. FASB Concepts Statement No. 5, Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises (December 1984), has now described earnings for a period as excluding certain cumulative accounting adjustments and other nonowner changes in equity that are included in comprehensive income for a period. CON6, Footnote 2--The term not-for-profit organizations in this Statement encompasses private sector organizations described in FASB Concepts Statement No. 4, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Nonbusiness Organizations (December 1980). Financial reporting by state and local governmental units is within the purview of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and the FASB has not considered the applicability of this Statement to those units. CON6, Footnote 3--Some respondents to the 1977 Exposure Draft on elements of financial statements of business enterprises (par. 157) interpreted the discussion of other possible elements to mean that financial statements now called balance sheets and income statements might have elements other than those defined. However, the other elements referred to pertain to other possible financial statements. Although this Statement contains no conclusions about the Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 79

identity, number, or form of financial statements, it defines all elements for balance sheets and income statements of business enterprises in their present forms, except perhaps earnings (par. 1, footnote 1), and for balance sheets and statements of changes in net assets of not-for-profit organizations in their present forms. CON6, Footnote 4--Paragraphs 5-9 of Concepts Statement 5 discuss the role of notes and their relation to financial statements. CON6, Footnote 5--The 1977 Exposure Draft on elements of financial statements of business enterprises attempted to distinguish the representations from what they represent by giving them different names. For example, assets referred only to the financial representations in financial statements, and economic resources referred to the real-world things that assets represented in financial statements. That aspect of the Exposure Draft caused considerable confusion and was criticized by respondents. The revised Exposure Draft, Elements of Financial Statements of Business Enterprises (December 28, 1979), reverted to the more common practice of using the same names for both, and this Statement adopts the same usage. CON6, Footnote 6--Those who make decisions about allocating resources to not-for-profit organizations include both (a) lenders, suppliers, employees, and the like who expect repayment or other direct pecuniary compensation from an entity and have essentially the same interest in and make essentially the same kinds of decisions about the entity whether it is a not-for-profit organization or a business enterprise and (b) members, contributors, donors, and the like who provide resources to not-for-profit organizations for reasons other than expectations of direct and proportionate pecuniary compensation (Concepts Statement 4, pars. 15-19, 29). CON6, Footnote 7--Decision usefulness of information provided about those relevant economic things and events depends not only on their relevance but also on the reliability (especially representational faithfulness) of the financial representations called assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and so forth in financial statements. Representational faithfulness depends not only on the way the definitions are applied but also on recognition and measurement decisions that are beyond the scope of this Statement (pars. 22 and 23). CON6, Footnote 8--Concepts Statement 4 (par. 6) lists as the distinguishing characteristics of not-for-profit organizations (a) contributions from resource providers who do not expect pecuniary return, (b) operating purposes other than to provide goods or services at a profit, and (c) absence of ownership interests like those of business enterprises. Not-for-profit organizations have those characteristics in varying degrees. "The line between nonbusiness [not-for-profit] organizations and business enterprises is not always sharp since the incidence and relative importance of those characteristics in any organization are different. . . . As happens with any distinction, there will be borderline cases. . . . especially for organizations that possess some of the distinguishing characteristics of nonbusiness [not-for-profit] organizations but not others. Some organizations have no ownership interests but are essentially self-sustaining from fees they charge for goods and services. . . . the objectives of Concepts Statement 1 may be more Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 80

