### The Z Score

Financial insolvency or bankruptcy can be forecasted using the Z Score. The Z Score combines several ratios with a statistical application called MDA - Multiple Discriminate Analysis. The Z Score is highly accurate in predicting bankruptcies. The Z Score is about 90% accurate in forecasting business failures the first year and about 80% accurate the second year.

The Z Score is calculated by adding five ratios with applicable MDA weights:

Z = 1.2 (A) + 1.4 (B) + 3.3 (C) + .6 (D) + .999 (E)

A: working capital / total assets

B: retained earnings / total assets

C: earnings before interest taxes / total assets

D: market value of equities / book value of debt

E: sales / total assets

The following guideline is used to score an organization:

If the Z Score is 1.8 or less, very high probability of bankruptcy.

If the Z Score is 1.81 to 2.99, not sure about bankruptcy.

If the Z Score is 3.0 or higher, bankruptcy is unlikely.

Example: Total Assets = \$ 1,000, Retained Earnings = \$ 400, Earnings Before Interest Taxes = \$ 50, Sales = \$ 1,500, Market Value of Stock = \$ 600, Book Value of Debt = \$ 700, Working Capital = \$ 100.

1.2 x ( \$ 100 / \$ 1,000) = .120

1.4 x ( \$ 400 / \$ 1,000) = .560

3.3 x ( \$ 50 / \$ 1,000) = .165

.6 x ( \$ 600 / \$ 700 ) = .514

.999 x ( \$ 1,500 / \$ 1,000) = 1.499

Total Z Score = 2.86 Not Sure

Written by: Matt H. Evans, CPA, CMA, CFM | Email: matt@exinfm.com | Phone: 1-877-807-8756