Finance Formulas / June 13, 2018 / Iliana Williamson
Continuous compounding is the mathematical limit that compound interest can reach if it's calculated and reinvested into an account's balance over a theoretically infinite number of periods. While this is not possible in practice, the concept of continuously compounded interest is important in finance. It is an extreme case of compounding, as most interest is compounded on a monthly, quarterly or semiannual basis.
An individual starts a business and incurs startup costs of $50,000. During the first year of operation, the business earns a profit of $75,000. If the individual had stayed at his previous job, he would have made $30,000. In this example, the accounting profit is $25,000, or $75,000 - $50,000. However, because the individual had the potential to earn income at another location while retaining the startup costs of the business, an economic loss of $5,000, or $25,000 - $30,000, is incurred. Although an accounting profit occurred, the individual would have made a larger profit if he had stayed in his previous position.
For example, if a company had $150,000 in revenues and $50,000 in explicit costs, its accounting profit would be $100,000. The same company also had $25,000 in implicit, or opportunity costs. Its economic profit would be $75,000.
An accounting ratio compares two line items in a company’s financial statements, namely made up of its income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. These ratios can be used to evaluate a company’s fundamentals and provide information about the performance of the company over the last quarter or fiscal year.
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