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The Importance of Other Comprehensive Income

Accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) accumulates other comprehensive income (OCI), which records unrealized and realized gains and losses from certain transactions. Comprehensive income is often listed on the financial statements to include all other revenues, expenses, gains, and losses that affected stockholder’s equity account during a period. In other words, it adds additional detail to the balance sheet’s equity section to show what events changed the stockholder’s equity beyond the traditional net income listed on the income statement.

For example, the sale of stock or purchase of treasury shares is not included in comprehensive income because it stems from a contribution from to the company owners. Likewise, a dividend paid to shareholders is not included in CI because it is a transaction with the shareholder. In the third quarter of 2008 the United States Securities and Exchange Commission received several proposals to allow the recognition in AOCI of certain fair value changes on financial instruments. This proposal was initially well received by representatives of the banking community who felt that Earnings recognition of these fair value changes during the concurrent “credit meltdown of 2008” would be inappropriate. The effect of this proposal, on balance, would be to remove sizeable losses from Earnings and thus Retained Earnings of banks, and assist them in preserving their regulatory capital. The regulatory capital of banks in the US and generally worldwide includes contributed equity capital and retained earnings but excludes AOCI, even though it is reported as a component of the Equity section of the Balance Sheet.

  1. To better illustrate the specific components of OCI, let’s look at a statement from MetLife.
  2. The company’s total earnings, reflecting revenues adjusted for costs of doing business,
    depreciation, interest, taxes and other expenses.
  3. A financial report that summarizes a company�s revenue, cost of
    goods sold, gross margin, other costs, income, and tax obligations.
  4. But it’s not just unrealized gains (or losses) on investment securities that OCI attempts to capture.
  5. A standard CI statement is usually attached to the bottom of the income statement and includes a separate heading.
  6. For instance, coming out of the Great Recession, the banking giant Bank of America reported a $1.4 billion profit on its standard income statement, but a loss of $3.9 billion based on comprehensive income.

Investment management Also called portfolio management and money management, the process of
managing money. The investigation of a firm’s business in conjunction with a
securities offering to determine whether the firm’s business and financial situation and its prospects are
adequately disclosed in the prospectus for the offering. Well it is correct, but it doesn’t reflect what the stock is actually worth. The company might have paid $10 for the stock and now it’s worth $100 making the balance sheet misleading as to the true value of the company’s assets. Other comprehensive income is also not the same as “comprehensive income”, though they do sound very similar. Comprehensive income adds together the standard net income with other comprehensive income.

As you can imagine, this creates huge implications to companies with large amounts of equity securities, especially if those securities are held for long periods of time as part of their business models (like insurance companies). Another major category in OCI is the impact on corporate retirement plans. Years of low-interest rates have put pension assets of a number of large corporations’ plans below the obligations they must cover for current and future retirees.

This means that an investor can use accumulated other comprehensive income information to better understand the nature of gains and losses that will eventually appear in net income. An unrealized gain or loss means that no sell transaction has occurred. Other comprehensive income reports unrealized gains and losses for certain investments based on the fair value of the security as of the balance sheet date. If, for example, the stock was purchased at $20 per share, and the fair market value is now $35 per share, the unrealized gain is $15 per share.

A firm’s liability for pension plans increases when the investment portfolio recognizes losses. Once the gain or loss is realized, the amount is reclassified from OCI to net income. For example, a large unrealized loss from bond holdings today could spell trouble if the bonds are nearing maturity. The consolidated statement of comprehensive income provides investor-analysts with insights into the unsettled transactions that could result in a gain or loss, and how these transactions would affect net income in the current period. The general ledger account accumulated other comprehensive income, or AOCI, is a balance sheet line item that summarizes the gains and losses that have occurred in the current period, and in the past, and that remain unrealized. Accumulated other comprehensive income (OCI) includes unrealized gains and losses that are reported in the equity section of the balance sheet.

What is Other Comprehensive Income?

