Book value

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In accounting, book value is the value of an asset according to its balance sheet account balance. For assets, the value is based on the original cost of the asset less any depreciation, amortization or impairment costs made against the asset. Traditionally, a company's book value is its total assets minus intangible assets and liabilities. [1] [2] However, in practice, depending on the source of the calculation, book value may variably include goodwill, intangible assets, or both. [3] The value inherent in its workforce, part of the intellectual capital of a company, is always ignored. When intangible assets and goodwill are explicitly excluded, the metric is often specified to be "tangible book value". [4]

Asset economic resource, from which future economic benefits are expected

In financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned by the business. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held by a company to produce positive economic value is an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash. The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by that firm. It covers money and other valuables belonging to an individual or to a business.

Balance sheet summary of the financial balances of a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation or other business organization

In financial accounting, a balance sheet or statement of financial position is a summary of the financial balances of an individual or organization, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation, private limited company or other organization such as Government or not-for-profit entity. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity are listed as of a specific date, such as the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a "snapshot of a company's financial condition". Of the four basic financial statements, the balance sheet is the only statement which applies to a single point in time of a business' calendar year.

Depreciation Decrease in asset values, or the allocation of cost thereof

In accountancy, depreciation refers to two aspects of the same concept:


In the United Kingdom, the term net asset value may refer to the book value of a company. [5]

Net asset value (NAV) is the value of an entity's assets minus the value of its liabilities, often in relation to open-end or mutual funds, since shares of such funds registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are redeemed at their net asset value. It is also a key figure with regard to hedge funds, and the value of investments in hedge funds by investors. This may also be the same as the book value or the equity value of a business. Net asset value may represent the value of the total equity, or it may be divided by the number of shares outstanding held by investors, thereby representing the net asset value per share.

Asset book value

An asset's initial book value is its actual cash value or its acquisition cost. Cash assets are recorded or "booked" at actual cash value. Assets such as buildings, land and equipment are valued based on their acquisition cost, which includes the actual cash cost of the asset plus certain costs tied to the purchase of the asset, such as broker fees. Not all purchased items are recorded as assets; incidental supplies are recorded as expenses. Some assets might be recorded as current expenses for tax purposes. An example of this is assets purchased and expensed under Section 179 of the US tax code.[ citation needed ]

Depreciable, amortizable and depletable assets

Monthly or annual depreciation, amortization and depletion are used to reduce the book value of assets over time as they are "consumed" or used up in the process of obtaining revenue. [6] These non-cash expenses are recorded in the accounting books after a trial balance is calculated to ensure that cash transactions have been recorded accurately. Depreciation is used to record the declining value of buildings and equipment over time. Land is not depreciated. Amortization is used to record the declining value of intangible assets such as patents. Depletion is used to record the consumption of natural resources. [7]

Amortization (business) spreading payments over multiple periods; the term is used for two separate processes: amortization of loans and amortization of assets. In the latter case it refers to allocating the cost of an intangible asset over a period of time

In business, amortization refers to spreading payments over multiple periods. The term is used for two separate processes: amortization of loans and amortization of assets. In the latter case it refers to allocating the cost of an intangible asset over a period of time.

Depletion is an accounting and tax concept used most often in mining, timber, petroleum, or other similar industries.

Trial balance list of all the General ledger accounts contained in the ledger of a business

A trial balance is a list of all the general ledger accounts contained in the ledger of a business. This list will contain the name of each nominal ledger account and the value of that nominal ledger balance. Each nominal ledger account will hold either a debit balance or a credit balance. The debit balance values will be listed in the debit column of the trial balance and the credit value balance will be listed in the credit column. The trading profit and loss statement and balance sheet and other financial reports can then be produced using the ledger accounts listed on the same balance.

Depreciation, amortization and depletion are recorded as expenses against a contra account. Contra accounts are used in bookkeeping to record asset and liability valuation changes. "Accumulated depreciation" is a contra-asset account used to record asset depreciation. [8]

Sample general journal entry for depreciation [9]

The balance sheet valuation for an asset is the asset's cost basis minus accumulated depreciation. [10] Similar bookkeeping transactions are used to record amortization and depletion.

"Discount on notes payable" is a contra-liability account which decreases the balance sheet valuation of the liability. [11]

When a company sells (issues) bonds, this debt is a long-term liability on the company's balance sheet, recorded in the account Bonds Payable based on the contract amount. After the bonds are sold, the book value of Bonds Payable is increased or decreased to reflect the actual amount received in payment for the bonds. If the bonds sell for less than face value, the contra account Discount on Bonds Payable is debited for the difference between the amount of cash received and the face value of the bonds. [12]

Net asset value

In the United Kingdom, the term net asset value may refer to book value. [13]

A mutual fund is an entity which primarily owns "financial assets" or capital assets such as bonds, stocks and commercial paper. The net asset value of a mutual fund is the market value of assets owned by the fund minus the fund's liabilities. [14] This is similar to shareholders' equity, except the asset valuation is market-based rather than based on acquisition cost. In financial news reporting, the reported net asset value of a mutual fund is the net asset value of a single share in the fund. In the mutual fund's accounting records, the financial assets are recorded at acquisition cost. When assets are sold, the fund records a capital gain or capital loss.[ citation needed ]

Financial assets include stock shares and bonds owned by an individual or company. [15] These may be reported on the individual or company balance sheet at cost or at market value.

