Financial Statement: It’s Usefulness In Evaluating Performance And Investment Decision Of Companies

Financial Statement: It’s Usefulness In Evaluating Performance And Investment Decision Of Companies With Reference To Being And Bows Nigeria Limited.

Literature Review

  • Financial Information And Its Users

What is financial information:  The basis for financial planning, analysis and decision making is the financial information financial information is needed to predict, compare and evaluate the firms earning ability.  It is also required to aid in economic decision-making on investment and financing decisions-making pandy (1991).  The financial information of an enterprise is contained in the financial statements or accounting reports.

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Management is responsible for establishing an accounting system to identify measure.  Record, and adequately disclose an entity’s transactions and other events that affects its financial position and results of operations,  in addition, management is responsible for selecting accounting principal that appropriately regulate events that occur and for making other accounting estimates and judgments.

If management is to fulfill its responsibility for preparing useful financial statements, it must pay attention carefully to the quality of its accounting judgments.  Financial statement prepares are guided by accounting standards on financial measurement and disclosure.

In providing information to the users, accounting has to perform three functions: accumulation measurement and communication of information.  The accounting system identifies and gathers data.  The process of data accumulation involves the recording and adalysis of economic events.  The accounting records includes journals and ledgers.  These records are essentially historical in nature as the events recorded are the ones which have already occurred.  Accounting also performs the measurement founds.  It assigns monetary values (for example, naira, dollar or pounds) to economic events.  While performing the measurement function, it acts in accordance with the generally accepted principles.

Some economic events can not be measured accurately; they are estimated.  Accounting, is the language of business.  Therefore, the information accumulated and measured by the accounting system should be periodically communicated through statements and reports.  The financial statements and reports should be reliable and accurate.


The owners have the primary interest in the financial information.  They have entrusted their financial resources to the firm and therefore, would like to know periodically its performance.  Managers are the custodians of their investments and therefore; they must submit periodical financial reports to owners.


The managers are responsible for the overall performances of the firm.  They make several decisions and therefore need information.  Accounting provides relevant information in which managers have a direct interest.


The creditors supply financial resources to the firm.  They are interested in the continuing profitable performance of the firm to any may regularly receive interest and repayment of the principal sum.  They need the accounting information to evaluate the performance of the firm and to determine the degree of risk to which they are exposed.


The creditors or owners, get an idea about the firms financial strength and performance from its financial reports.  They are generally interested in the earnings dividend and growth trend of the firm.  Usually they take the services of financial analysis in evaluating the performance of the firm.


These people also make use of the financial information revealed in the financial statements.  They can bargain on matters relating to salary determination, bonus, fringe, benefits, or working conditions on the basis of the accounting information.  This financial information is useful to employee and unions, as they get in sight into matters affecting their economic and social interests.


The customers might be interested in the financial information because a careful study of the financial statements may provide information about the prices being charged by the firm.


The government has an interest in the financial statement for regulatory purpose.  The tax department of government has an interest in determining the taxable income of the firm.


In the literature of financial Accounting different terms were used, such as accounting principles accounting postulates, accounting concepts, accounting imperatives and accounting assumptions to describe those basic points of agreement on which financial accounting theory and practice are founded.

The term accounting comlentions is used to stess that the ground of financial accounting are not the subject of immutable law, but are based on consents.  Convention define the assumptions on which the financial accounts of a business are prepared.

Financial transactions are interpreted in the light of the conventions which govern accounting methods.  In effect the conventions of financial accounting largely determine the interpretation given reports of the events and results which they portray for example, the conventions relations to the recognition of revenue determine the dimension of the profit reported to share holders and the value of the enterprise as judged from the balance sheet.

If accountants as a grow wish to change some of their conventions they are free to do so.  Indeed, accounting bodies in Britain and in the United states are engaged in the review of their conventions and practices for their purpose the financial accountancy standards award was established in the united states in 1973 (replacing the accounting principles Board) and in the united kingdom.  The accounting standard committee was established in 1970 with similar objectives.

The term “accounting conventions” serves in another sense to underline the freedom accountants have enjoyed in determine their own rules.  There is no tradition of state interference in the united states and united kingdom, for example, as regards the practice of accounting.  Such land as are to be found are contained in statutes dealing with the activities of corporate bodies, such as the companies act, which specify the nature of accounting information that must be disclosed to share holders, and income tax and corporation tax acts which impose a duty on business firms to submit accounting information for the purpose of assessing the liability to tax.  So far neither parliament, nor the courts have issued directives to the accounting profession as regards the conventions which they should observe.  In France by contrast there is a different political traditions, and there is legistation dealing with accounting practices and they are detailed in the ‘plan compliable” which is an edict issued by the French government detailing the manner in which accounting statement should be prepared.