appropriate for those organizations" (Concepts Statement 4, pars. 7 and 8). CON6, Footnote 9--Profit is used in this and the following paragraphs in a broad descriptive sense to refer to an enterprise's successful performance during a period. It is not intended to have a technical accounting meaning or to imply resolution of classification and display matters that are beyond the scope of this Statement, and no specific relation between profit and either comprehensive income or earnings (par. 1, footnote 1) is implied. Loss as in profit or loss (in contrast to gain or loss) is also used in a broad descriptive sense to refer to negative profit or unsuccessful performance and is not intended to have a technical accounting meaning. CON6, Footnote 10--Some not-for-profit organizations, for example, many membership organizations, may be permitted under law to distribute assets to members upon dissolution or final liquidation. However, assets of many other not-for-profit organizations are held subject to limitations (a) permitting their use only for religious, charitable, eleemosynary, benevolent, educational, or similar purposes or (b) requiring their return to donors or their designees if the organization is dissolved. Thus, upon dissolution of a not-for-profit organization, its assets, or a significant part of them, must often be transferred to another not-for-profit organization engaged in activities substantially similar to those of the dissolving organization, to donors, or, in some cases, to other unrelated entities. CON6, Footnote 11--Concepts Statement 4, pars. 6-9. CON6, Footnote 12--Concepts Statement 4, pars. 9, 38, 41, and 47-53. CON6, Footnote 13--The two types can also be distinguished as financial position and changes in financial position, without meaning to imply or describe particular financial statements. Used broadly, financial position refers to state or status of assets or claims to assets at moments in time, and changes in financial position refers to flows or changes in assets or claims to assets over time. In that sense, for example, both income statements and funds statements (now commonly called statements of changes in financial position for business enterprises) show changes in financial position in present practice. Other statements, such as statements of retained earnings or analyses of property, plant, and equipment, may show aspects of both financial position at the beginning and end of a period and changes in financial position during a period. The other possible elements of financial statements referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 also fall into this second types. That is, they are changes in financial position, describing effects of transactions and other events and circumstances that affect assets, liabilities, or equity during a period, for example, acquisitions and dispositions of assets, borrowing, and repayments of borrowing. Financial statements of not-for-profit organizations may have different names from those of business enterprises but have the same distinctions between financial position and changes in financial position. CON6, Footnote 14--The two relations described in this paragraph are commonly expressed as (a) balance at beginning of period + changes during period = balance at end of period and (b) Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 81

assets = liabilities + equity. "Double entry," the mechanism by which accrual accounting formally includes particular items that qualify under the elements definitions in articulated financial statements, incorporates those relations. CON6, Footnote 15--FASB Concepts Statement No. 5, Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, addresses those questions for business enterprises. Those conceptual questions as they relate to not-for-profit organizations and more detailed development of those concepts for all entities may be the subject of further concepts Statements or standards. CON6, Footnote 16--Decisions about recognizing, measuring, and displaying elements of financial statements depend significantly on evaluations such as what information is most relevant for investment, credit, and other resource-allocation decisions and whether the information is reliable enough to be trusted. Other significant evaluations of the information involve its comparability with information about other periods or other entities, its materiality, and whether the benefits from providing it exceed the costs of providing it. Those matters are discussed in Concepts Statement 2, and criteria and guidance for business enterprises based on them are set forth in Concepts Statement 5. CON6, Footnote 17--The concept of a "reporting entity" for general-purpose external financial reporting is the subject of a separate Board project that includes consolidated financial statements, the equity method, and related matters. CON6, Footnote 18--Probable is used with its usual general meaning, rather than in a specific accounting or technical sense (such as that in FASB Statement No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies, par. 3), and refers to that which can reasonably be expected or believed on the basis of available evidence or logic but is neither certain nor proved (Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, 2d college ed. [New York Simon and Schuster 1982], p. 1132). Its inclusion in the definition is intended to acknowledge that business and other economic activities occur in an environment characterized by uncertainty in which few outcomes are certain (pars. 44-48). CON6, Footnote 19--Cost is the sacrifice incurred in economic activities--that which is given up or forgone to consume, to save, to exchange, to produce, and so forth. For example, the value of cash or other resources given up (or the present value of an obligation incurred) in exchange for a resource measures the cost of the resource acquired. Similarly, the expiration of future benefits caused by using a resource in production is the cost of using it. CON6, Footnote 20--Money's command over resources, or purchasing power, declines during periods of inflation and increases during periods of deflation (increases and decreases, respectively, in the level of prices in general). Since matters of measurement, including unit of measure, are beyond the scope of this Statement, it recognizes but does not emphasize that characteristic of money. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 82

