Surgent's Simplifying the Complex: Making Sense of Accounting for Debt and Equity Instruments (DEA4)

Course Details





Field of Study

Accounting & Audit

CPE Credit

4 hours CPE credit

Level of Knowledge



Surgent McCoy CPE, LLC




Financial instruments with complex characteristics have blurred the line between whether they should be accounted for as debt or equity. While often very similar in nature, the impact on the financial statements of characterizing these financial instruments as either debt or equity is significant. Additionally, these instruments can pose significant initial and continuing valuations issues. We'll tackle these challenging classification issues in this course by reviewing the basic characteristics of both debt and equity, the basic accounting model for each and some of the more complex accounting and valuation issues posed by hybrid instruments which have characteristics of both debt and equity. Lastly, we'll provide an update on the status of the ongoing FASB project on this classification issue.


  • Distinguishing characteristics of debt and equity instruments
  • Accounting challenges posed by hybrid financial instruments
  • Recognition and ongoing accounting for basic and complex financial instruments
  • Impact of new and proposed accounting standards on these accounting models


  • Recall the characteristics of debt and equity instruments
  • Explain how to characterize financial instruments with characteristics of both debt and equity
  • Recall the accounting recognition and valuation models for both straight forward and complex debt and equity instruments

Designed For

Accounting and auditing practitioners at all levels dealing with debt and equity accounting issues

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