Financial statements are based on accounting principles.

The concepts and the conventions constitute the principles underlying accounting theory.  The concept are:


Financial accounting distinguishes the business entity from the individuals connected with and /or coming into contact with the business including the owners an managers of the business.

Therefore accounts are maintained for a business entity distinct from the accounts maintained for employers, employees, customers, bankers and other parties connected with the business.  The shareholders, debenture holders, creditors and banks are seen merely as contributing the financial resources entrusted to the directors of the company to manage in the over all interest of the business.

The law regards an incorporated company as a separate legal entity from its members.  In partnership and sole proprietorship’s such distinctions are not made in law.  But even then the accounts maintained for all companies partnerships, and sole traders alike are all different from the accounts of the respective owners of each types of organization.


Money is the common denominator for goods and services.  Therefore, accounting records are made of only those facts which could be expressed in monetary terms with a fair degree of objectivity.  Its use implies homogeneity.


All assets and services acquired by a business enterprise are measured at the date of acquisition by the cost incurred to secure them.  Cost incurred are measured by the amount invested on a cash or cash equivalent basis.

If the consideration given for a particular asset is cash, the measure of cash incurred is the entire cash outlay made to secure the asst and put it to use.  If consideration other than cash was given, the measure of the consideration would be the equivalent value of the consideration or the fair market value of the asset received, which is more clearly evident.


The accounting system treats values relating to a business on the assumption that the business will continue in operation.  Transactions and their resulting assets and liabilities are entered in the books at the values which they would attract if the business is convincing in operation.

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Where the continuation of the business is in doubt valuation is approach differently.  In that case, the major consideration would be given to values which the assets and liabilities would fetch is the business operation was to cease at the point of valuation.

Valuation is carried out on a “bank-up” basis.


A business ought to have a definite internal (period) for “test reading” its progress, for making realistic estimates of its gains or losses, and for assessing the current cost of more important activities.  Since the life of a business starts upon commencement and ceases on liquidation the true assessment of business success or failure would only be possible at the end of the life of a business.  This might take long, some times spanning into years.

Accounting creates the possibility of assessing the piecemeal progress of a business through the means of accounting periods.  The life of the business is divided into periods, usually a year.

The accounting reference date is clearly specified and consistently followed.


An accountant regards revenue as being realized at the time goods and services are passed to the customer, is once the customer incurres liability for them.  It is different from the time when the order is received or when the contract is signed.  If however the goods are returned due to some imperfections, adjustment may be made to calculate revenue.


This concept is the central cove of modern accounting each business event is deemed to have a dual aspect ie each transaction is recorded in two accounts.  In the first account, the value received is recorded while the value given is shown in the other.  However for each particular to transaction, one account is defined while another corresponding accounts is credited.


The accounting concepts permits a lot of differences in interpretation and application to situational circumstances in order to ensure objectivity and conformity, the interpretation and application of accounting concepts are normally governed by norms of accounting practice or conventions.  Some of the conventions are:


Conservation demands realism and caution the revenue and cost estimations.  The accountant should be prepared to anticipate possible future losses an should therefore not be prepared to bring into account uncertain future profit, however likely they may seem to be.  The convention of conservation also demands that whenever a decision is to be made on valuation of assets, the accountant generally decides in favour of the valuation which underestimates the profit or the balance sheet values.  This is probably the convention which affects the typical attitude of accountants to values and expectations.  Accountants tend to look at the gloomy rather than the bright side of financial transactions.


Items could be recorded in the books of accounts in many different ways.  Each firm should however, select and adopt the method which gives the most equitable picture of its activities.  The convention of consistency while allowing the accounts to choose from changing method without adequate forewarning or notice to interested parties.  Frequent changes in recording methods, without due notice could be easily distort facts.  Whenever there is a change of method which has material affect on the accounts, the effects of the change should be clearly stated in the accounts.


The size of an amount will influence its treatment in the book of accounts.  Precious time should not be wasted in the elaborate recording trivial item.  A question however arises.  How will a firm determine what is material and what is not? No accounting principle has a definite answer to this question.  The decision as to what is material is dependent on the judgment of each firm.  The type and size of a firm can influence the materiality of item to it.


Accounting statements should as far as possible, record facts that can be verified independently personal opinion have very little place in accounting.  Only facts mater.  Documentary evidence is needed to support all recorded items.


The underlying consideration in the preparation of the financial statements must be taken into account at all times when preparing financial statements using generally accepted accounting principles.

