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Mar 2, 2023

Anyone who thinks financial accounting is boring hasn't seen the creativity in some of the financial statements. Not just in India but across the world.

In this podcast, Deepak and Shray discuss the shenanigans of financial accounting while referencing various case studies from the business world. This discussion is important because "new age" businesses in India have started reporting "adjusted" accounting statements along with standard reports.

While we do understand the need for "adjusted" metrics to gauge the health of a business. Especially when the nature of business is unconventional and may not be represented well by the existing reporting system. But more often than not, such adjustments are used for misguiding investors. 

Listen in to figure out: 

  • Why do businesses need to report adjusted earnings?
  • How cheques, affiliates, GMVs, and ESOPs are used for creative accounting? 
  • If such reporting is legal, why should investors care?
  • How do you recognize whether adjustments are real or not?

Show notes and time stamps

1:50   - What’s the big issue with showing adjusted revenues?

10:20 - Shenanigans of adjusting revenues go back to the days of AOL (1990s)

13:45 - Argument of using the contribution margin

23:00 - How do “adjusted” numbers mislead stakeholders?

27:30 - Examples of creatively using metrics to manipulate numbers?

52:40 - VCs & Investors want “adjusted” metrics to understand business performance

1:00:00 - How to recognize if adjustments are real or not?