Benchmarking: Why Normalizing Adjustments are Essential

Benchmarking: Why normalizing adjustments are essential Financial statements aren’t particularly meaningful without a relevant basis of comparison. There are two types of “benchmarks” that a company’s financials can be compared to — its own historical performance and the performance of other comparable businesses.

Before you conduct a benchmarking study, however, it’s important to make normalizing adjustments to avoid any misleading comparisons. This is especially important when looking at periods that include atypical financial results due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But there are a variety of factors that require normalizing adjustments.

COVID-19 Pandemic to Trigger Midyear Goodwill Impairment

Airlines, cruise ships, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels and many other types of businesses are expected to report goodwill impairments for the first quarter of 2020 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The contagious disease that’s wreaking havoc worldwide is a clear triggering event that would cause many companies to have to test for impairment on an interim basis — before the scheduled annual testing date.

Disclosing COVID-19-Related Risks

Efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to suspension of many economic activities, putting unprecedented strain on businesses. On March 25, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued guidance about disclosure obligations related to COVID-19. This article highlights factors for companies to consider when assessing these risks.

Going, Going, Gone: Going Concern Assessments in the Midst of COVID-19

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected the global economy. Companies of all sizes in all industries are faced with closures of specific locations or complete shutdowns; employee layoffs, furloughs or restrictions on work; liquidity issues; and disruptions to their supply chains and customers. These negative impacts have brought the “going concern” issue to the forefront.

Adjusting Your Financial Statements for COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, contains several tax-related provisions for businesses hit by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Those provisions will also have an impact on financial reporting.

Companies that issue financial statements under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are required to follow Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 740, Income Taxes. This complicated guidance requires companies to report the effects of new tax laws in the period they’re enacted. As a result, companies — especially those that issue quarterly financial statements or that have fiscal year ends in the coming months — are scrambling to interpret the business tax relief measures under the new law.

Is Your Accounting Department Being Impacted by COVID-19?

As many businesses are currently struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, DLA’s Accounting Advisory Team is here to help you get through these turbulent times. In a recent PWC CFO Survey, when asked about expectations for the next month, 25% of finance leaders expect to face insufficient staffing, resulting in an inability to get critical work done. DLA knows there are uncertain times, shutdowns, and revenue disruptions making it difficult for many businesses to know how to best survive these difficult times.

Auditing Revenue

Efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to suspension of many economic activities, putting unprecedented strain on businesses. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued guidance to help public companies provide investors and other stakeholders with useful, accurate financial statement disclosures in today’s uncertain marketplace.

Auditing Revenue

Traditionally, audit procedures for private companies tend to focus on the balance sheet. That is, auditors evaluate whether the book values of the company’s assets are overstated and its liabilities are understated. However, the income statement needs attention, too, especially in light of the updated guidance on recognizing revenue from contracts and the potential for misstatement.