Samenvatting International Financial Management - EN (Gusc)

Deze samenvatting is gebaseerd op het studiejaar 2013-2014.

Chapter A:  Global accounting differences

Several major models of accounting have been used internationally, with clusters of countries following them.

US GAAP = Generally Accepted Accounting Standards

IFRS (origin in Europe) = International Financial Reporting Standards

US: liabilities + shareholders’ equity = assets

UK: assets – liabilities = shareholders’ equity

→ Non-current assets + working capital – non-current liabilities = shareholders’ equity

Reasons for accounting diversity

  1. Legal system:

    • Common law (Roman law): English-speaking countries and a limited amount of statute law. An accounting framework exists developed by non-legislative organizations. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). UK, US.

    • Code law: non-English-speaking countries and a relatively more statute law. Implement corporation law, the basic legal parameters governing business enterprises. Accounting law is general and does not provide much detail in specific accounting practices. Europe, Japan.

    1. Taxation:

      • Countries with Congruency Principles (Germany, Poland): published financial statements (as for stockholders) are basis for taxable income. There exists an incentive to minimize income for tax purposes, using accelerated depreciation.

      • Under US GAAP, US companies report higher income than German counterpart.

      1. Providers of financing:

        • Financing by families, banks, state: less pressure for public accountability and information disclosure.

        • Financing by stockholders: higher pressure for information disclosure.

        1. Inflation: high inflation cause historical cost to be meaningless → accounting rules that adjust for inflation.

          • Record assets and related expenses

          • Especially important in code law countries

          1. Political and economic ties: accounting rules have been conveyed from one country to another through:

            • Previous colonialism

            • Economic ties

            Problems caused by accounting diversity

            1. Preparation of consolidated financial statements: subsidiaries worldwide prepare financial statements in accordance with local accounting principles → hard to prepare a consolidated financial statement of overall company due to translation of currency and accounting rules (costly, time consuming).

            2. Access to foreign capital markets: obtaining capital by selling stock or borrowing money in a foreign country, a financial statement in accordance with the local accounting standards is required → costly.

            3. Comparability of financial statements: affect the analysis of foreign financial statements for making investment and lending decisions.

            4. Lack of high-quality accounting information: internal control problems, imprudent management practices and risks were kept were not visible to investors as a result of failing disclosure.

              • Indirectly contributed to the financial crisis in East Asia.

              Harmonizing: reduce the accounting differences across countries. Ultimate goal is to have one set of international accounting standards applied by all companies worldwide.

              Accounting clusters

              1. Fair Presentation/Full Disclosure Model (Angelo-Saxon Model, micro-based): common law countries, accounting oriented towards the decision needs of large numbers of investors.

              2. Legal Compliance Model (Continental European Model, macro-uniform): code law countries, banks primary suppliers of finance, accounting is designed to provide information for taxation or government planning purposes.

              3. Inflation-Adjusted Model: South Africa.

              Nobes provides a model with reasons for international differences in financial reporting. It is based on two explanatory factors; 1) culture, and 2) nature of the financing system. It divides countries into two classes:

              1. Class A: corresponds to Anglo-Saxon. Strong outside shareholder equity-financing, optimism, transparency.

              2. Class B: corresponds to Continental European. Less widespread outside shareholder equity-financing, conservatism, secrecy.

              Culture influences financial reporting → Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (5)

              1. Individualism

              2. Power distance

              3. Uncertainty avoidance

              4. Masculinity

              5. Long-term orientation

              Grays’ accounting values: to define a country’s accounting culture

              1. Professionalism vs. Statutory Control

                • Professionalism (UK, US): individual professional judgment and self-regulation of the profession.

                • Statutory control (Europe): legal compliance and legislative control of the profession.

                1. Uniformity vs. Flexibility

                  • Uniformity: preference for standardized accounting methods.

                  • Flexibility (UK, US): varying accounting practices for differences between companies.

                  1. Conservatism vs. Optimism

                    • Conservatism (Germany): preference for caution and prudence.

                    • Optimism: risk-taking approach, tends toward fair presentation.

                    1. Secrecy vs. Transparency

                      • Secrecy (Europe): preference for minimal information disclosure.

                      • Transparency: openness and full disclosure.

                      Gray’s secrecy hypothesis:

                      High secrecy = high PD, high UA, low IND, low MASC, high LTO.

                      Main differences in financial reporting related to:

                      • Recognition: whether an item should be reported in the financial statements.

                      • Measurement: the determination of the amount to be reported.

                      Three possible values at which property, plant, and equipment (PPE) assets can be reported on the balance sheet:

                      • Historical cost (HC)

                      • Historical cost adjusted for changes in the general purchasing power (GPP) of the currency.

