Accounting Noise

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Accounting Noise'

The distortion that is caused in a company's financial statements due to accounting rules and regulations that must be followed. Accounting noise makes it difficult for investors to easily ascertain a company's true financial condition. Accounting noise can make a company's financial reports look better or worse.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Accounting Noise'

Accounting noise can be seen as either a consequence of necessary rules regarding generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or a result of management's attempts to massage the numbers to present a rosier financial picture of the firm. Paying attention to the footnotes can help an investor cut through the accounting noise and get the real story.

For example, a company that has recently undergone a significant merger may look very unprofitable on the income statement because the merger may cause serious one-time charges for the company; it may be useful for investors to cut through the accounting noise to get a more accurate picture of the company's prospects.

Conversely, an underperforming company could engage in earnings manipulation, creating accounting noise to hide its poor performance.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Amortization

    1. The paying off of debt in regular installments over a period ...
  2. Goodwill

    An account that can be found in the assets portion of a company's ...
  3. Cookie Jar Accounting

    A disingenuous accounting practice in which periods of good financial ...
  4. Aggressive Accounting

    The practice of misreporting income statement and balance sheet ...
  5. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  6. Cook The Books

    A buzzword describing fraudulent activities performed by corporations ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    The 5 Types Of Earnings Per Share

    A look at the five varieties of EPS and what each represents can help an investor determine whether a company is a good value, or not.
  2. Investing Basics

    The Importance Of Corporate Transparency

    Clear and honest financial statements not only reflect value, they also help ensure it.
  3. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding Pro-Forma Earnings

    These figures can either shed light on a company's performance or skew it. Find out why.
  4. Budgeting

    Do I Need A Personal Accountant?

    You know you need to keep your personal finances better organized. Should you hire professional help, and if so what kind?
  5. Investing

    What's a Run Rate?

    Run rate is a term used to denote annualized earnings extrapolated from a shorter time frame. Management uses the run rate to estimate future revenues.
  6. Professionals

    Financial Accounting

    Financial accounting is the process of gathering, recording, summarizing and reporting financial data relating to a business. The ultimate goal is to accurately report the financial picture and ...
  7. Investing

    What are Direct Costs?

    Direct costs for finished goods refer to the items and services directly used in production. Other costs such as rent and insurance for the production site are indirect costs. These costs may ...
  8. Investing

    What is Contingent Liability?

    A contingent liability is an amount that might have to be paid in the future, but there are still unresolved matters that make it only a possibility. Lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits are the ...
  9. Investing

    What's Accrued Interest?

    Accrued interest has two meanings. In accounting, it is interest that has been earned, but the time for payment has not yet occurred.
  10. Investing

    What is Absorption Costing?

    Absorption costing is an accounting method primarily used in manufacturing. In absorption costing, the cost of a manufactured product includes the direct costs plus an apportioned share of the ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. DuPont Analysis

    A method of performance measurement that was started by the DuPont Corporation in the 1920s. With this method, assets are ...
  2. Asset Class

    A group of securities that exhibit similar characteristics, behave similarly in the marketplace, and are subject to the same ...
  3. Fiat Money

    Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat ...
  4. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  5. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  6. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
Trading Center