Lesson: 69

Topic: Simple ratios and percentages

Objectives:

During this class, students will explore a few simple ratios and percentages which can be used to illustrate specific aspects of a business' financial position, these include:



To begin with, let's analyze the general utility behind all of these ratios. 
Have you ever taken note of the first thing you do when you get a test 
result back? Chances are you figure out what percent you got on that 
test. For example, look at the following mark for a while, then scroll down:




			72/90




Nice mark, but as you look at it, you're really not sure EXACTLY what to 
think of it. Your mind longs to reduce it to some form of common value, 
so that you can accurately compare it to every other test that you have 
ever taken in any subject before. So what do you do? Well, you figure 
out the percentage you scored on this test... which is:



			80%  



Not bad at all. You will notice that when you look at this figure you 
suddenly know EXACTLY how you feel about this test mark. You 
know whether you are pleased or displeased with it, because you 
know exactly how it compares to all your previous tests.

This is the idea behind all of the ratios you will be learning in this 
lesson. Accountants have created a variey of methods we can 
use in order to reduce certain financial aspects of a business to 
common values, so that they can then be accurately compared. 
We can compare a particular fiscal year to other fiscal years, or 
we can compare one business to another business.  In any case, 
we will have common values which we can use.

So let's look at the values you were working with:

The DEBT RATIO:

The debt ratio looks at our total debts as a percentage of our total 
assets. (Or as you put it, your total debts as a percentage of your 
debts PLUS owner's equity.) The fact is, a large business with 
a lot of expenseive assets can look, on the outside, to be very 
successful. However, if a large percentage of those impressive 
assets were simply purchased on borrowed money, then the 
business isn't necessarily succesful at all. Consider for a moment 
your friends who may be home owner's. How do you gage their financial 
success? Do you look at the value of their homes? Or do you look at the 
total home value that they have actually paid for? There's a big difference. 
Friend "A" may live in a $500,000.00 house, but they still owe $450,000.00 
on that house. Friend "B" may live in a $250,000.00, yet they only owe 
$50,000.00 on it. Friend "B" may appear to be less successful, but 
financial analyses would reveal that they are in fact far MORE successful 
than friend "A". After all, friend "A" only has 50,000.00 (10%) worth of equity 
in their house, while friend "B" has $200,000.00 (80%) worth of equity in their 
home.

Businesses are just the same. We don't want to be distracted by the value 
of the assets alone, so we look at the PERCENTAGE of those assets 
which the business owners STILL OWE money on. That is the purpose of 
the debt ratio. Here's a compelling example of how we can draw meaningful 
comparisons between two very different companies:

Company A

Assets: 	$10,000.00
Liabilities:	$2,000.00
Equity:		$8,000.00


Debt Ratio = 	2,000.00	= 20%
		---------
		10,000.00

This is a pretty low debt ratio. Company A only owes 20 cents on every 
dollar of assets which they own.



Company B

Assets: 	$1,000,000.00
Liabilities:	$400,000.00
Equity:		$600,000.00


Debt Ratio = 	400,000.00	= 40%
		------------
		1,000,000.00

This is still an acceptable debt ratio. However, despite the massive 
differences between these two companies we can clearly see that this 
company's debt situation is twice as bad as the first company's - as 
Company B owes 40 cents on every dollar of assets which they own. 
Hey, it's nice to have a million dollars worth of assets, but that $400,000.00 
of debt is quite a ball and chain to drag around.





A little reminder about the Debt/Equity Ratio. This expression 
(Debt/Equity Ratio) is usually used to refer to two different, yet 
similar ratios at once. The debt ratio (which I explained above) 
and the equity ratio (which is the exact opposite of the debt ratio.) 

The equity ratio simply shows us what the Owner's Equity is as a 
percentage of the total Assets. I will illustrate this ratio using the 
same example I used for the debt ratio:


Company A

Assets: 	$10,000.00
Liabilities:	$2,000.00
Equity:		$8,000.00


Equity Ratio =	Equity
		------
		Assets


Equity Ratio = 	8,000.00	= 80%
		---------
		10,000.00

This is a pretty good equity ratio. Company A has 80 cents of equity 
in every dollar of assets which they own.



Company B

Assets: 	$1,000,000.00
Liabilities:	$400,000.00
Equity:		$600,000.00


Equity Ratio =	Equity
		------
		Assets


Equity Ratio = 	600,000.00	= 60%
		------------
		1,000,000.00

This is still an acceptable equity ratio. However, despite the massive 
differences between these two companies we can clearly see that this 
company's equity situation is 20% lower than Company A's - as 
Company B has only 60% equity in every dollar of assets which they own. 















Method of Instruction and Evaluation:

i) Open up the spreadsheet you completed for Topic #68.

Use Excel to calculate the following figures based on the financial statements provided:

Notes:

i) Use Company A from the Income Statement,

ii) use the year 2002 from the Balance Sheet.

iii) Assume that ALL sales are credit sales.


(Save this spreadsheet as "yourname, topic #69")

Expectations Addressed:

 

The "Internal Control, Financial Analysis, and Decision Making" strand of the BAF3M Ministry of Education Curriculum Guidelines outlines all of the following specific expectations. The expectations addressed by this lesson have been highlighted below.

Reference:

text, chapter #13, pages 606-612


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