Corporate book value

A company or corporation's book value, as an asset held by a separate economic entity, is the company or corporation's shareholders' equity, the acquisition cost of the shares, or the market value of the shares owned by the separate economic entity.

A corporation's book value is used in fundamental financial analysis to help determine whether the market value of corporate shares is above or below the book value of corporate shares. Neither market value nor book value is an unbiased estimate of a corporation's value. The corporation's bookkeeping or accounting records do not generally reflect the market value of assets and liabilities, and the market or trade value of the corporation's stock is subject to variations.

Tangible common equity

A variation of book value, tangible common equity, has recently come into use by the US Federal Government in the valuation of troubled banks. [16] [17] Tangible common equity is calculated as total book value minus intangible assets, goodwill, and preferred equity, and can thus be considered the most conservative valuation of a company and the best approximation of its value should it be forced to liquidate. [18]

Since tangible common equity subtracts preferred equity from the tangible book value, it does a better job estimating what the value of the company is to holders of specifically common stock compared to standard calculations of book value.

Stock pricing book value

To clearly distinguish the market price of shares from the core ownership equity or shareholders' equity, the term 'book value' is often used since it focuses on the values that have been added and subtracted in the accounting books of a business (assets - liabilities). The term is also used to distinguish between the market price of any asset and its accounting value which depends more on historical cost and depreciation. It may be used interchangeably with carrying value. While it can be used to refer to the business' total equity, it is most often used:

Uses of books

  1. Book value is used in the financial ratio price/book. It is a valuation metric that sets the floor for stock prices under a worst-case scenario. When a business is liquidated, the book value is what may be left over for the owners after all the debts are paid. Paying only a price/book = 1 means the investor will get all his investment back, assuming assets can be resold at their book value. Shares of capital intensive industries trade at lower price/book ratios because they generate lower earnings per dollar of assets. Business depending on human capital will generate higher earnings per dollar of assets, so will trade at higher price/book ratios.
  2. Book value per share can be used to generate a measure of comprehensive earnings, when the opening and closing values are reconciled. BookValuePerShare, beginning of year - Dividends + ShareIssuePremium + Comprehensive EPS = BookValuePerShare, end of year. [19]

Changes are caused by

  1. The sale of shares/units by the business increases the total book value. Book/sh will increase if the additional shares are issued at a price higher than the pre-existing book/sh.
  2. The purchase of its own shares by the business will decrease total book value. Book/shares will decrease if more is paid for them than was received when originally issued (pre-existing book/sh).
  3. Dividends paid out will decrease book value and book/sh.
  4. Comprehensive earnings/losses will increase/decrease book value and book/sh. Comprehensive earnings, in this case, includes net income from the Income Statement, foreign exchange translation changes to Balance Sheet items, accounting changes applied retroactively, and the opportunity cost of options exercised.

New share issues and dilution

The issue of more shares does not necessarily decrease the value of the current owner. While it is correct that when the number of shares is doubled the EPS will be cut in half, it is too simple to be the full story. It all depends on how much was paid for the new shares and what return the new capital earns once invested. See the discussion at stock dilution.

Net book value of long term assets

Book value is often used interchangeably with "net book value" or "carrying value," which is the original acquisition cost less accumulated depreciation, depletion or amortization. Book value is the term which means the value of the firm as per the books of the company. It is the value at which the assets are valued in the balance sheet of the company as on the given date.

See also

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Equity (finance) difference between the value of the assets/interest and the cost of the liabilities of something owned

In accounting, equity is the difference between the value of the assets and the value of the liabilities of something owned. It is governed by the following equation:

Historical cost

In accounting, an economic item's historical cost is the original nominal monetary value of that item. Historical cost accounting involves reporting assets and liabilities at their historical costs, which are not updated for changes in the items' values. Consequently, the amounts reported for these balance sheet items often differ from their current economic or market values.

Expenditure is an outflow of money to another person or group to pay for an item or service, or for a category of costs. For a tenant, rent is an expense. For students or parents, tuition is an expense. Buying food, clothing, furniture or an automobile is often referred to as an expense. An expense is a cost that is "paid" or "remitted", usually in exchange for something of value. Something that seems to cost a great deal is "expensive". Something that seems to cost little is "inexpensive". "Expenses of the table" are expenses of dining, refreshments, a feast, etc.

Valuation (finance) process of estimating what something is worth, used in the finance industry

In finance, valuation is the process of determining the present value (PV) of an asset. Valuations can be done on assets or on liabilities. Valuations are needed for many reasons such as investment analysis, capital budgeting, merger and acquisition transactions, financial reporting, taxable events to determine the proper tax liability, and in litigation.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization accounting measure: net earnings, before interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are subtracted

A company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization is an accounting measure calculated using a company's net earnings, before interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are subtracted, as a proxy for a company's current operating profitability.

