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financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as businesses and corporat ...
, "reserve" always has a credit balance and can refer to a part of
shareholders' equity In finance, equity is ownership of asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information ab ...
, a liability for estimated claims, or contra-asset for uncollectible accounts. A reserve can appear in any part of
shareholders' equity In finance, equity is ownership of asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information ab ...
except for contributed or basic share capital. In nonprofit accounting, an "operating reserve" is the unrestricted cash on hand available to sustain an organization, and nonprofit boards usually specify a target of maintaining several months of operating cash or a percentage of their annual income, called an Operating Reserve Ratio. There are different types of reserves used in financial accounting like capital reserves, revenue reserves, statutory reserves, realized reserves, unrealized reserves. Equity ''reserves'' are created from several possible sources: * Reserves created from shareholders' contributions, the most common examples of which are: :*''legal reserve fund'' - it is required in many legislations and it must be paid as a percentage of share capital :*''
share premium Capital surplus, also called share premium, is an account which may appear on a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recogni ...
'' - amount paid by shareholders for shares in excess of their nominal value Within the framework of capital increase by share premium a larger proportion of capital increase is placed into a capital reserve while the subscribed capital is increased by a minimum amount. This is because the initial losses are covered by the capital reserve. If capital increase was carried out fully or to a significant degree through the increase of subscribed capital, equity could easily fall to below the subscribed capital due to the losses. *Reserves created from profit, especially
retained earnings The retained earnings (also known as plowback) of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by priva ...
, i.e. accumulated accounting profits, or in the case of nonprofits, operating surpluses. However, profits may be distributed also to other types of reserves, for example: :*''legal reserve fund from profit'' - many legislations require creation of the fund as a percentage of profits :*''remuneration reserve'' - will be used later to pay bonuses to employees or management. :*''translation reserve'' - arises during consolidation of entities with different reporting currencies Reserve is the profit achieved by a company where a certain amount of it is put back into the business which can help the business in their rainy days. The preceding sentence may give the unwary reader the sense that this item is an asset, a debit balance. This is false. A reserve is always a credit balance. Retained Earnings typically has a credit balance. If a firm wants to label part of Retained Earnings as a Reserve for Reinvestment, then that labeling does not harm, but neither does it do anything about making assets, liquid or otherwise, available for any day, rainy or otherwise. Sometimes ''reserve'' is used in the sense of ''provision''. This is inconsistent with the terminology suggested by
International Accounting Standards Board The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is the independent, accounting standard Publicly traded companies typically are subject to the most rigorous standards. Small and midsized businesses often follow more simplified standards, plus ...
. For more information about provisions, see
provision (accounting) In financial accounting under International Financial Reporting Standards, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), a provision is an account that records a present Liability (financial accounting), liability of an entity. The recordin ...
. The preceding is, indeed, correct IASB usage, but be aware in the U.S., under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, "provision" refers to a debit balance, not a credit balance. "Provision" is a dangerous word to use in attempting to achieve clear communications in conversations with U.S. and IASB conversations. "Provision for Income Taxes" means expense in U.S. GAAP and liability in IASB vernacular.


See also

* Accumulated other comprehensive income *
Balance sheet In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such ...

Balance sheet


References

Balance sheet Financial capital {{accounting-stub