                      • Fair value (FV)

                      Chapter B: International financial reporting

                      Differences between IFRS and US GAAP:

                      1. Definition differences

                      2. Recognition differences

                        • Whether an item is recognized or not

                        • How it is recognized (e.g. liability/equity)

                        • When it is recognized (time differences)

                        1. Measurement differences

                          • Difference in the method required

                          • Difference in the detailed guidance for applying a similar method

                          1. Alternatives

                          2. Lack of requirements or guidance: IFRS may not cover an issue addressed by US GAAP, and vice versa.

                          3. Presentation differences

                          4. Disclosure differences

                            • Whether disclosure is required or not

                            • The manner in which disclosures are required to make

                            IFRS primary goal is to provide information for decision making about:

                            • Financial position

                            • Performance

                            • Changes in financial position of entity

                            Note: not designed to determine tax payments or dividends.

                            It is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions. The main users are investors, creditors, employees, suppliers, customers and the public. Another goal is to show accountability of the management for the resources entrusted to it.

                            Four criteria that determine the usefulness and quality of IFRS accounting standards:

                            1. Relevance

                            2. Reliability

                            3. Comparability

                            4. Understandability

                            International Accounting Standard (IAS)

                            IAS 2: Inventories

                            Cost of inventories:

                            1. Costs of purchase: purchase price, import duties, transportation, etc.

                            2. Costs of conversion: direct labor, fixed production overhead, etc.

                            3. Other costs: cost of designing products for specific customers.

                            Storage costs are excluded from the cost of inventories unless they are necessary in the production process before a further production stage.

                            Net realizable value: estimated selling price – (estimated costs of completion + estimated costs necessary to make the sale)

                            • IAS 2 requires inventory to be reported on the balance sheet at the lower of cost or net realizable value → Inventory (loss) = net realizable value – historical cost.

                            • US GAAP requires inventory to be reported at the lower of cost or market → Inventory (loss) = replacement cost – historical cost.

                            IAS 16: Property, Plant, and Equipment

                            Guidance in following aspects of accounting for fixed assets:

                            1. Recognition of initial and subsequent costs: recognized as an asset when

                              • It is probable that future economic benefits will flow to the enterprise

                              • The cost can be measured reliably.

                              1. Measurement at initial recognition: cost include

                                • Purchase price, including import duties and taxes.

                                • Costs to bring asset to the appropriate location and condition to perform as intended.

                                • Estimated costs of removing the asset and restoring the site on which it is located.

                                An item of property, plant, or equipment acquired in exchange for a non-monetary asset should be initially measured at fair value unless it lacks commercial substance, than the carrying value should be used.

                                Fair value: the amount for which an asset could be exchanged between knowledgeable, willing parties in an arm’s length transaction.

                                1. Measurement after initial recognition: two treatments for reporting fixed assess on balance sheets subsequent to their acquisition

                                  • Cost model: cost of property, plant, or equipment – accumulated depreciation – accumulated impairment losses. Consistent with US GAAP.

                                  • Revaluation model: item is carried at fair value at date of revaluation – accumulated depreciation – accumulated impairment losses. Inconsistent with US GAAP.


                                    • Determination of fair value

                                    • Frequency of revaluation: revalued amounts should not differ materially from fair values at the balance sheet date.

                                    • Selection of assets to be revalued: all assets of the same class must be revalued at the same time. Selectivity within a class is prohibited, but selection of a class is permitted.

                                    • Accumulated depreciation: two treatments (example p. 52)

                                      • Restate the accumulated depreciation proportionately with the change in the gross carrying amount of the assets (e.g. 60% depreciation is constant).

                                      • Eliminate the accumulated depreciation against the gross carrying amount of the asset, and restate the net amount of the revalued amount of the asset.

                                        • Treatment of revaluation surpluses and deficits: accounting rules

                                          • Increases are credited directly to a revaluation surplus.

                                          • Decreases are charged as an expense.

                                          Rules in subsequent revaluations:

                                            • A previous revaluation surplus: decrease first and then any excess of deficit over that previous surplus should be expensed.

                                            • A previous charge to expense: upward revaluation first should be recognized as income to the extent of the previous expense and then any excess should be credited to other comprehensive income in equity.

                                            The revaluation surplus in equity may be transferred to retained earnings when the surplus is realized.

                                            1. Depreciation: component depreciation

                                            2. Derecognition (remove from accounts): this takes place 1) upon disposal, or 2) when no future economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal. Gain/loss is included in net income.

