Finance Formulas / July 13, 2018 / Iliana Williamson
Discounted cash flow models are powerful, but they do have shortcomings. DCF is merely a mechanical valuation tool, which makes it subject to the axiom "garbage in, garbage out." Small changes in inputs can result in large changes in the value of a company. Instead of trying to project the cash flows to infinity, terminal value techniques are often used. A simple annuity is used to estimate the terminal value past 10 years, for example. This is done because it is harder to come to a realistic estimate of the cash flows as time goes on.
Companies record accounts receivable as assets on their balance sheets since there is a legal obligation for the customer to pay the debt. Furthermore, accounts receivable are current assets, meaning the account balance is due from the debtor in one year or less. If a company has receivables, this means it has made a sale on credit but has yet to collect the money from the purchaser. Essentially, the company has accepted a short-term IOU from its client.
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