What Does Cash And Cash Equivalents Mean?
Cash and cash equivalents refer to the line item on the balance sheet that reports the value of a company's assets that are cash or can be converted into cash immediately. These include bank accounts, marketable securities, commercial paper, Treasury bills and short-term government bonds with a maturity date of three months or less. Marketable securities and money market holdings are considered cash equivalents because they are liquid and not subject to material fluctuations in value.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Understanding Cash And Cash Equivalents (CCE)
Cash and cash equivalents are a group of assets owned by a company. For simplicity, the total value of cash on hand includes items with a similar nature to cash. If a company has cash or cash equivalents, the aggregate of these assets is always shown on the top line of the balance sheet. This is because cash and cash equivalents are the most liquid assets. All cash and cash equivalents must be current assets.
Cash Part of Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash is money in the form of currency. This includes all bills, coins, and currency notes. A demand deposit is a type of account from which funds may be withdrawn at any time without having to notify the institution. Examples of demand deposit accounts include checking accounts and saving accounts. All currency balances as of the date of the financial statements of deposit accounts are included in cash totals.
Companies holding more than one currency experience currency exchange risk. Currency from foreign countries must be translated to the reporting currency for reporting purposes. The conversion should provide results comparable to those that would have occurred if the business had completed operations using only one currency. Translation losses from the devaluation of foreign currency are not reported with cash and cash equivalents. These losses are reported in the financial reporting account called "accumulated other comprehensive income."
What Is Defined as a Cash Equivalent?
Cash equivalents are investments that can readily be converted into cash. The investment must be short term, usually with a maximum investment duration of three months or less. If an investment matures in more than three months, it should be classified in the account named "other investments." Cash equivalents should be highly liquid and easily sold on the market. The buyers of these investments should be easily accessible.
The dollar amounts of cash equivalents must be known. Therefore, all cash equivalents must have a known market price and should not be subject to price fluctuations. The value of the cash equivalents must not be expected to change significantly before redemption or maturity.
Certificates of deposit may be considered a cash equivalent depending on the maturity date. Preferred shares of equity may be considered a cash equivalent if they are purchased shortly before the redemption date and not expected to experience material fluctuation in value.