CON6, Footnote 21--Probable is used with its usual general meaning, rather than in a specific accounting or technical sense (such as that in Statement 5, par. 3), and refers to that which can reasonably be expected or believed on the basis of available evidence or logic but is neither certain nor proved (Webster's New World Dictionary, p. 1132). Its inclusion in the definition is intended to acknowledge that business and other economic activities occur in an environment characterized by uncertainty in which few outcomes are certain (pars. 44-48). CON6, Footnote 22--Obligations in the definition is broader than legal obligations. It is used with its usual general meaning to refer to duties imposed legally or socially; to that which one is bound to do by contract, promise, moral responsibility, and so forth (Webster's New World Dictionary, p. 981). It includes equitable and constructive obligations as well as legal obligations (pars. 37-40). CON6, Footnote 23--A common feature of liabilities is interest--the time value of money or the price of delay. CON6, Footnote 24--The meaning of probable in these paragraphs is described in paragraph 25, footnote 18, and paragraph 35, footnote 21. CON6, Footnote 25--The Board's Concepts Statements 2 and 5 bear directly on the matter discussed in paragraphs 44-48. CON6, Footnote 26--This Statement generally applies the term equity to business enterprises, which is common usage, and the term net assets to not-for-profit organizations, for which the term equity is less commonly used. The two terms are interchangeable. CON6, Footnote 27--Since, in common use, grants mean not only gifts but also exchange transactions in which the grantor expects to receive commensurate value, this Statement generally avoids those terms. CON6, Footnote 28--Most liabilities are legally enforceable, and the concepts of equitable and constructive obligations have a relatively narrow area of application. To assess all or most donor-restricted contributions to not-for-profit organizations as having the essential characteristics of liabilities is too broad an interpretation of the definition of liabilities. A not-for-profit organization's need to acquire goods and services to provide services to beneficiaries in the future, or to expand to provide new services, is analogous to a business enterprise's need to replace merchandise sold or raw materials or equipment used up (paragraph 200), or to buy new assets, not to its liability to provide magazines to customers who have paid in advance. CON6, Footnote 29--This Statement defines equity of business enterprises only as a whole, although the discussion notes that different owners of an enterprise may have different kinds of Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 83

ownership rights and that equity has various sources. In financial statements of business enterprises, various distinctions within equity, such as those between common stockholders' equity and preferred stockholders' equity, between contributed capital and earned capital, or between stated or legal capital and other equity, are primarily matters of display that are beyond the scope of this Statement. CON6, Footnote 30--Other entities with proprietary or ownership interests in a business enterprise are commonly known by specialized names, such as stockholders, partners, and proprietors, and by more general names, such as investors, but all are also covered by the descriptive term owners. Equity of business enterprises is thus commonly known by several names, such as owners' equity, stockholders' equity, ownership, equity capital, partners' capital, and proprietorship. Some enterprises (for example, mutual organizations) do not have stockholders, partners, or proprietors in the usual sense of those terms but do have participants whose interests are essentially ownership interests, residual interests, or both. CON6, Footnote 31--Distinctions between liabilities and equity generally depend on the nature of the claim rather than on the identity of the claimant. The same entities may simultaneously be both owners and employees, owners and creditors, owners and customers, creditors and customers, or some other combination. For example, an investor may hold both debt and equity securities of the same enterprise, or an owner of an enterprise may also become its creditor by lending to it or by receiving rights to unpaid cash dividends that it declares. Wages due, products or services due, accounts payable due, and other amounts due to owners in their roles as employees, customers, suppliers, and the like are liabilities, not part of equity. Exceptions involve situations in which relationships between the parties cast doubts that they are liabilities in substance rather than investments by owners. CON6, Footnote 32--A controlling interest or an interest that confers an ability to exercise significant influence over the operations of an enterprise may have more potential than other ownership interests to control or affect assets of the enterprise or distributions of assets to owners. Procedures such as consolidated financial statements and the equity method of accounting for intercorporate investments have been developed to account for the rights and relations involved. CON6, Footnote 33--The diagram reflects the concept that value added by productive activities increases assets as production takes place, which is the basis for the common observation that revenues are earned by the entire process of acquiring goods and services, using them to produce other goods or services, selling the output, and collecting the sales price or fee. However, that value added is commonly recognized after production is complete, usually when product is delivered or sold but sometimes when cash is received or product is completed. The diagram does not, of course, settle recognition issues. CON6, Footnote 34--The definitions of revenues, expenses, gains, and losses in paragraphs 78-89 also apply to the changes in net assets of not-for-profit organizations as discussed in Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 84

