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Accounting - Users of Accounts

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

Users of accounts

The financial accounts provide a wealth of information that is useful to various users of financial information, as summarised below:

User

Interest in / Use of Accounting Information

Investors

Investors are concerned about risk and return in relation to their investments. They require information to decide whether they should continue to invest in a business. They also need to be able to assess whether a business will be able to pay dividends, and to measure the performance of the business' management overall

Lenders

Banks and other financial institutions who lend money to a business require information that helps them determined whether loans and interest will be paid when due

Creditors

Suppliers and trade creditors require information that helps them understand and assess the short-term liquidity of a business. Is the business able to pay short-term debt when it falls due?

Customers & Debtors

Customers and trade debtors require information about the ability of the business to survive and prosper. As customers of the company's products, they have a long-term interest in the company's range of products and services. They may even be dependent on the business for certain products or services

Employees

Employees (and organisations that represent them - e.g. trade unions) require information about the stability and continuing profitability of the business. They are crucially interested in information about employment prospects and the maintenance of pension funding and retirement benefits. They are also likely to interested in the pay and benefits obtained by senior management!

Government

There are many government agencies and departments that are interested in accounting information. For example, the IR&CE needs information on business profitability in order to levy and collect Corporation Tax. Various regulatory agencies (e.g. the Competition Commission and the Environment Agency) need information to support decisions about takeovers and grants, for example.

Analysts

Investment analysts are an important user group - specifically for companies quoted on a stock exchange. They require very detailed financial and other information in order to analyse the competitive performance of a business and its sector. Much of this is provided by the detailed accounting disclosures that are required by the London Stock Exchange. However, additional accounting information is usually provided to analysts via formal company briefings and interviews.

General public

Interest groups, formed by various groups of individuals who have a specific interest in the activities and performance of businesses, will also require accounting information.



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Related study notes

INTRODUCTION TO ACCOUNTS
Introduction to Accounting
Users of Accounts
Accounting Concepts and Conventions
Stakeholder Theory
Characteristics of Accounting Information
Alternatives to Profit Maximisation
Maximising the Value of a Business
Non-financial Objectives of a Business
Comparison of Financial and Management Accounting

BUDGETING
Financial objectives - intro
Financial objectives - key measures
Introduction to Business Planning
Introduction to Budgets
Purpose and Role of Budgets
Incremental Budgeting
Zero-based Budgeting
Variance analysis
Budgeting limitations

COMPANY FORMATION
Introduction to Business Organisation
Forming a Company
Advantages of Incorporation

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Introduction to Financial Management
Introduction to Working Capital
Working Capital Needs of Different Businesses
Working Capital Cycle

SOURCES OF FINANCE
Managing Business Cash Flows - An Introduction
Introduction to Raising Business Finance
Sources of Finance for SMEs
Overdraft Financing
Business Angels
Introduction to Venture Capital
Sources of Equity Finance
Rights Issues
New Share Issues & Flotations
Intoduction to Leasing
Leasing - Advantages & Disadvantages

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Income Statement
Profit quality
Balance Sheet
Current assets
Current liabilities

RATIO ANALYSIS
Introduction to Ratio Analysis
Interpreting Financial Information
Accounts & financial performance
ROCE
Asset turnover
Stock turnover
Debtor days
Creditor days
Liquidity ratios
Gearing ratio
Shareholder ratios
Limitations of ratios

ACCOUNTING ISSUES
Accounting for Fixed Assets - Introduction
Depreciation
Depreciation - Straightline Method
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STAKEHOLDERS
Stakeholders - intro
Stakeholder power
Stakeholder conflicts

 


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