Effective Interest Method


DEFINITION of 'Effective Interest Method'

The practice of accounting for the discount at which a bond is sold as an interest expense to be amortized over the life of the bond. Using this method, additional interest expense is calculated using the prevailing market interest rate at the time of the bond issue. The market rate is multiplied by the book value of the bond to find the amount of the discount to be amortized as interest expense each period.

BREAKING DOWN 'Effective Interest Method'

The effective interest method is regarded as one of the preferred methods for amortizing a bond discount. In theory, investors demand a discount on bonds because the market interest rate at the time of issue exceeds the coupon payments on the bond. Thus, by amortizing the discount at the market interest rate, a company's accounting statements more closely reflect the economic reality of the bond issue and the firm's true cost of debt.

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  1. What is the effective interest method of amortization?

    The effective interest method is an accounting practice used for discounting a bond. This method is used for bonds sold at ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the effective interest method treat the interest on a bond?

    The effective interest method is used when evaluating the interest generated by a bond because it considers the impact of ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are dividends considered an expense?

    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do dividends go on the balance sheet?

    The only account recorded on the balance sheet, when dividends are declared and before they are paid out to a company's shareholders, ... Read Full Answer >>

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