                                            IAS 40: Investment property

                                            IAS 36: Impairment of assets

                                            An asset is impaired when its carrying amount exceeds its recoverable amount.

                                            • Recoverable amount: the greater of net selling price and value in use

                                            • Net selling price: price of an asset– disposal costs

                                            • Value in use: present value of future net cash flows.

                                            Events that indicate an asset is impaired are:

                                            1. External events: e.g. decline in market value, technological changes, etc.

                                            2. Internal events: e.g. physical damage, restructuring part of asset, etc.

                                            Reversal of impairment loss should be recognized in the income statement (p. 59-60).

                                            Under US GAAP an asset is impaired when its carrying amount exceeds its fair value.

                                            Fair value = Expected future cash flows (undiscounted)

                                            • No allowance for reversal of a previously recognized impairment loss.

                                            IAS 38: Intangible assets

                                            Asset: a resource controlled by the enterprise as a result of past events from which future economic benefits are expected to arise.

                                            Intangible asset: an identifiable, non-monetary asset without physical substance held for use in the production, for rental to others, or for administrative purposes.

                                            • Deferred development costs

                                            Purchased intangible assets, useful life is assessed as:

                                            1. Finite: cost of asset is amortized (afschrijven) on a systematic basis over the useful life.

                                            2. Indefinite: there is no foreseeable limit to the period over which it is expected to generate cash flows for the entity. No amortization should be taken until the life is determined to be definite.

                                            The distinction within intangible assets and the corresponding accounting rules is consistent with US GAAP.

                                            IFRS 3: Business combinations

                                            International rules related to the initial measurement of goodwill. Goodwill is measured as the difference between a and b:

                                            1. The consideration transferred by the acquiring firm + non-controlling interest

                                            2. The fair value of net assets acquired (identifiable assets – liabilities assumed)

                                            A > B: goodwill is recognized as an asset.

                                            A < B: ‘bargain purchase’ has taken place, a gain in net income by the acquiring firm.

                                            Impairment of goodwill

                                            • Performed at the level of the cash-generating unit (CGU).

                                            • CGU: smallest identifiable group of assets that generates cash inflows that are largely independent of cash inflows from other assets.

                                            • Impairment loss on CGU: CBU’s carrying amount – recoverable amount

                                            • Recoverable amount: the greater of the CGU’s value in use and the fair value – costs to sell.

                                            US GAAP is performed at the level of ‘reporting unit’, which can be larger than a CGU.

                                            Bottom-up test: goodwill is allocated to the individual CGU under review and impairment of that CGU is then determined by comparing:

                                            1. Carrying amount + allocated goodwill

                                            2. Recoverable amount

                                            If goodwill cannot be allocated on a reasonable basis, both a bottom-up test and a top-down test should be applied.

                                            Top-down test: goodwill is allocated to the smallest group of CGUs to which it can be allocated on a reasonable basis, and impairment of the group of CGUs is then determined by comparing:

                                            1. Carrying amount of the group + allocated goodwill

                                            2. Recoverable amount

                                            US GAAP requires only a bottom-up test.

                                            IAS 23: Borrowing costs

                                            Allowed alternative treatment: capitalize borrowing costs to the extent they are attributable to the acquisition, construction, or production of an asset. Other borrowing costs are expensed in the period incurred. This is accepted by both IFRS and US GAAP.

                                            IFRS: borrowing costs is interest and other costs incurred by an enterprise in connection with the borrowing of funds → interest cost – income earned on temporary investment of borrowing – exchange rate gain (loss).

                                            US GAAP: interest cost

                                            IAS 17: Leases

                                            It classifies leases as 1) finance leases, or 2) operating leases.

                                            Finance lease: transfers all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership from the lessor to the lessee.

                                            • Lessee: recognized as assets and liabilities. Equal to the lower of the fair value of the leased property or the present value of the future minimum lease payments.

                                            • Lessor: recognized as a finance lease. Leased asset → net investment, equal to the present value of future minimum lease payments (including any unguaranteed residual value).

                                            Operating lease: lease not classified as a finance lease.

                                            • Lessee: recognized as an expense.

                                            • Lessor: recognized as income.

                                            Sales-leaseback transaction: sale of an asset by the initial owner of the asset and the leasing of the same asset back to the initial owner.

                                            • Finance lease: initial owner defers any gain on the sale and amortize it to income over the lease term.

                                            • Operating lease: difference between fair value of asset and carrying amount of asset recognized in income. Any difference between fair value of asset and selling price of asset is amortized over the lease term. US GAAP requires seller to amortize any gain over the lease term.