Generally accepted accounting principles are defined as accounting principles out the difference is that, the accepted accounting principles have a substantial authoritative support.  And, therefore, there is no list.  This means that the accountants must be familiar with acceptable reference sources so as to decide whether any particular accounting principles has substantial authoritative support.

Up till 1973, the American institute of certified public accountant )A/CPA) was the primary organization responsible for the development of generally accepted accounting principles in the united states.  Starting from 1973, the primary organization responsible for the development of generally accepted accounting principles became the financial accounting standard board (FASB).

Most of the development of the generally accepted accounting principles in the united states occurred after the passage of the securities acts of 1993 and 1934, which resulted in the formation of the securities and exchange, commission (SEC) Prior to this, the accounting profession did not develop to any appreciable extent.

The 1993 and 1934 united states federal securities gains virtually gave the authority and responsibility for the development of generally accepted accounting principles.  Because of the leadership shown by the American institute of certificated public accountant and the financial accounting standard board and the belief on the part of the securities and the exchange commission that it would be best if the profession itself developed generally accepted accounting principles.  The securities and exchange commission assumed a low profile in this development of generally accepted principles.  In recent years the security and exchange commission has indicated some dissatisfaction with the development of generally accepted accounting principles, and consequently, it has taken a more active role.

In some cases, the active role of the securities and exchange commission has been to dictate generally accepted accounting principles.  The movement towards the federal government determining generally accepted accounting principles accelerated during 1977 and 1978.

The international accounting standard committee (IASC) was founded in 1973 and it is the only independent body charged by its member organization to issue accounting standards.  In early 1985, international accounting standards committee represented about 90 accounting bodies in nearly 70 countries.  Each member undertook to ensure that published financial statements comply with the international accounting standard.


Accountants deal with the presentation of financial statement.  If those statements are uniform in content and format and communicate exactly what they are excepted to convey, then the interpretation and use of the statements will be facilitated.

Compliance with international standards helps multinational companies in obtaining international listings.  The London stock exchange already recognizes international standards.  The international organizations for securities commission (IOSC) which is the umbrella body for the stock exchange has a programme which is design to harmonize accounting and auditing standard for being appropriate for its member bodies whenever there is a multinational list.



Funds consequent on the foundation of business come in the first instance form the owners of a business (proprietor) the funds are mostly invested in assets for retention in the business for the purpose of earning profits and they are called fixed assets.  On the other hand a portion of the fund find their way in the assets of an impermanent nature, such as: stock in trade, readily realizable investments, balance at bank for day to day transactions etc.  in this case of impermanent nature of assets, they are considered to be a floating or current in nature but popularly known as circulatory assets”.

Part of the investment in current assets in financed by those outside business by way of the credit period that is allowed before settlement is required.  Cost working capital refers to a firms investment in current assets which are convertible into cash within an accounting year or operating cycle.  These include cash, short term securities, debtors, bills receivables and stock (inventory) net working capital is the difference between current assets and current liabilities.  Current liabilities are those claims of outsiders which are expected to mature for payment within an accounting year.  These include creditors, bill payable, bank overdraft and outstanding expenses (accruals).

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Net working capital can be positive or negative.  A positive net working will arise when current assets exceed current liabilities.  A negative net working capital will arise when current liabilities exceed current assets.  In simple term working capital means current assets minus current liabilities (that is a synonym for net working capital).


The working capital is responsible for the full activity of the fixed assets in any organization.  Without the current assets in the form of cash from which stock of raw materials is procured to feed the production assets which are fixed, the whole system would be stagnant and dead just like in the body system of living things where blood is not circulating.  This suycogism in fact has betrayed and buttressed the need for working capital to run the day to day business activities being very indispensable.



This is the main governing factor in the sense that the magnitude of working capital is determined by the type of trade or profession.  For example wher service are rendered such as dry clearing, taxi services or mass transit transport system on a large scale, inventories will be at the minimum and debtors almost non-existent.  Retail stores must carry large stocks of variety of goods to satisfty the demand of customers.  On the other hand large contractors carry heavy inventories of raw materials and work in progress and their debtors are likewise usually quite substantial.  Trading and financing firms have a very less investment in fixed assets but require a large sum of money to invest in working capital.


In a nation with less commercial and industrial activities, such as trade and production, companies would not have much of working capital in the form of stock of raw material or trade debtor and creditors due to stock in business volatility.


Government fiscal and credit control policilies also determine the volume of working capital.  For example a less tax incidence an certain type of companies would leave then with much of their profit which are presented in the cash, stock, debtors balance.  In the same quise a grant of credit facilities to certain industries by government will also influence the extent of working capital required for the fact that cash and supplies would be made available without much ado.


