Understanding Mutual Fund Accounting

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Mutual Fund is a Fund established in the form of a trust by a sponsor to raise money by the trustees through the sale of units to the public under one or more schemes for investing in securities in accordance with the regulations. Thus, a mutual fund collects money from the investors, issues certificates to them known as units and invests the money collected in securities so as to achieve mutual benefits in terms of capital appreciation in such securities. It is a non-depository, non-banking financial intermediary, which acts as an important vehicle for bringing wealth holders and deficit units together indirectly. Mutual funds are distinct from portfolio management schemes and are essential vehicles for collective investment in stock market, risk diversification and expert management advice of the fund managers.

Performance Evaluation of Mutual Funds:

Any meaningful evaluation of performance will necessarily have to measure total return per unit of risk or the ability to earn superior returns for a given risk class. There are various statistical techniques to measure this factor. One of the technique estimates the realized portfolio returns in excess of the risk free return, as a multiple of the factor of the portfolio. The factor of portfolio, in turn, measures the systematic or undiversifiable risk of the portfolio, the relation to the market index.

Mutual funds sell their shares to public and redeem them to current net asset value (NAV) which is calculated as under-

           
                                                Total market value of all MF holdings - All MF liabilities
                    NAV of MF =   -------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    No. of MF units or shares

       OR

                                                Market value of Scheme's Investments + Receivables + Accrued
                                                Income + Other Assets - Accrued Expenses - Payables - Other Liabilities
                     NAV of MF = -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            No. of Units outstanding under the Scheme

The net asset Value of a mutual fund scheme is basically the per unit market value of all the assets of the scheme. To illustrate this better, a simple example will help.

Scheme name                           XYZ
Scheme size                            Rs. 50,00,00,000 (Rs. Fifty crores)
Face value of units                   Rs. 10
No. Of Units (Scheme size)  5,00,00,000
Face value of units
Investments                           In shares
Market value of shares           Rs. 75,00,00,000 (Rs Seventy Five crores)

NAV(Market value of
Investments / No. of units) = Rs. 75,00,00,000
                                              -----------------------
                                                      5,00,00,000
                                        =       Rs.15

Thus, each unit of Rs. 10 is worth Rs. 15.

Simply stated, NAV is the value of the assets of the assets of each unit of the scheme, or even simpler value of one unit of the scheme. Thus, if the NAV is more than the face value (Rs. 10), it means the money has appreciated and vice versa.

NAV also includes dividends, interest accruals and reduction of liabilities and expenses, besides market value of investments.

 Presentation of accounts:

Mutual funds , should prepare schemewise balance sheet as per Annexure IA and IB of Eleventh Schedule of SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations 1996. As per regulation 54, every mutual fund or asset management company shall prepare in respect of each financial year an annual report and annual statement of accounts of the schemes and funds.

The balance sheet shall give schemewise particulars of its assets and liabilities and shall contain particulars as per Eleventh Schedule. It should also disclose accounting policies relating to valuation of investments and other important items. Under each type of investment, the aggregate carrying value and market value of non-performing investments shall be disclosed. It should also indicate the extent of provision made in revenue account for the depreciation /loss in the value of non -performing investments. It shall also disclose per unit Net Asset Value (NAV) as at the end of accounting year. Previous year figures should also be given against each item.

It should also indicate the appropriation of surplus by way of transfer to reserves and dividend distributed. It should also contain -

Schemewise balance sheet normally contains the information under following groups -

Asset side - Investments, Deposits, Other Current Assets, Fixed Assets, Deferred revenue expenditure

Liability side - Unit capital, Reserves and surpluses, Loans, Current liabilities,

Accounting Policies:

Accounting policies of mutual fund schemes are somewhat different from those of an industrial concern. Ninth schedule to SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations 1996 deal with accounting policies and standards to be adopted by a mutual fund.

The accounting policies generally cover the following areas -

1. Basis of Accounting
The fund maintain its books of account on an accrual basis.

2. Portfolio Valuation
Investment are stated at market/fair value at the balance sheet date/date of determination. In valuing the scheme's investments.

(i) Securities listed on a recognized stock exchange are valued at the last quoted price on the principal exchange on which the security is traded.

(ii) Money market instruments are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by Asset Management Company (AMC)

3. Securities Transactions
Investment securities transactions are accounted for on a trade date basis. The scheme uses the average cost method for determining the realized gain or loss on sale of investments.

4. Investment Income
Dividend and interest income are recorded on an accrual basis.

5. Deferred Revenue Expenditure
Initial issue costs comprise those costs directly associated with the issue of units of the scheme and include brokerage/incentive fees on issue of units, advertising and marketing costs, registrar fees and expenses and printing and despatch cost, which are being amortized over a period of ten financial years.

6. Dividend Equalization Reserve
The net distributable income relating to units issued/repurchased is transferred from/to Dividend Equalization Reserve for Dividend Plan for determining the net surplus/deficit transferred to /from Unit Premium Reserve.

The Scheme does not intend to declare dividends or make any other distribution in respect of units held under the Growth Plan and accordingly has not accounted for Dividend Equalization in respect of this plan during the year.

7. Unit Premium Reserve
Upon issue and redemption of units, the net premium or discount to face value of units is adjusted against the Unit Premium Reserve of the Scheme, after an appropriate portion of the issue proceeds and redemption payout is credited or debited respectively to the Dividend Equalization Reserve.

The Unit Premium Reserve is available for dividend distribution except to the extent it is presented by unrealized net appreciation in value of investments and deferred revenue expenditure.

8. Agent's Commission
Agents commission expenses are not considered as distribution charges.

Annual Report:

According to Regulation 54 of SEBI regulations , every mutual fund of the asset management company shall prepare in respect of each financial year an annual report and annual statement of accounts for all schemes and fund as specified in Eleventh Schedule.

An annual report should contain the following :

  • report of the board of trustees on the operations
  • balance sheet
  • revenue account
  • auditor's report
  • brief statement of board of trustees on liabilities and responsibilities of the trustees, objective of investments, basis and policy of investments and comments of the trustees on performance of scheme
  • a statement to the effect that "the price and redemption value of the units, and income from them, can go up as well as down with the fluctuation in the market value of its underlying investments."
  • Statement giving relevant perspective historical per unit statistics
  • Statement to the effect that "on written request, present and prospective unitholder/investors can obtain copy of the trust deed, the annual report at a price and the text of relevant scheme."

As per Regulation (57), every mutual fund is responsible to forward a copy of annual report and other information containing details of investments and deposits held by the fund so that the entire schemewise portfolio of the fund is disclosed to SEBI within six months from the date of closure of the financial year. The reports required to be submitted to SEBI are as specified in Regulation (58) above

Mutual Fund investors should go through the annual report, its contents and auditors report carefully. They should also keep a track of NAV and investment portfolio. 

Sanjiv Agarwal

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