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Financial Reporting Quality: Aggregate Accruals

Difficulty: Advanced

Earnings can be decomposed into cash and accrual components. The accrual component (aggregate accruals) has been found to have less persistence than the cash component, and therefore (1) earnings with higher accrual component are less persistent than earnings with smaller accrual component, all else equal; and (2) the cash component of earnings should receive a higher weighting evaluating company performance.


Balance-Sheet-Based Accruals Ratio

Automatic Data Processing Inc., balance sheet computation of aggregate accruals

USD $ in thousands

 
Jun 30, 2017 Jun 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2015 Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2013 Jun 30, 2012
Operating Assets
Total assets
Less: Cash and cash equivalents
Operating assets
Operating Liabilities
Total liabilities
Less: Obligations under reverse repurchase agreements
Less: Obligations under commercial paper borrowings
Less: Long-term debt
Operating liabilities
Net operating assets1
Balance-sheet-based aggregate accruals2
Ratio
Balance-sheet-based accruals ratio3 % % % % % %
Benchmarks
Balance-Sheet-Based Accruals Ratio, Competitors
Accenture PLC % % % % % %
Balance-Sheet-Based Accruals Ratio, Sector
Support Services % % % % % %
Balance-Sheet-Based Accruals Ratio, Industry
Industrials % % % % % %

2017 Calculations

1 Net operating assets = Operating assets – Operating liabilities
= =

2 Balance-sheet-based aggregate accruals = Net operating assets 2017 – Net operating assets 2016
= =

3 Balance-sheet-based accruals ratio = 100 × Balance-sheet-based aggregate accruals ÷ Avg. net operating assets
= 100 × ÷ [( + ) ÷ 2] = %

Ratio Description The company
Balance-sheet-based accruals ratio Ratio is found by dividing balance-sheet-based aggregate accruals by average net operating assets. Using the balance-sheet-based accruals ratio, Automatic Data Processing Inc. improved earnings quality from 2016 to 2017.

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Cash-Flow-Statement-Based Accruals Ratio

Automatic Data Processing Inc., cash flow statement computation of aggregate accruals

USD $ in thousands

 
Jun 30, 2017 Jun 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2015 Jun 30, 2014 Jun 30, 2013 Jun 30, 2012
Net earnings
Less: Net cash flows provided by operating activities
Less: Net cash flows (used in) provided by investing activities
Cash-flow-statement-based aggregate accruals
Ratio
Cash-flow-statement-based accruals ratio1 % % % % % %
Benchmarks
Cash-Flow-Statement-Based Accruals Ratio, Competitors
Accenture PLC % % % % % %
Cash-Flow-Statement-Based Accruals Ratio, Sector
Support Services % % % % % %
Cash-Flow-Statement-Based Accruals Ratio, Industry
Industrials % % % % % %

2017 Calculations

1 Cash-flow-statement-based accruals ratio = 100 × Cash-flow-statement-based aggregate accruals ÷ Avg. net operating assets
= 100 × ÷ [( + ) ÷ 2] = %

Ratio Description The company
Cash-flow-statement-based accruals ratio Ratio is found by dividing cash-flow-statement-based aggregate accruals by average net operating assets. Using the cash-flow-statement-based accruals ratio, Automatic Data Processing Inc. improved earnings quality from 2016 to 2017.

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