Liabilities and Equity: Understanding the Accounting Roadmap


Is that debt or is that equity or is it some combination of both?

Gone are the days when issuing an equity instrument is as simple as debiting cash and crediting equity. Despite efforts over the past decade to simplify some of the accounting, for the issuance of debt and equity instruments, it still remains arguably the most complex area of accounting—not surprisingly this has led to it being the highest area of restatement in the US over the past decade. The complexity is caused not only by the sophistication of financial instruments and features but also by the patchwork of guidance that has evolved over time. Navigating through the guidance and coming to an appropriate accounting conclusion can be challenging.

In this course participants will learn how to navigate the accounting roadmap, analyze an instrument under existing US GAAP and reach an appropriate accounting conclusion. Our course instructors will discuss common instruments including convertible notes, equity instruments (e.g. warrants, options, forwards) and common and preferred shares.  They will provide participants with the tools they need to analyze those instruments under U.S. GAAP. Drawing from real life examples, our instructors will share common pitfalls to avoid, and provide best practices in approaching complicated instruments.

Our instructors have years of experience analyzing instruments and assisting clients in understanding how to navigate the guidance and come to an appropriate conclusion.

Financial Executives International (FEI) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

Recommended CPE Credits: 8 credits, field of Accounting

For FEI CPE credits, one credit hour equals 50 minutes according to NASBA guidelines. Some state boards may differ on how minutes constitute a credit hour. Contact your state board for more information. Questions or comments? Contact FEI via email or phone, 973.765.1080.


Erik Bradbury

Partner, Financial Accounting Advisory Services

Alex Debbink

Manager, Financial Accounting Advisory Services

Sarah Rayfield

Manager, Financial Accounting Advisory Services