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Formatting (Excel)

Format your solution so that it can be viewed on one screen. If that is not possible, format it so that the reader must scroll up and down only.

Do not put fancy or useless formatting into the document. Such things are distracting and unprofessional. For example, don’t make the title 30 pt. and bold!

Format all numbers as “accounting,” no dollar sign, and no decimal.

Not using a dollar sign is for your convenience as it is a bit difficult to format a column of numbers with leading signs in Excel.

To make numbers easier to read, use commas (a comma every third place to the right). This is automatic if you use the “accounting” styling for your numbers.

Formatting (Accounting)

Carefully and distinctly label each item. DO NOT USE ABBREVIATIONS. For example, AR is the abbreviation for a state, not the abbreviation for accounts receivable. Do not write “pybl” for “payable”. I know most of you are busy, but it really does not take a significant amount of time to spell out words. For example, you need to type in only three letters to change “pybl” to “payable”. I think everyone has time for that. In fact, I believe everyone has time to write out all account titles! See the problem for an example.

DO NOT, really I am serious, DO NOT turn in work using “teaching” techniques instead of professional styling. For example, if you want to show the total Fair Value of 100 shares of stock sold at $10 per share, then DO NOT WRITE (100 x 10= 1,000). This is unprofessional and really rather time consuming (in the long run). LABEL EVERY NUMBER. Period. There is no escape from that simple rule. You do not want your boss or supervisor or client to have to ask what a number is! LABEL EVERY NUMBER.

BENEFICIAL SIDE EFFECT FROM LABELING EVERY NUMBER. If you label every number and clearly indicate what the number represents, you can study your work much more easily. Look at the example of the stock sale I have above. If I were studying and just saw those numbers, I would need to stop my thinking process to decide what the numbers represented! That is not good. Even if I included a note like “the total fair value of the shares is the amount transferred times the fair value at the transfer date” I would need to stop and read that and think about it before moving on! Don’t make your life (and mine) harder. Clearer indicate all intermediate calculations.

Typically, you do not need to think too hard about labeling financial statement items. It is the intermediate calculations (like the example above) that may cause you problems. Just think about what you are doing and label each item.

By the way, preparing good, well-labeled workpapers is a skill! You will be valued at your job if you learn at least the essentials very early. Like now.

Be sure all calculations and labels are Excel positive. Excel positive is a phrase I stole from somewhere. It means you do not use Excel as a typewriter or word processor. You use it as a tool. It does much work for you. Be sure you use formulas and such to take advantage of the work it will do.


There is absolutely no reason that this work will not “balance”. If it does not, you have made a BOOKKEEPING error. Not an accounting error. A bookkeeping error! If you make your entries properly, debits will equal credits. And, if debits equal credits, the financial statements are almost positively going to “balance.”

Do not expect an answer that is not properly presented to be counted as correct. For example, the answer to part “a” is not just a number. It is a schedule. It will clearly identify the calculation you made to determine fair value.

59. Consolidation at date of acquisition (purchase price equals book value)
A parent company acquires its subsidiary by exchanging 30,000 shares of its Common Stock, with a fair
value on the acquisition date of $20 per share, for all of the outstanding voting shares of the investee.
What is the total fair value of the subsidiary on the acquisition date?
b. Prepare the consolidation entry or entries on the date of acquisition given the following balance
sheets of the parent and subsidiary on the date of acquisition.
Balance Sheet
Accounts receivable
Equity investment.
Property, plant and equipment (PPE), net
$ 200,000 $100,000
300,000 200,000
500,000 400,000
1,000,000 600,000
$2,600,000 $1,300,000
Liabilities and stockholders’ equity
Accounts payable….
Accrued liabilities
Long-term liabilities
Common stock
Retained earnings
$ 100,000 $100,000
200,000 200,000
800,000 400,000
300,000 120,000
500,000 180,000
700,000 300,000
$2,600,000 $1,300,000
Activate Windows
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Prepare the consolidated balance sheet on the date of acquisition.

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