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Run Your Own Numbers

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April 28, 2016 | Barbara Baksa

Run Your Own Numbers

Last week, I used an example to illustrate the impact the new tax accounting rules under ASU 2016-09 will have on companies' P&L statements.  If your company is profitable, this is something you can do using your own financials. In this week's blog entry, I explain how.

Finding the Numbers

I found all the numbers for my example in the company's 10-K. I didn't even have to pull up the full 10-K; I used the interactive data on EDGAR—it took me about 5 minutes.  Here's where to look:

  • You can find your company's net earnings, tax expense, and basic EPS in your income statement ("income statement" is the less cool way to say "P&L," which is shorthand for "profits & loss statement").
  • You can usually find your excess tax benefit or shortfall in your cash flow statement or the statement of stockholders' equity (or you may already know this amount, if you manage the database that this information is pulled from).
  • The number of shares used in your basic EPS calculation will be indicated in either your income statement or your EPS footnote.

What To Do With the Numbers

Once you have collected that data, you can do the following:

  • Post-Tax Earnings:  The tax benefit represents how much post-tax earnings would be increased (or, if you have a shortfall, how much earnings would be decreased).
  • Effective Tax Rate:  Subtract the tax benefit (or add the shortfall) to tax expense and divide by pre-tax earnings to determine the impact on your effective tax rate.
  • Earnings Per Share: Divide the tax benefit (or shortfall) by the shares used in the basic EPS calculation to figure out the impact on basic EPS.

Do these calculations for the past several years to see how much the impact on earnings varies from year to year.

Stuff You Should Be Aware Of

This exercise is intended to give you a general idea of the impact of the new tax accounting rules for your company. There are lots of complicated rules that govern how earnings and tax expense are calculated that have nothing to do with stock compensation, but that, when combined with the rules for stock compensation, could change the outcome for your company. This is especially true if your company isn't profitable—if you are in this situation, it may be best to leave the estimates to your accounting team.

Also, I've suggested calculating the impact only on basic EPS because it's a little harder to figure out the impact on diluted EPS. In diluted EPS, not only will the numerator change, but the number of shares in the denominator will change as well, because excess tax benefits no longer count as a source of proceeds that can be used to buy back stock. See my blog entry, "Update to ASC 718: Diluted EPS" for more information).

- Barbara

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