Irregular Items

Topics: Income statement, Financial statements, Income Pages: 6 (1846 words) Published: May 30, 2013
Irregular items
They are reported separately because this way users can better predict future cash flows - irregular items most likely will not recur. These are reported net of taxes. * Discontinued operations is the most common type of irregular items. Shifting business location(s), stopping production temporarily, or changes due to technological improvement do not qualify as discontinued operations. Discontinued operations must be shown separately. * DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS:  As you find time to read the business press, you will encounter many interesting articles about high-profile business decisions.  Particularly popular with the press is coverage of a major corporate action to exit a complete business unit.  Such disposals occur when a corporate conglomerate (i.e., a company with many diverse business units) decides to exit a unit of operation by sale to some other company, or by outright abandonment.  For example, a computer maker may decide to sell its personal computer manufacturing unit to a more efficient competitor, and instead focus on its mainframe and service business.  Or, a chemical company may simply decide to close a unit that has been producing a specialty product that has become an environmental and liability nightmare. * Whatever the scenario, if an entity is disposing of a complete business component, it will invoke the unique reporting rules related to "discontinued operations."  To trigger these rules requires that the disposed business component have operations that are clearly distinguishable operationally and for reporting purposes.  This would typically relate to a separate business segment, unit, subsidiary, or group of assets. * Below is an illustrative income statement for Bail Out Corporation.  Bail Out distributes farming implements and sporting goods.  During 20X7, Bail Out sold its sporting equipment business and began to focus only on farm implements.  In examining this illustration, be aware that revenues and expenses only relate to the continuing farming equipment.  All amounts relating to operations of the sporting equipment business, along with the loss on the sale of assets used in that business, are removed from the upper portion of the income statement and placed in a separate category below income from continuing operations. *

* Importantly, if a company is merely disposing of a single manufacturing plant or some other set of assets that does not constitute a business component, then the discontinued operations reporting rules are not invoked.  For instance, suppose Sail Out merely sold its facility in Georgia, but continued to distribute the same products at all of its other locations.  This would not constitute a discontinued operation.  The income statement might include the gain or loss on the sale of the Georgia location as a separate line item in the income statement (as follows), but it would not require the expanded disclosures necessitated for a discontinued operation. *

* Before moving on, review Bail Out's income statement, noting that total income taxes were "split" between those applicable to continuing operations and discontinued operations.  This method of showing the tax effects related to the discontinued operations is mandatory, and is called "intraperiod tax allocation."  However, you should also note that only one income tax number is attributed to income from continuing operations; it is improper to further subdivide that amount of tax.  For example, in the Sail Out income statement illustration, no attempt was made to match a portion of the total tax to the Georgia transaction. * As you will soon observe, intraperiod tax allocation is also applicable to other items that are reported below the income from continuing operation section of the income statement (additionally, intraperiod tax allocation can impact prior period adjustments and other scenarios beyond the scope of this discussion)....
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