                                            IAS 7: Statement of cash flows

                                            It consists of differences in the US GAAP statement of cash flow and the one under IAS (p. 81).

                                            IAS 10: Events after the reporting period

                                            1. Adjusting events: provide evidence of conditions that existed at the end of the reporting period.

                                            2. Non-adjusting events: events that are indicative of conditions that arise after the balance sheet date but before the date when the financial statements are approved for issue.

                                            IAS 8: Accounting policies, changes in accounting estimates and errors

                                            IAS 33: Earnings per share

                                            IAS 34: Interim financial reporting

                                            This defines the minimum content to be included in interim statements.

                                            Non-current assets held for sale must be reported separately on the balance sheet at the lower of the carrying value or the fair value – costs to sell. These assets are not depreciated.

                                            IFRS 8: Operating segments

                                            An operating segment is separately reportable if it meets any of the three tests (threshold 10%):

                                            1. Revenue test

                                            2. Profit/loss test

                                            3. Asset test

                                            75% rule: operating segments must be reported separately until at least 75% of the external revenue is included in reportable segments (even if they do not meet any of the other tests).

                                            Chapter C: Financial reporting matters

                                            Inflation = (new price – old price)/old price

                                            • Inflation is the loss in value of a currency (loss in purchasing power).

                                            • One should adjust the balance sheet and income statement for inflation. Otherwise, assets and expenses are understated resulting in an overstated net income and retained earnings. As a result, higher dividend payments and a lack of comparability across companies.

                                            Cash and receivables + inflation = loss in purchasing power.

                                            Payables + inflation = gain in purchasing power.

                                            PP loss/gain = amount of cash/receivables/payables * inflation rate

                                            Conventional HC model: balance sheet at the beginning of the year should be equal (nominal) to the balance sheet at the beginning of the year → ignores inflation.

                                            Methods to adjust for inflation:

                                            1. General purchasing power (GPP): balance sheet at the beginning of the year should be equal (relatively) to the balance sheet at the beginning of the year → include inflation (maintains purchasing power)

                                            2. Current replacement cost (CRC)/current cost (CC): aim is to maintain a company’s productive capacity.

                                            IAS 29: Financial reporting in hyperinflationary economies

                                            Balance sheet

                                            • Monetary assets and liabilities are not restated (cash, receivables, payables)

                                            • Non-monetary assets and liabilities are restated for changes in GPP of the monetary unit.

                                            • All components of owners’ equity are restated by applying the change in general price index from the beginning of the period, to the balance sheet date.

                                            Income statement

                                            • All items are restated by applying the change in general price index from the dates when the items were originally recorded to the balance sheet date.

                                            • Gain or loss on net monetary position (purchase power gain/loss) is included in net income.

                                            IAS 21: The effects of changes in foreign exchange rates

                                            Foreign subsidiary’s foreign currency (FC) financial statements must be restated for local inflation and translated into PC using the current exchange rate.

                                            Appropriate restatement factors:

                                            • Restated from the GPI at the beginning of the year to the GPI at the end of the year (land and capital stock)

                                            Restatement factor: GPI December 31 Year X/ GPI January 1 Year X

                                            • Occur throughout the year (revenues and expenses)

                                            Restatement factor: GPI December 31 Year X/ Average GPI Year X

                                            • At the end of the year (monetary assets and liabilities)

                                            Restatement factor: GPI December 31 Year X/ GPI December 31

                                            Business combinations and consolidated financial statements

                                            IAS 27: Consolidated and separate financial statements

                                            Consolidated financial statements are the financial statements of a group presented as those of a single enterprise incorporating both the parent and its subsidiaries.

                                            1. Determination of control: control provides the basis for whether a parent and a subsidiary should be accounted for as a group. Legal control through majority ownership or legal contract. Effective control through representation on the board of directors.

                                            2. Scope of consolidation

                                            3. Full consolidation: this involves aggregation of 100 percent of the subsidiary’s financial statement elements. When the subsidiary is not 100 percent owned, the non-owned portion is presented in a separate item called minority interest.

                                              • Purchase method: assets and liabilities of the acquired company are revalued to fair value as of the date of acquisition. If purchase price exceeds revalued net assets, excess is called goodwill.

                                              1. Proportionate consolidation: example p. 234-235.

                                              2. Equity method: investments in the stock of another company that do not provide the investor with effective control of the investee but do allow them to exert significant influence over the investee’s operating activities (threshold 20% ownership). Regular income statement + 0.5 * net income JV company =equity method income statement.

                                              Segment reporting

                                              • IFRS 8: the management approach: management separates the enterprise in segments for making operating decisions. An operating segment is an enterprise component if:

                                              • It earns revenues and incurs expenses.