Accumulated other comprehensive income is an equity account on the balance sheet. At the end of a reporting period, your company can sweep the balance of other comprehensive income into accumulated other comprehensive income and then reset the other comprehensive income to zero. When a transaction reflected in accumulated other comprehensive income completes, the gain or loss transfers to net income on the income statement. In addition to investment and pension plan gains and losses, OCI includes hedging transactions a company performs to limit losses. This includes foreign currency exchange hedges that aim to reduce the risk of currency fluctuations. A multinational company that must deal with different currencies may require a company to hedge against currency fluctuations, and the unrealized gains and losses for those holdings are posted to OCI.

The profit a company makes after cost of goods sold, expenses, and taxes are subtracted from net sales. Amount of funds generated during the period from operations by sources other than
depreciation or deferred taxes. A standard CI statement is usually attached to the bottom of the income statement and includes a separate heading. Accumulated other comprehensive income (AOCI) instead appears on the balance sheet as part of owners’ equity.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has continued to emphasize a financial measure called other comprehensive income (OCI) as a valuable financial analysis tool. accumulated other comprehensive income A company’s income statement details revenues and expenses, including taxes and interest. However, net income only recognizes earned income and incurred expenses.


In an ideal world, there would only be comprehensive income as it includes standard net income and OCI, but the reality is that astute analysts can combine both statements in their own financial models. To better illustrate the specific components of OCI, let’s look at a statement from MetLife. That is a pretty significant driver of its overall profit levels for the year. Since these comprehensive income items are not closed to retained earnings each period they accumulate as shareholder equity items and thus are entitled “Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income” and is sometimes referred to as “AOCI”. In 1997 the United States Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Statement on Financial Accounting Standards No. 130 entitled “Reporting Comprehensive Income”.

Is Other Comprehensive Income Part of Retained Earnings?

Just because its market value is fluctuating doesn’t mean the company will necessarily have less retained earnings down the road. A company’s statement of profit and loss, also known as its income statement, has its drawbacks. For the most part, the statement accurately reflects a company’s past profitability and earnings growth—one of the primary determinants of a firm’s stock performance—but it remains a subjective measure, open to manipulation. In particular, companies have a fair amount of latitude on the timing and impact of the quarterly and annual charges and other expenses reported on the statement. Hence, an investor can gain insights into potential future impacts on net income by examining accumulated other comprehensive income information, which reflects unrealized gains and losses.

When OCI is Essential For Understanding a Company’s Actual Growth and Profitability

Some examples of other comprehensive income are foreign currency hedge gains and losses, cash flow hedge gains and losses, and unrealized gains and losses for securities that are available for sale. The statement of comprehensive income gives company management and investors a fuller, more accurate idea of income. Accumulated other comprehensive income is a separate line within the stockholders’ equity section of the balance sheet. This line accumulates the effects of items known as other comprehensive income, which are reported in each period’s statement of comprehensive income. It is analagous to retained earnings which is accumulating the revenues and expenses that are reported on each period’s income statement. Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) refers to any revenues, expenses, and gains / (losses) that not have yet been realized.

Other Comprehensive Income (OCI)

The net income is transferred down to the CI statement and adjusted for the non-owner transactions we listed above to compute the total CI for the period. This number is then transferred to the balance sheet as https://accounting-services.net/. Other comprehensive income includes many adjustments that haven’t been realized yet. These are events that have occurred but haven’t been monetarily recorded in the accounting system because they haven’t been earned or incurred. You can think of it like adjusting the balance sheet accounts to their fair value. Understanding and analyzing OCI greatly improve financial analysis, especially for financial companies.

For example, if your small business has a $5,000 unrealized gain on an available-for-sale security, you would add $5,000 to the accumulated other comprehensive income account. The net gain or (loss) for other comprehensive income is not reported on the income statement; rather, it is reported as accumulated other comprehensive income and is shown as an adjustment to stockholders’ equity on the balance sheet. This value provides investors with insights into all of the financial events that change the value of a stockholder’s ownership in the company. The term accumulated other comprehensive income refers to a balance sheet line item used to summarize other comprehensive income in the current and prior periods. Also known as AOCI, this balance sheet line item is used to summarize the unrealized gains and losses appearing as other comprehensive income that remain unsettled.

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