paragraphs 107-113. CON6, Footnote 35--Investments by owners are sometimes called capital contributions. Distributions to owners are sometimes called capital distributions; distributions of earnings, profits, or income; or dividends. CON6, Footnote 36--Concepts Statement 5, paragraphs 45-48 adopted financial capital maintenance as the concept on which the full set of articulated financial statements it discusses is based. CON6, Footnote 37--"'Attributes to be measured' refers to the traits or aspects of an element to be quantified or measured, such as historical cost/historical proceeds, current cost/current proceeds, etc. Attribute is a narrower concept than measurement, which includes not only identifying the attribute to be measured but also selecting a scale of measurement (for example, units of money or units of constant purchasing power). 'Property' is commonly used in sciences to describe the trait or aspect of an object being measured, such as the length of a table or the weight of a stone. But 'property' may be confused with land and buildings in financial reporting contexts, and 'attribute' has become common in accounting literature and is used in this Statement" (Concepts Statement 1, par. 2, footnote 2). The choice of measurement attribute, measurement unit, and recognition criteria are discussed in Concepts Statement 5. CON6, Footnote 38--An enterprise increases the values of goods or services it holds or acquires by adding time, place, or form utility. Thus, productive efforts and producing and distributing activities include not only manufacturing and other conversion processes but also other productive activities such as storing, transporting, lending, insuring, and providing professional services that might be overlooked if producing were narrowly equated with manufacturing. CON6, Footnote 39--Earnings as adopted in Concepts Statement 5 and its relation to comprehensive income is discussed in paragraph 1, footnote 1. CON6, Footnote 40--In concept, revenues increase assets rather than decrease liabilities, but a convenient shortcut is often to directly record reduction of liabilities. Production is essentially an asset conversion process to create future economic benefit (par. 30;, par. 65, footnote 33; and, par. 74, footnote 38). It adds utility and value to assets and is the primary source of revenue, which may be recognized (as noted in footnote 41) when product is delivered, when cash is received, or when production is completed rather than as production takes place. Production does not directly incur or settle liabilities but is often closely related to exchange transactions in which liabilities are incurred or settled. Entities acquire assets (economic benefits), not expenses or losses, to carry out their production operations, and most expenses are at least momentarily assets. Since many goods and services acquired are used either simultaneously with acquisition or soon thereafter, it is common practice to record them as expenses at acquisition. However, to record an expense as resulting from incurring a liability is a useful shortcut that combines two conceptually separate events: (a) an exchange transaction in which an asset was acquired and (b) Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 85