                                              • Its operating results are regularly reviewed for performance and resource allocation.

                                              • Discrete financial information is available for it.

                                              Operating segment is significant if it meets any of the following tests:

                                              • Revenue test: segment should have 10% of the combined revenue.

                                              • Profit/loss test: segment should have a profit or loss of 10% from the higher of the combined profit or loss.

                                              • Asset test: segment should have 10% of the combined assets.

                                              + if total external revenues attributable to separately reportable segments is less than 75% of total consolidated revenue, additional segments must be reported even if they do not meet any of the significance tests

                                              Segment disclosures, including

                                              1. General information about operating segment

                                              2. Segment profit or loss (incl. revenues and expenses)

                                              3. Total segment assets (and liabilities for IFRS)

                                              Types of disclosure:

                                              1. Information about products and services

                                              2. Information about major customers (if 10% or more of total entity revenue)

                                              3. Information about geographic areas

                                              Debt to equity = total liabilities / total stockholders’ equity

                                              Chapter D: Global transfer pricing

                                              Transfer pricing is the determination of price on the exchange of goods or services between related parties. Transfers are called intercompany transactions.

                                              • Upstream: from subsidiary to parent.

                                              • Downstream: from parent to subsidiary.

                                              It occurs also between different subsidiaries of the same parent.

                                              Transfer pricing methods:

                                              1. Cost-based transfer price: based on cost to produce a good or service.

                                                • Cost-plus price: transfer price includes a profit margin.

                                                1. Market-based transfer price: based on the price that would be charged to an unrelated customer or determined by reference to sales of similar products.

                                                2. Negotiated price: result of negotiation between buyer and seller, unrelated to cost or market value.

                                                3. Discretionary: not based on any of the methods mentioned above, but determined by the parent company to reduce income taxes and increase overall profit → manipulate transfer prices.

                                                The transfer pricing method (cost-based or market-based) depends on specific environmental variables.

                                                Objectives of international transfer pricing:

                                                1. Performance evaluation: the transfer prices directly affect the profits of the divisions involved in an intercompany transaction. The effectiveness of these performance evaluation systems is influenced by the fairness of transfer prices.

                                                2. Cost minimization: The most common approach is to minimize costs by shifting profits to lower tax rate jurisdictions → manipulation → discretionary transfer pricing.

                                                These objectives might conflict and the solution is dual pricing. Dual pricing uses a discretionary transfer price; however, for performance the negotiated transfer price is used.

                                                Other cost-minimization objectives:

                                                1. Avoidance of withholding taxes

                                                2. Minimization of import duties (tariffs)

                                                3. Avoidance of profit repatriation restrictions

                                                4. Protect cash flows from currency devaluation

                                                5. Improve competitive position of foreign operation

                                                Governments are aware of risk that MNCs use transfer pricing to avoid paying income and other taxes → guidelines for acceptable transfer pricing.

                                                • Arm’s-length price: the price that would be agreed upon by unrelated parties.

                                                US transfer pricing rules (IRC section 482)

                                                • This section allows the Internal Revenue Service to audit international transfer prices.

                                                • Penalties of up to 40% of the underpayment of taxes can be imposed on violators.

                                                • It applies to both upstream and downstream transactions, and transactions between two subsidiaries of the same parent.

                                                • U.S. transfer pricing reforms have influenced other countries’ regulations.

                                                • Consider 1) the degree of comparability to uncontrolled transactions and 2) the quality of the underlying analysis.

                                                • The IRS provides help in situations where the IRS agrees with a company’s transfer pricing but a foreign government does not.

                                                Determine the arm’s-length price in a sale of tangible property:

                                                1. Comparable uncontrolled price (CUT) method: most appropriate when a comparable uncontrolled transaction exists. The transfer price is based on reference to the company’s sales of the same product to an unrelated buyer. If an uncontrolled transaction is not exactly comparable, an adjustment is allowable.

                                                2. Resale price method: used when the affiliate (filial) is a sales subsidiary and simply distributes finished goods. The transfer price is determined by deducting gross profit from the price charged by the sales subsidiary. An advantage is the similarity in function of the affiliated sales subsidiary and the uncontrolled reference company.

                                                3. Cost-plus method: appropriate when comparable uncontrolled transactions don’t exist and sales subsidiary does more than simply distribute finished goods. The transfer price is determined by adding gross profit to the cost of production. Factors influencing the comparability of uncontrolled transactions include: complexity of manufacturing process, procurement activities, and testing functions.

