Mark to Market Accounting

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.

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Source: Mark to Market Accounting (wallstreetmojo.com)

Examples

#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.read more 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.read more.

Journal Entries

#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. read more will be as follows:

Loss on Securities Available for Sale A/cDr.$2,000
To Investments Available for Sale A/cCr. $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.read more.

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 SaleDr.$3,000
To Gain on Securities Available for Sale A/cCr. $1,000
To Loss on Securities Available for Sale A/cCr.$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/cDr.$2,000
To Unrealized Gain/Loss A/cCr. $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/cDr.$3,000
To Securities Fair Value Adjustment A/cCr.$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.read more.

Mark to Market Accounting vs. Historical Accounting

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 –

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Comments

  1. Vishnu says

    Very useful. Many people work in industry but have no idea what they do. Thanks for such insightful information.

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