Accounting Memo 2

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On October 17, 1989, an earthquake that registered 7.1 on the Richter scale caused extensive damages to the Emporium division of Carter Hawley Hale Stores (CHHS), Inc. This memo explains how to properly report the earthquake damage costs in the income statement for the year ending August 4, 1990. The memo first defines extraordinary items as well as unusual or infrequent items, and then discusses why the damages are being reported as separate items on the income statement.

Extraordinary Items

Extraordinary items, per the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), are material events and transactions that are both unusual in nature and infrequent. FASB requires that entities report these items on the income statement in the following way:

As seen in the image above, an extraordinary item must be reported separately, net of taxes. It must be an event or transaction that meets two criteria.

First, the event must be unusual in nature; which means it possesses a high degree of abnormality and is clearly unrelated to the ordinary and typical activities of a company. Next, the event must not be reasonably expected to occur again in the foreseeable future, these particular events are considered to have an infrequency of occurrence. In both requirements, an entity must take into account the environment in which it operates. (FASB-225-20-45-10)Income before extraordinary items $XXX Extraordinary items (less applicable income taxes of $ ) (Note ) XXX Net income $XXX

Infrequency of occurrence items must take into account when the last time that certain event or transaction took place. This will determine the probability of recurrence for a particular entity. Simply classifying an item to have an infrequency of occurrence does not imply that its effects should be classified as extraordinary. FASB clarifies that “an event or transaction of a type that occurs frequently in the environment in which...
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