                                                4. Comparable profits method: assumption that similar companies should earn similar returns over a period of time. One of the two related parties in the transactions is chosen for examination. Transfer price is determined via reference to an objective measure of profit of an uncontrolled company involved in comparable transactions. Typical measures of profit include: ratio of operating income to operating assets and operating income to sales.

                                                5. Profit split method: assumption that buyer and seller are one economic unit. Profit from the eventual sale to an uncontrolled party is allocated between the related parties. Allocation is based on relative contribution of each party. Contribution is determined by functions performed, risk assumed, and resources employed.

                                                  • Comparable profit split method

                                                  • Residual profit split method: used when controlled parties possess intangible assets that allow them to generate profits in excess of what is earned in otherwise comparable uncontrolled transactions.

                                                  Determine the arm’s-length price for the license of intangible property:

                                                  1. Comparable uncontrolled transaction (CUT) method

                                                  2. Comparable profits methods

                                                  3. Profit split method

                                                  4. Unspecified methods

                                                  Pricing intercompany loans

                                                  An arm’s-length interest rate is used when one member of a controlled group makes a loan to another member. The arm’s-length interest rate is determined by the principal and duration of the loan, the security involved, the credit standing of the borrower, and the interest rate prevailing for comparable loans between unrelated parties.

                                                  Pricing intercompany services

                                                  Situation: when a member of a controlled group provides a service to another member. If the services provided are incidental, the arm’s-length price equals the direct and indirect costs of the service (no profit component included). If the service is an integral part of the business function, the price must include a profit component equal to what would be earned on similar services provided to an unrelated party.

                                                  Arm’s-length range: range in which the transfer price must fall to avoid IRS adjustment.

                                                  • Correlative relief: an adjustment in the tax authority of a foreign country (made by foreign government) in response to an adjustment in transfer prices by the IRS adjustment. This occurs if the foreign country agrees with the adjustment made by the IRS.

                                                  • No correlative relief results in an increase in total tax liability for the MNC. Namely, if the cost of sales of product X of a local company do not change together with the selling price of product X of a foreign subsidiary (due to IRS adjustment), p. 274.

                                                  IRS has the authority to impose penalties on companies that significantly underpay taxes as a result of inappropriate transfer pricing.

                                                  Contemporaneous documentation: documentation of a company that justifies the transfer pricing method used as the most reliable measure of arm’s-length price.

                                                  • Companies must be able to provide the documentation to the IRS within 30 days after requested.

                                                  There exists a trend of worldwide enforcement of transferring pricing rules because tax authorities view transfer pricing as a “soft target”.

                                                  • To avoid lengthy, complicated disputes to show that the company’s transfer price is acceptable, a company may just pay the additional tax.

                                                  Chapter E: Strategic accounting issues in global firms

                                                  Strategic planning = the determination of long-term goals and objectives of a firm, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for achieving these goals.

                                                  Strategic issues can be identified in two categories:

                                                  1. Strategy formulation

                                                  2. Strategy implementation

                                                  STRATEGY FORMULATION

                                                  The process of deciding on the goals of the organization and the strategies for attaining those goals (long-term focus). Exhibit 13.1, p. 293.

                                                  Budgeting is the initial step in implementing change in an organization.

                                                  • Capital budgeting: process of identifying, evaluating, and selecting projects that require large sums of funds and generate benefits for the future. Steps:

                                                  • Project identification and definition

                                                  • Evaluation and selection: identifying cash inflows and outflows expected.

                                                  • Monitoring and review

                                                  Capital budgeting techniques:

                                                  1. Payback period: the length of time required to recoup the initial investment. Can be viewed as a measure of investment risk; the longer the payback period, the riskier the investment. Failure: to consider the time value of money and an investment’s total profitability.

                                                  2. Return on investment (ROI): average annual net income / book value of investment.

                                                  To use ROI for capital budgeting decisions: determine the minimum rate of return (RR) that makes an investment project worthwhile. Failure: to consider the time value of money.

                                                  Discounted cash flow techniques: use present values of future cash flows, a discount rate (DR).

                                                  1. Net present value (NPV): present value of future net cash flows – initial investment.

                                                  NPV= 0 → RR = DR, NPV > 0 → RR > DR, NPV < 0 → RR < DR.
                                                  DR is used to calculate the PV factor. PV factor 1/(1.DR^years). For a period of e.g. 1-5 years, calculate the PV factor per year separately and add them up.

                                                  1. Internal rate of return (IRR): to determine the exact rate of return of the investment.

                                                  IRR = DR if NPV = 0, if IRR > RR → invest, if IRR < RR → do not invest.

