Financial Reporting Should Include Customer Equity

The basic financial statements – P&Ls and balance sheets – are not enough to help investors clearly understand a company’s capability to generate value. The paper “Customer Equity: An Integral Part of Financial Reporting” recommends that companies start reporting “forward-looking customer metrics” by providing the value of their customer base and how it changes over time. This is especially important for companies whose customers are their main assets. As an example of why this is important and how it works, authors Thorsten Wiesel, Bernd Skiera and Julián Villanueva apply their model to the online movie rental service Netflix.

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