A business has a value equal to the expected future economic benefits to its owner, discounted to a present value. This concept has broad acceptance and appears in multiple economic, finance and valuation texts.
When an intangible asset, usually a business ownership interest such as stock, is valued, the report will necessarily reflect the professional judgment of the appraiser. Evaluating the report will be facilitated by the application of rules or principles that are supplied by relevant professional standards.
As the size and complexity of a firm grows, the ability to identify what money (i.e. cash) came and went during a period becomes more daunting.
The foregoing elements of potential damage reflect general approaches which will be tailored to specific facts.
While financial statements comprise balance sheets along with statements of income, cash flow and retained earnings, the balance sheet and the income statement are the most frequently available. Discovering what the balance sheet and income statement intend to present leads to more accurate discovery.
Two sets of financial statements for a company that cover the same time period can both be technically correct yet display dramatically different values. The key to effective financial discovery means knowing what to request.