This rate which is the bench mark for all the banking rates determine the interest the commercial and other financial institutions would charge in granting loan or pay in receiving deposits.  These two aspects can also influence the extent of working capital retainable in companies in the sense that high interest rates charged would make companies to refrain from borrowing their liquid capital.  On the other hand with low interest rates, companies could be allowed to lodge their excess cash with the banks thereby reducing.


A company’s credit policy affects its working capital by influencing the level of book debtors.  For example, a long collection period will mean a tie-up of funds in book dept which results in cost potential profits where such funds can be employed in order viable profits.


Where there is a liberal credit forms given by suppliers and financial house, these affects working capital needs of the firm.  The firm takes advantage of employing such funds which could have been used in paying cash for supplies to invest in other alternative more profitable investments.


A company with high net profit can have a great proportion of it in working capital in the form of cash, debtors and stock.


Anticipation of increase in price of certain supply of material can induce a large volume of inventory of such materials and thereby increasing the working capital.


The company may have a “nil” balance where by “negative” working capital is most of the time employed.


Some companies have seasonal and cyclical fluctuations in the demand for their products and services.  These affect the volume of investment these companies can file in stock of materials at any particular season.  For example where there is an upward wing in the economy, sales will increase, correspondingly, the firms investment in inventories and book will also increase.


Since manufacturing cycle starts with acquisition of raw materials and ends with their conversion into finished goods, then the length of the time in completing the cycle determines the company’s working capital.  A longer time means a larger investment in inventories and will result in accumulation of work in progress or process.


In a nation that has excess supply of money her firms would have surplus money in their coffers as that would not find its way in some potential investment areas like transactions in short and long term securities in money and capital market and which already had received a share of this.  On the other hand applying the principles of monetary theory as propounded by luying fither’s: MV=PT

Where M is the amount of money in existence V is the velocity P is price goods t is the transactions.

Where such money is in circulation there tend to be sluggishness in the whole economic set up hence inflation would take its place as much money pursues less goods.


Where a company has the supply of what it uses in production of trade utiquitionsly available it may not have the need to stock it in great quantity.  But where the supply is scarce to the extent that it would have to be imported which may take a long time, it has to stock a large quantity that would last for many months before another order can be placed or received.  This happened in the brewing industry when most of the raw materials were imported (like hop and Malt).


Funds are brought in form cash or goods supplied by creditors and these are used in securing raw materials which are later converted into finished goods.  These finished goods are eventually sold on credit to debtors who finally settle with cash.  This cash is again converted to recommence its cycle through raw materials finished, debtors and cash.  This can also be regarded as the investment, disinvestments and re-investment cycle.


This is the duration of time required to complete the conversion of cash into raw materials; hlork –in-progress, finish goods, and sold to debtors who finally settle with cash.  This is in case of manufacturing company for a non manufacturing company, the cycle will exclude raw material work –an-progress but will rather include in their place cash stock in trade and so forth.  At the end of the cycle the process recommences again.

For some services and financial concerns the operation cycle is just cash to debtors and back to cash and is short since there is no stock in trade.  This type of cycle is operative in service industries examples; professional services.


The balance sheet is a statement which exhibits the assets and liabilities on a given date and thus dissolves the principal condition of the business memo (1985).  The balance sheet expressed the relationship between the capital liabilities and assets.


Capital is the total contribution made by owners of a business.  The entity concept regards every business as being distinct form its owners.  Based on this, capital contributed by owners and invested into the business is  deemed to have been lent out to the business entity.  The business owes the amount to the owners.

Apart from, initial contribution, any additional contribution and inappropriate profit after tax would increase the capital.  On the other hand net loss and drawings by the owners would decrease the capital.


Liabilities are resources owed by a business to third parties.

Liabilities could arise from goods supplied to the firm, unsettled expenses or direct loans made to the firm.

Current liabilities are those which must be met within a short period of time, usually within one year.  Examples are bank overdraft, short term and accounts payable.  Long –term liabilities on the other hand are those accounts owned by the firm which need not to be met within one year, such as long term loans, mortgage and debentures.

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The fixed assets are part of the item to be disclosed in the balance sheet.  (AMD (1990) the fixed assets are acquired for retention in the business.  They are not for conversion or resale.

Their life span usually extend over some year they are apportioned in a consistent and systematic manner over accounting period of their life span.  The cost involved is referred to as capital expenditure.  Fixed assets are never change against the profit and loss accounts.  Their usage is apportioned by the use of depreciation.