an internal event (production) in which an asset was used up. The assets produced by operations may be used to settle liabilities (for example, by delivering product that has been paid for in advance). However, again, to record a liability as being directly reduced by recording revenue is a useful shortcut that combines two conceptually separate events: (a) an internal event (production) that resulted in an asset and revenue and (b) an exchange transaction in which the asset was transferred to another entity to satisfy a liability. In the diagram in paragraph 64, the exchange transactions are in class A, while the internal events (production) that result in revenues or expenses are in class B1. CON6, Footnote 41--Timing of recognition of revenues--including existing recognition procedures, which usually recognize revenues when goods are delivered or services are performed but may sometimes recognize them when cash is received, when production is completed, or as production progresses--is a subject of Concepts Statement 5. This Statement contains no conclusions about recognition of revenues or of any other elements. CON6, Footnote 42--If manufactured products are accounted for at accumulated costs until sold, as is common in present practice, production costs are recognized as expenses in the periods in which product is sold rather than in periods in which assets are used to produce output. For example, use of raw materials and depreciation of factory machinery are included in the cost of product and are recognized as expenses as part of the cost of goods sold. In contrast, if products are accounted for at net realizable value using a percentage-of-completion method, as output under construction contracts often is, production costs such as raw materials used and depreciation of construction equipment are recognized as expenses in the periods in which the assets are used to produce output. CON6, Footnote 43--In concept, most expenses decrease assets rather than increase liabilities. They involve using (sacrificing) goods or services, not acquiring them. However, acquisition and use of many goods or services may occur simultaneously or during the same period, and a convenient shortcut is often to record directly increases of liabilities (par. 79, footnote 40). Taxes and other expenses resulting from nonreciprocal transfers to other entities commonly do result directly from incurring liabilities. CON6, Footnote 44--Gifts or donations received by not-for-profit organizations may be revenues or gains (pars. 111-113). CON6, Footnote 45--This Statement does not use the terms funds and fund balances because the most common meanings of those terms refer respectively to a common group of assets and related liabilities within a not-for-profit organization and to the net amount of those assets and liabilities. This Statement classifies net assets, not assets or liabilities. While some not-for-profit organizations may choose to classify assets and liabilities into fund groups, information about those groupings is not a necessary part of general purpose external financial reporting. Issues that affect how, if at all, classifications of assets and liabilities may be displayed in financial statements, for example, by using multicolumn presentations or disclosure Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 86

in the notes, are outside the scope of this Statement and may be the subject of future Board projects. CON6, Footnote 46--However, the nature and amounts of self-imposed limits on use of assets and of limits imposed by others as a condition of operating activities (for example, by debt covenants or other arrangements) may be significant information for financial statement users and may need to be disclosed. CON6, Footnote 47--This Statement makes distinctions among resource flows based on the presence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions on their use. In the past, other distinctions have been made, for example, between "nonoperating" and "operating," "nonexpendable" and "expendable," "noncapital" and "capital," and "restricted" and "unrestricted." Those terms have been used by not-for-profit organizations in practice to name groups of resource flows that, while similar in many respects, have differed in important details. CON6, Footnote 48--FASB Concepts Statement 4, par. 49. The Statement also says, "A nonbusiness [not-for-profit] organization cannot, in the long run, continue to achieve its operating objectives unless the resources made available to it at least equal the resources needed to provide services at levels satisfactory to resource providers and other constituents" (par. 39). CON6, Footnote 49--Some assets--for example, land and endowment investments in securities--are generally not used up or consumed by productive use. The extent, if any, to which the future economic benefits or service potential of particular kinds of assets are used up by productive use involves measurement issues beyond the scope of this Statement. CON6, Footnote 50--A not-for-profit organization, like a business enterprise, increases the values of goods or services it acquires by adding time, place, or form utility. Thus, service-providing efforts and producing and distributing activities include conversion processes and other utility-adding activities such as storing, transporting, distributing, providing professional services, and many others. Since a not-for-profit organization may provide goods, services, or cash to its beneficiaries, the term service-providing efforts may refer to activities for producing and distributing goods or cash as well as services. CON6, Footnote 51--Information about the service efforts of a not-for-profit organization should focus on how the organization's resources are used in providing different programs or services (Concepts Statement 4, pars. 51-53). Accordingly, it may be useful to group and report separately the costs of providing various services or other activities for each significant program or supporting activity. However, whether expenses and unrestricted losses are reported by program or supporting activity, by kind (such as salaries and wages, rent, supplies, and other purchased services), or otherwise is a display matter beyond the scope of this Statement. CON6, Footnote 52--In contrast, APB Statement No. 4, Basic Concepts and Accounting Principles Underlying Financial Statements of Business Enterprises (October 1970), paragraph Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 87

