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. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  5. Quarterly Earnings Report

    A quarterly filing made by public companies to report their performance. ...
  6. Pro-Forma Earnings

    Projected earnings based on a set of assumptions and often used ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How are contingent liabilities reflected on a balance sheet

    Contingent liabilities need to pass two thresholds before they can be reported in the financial statements. First, it must ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do businesses determine if an asset may be impaired?

    In the United States, assets are considered impaired when net carrying value (book value) exceeds expected future cash flows. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I set up an accrual accounting system for a small business?

    First, determine whether accrual accounting makes the most sense practically and financially. If the small business is also ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why is work in progress (WIP) considered a current asset in accounting?

    Accountants consider work in progress (WIP) to be a current asset because it is a type of inventory asset. Accountants consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some ways a company can improve on its Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

    Options available to a company seeking to improve on its return on capital employed (ROCE) ratio include reducing costs, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What exactly does EBITDA margin tell investors about a company?

    EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA margins provide investors a snapshot ... Read Full Answer >>
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. Economics

    Explaining the EBITDA Margin

    EBITDA margin can provide an investor with a cleaner view of a company's core profitability.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    What is Quantitative Analysis?

    Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments.
  6. Economics

    Explaining Residual Value

    Residual value is a measurement of how much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life.
  7. Economics

    What is the Cash Ratio?

    The cash ratio is the ratio of a company's total cash and cash equivalents to its current liabilities.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Why Last In First Out Is Banned Under IFRS

    We explain why Last-In-First-Out is banned under IFRS
  9. Economics

    Understanding Carrying Value

    Carrying value is the value of an asset as listed on a company’s balance sheet. Carrying value is the same as book value.
  10. Economics

    International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

    International Financial Reporting Standards are accounting rules and guidelines governing the reporting of different types of accounting transactions.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fisher Effect

    An economic theory proposed by economist Irving Fisher that describes the relationship between inflation and both real and ...
  2. Fiduciary

    1. A person legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust for another person. The fiduciary manages the assets ...
  3. Expected Return

    The amount one would anticipate receiving on an investment that has various known or expected rates of return. For example, ...
  4. Carrying Value

    An accounting measure of value, where the value of an asset or a company is based on the figures in the company's balance ...
  5. Capital Account

    A national account that shows the net change in asset ownership for a nation. The capital account is the net result of public ...
  6. Brand Equity

    The value premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable name as compared to its generic equivalent. ...
Trading Center