In accounting for depreciation of fixed assets the depreciable value of an item plant or equipment, should either be historical cost of the revalued amount.  It is on the useful economic life of the assets over which the allocation of depreciation take place after due consideration as it is contained in the SAS 9.  the factors to be considered are;

  1. expected physical wear and tear due to usage.
  2. Obsolescence due change in technology, production requirement or consumers taste.
  • Legal or other restriction placed on the asset.

However, several methods of calculating depreciation are available.  The method that is selected for an enterprise should reflect the characteristic of the asset.  Its intended use and practice in the industry in which the enterprise generates.


Current assets are items either produced by the organization or acquired for resale.  Such assets change in form in the process of trading cash may be used to buy goods, thereby changing its form to stock.  Stock may be sold on credit and thus create debtors.

Debtors may later be converted into cash current assets are called circulating assets because they are constantly changing in form.


This is an account showing the expenditure which is incurred in the general running of the business, and  which has to be provided out of the gross profit.  Ovler (1969) the profit and loss account shows the net profit or loss made for the period covered by the accounts.

The accounts usually includes the previous period as well as the period which the statement is compiled, for comparative purposes.  This is to see what trend might be developing in the behaviour of income and expenditure operating cost for a period is subtracted from the sales of the period to arrive at the operating income.


The profit and the loss account and the balance sheet of a company shows, inter alia, the amount of profit made during the year and the disposition of the company’s resources at the beginning an the end of that year. However, for a fuller understanding of a company’s affairs it is necessary also to identify the movement in assets, liabilities and capital which have taken place during the year and the resultant effect an net liquid funds.  SSAP (10).  This information and loss account and the balance sheet but can be made available in the form of a statement of sources and application of funds (a funds statement).

The funds statement is in no way a replacement for the profit and loss account and balance sheet although the information which it contains is a selection reclassification and summarization of the information contained in those two statements.  Ola (1985).  The objective of such a statement is to show the manner in which the operation of a company have been used and the format selected should be designed to achieve that objective.  A funds statement does not purport to indicate the requirements of a business for capital nor the extent of seasonal plans of stocks, debtors, etc.

As contained in IAS7, a fund statement should show the sources from which funds have flowed into the company and the way in which they have been used.  It shows clearly the funds generated or absorbed by the operations of the business and the manner in which any resulting surplus of liquid assets has been applied or any deficiency of such assets has been financed distinguishing the long term from the short term.  The statement should distinguish the use of funds for the purchase of now fixed assets from funds used in increasing the working capital of the company.

The fund statement will provide a time between the balance sheet at the beginning of the period, the profit and cost account for the period and the balance sheet at the end of the period.  A minimum of “netting off” should take place as that may tend to mark the significance of individually important figures. For example, the sale of one building and the purchase of another should generally be kept separate in a funds statement:  the figure form which a funds statement is constructed should generally be identifiable in the profit and loss Account, Balance sheet and related notes.


An audit allows creditors, Bankers, investors and others to use financial statements which confidence.  While the audit does not guarantee financial statements; accuracy, it provides users with reasonable assurance that an entity’s financial statements give a true and fair or present fairly” its financial position, results of operations and changes in financial position is in conformity with accounting standard.  Analysis enhances users confidence that financial statements do not contain materials error and frauds, because the auditor is an independent, objective professional who is knowledgeable in entity’s business and financial reporting requirements.

The auditor has it as a duty to report his opinion on the financial statements to the users through a system of public reporting.  Public reporting is the means by which the auditor communicates in a meaningful way with those with legitimate duties in the results of the audit.  It intention is to indicate the type of assurance concerning the financial statements the auditor feels, which is warranted based on the evidence obtained.


This is issued when the auditor is satisfied in all material respect with the matter dealt when carrying out review and assessment of the financial statements.  The auditor report should express this satisfaction in a clear and affirmative manner.

An unqualified opinion indicates implicitly that changes in the accounting principles or in their method of application and the effect thereof have been properly determined and disclosed in the financial statements.

An auditor may not be able to express an unqualified opinion where any of the following circumstances exist, and in the auditor’s judgment, the effect of the matter is or may be material to the financial statements;

  1. Where there is a significant uncertainty affecting the financial statement, the resolution of which is dependent on future events or.
  2. Where there is a disagreement with management in respect of financial statement.

In the circumstances stated above the auditor may issue a qualified opinion and adverse opinion or a disclaimer of pinion and an except to pinion.  Subject to pinion is issued when the auditor concludes that the effect of any uncertainty is to material and pervasive but that is not so fund a disclaimer of opinion.  In a subject to opinion the auditor effectively disclaims an opinion on a particular subject matter which is not considered fund amended.

Financial Statement: It’s Usefulness In Evaluating Performance And Investment Decision Of Companies With Reference To Being And Bows Nigeria Limited.


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