62, distinguishes external and internal events as follows: External events are "events that affect the enterprise and in which other entities participate," while internal events are "events in which only the enterprise participates." In that classification, so-called acts of God, such as floods and earthquakes, which are external events in this Statement, are internal events. CON6, Footnote 53--APB Statement 4, par. 62, and APB Opinion No. 29, Accounting for Nonmonetary Transactions, beginning with par. 5. CON6, Footnote 54--For example, paragraph 79, footnote 40, explains how liabilities that result from customers' cash advances are later satisfied by delivery of goods or services. CON6, Footnote 55--The expressions accrued depreciation or to accrue depreciation are sometimes used, but depreciation in present practice is technically the result of allocation or amortization, which are deferral, not accrual, techniques. Conversely, the expressions unamortized debt discount or premium and to amortize debt discount or premium are sometimes used, but accounting for debt securities issued (or acquired as an investment) at a discount or premium by the "interest" method is technically the result of accrual, not deferral or amortization, techniques (pars. 235-239 of this Statement). The "interest" method is described in APB Opinion No. 12, Omnibus Opinion--1967, paragraphs 16 and 17, and APB Opinion No. 21, Interest on Receivables and Payables, paragraphs 15 and 16. CON6, Footnote 56--Concepts Statement 5 uses the term recognition in the same way as does this Statement and distinguishes it from realization. It also uses realized in the same sense and defines the related concept realizable (par. 83 and footnote 50). CON6, Footnote 57-- APB Statem ent 4 ( pars. 154-161) describes "three pervasive expense recognition princ iples": associating cause and effect, system atic and rational allocation, and immediate recognition. Paragraphs 146-149 of this Statement describe generally the sam e three bases for recognizing expenses but not in the same order. Guidance for recognition of expenses and losses, set forth for business enterprises in Concepts Statement 5 (pars. 85-87), is based in large part on the considerations in paragraphs 146-149. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 58--As noted in paragraph 50, footnote 26, this Statement often uses equity and net assets interchangeably but generally applies equity to business enterprises and net assets to not-for-profit organizations. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 59--Those questions are a subject of FASB Concepts Statement No. 5, Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises. Recognition, measurement, and display questions for not-for-profit organizations, and more detailed development of those concepts for all entities, may be the subject of further concepts or standards Statements. Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 88

CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 60--Paragraph 247 notes an aspect of the cost of some "dry holes" in different circumstances. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 61--Examples (e) and (f) describe receipts of assets in nonreciprocal transfers to an entity, for example, contributions. Although restrictions may place limits on assets received, most donor-imposed restrictions do not create obligations that qualify as liabilities of the recipient. Moreover, the transaction necessarily is an exchange rather than a nonreciprocal transfer if an entity receives assets and incurs liabilities in the same transaction. Although restrictions on the use of donated assets may lead to the future use of cash (or other assets) to provide stipulated services, that future use of cash is not a required "sacrifice" of assets. Rather, it generally is a future exchange of assets to purchase goods or services from suppliers or employees (pars. 56-58, 137, and 150 and 151). CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 62--Absence of a market price or exchangeability of an asset may create measurement and recognition problems, but it in no way negates future economic benefit that can be obtained by use as well as by exchange. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 63--Contracts and agreements and enforceability of agreements and statutes are necessary parts of the environment in which business and other economic activities and financial reporting take place. Business and other economic activities in the United States depend on flows of money and credit, and the fact that the participants largely keep their promises to pay money or provide goods or services is a necessary stabilizing factor. But the definitions in this Statement are not legal definitions and do not necessarily agree with legal definitions of the same or related terms (which have a propensity to have diverse meanings, often depending on the context or the branch of law that is involved). Nor is existence of a legally enforceable obligation inevitably required for an entity to have a liability (pars. 36-40). CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 64--Concepts Statement 5 addresses many of those matters and notes that those matters may be developed further at the standards level. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 65--Concepts Statement 4, par. 30. Paragraphs 29, 31, and 32 also discuss the interest of other types of users of financial information, including those having specialized needs and those of internal users, such as managers and governing bodies, and explain that special-purpose reports and detailed information often required by those types of users is beyond the scope of general-purpose external financial reporting. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 66--Permanently restricted resource inflows (for example, endowment contributions) are sometimes said to resemble the "capital" inflows of a business enterprise--investments by its owners. However, as this Statement indicates, characteristics of and changes in net assets of not-for-profit organizations and equity of business enterprises are often more different than similar. For example, unlike investments by owners, donations of assets with permanent restrictions are not a source of cash for payment to creditors. Furthermore, the rights of owners and donors are fundamentally different. A not-for-profit Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 89

