Volume 5, No. 3

 

A New Way To Peel The Orange: Changes In Segment Reporting:  Analysts have long been confounded by the profusion of business segments within multi-industry firms. Just as the segments of an orange combine to form a whole fruit, so the different businesses within a multi-industry firm combine to produce one whole enterprise. Each business unit within a firm can profoundly affect the profitability or viability of the whole enterprise, so investors and analysts have a keen interest in the operations and make-up of segments. The problem is that the segment information provided by these kinds of companies is often scanty or even non-existent, making the tasks of monitoring segment performance and estimating segment values difficult at best and impossible at worst. The rules governing segment reporting have existed since 1976. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has recently put on the table a new project that would radically change the way companies report disaggregated information.

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