Bridge over ocean
1 April 2017 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 73, Issue 2

Accounting’s Tower of Babel: Key Considerations in Assessing Non-GAAP Earnings

  1. Jack T. Ciesielski, CFA
  2. Elaine Henry, PhD, CFA

The increasingly pervasive reporting of non-GAAP earnings poses fundamental challenges for investors and analysts. Non-GAAP earnings lack comparability, and related disclosures lack sufficient transparency to add comparability. In addition, non-GAAP earnings disclosures may raise potentially troubling questions about management’s motivation. We incorporate relevant research in our discussion and conclude with key prescriptions in assessing non-GAAP earnings.

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