                                                  Multinational capital budgeting

                                                  Calculating NVP for a foreign investment project. This includes additional risks:

                                                  1. Political risk: political events in a host country can adversely affect cash flows.

                                                  2. Economic risk: issues concerning the condition of the host country economy (e.g. inflation, country’s balance of payments).

                                                  3. Financial risk: the possibility of loss due to unexpected changes in currency values, interest rates, and other financial circumstances.

                                                    • Foreign exchange risk:

                                                      • Balance sheet/translation exposure

                                                      • Economic exposure: deals with opportunity costs. Compare actual and budgeted sales, cost and profit. Example p. 327-328.

                                                        • Transaction exposure: risk that exchange rates will have a negative effect on cash flows.

                                                        Initial consideration: analyze a potential foreign investment in project cash flows (local currency), or parent cash flows (parent currency).

                                                        PROJECT PERSPECTIVE, factors that vary across countries and should be taken into account:

                                                        1. Taxes

                                                        2. Inflation rate: e.g. Hungary has an inflation rate of 20% per year → Hungarian currency depreciates 20% per year relative to the US dollar.

                                                        3. Political risk


                                                        1. Cash flows from operations (CFO) = earnings (after tax) + depreciation

                                                        2. Total annual cash flow (TACF):

                                                          • In random years: equal to CFO

                                                          • In last year:

                                                            • Not nationalized: equal to CFO + terminal value – repayment of local debt

                                                            • Nationalized: equal to CFO

                                                            1. NPV of TACF: (sum of TACF year X * PV factor year X = PV year X) – initial investment

                                                            2. Project’s expected value: (NPV without nationalization * probability) + (NPV with nationalization * probability)

                                                            Terminal value

                                                            • Not nationalized: equal to the present value of an infinite stream of last-year cash flow from operations.

                                                            • Nationalized: equal to zero.

                                                            PARENT PERSPECTIVE, factors that should be considered:

                                                            1. The form in which cash is remitted to the parent (e.g. dividends), subject to different tax rates.

                                                            2. Expected changes in the exchange rate over the project’s life

                                                            3. Political risk

                                                            Incorporating these factors into the analysis through:

                                                            • Factors are incorporated into estimates of expected future cash flows.

                                                            • DR is adjusted to compensate for the additional risks.


                                                            1. Cash flows to parent (CFP) = net interest on parent loan year X + net dividends year X – parent taxes on interest and dividends year X + repayment of parent loan in last year + net terminal value of last year.

                                                            2. NPV of CFP: (sum of CFP year X * PV factor year X = PV year X) – initial investment

                                                            3. Project’s expected value: (NPV without nationalization * probability) + (NPV with nationalization * probability)

                                                            Net interest = interest – withholding tax

                                                            Dividend = earnings after tax * repatriated percentage

                                                            Net dividend = dividend – withholding tax

                                                            Grossed-up dividend = (earnings before taxes/index exchange rate) * repatriated percentage

                                                            Net terminal value = terminal value – withholding tax

                                                            • Terminal value is zero if nationalized.

                                                            STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION

                                                            The process by which managers influence other members of the organization to behave in accordance with the organization’s goals. Exhibit 13.4, p. 307.

                                                            • Management control:

                                                            • Extent to which decision-making authority is delegated to other members. Effective control systems needed to ensure goal congruence.

                                                            • Operating budgets: provide mechanisms to translate organizational goals into financial terms, assign responsibilities and scarce resources, and monitor actual performance.

                                                            Types to organize MNEs cross-border activities:

                                                            1. Ethnocentric: firm assumes that their own cultural background is universally applicable.

                                                            2. Polycentric: the culture of the host country is important and should be adopted.

                                                            3. Geocentric: firms with a global network structure, which supports both product line and geographic divisions in order to meet changing market demands.

                                                            Roles of subsidiaries:

                                                            Inflow of knowledge





                                                            Local innovator



                                                            Global innovator

                                                            Integrated player

                                                            Outflow of knowledge

                                                            Control systems to control subsidiaries:

                                                            1. Bureaucratic control: use of rules, regulations, and procedures that clearly specify subsidiary management’s role and authority and set out expected performance in terms of identified targets.

                                                            2. Cultural control

                                                            Cultural proximity: the extent to which the host cultural ethos permits adoption of the home organizational culture. Low → adoption is difficult → familiarization costs are high.

                                                            PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

                                                            A key management control task: ascertaining the extent to which organizational goals have been achieved.

                                                            Performance evaluation system for a foreign subsidiary should take into account the following:

                                                            1. The measure(s) on which performance will be evaluated

                                                              • Financial (e.g. profit, ROI, budget compared to actual profits)

                                                              • Non-financial (e.g. market share)

                                                              • Combined: balanced scorecard, combines financial measures of past performance with non-financial measures of future performance to provide a road map for creating shareholder value. Exhibit 13.12, p. 316.