Financial accounting field of accounting

Financial accounting is the field of accounting concerned with the summary, analysis and reporting of financial transactions pertaining to a business. This involves the preparation of financial statements available for public consumption. Stockholders, suppliers, banks, employees, government agencies, business owners, and other stakeholders are examples of people interested in receiving such information for decision making purposes.

Treasury stock

A treasury stock or reacquired stock is stock which is also bought back by the issuing company, reducing the amount of outstanding stock on the open market.

Enterprise value (EV), total enterprise value (TEV), or firm value (FV) is an economic measure reflecting the market value of a business. It is a sum of claims by all claimants: creditors and shareholders. Enterprise value is one of the fundamental metrics used in business valuation, financial modeling, accounting, portfolio analysis, and risk analysis.

Capital expenditure

Capital expenditure or capital expense is the money a company spends to buy, maintain, or improve its fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, equipment, or land. It is considered a capital expenditure when the asset is newly purchased or when money is used towards extending the useful life of an existing asset, such as repairing the roof.

The fundamental accounting equation, also called the balance sheet equation, represents the relationship between the assets, liabilities, and owner's equity of a person or business. It is the foundation for the double-entry bookkeeping system. For each transaction, the total debits equal the total credits. It can be expressed as further more.

Goodwill (accounting) accounting

Goodwill in accounting is an intangible asset that arises when a buyer acquires an existing business. Goodwill represents assets that are not separately identifiable. Goodwill does not include identifiable assets that are capable of being separated or divided from the entity and sold, transferred, licensed, rented, or exchanged, either individually or together with a related contract, identifiable asset, or liability regardless of whether the entity intends to do so. Goodwill also does not include contractual or other legal rights regardless of whether those are transferable or separable from the entity or other rights and obligations. Examples of identifiable assets that are not goodwill include a company’s brand name, customer relationships, artistic intangible assets, and any patents or proprietary technology. The goodwill amounts to the excess of the "purchase consideration" over the total value of the assets and liabilities. It is classified as an intangible asset on the balance sheet, since it can neither be seen nor touched. Under US GAAP and IFRS, goodwill is never amortized. Instead, management is responsible for valuing goodwill every year and to determine if an impairment is required. If the fair market value goes below historical cost, an impairment must be recorded to bring it down to its fair market value. However, an increase in the fair market value would not be accounted for in the financial statements. Private companies in the United States, however, may elect to amortize goodwill over a period of ten years or less under an accounting alternative from the Private Company Council of the FASB.

International Financial Reporting Standards requirements

This article lists some of the important requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

The price-to-book ratio, or P/B ratio, is a financial ratio used to compare a company's current market price to its book value. It is also sometimes known as a Market-to-Book ratio. The calculation can be performed in two ways, but the result should be the same each way. In the first way, the company's market capitalization can be divided by the company's total book value from its balance sheet. The second way, using per-share values, is to divide the company's current share price by the book value per share.

Financial ratio characteristic number

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A write-off is a reduction of the recognized value of something. In accounting, this is a recognition of the reduced or zero value of an asset. In income tax statements, this is a reduction of taxable income, as a recognition of certain expenses required to produce the income.

The clean surplus accounting method provides elements of a forecasting model that yields price as a function of earnings, expected returns, and change in book value.


  1. "Carrying Value". Investopedia. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  2. Hermanson, Roger H., James Don Edwards, R. F. Salmonson, (1987) Accounting Principles Volume II, Dow Jones-Irwin, p. 694. ISBN   1-55623-035-4
  3. Graham and Dodd's Security Analysis, Fifth Edition, pp 318 - 319
  4. Tangible Book Value Per Share - TBVPS retrieved 21 Dec 2011
  5. "Book Value". Investopedia. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  6. Meigs and Meigs, Financial Accounting 4th ed. p. 90.
  7. Wolk, Harry I., James L. Dodd and Michael G. Tearney (2004). Accounting Theory: Conceptual Issues in a Political and Economic Environment, 6th ed. South-Western. pp. 330-331. ISBN   0-324-18623-1.
  8. Meigs, p.91
  9. Meigs, p.90
  10. Meigs, p.105
  11. Meigs, p. 313
  12. Hermanson, Roger H., James Don Edwards, R. F. Salmonson, (1987) Accounting Principles Volume II, Dow Jones-Irwin, p. 657. ISBN   1-55623-035-4
  13. Staff, Investopedia (25 November 2003). "Book Value". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  14. " - Net Asset Value". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  15. Groppelli, Angelico A. (2000) Finance, 4th ed., p.25.
  16. Wall Street Journal 2/23/09, US Eyes Large Stake in Citi
  17. New York Times 2/24/09, Stress Test for Banks Exposes Rift on Wall St.
  18. Tangible Common Equity via Wikinvest
  19. Use Book Value To Calculate Comprehensive EPS