organization that accepts a permanently restricted contribution is obligated only to comply with the restriction. It generally operates for the benefit of the recipients of its services--not for the financial benefit of its donors. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 67--Donors that provide restricted resources may have specific interests in how those resources are used. Information focused on donor-imposed restrictions may be useful to them; however, broad distinctions are not intended to provide external users with assurance that managers have exercised their responsibilities in the manner specifically designated by a particular resource provider. General purpose external financial reporting can best meet the need for information about managers' special responsibilities by disclosing any failures to comply with restrictions that may impinge on an organization's financial performance or on its ability to continue to provide a satisfactory level of services (Concepts Statement 4, par. 41). CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 68--Valuation accounts are part of the assets or liabilities to which they pertain and are neither assets nor liabilities in their own right (pars. 34 and 43). That distinction is significant in several of the examples. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 68--Valuation accounts are part of the assets or liabilities to which they pertain and are neither assets nor liabilities in their own right (pars. 34 and 43). That distinction is significant in several of the examples. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 69--The examples generally concern transactions and other events of business enterprises and are expressed in business terms. Since not-for-profit organizations may have similar transactions (except those related to ownership interests and perhaps those related to income taxes) these examples and the concepts they illustrate relate to those organizations as well. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 70--The proceeds are $114.50 if the exam ple is changed to a 15 percent security issued to yield 7 percent. Interest incom e and receivable accrued is $8.00 (.07 x $114.50) for the first year and $7.50 [.07 x ( $114.50 - $7.00)] for the second. Accounting for cash received is: 12/31/X1____________ ______ Cash

$15.00

Interest receivable Investment

$ 8.00 7.00

12/31/X2____________ ______ Cash

$115.00

Interest receivable Investment

$ 7.50 $107.50

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 90

CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 71--Deferred tax charges are not discussed separately in this Statement. However, they are assets (prepaid taxes) in the liability method and reductions of related liabilities in the net-of-tax method. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 72--Some proponents of the deferred method hold that it is actually a variation of the net-of-tax method despite rejection of that method in Opinion 11. They view the deferred tax charges and credits as the separate display of the effects of interperiod tax allocation instead of as reductions of the related assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, gains, and losses. They argue that separate display is necessary or desirable, but it is a matter of "geography" in financial statements rather than a matter of the nature of deferred income tax credits. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 73--The definitions in this Statement do not bear on the question of whether an investment tax credit should be accounted for by the "deferral and amortization" method (which is described in this paragraph) or the "flow-through" method (which the Board also accepted in APB Opinion No. 4, Accounting for the "Investment Credit," [amending Opinion 2]). That issue involves whether the tax credit reduces the cost of the asset and depreciation over its life or reduces income tax expense in the period of acquisition, which is a recognition or measurement question. The existence of an asset from whose cost the credit may be deducted is not in doubt. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 74--"The cost of a development well [in contrast to that of an exploratory well] is a part of the cost of a bigger asset--a producing system of wells and related equipment and facilities intended to extract, treat, gather, and store known reserves" (FASB Statement No. 19, Financial Accounting and Reporting by Oil and Gas Producing Companies, par. 205). The "full-costing" method incorporates the same notion--costs of dry holes are not themselves assets but are costs of mineral deposits. CON6, Appendix B, Footnote 75--Whether those rights and obligations might be accounted for as assets and liabilities is a question of recognition, criteria for which are established by Concepts Statement 5 and may be developed further as they are applied at the standards level. Although the definitions in this Statement do not exclude the possibility of recording assets and liabilities for purchase commitments, the Statement contains no conclusions or implications about whether they should be recorded.

Copyright © 1985, Financial Accounting Standards Board

Not for redistribution

Page 91