                                                                • Financial perspective

                                                                • Customer perspective

                                                                • Internal business perspective

                                                                • Innovation and learning perspective

                                                                1. The treatment of a foreign subsidiary, responsibility centers.

                                                                  • Cost center: responsible only for costs.

                                                                  • Profit center: responsible for costs and revenues.

                                                                  • Investment center: responsible for cost, revenues, and investment decisions → ROI.

                                                                  1. The issue of evaluating the foreign subsidiary vs. evaluating the foreign subsidiary’s manager.

                                                                    • Evaluation system should be able to separate subsidiary from managerial performance due to

                                                                      • Uncontrollable items: items that affect the performance measure over which the local manager has no control.

                                                                      1. The method of measuring profit (for the foreign subsidiaries that are evaluated on profitability).

                                                                        • Profit in local vs. parent company currency

                                                                        • Parent company currency → translation method

                                                                          • Translation adjustment; implementation depends on

                                                                            • If it accurately reflects the impact on parent currency cash flows resulting from a change in the exchange rate.

                                                                            • If the foreign operation manager has authority to hedge the translation exposure.

                                                                              • Temporal method: gain/loss in net income

                                                                              • Current rate method: deferred on balance sheet

                                                                              Choice of currency in operational budgeting

                                                                              • Budgetary control allows management to trace the manager/unit responsible for the variance between budget and actual performance.

                                                                              • Local vs. parent company currency

                                                                              Local currency

                                                                              Overall budget variance = sales volume variance + local currency price variances

                                                                              Parent company currency, including different exchange rates begin/end of year, p. 323.

                                                                              Overall budget variance = sales volume variance + local currency price variances + change in exchange rates

                                                                              → If manager of foreign subsidiary is responsible for foreign exchange risk (thus has the authority to hedge), then use parent company currency. If not responsible, use local currency.

                                                                              → If manager of foreign subsidiary is not responsible for foreign exchange risk, but you want to use parent company currency: use the same exchange rate begin/end of year to calculate budget and actual profit.

                                                                              Three possible exchange rates:

                                                                              1. Actual at time of budget

                                                                              2. Projected at time of budget

                                                                              3. Actual at end of budget period

                                                                              Five budget and actual exchange rate combinations. Exhibit 13.18, p. 324:

                                                                              1. Translate budget/actual results using the spot rate that exists at the time of budget

                                                                              2. Translate budget/actual results using the spot rate that exists at the end of period.

                                                                              3. Translate budget/actual results using a projected ending exchange rate at the time of budget.

                                                                              4. Translate budget at initial exchange rate and translate actual at ending exchange rate.

                                                                              5. Translate budget at projected ending exchange rate and translate actual at actual ending rate.

                                                                              → No exchange rate variance in 1,2,3 because same exchange rate is used for budget/actual.

                                                                              Factors required for a successful implementation of a performance evaluation system:

                                                                              1. Integration with the overall business system

                                                                              2. Feedback and review

                                                                              3. Comprehensive measures

                                                                              4. Ownership and support throughout the organization

                                                                              5. Fair and achievable measures

                                                                              6. A simple, clear, and understandable system

                                                                              + System must be sensitive to the national cultures to which local managers belong.

                                                                              Chapter F: Global corporate social reporting

                                                                              Goal of sustainable development: meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

                                                                              Accountability: a proactive concept → solely reacting to community concerns is not truly embracing the notion of accountability.

                                                                              Stakeholder theory: environmental disclosures are made in response to the stakeholder demand for environmental information.

                                                                              Legitimacy theory: social reporting is a means to deal with the firm’s exposure to political, economic, and social pressures. Firms behave in a way that is considered to be congruent with the society’s perceived goals to legitimize their performance.

                                                                              Key concepts:

                                                                              1. Emissions trading: tradable carbon credits must be purchased or pay a fine if certain emission limits exceeded.

                                                                              2. Carbon credits: reductions in greenhouse gases with tradable financial value.

                                                                              3. Carbon funds and emissions brokerages: funds set up to purchase carbon credits and brokerages mediate between buyers and sellers of the credits.

                                                                              4. Clean development mechanism (CDM): promotes reductions in emissions of developing countries.

                                                                              5. Carbon neutral: emissions offset by removal of an equal amount of gas from the atmosphere.

                                                                              6. Carbon tax: tax on use of fuels causing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, based on type and quantity, promotes fuel efficiency.

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