Why We Need to Update Financial Reporting for the Digital Era

Harvard Business

Digital companies, however, consider scientists’ and software workers’ and product development teams’ time to be the company’s most valuable resource. However, many investors seem to have concluded that the most successful companies with tens of billions of dollars of valuation today could never have justified their valuation at the start of their operation based on discounted cash flow. Martin Konopka/EyeEm/Getty Images.

GAAP 30

What Private Equity Investors Think They Do for the Companies They Buy

Harvard Business Review

What have been less explored are the specific actions taken by private equity (PE) fund managers. In a survey of 79 PE firms managing more than $750 billion in capital, we provide granular information on PE managers’ practices and how firms’ strategies relate to the characteristics of their founders. In financial engineering, PE investors provide strong equity incentives to the management teams of their portfolio companies.

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Still Many Ways to Skin a Capital Cost

Harvard Business Review

When executives evaluate a potential investment, whether it's to build a new plant, enter a new market, or acquire a company, they weigh its cost against the future cash flows they expect will spring from it. To make sure they're comparing apples to apples, they discount those future cash flows to arrive at their net present value. Tight convergence on a best practice may not be necessary, then, in this realm of management.

DCF 12

Why Sit on All that Cash? Firms Uncertain on Cost of Capital

Harvard Business Review

With a record $2 trillion in cash and short-term liquid assets on hand, U.S. Fully 79 percent of companies, including 91 percent with annual revenues greater than $1 billion, use discounted cash flow techniques. There is less consistency, however, in how organizations estimate cash flows and determine the weighted average cost of capital at which those cash flows are discounted.