You Decide: Ratios and debt covenants XYZ Company has some leases on buildings that are…

You Decide: Ratios and debt covenants

XYZ Company has some leases on buildings that are structured so they do not have to be reported on the balance sheet as assets and liabilities (synthetic leases). However, as a term of the agreement, the lessor—a financial institution—requires that the company maintain an amount of cash in its institution so that the buildings could be purchased if the company misses some restrictive covenant agreements (i.e., certain ratio requirements, such as a current ratio of 2:1, etc.). The total amount of cash required to be held by the bank is $60 million. So far, XYZ has been including the $60 million in its cash account when calculating its current ratio. Your auditor has suggested that since the $60 million is restricted for a certain purpose, it should be reported as a long-term investment rather than as cash. Reclassifying the $60 million from cash to long-term investments would throw all kinds of ratios in default and you definitely don’t want to do it. What is the appropriate accounting?

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