What is Mark to Market Accounting?
Mark to Market Accounting means recording the value of the balance sheet assets or liabilities at current market value with the aim to provide a fair appraisal of the company’s financials. The reason for marking to market certain securities is to give a true picture and the value is more relevant as compared to the historical value.
#1 – Available for Sale Securities Example
Available for sale securities is the most common example of mark to market accounting. An available-for-sale assetAvailable-for-sale AssetAvailable for sale Securities are the company's debt or equity securities investments that are expected to be sold in the short run and will are not be held to maturity. These are reported on the balance sheet at fair value, and any unrealized gains or losses on these securities are reported in other comprehensive income as a part of shareholders' equity rather than in the income statement. is a financial security that can either be in the form of debt or equity purchased to sell the securities before it reaches its maturity. In cases of securities which do not have a maturity, these securities will be sold before a long period for which these securities are generally held.
Any gain or loss from fluctuations in the market value of assets classified as available for sale will be reported in the other comprehensive income account in the equity section of the balance sheet.
#2 – Held for Trading Example
Another typical example of mark to market accounting; A held-for-trading asset is a financial security that can either be in the form of debt or equity and is purchased to sell the security within a short period, which is generally less than a year.
Any gains and losses from fluctuations in the market value of assets classified as available for trading will be reported as unrealized gains or losses on the income statementThe Income StatementThe income statement is one of the company's financial reports that summarizes all of the company's revenues and expenses over time in order to determine the company's profit or loss and measure its business activity over time based on user requirements..
#1 – Available for Sale Securities
In this case, the value of the asset is written down or increased as per the market value, and the gain/loss is booked; e.g. Equity shares of worth $ 10,000 are purchased on 1st September 2016. As on 31st December 2016 (i.e., Close of the Financial Year 2016), the value of these equity shares is $ 8,000.
Assuming that these equity shares are available for sale, the securities should be recorded at the market value. The mark to market accounting journal entriesAccounting Journal EntriesAccounting Entry is a summary of all the business transactions in the accounting books, including the debit & credit entry. It has 3 major types, i.e., Transaction Entry, Adjusting Entry, & Closing Entry. will be as follows:
|Loss on Securities Available for Sale A/c||Dr.||$2,000|
|To Investments Available for Sale A/c||Cr.||$2,000|
In the balance sheet, the Investments will be shown at the new amount of $ 8,000 ($ 10,000 – $ 2,000), and the loss will be recorded in other comprehensive incomeOther Comprehensive IncomeOther comprehensive income refers to income, expenses, revenue, or loss not being realized while preparing the company's financial statements during an accounting period. Thus, it is excluded and shown after the net income..
Now, assuming that at the close of the next accounting year, i.e., 31st December 2017, the market value of these equity shares is $ 11,000. As compared to the previous year, the gain is $ 3,000.
The mark to market accounting journal entry for the same will be as follows:
|Investments Available for Sale||Dr.||$3,000|
|To Gain on Securities Available for Sale A/c||Cr.||$1,000|
|To Loss on Securities Available for Sale A/c||Cr.||$2,000|
The previous year’s loss is written off from the first available gain, and if there is an excess gain over and above the loss, it is then recorded in the books as Gain on Securities.
In this year’s balance sheet, the Investments will be shown at the new amount of $ 11,000 ($ 8,000 + $ 3,000), and the net gain of $ 1,000 will be recorded in other comprehensive income and at the same time loss will be $ 0.
#2 – Held for trading
A separate account known as “Securities Fair Value Adjustment A/c,” which will be shown on the face of the balance sheet along with the securities account, is created. Any increase or decrease in the fair value is to be adjusted in this account. e.g., Equity shares of value $ 10,000 are purchased on the 1st of September 2016. As on 31st December 2016 (i.e., Close of the Financial Year 2016), the value of these equity shares is $ 12,000.
The difference of $ 2,000 is to gain on account of marking these securities to the market. Mark to market accounting Journal entry for the same will be as follows:
|Securities Fair Value Adjustment A/c||Dr.||$2,000|
|To Unrealized Gain/Loss A/c||Cr.||$2,000|
In the balance, the assets will be shown under current investments as follows:
|Asset Available for Trading||$10,000|
|Add: Securities Fair Value Adjustment||$2,000||$12,000|
Now in the second accounting year ending 31st December 2017, the value of these equity shares is $ 9,000. In year two, the loss to be recognized is $ 3,000. The accounting entries for the same will be as follows:
|Unrealized Gain/Loss A/c||Dr.||$3,000|
|To Securities Fair Value Adjustment A/c||Cr.||$3,000|
In the balance, the assets will be shown under current investments as follows:
|Assets Available For Trading||$12,000.|
|Less: Securities Fair Value Adjustment||$3,000||$9,000|
Note: If there is any dividend earned from the sale of these securities, it will be reported as other income on the income statement irrespective of the type of asset classificationAsset ClassificationAsset classification is a systematic process of assigning the assets to their respective class or group. Such grouping of the assets is done based on the common characteristics possessed by them. Like current assets and fixed assets are categorized as per the duration the company holds these assets..
Mark to Market Accounting vs. Historical Accounting
- Accounting data is historical. If an asset is purchased, the cost which is paid to acquire the asset along with all related costs for bringing the asset to its location in the required state can also be added to the purchase cost. This cost is then depreciated year on year, and the net value is reflected in the balance sheet of the company.
- This value is independent of the market value. The market value can be higher than, equal to, or even lower than the net depreciated asset value recorded in the books of accounts. Accounting does not consider market value.
- The recorded is carried out in history because of one of the basic accounting principles of prudenceAccounting Principles Of PrudencePrudence Concept or Conservatism principle is a key accounting principle that makes sure that assets and income are not overstated and provision is made for all known expenses and losses whether the amount is known for certain or just an estimation i.e. expenses and liabilities are not understated in the books of accounting.. As per this principle, accountants are expected accountants to be cautious while recognizing gains.
- If we tend to value our assets to the market value, we will recognize unrealized gainsUnrealized GainsUnrealized Gains or Losses refer to the increase or decrease respectively in the paper value of the company's different assets, even when these assets are not yet sold. Once the assets are sold, the company realizes the gains or losses resulting from such disposal. in the books. Further, there is no specific basis for arriving at the market value in most cases.
- So booking assets at book value might end up giving a very unrealistic picture to the users of the financial statementsUsers Of The Financial StatementsFinancial statements prepared by the Companies are used by different categories of individuals and corporates on the basis of their relevancy to the respective parties. The most common users to the financial statements are Management of the Company, Investors, Customers, Competitors, Government and Government Agencies, Employees, Investment Analysts, Lenders, Rating Agency and Suppliers..
- There are certain exceptions to the above rule of reflecting assets at the historical value on the face of the balance sheet. As per the accounting standards, certain assets are shown explicitly at the market value at the end of the accounting period. This rule is more specifically designed for financial instruments rather than long-term physical assets like land, building, computer, etc.
- The reason for marking these securities to the market value gives an accurate picture, and the value is more relevant as compared to the historical value. Financial securities are generally volatile, and the market value is the only real value of these securities, mainly if these assets are classified as available for sale or trading.
Mark to Market Accounting Video
This article has been a guide to Mark to Market Accounting. Here we discuss mark to market accounting examples, its journal entries, calculations, and its differences from historical accounting. You can learn more about accounting from the following articles –