The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Significant inter company transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. investments in which Wal-Mart has a 20% to 50% voting interest and which Management control are accounted for using the equity method.
The management at Wal-Mart has developed and maintains a system of internal and disclosure controls, including an extensive internal audit program. Those controls are designed to provide reasonable assurance that the Company's assets are protected from improper use and that Wal-Mart's accounting records provide a reliable basis for the preparation of financial statements. They continually review, improve and modify their systems and programs in response to changes in business conditions and operations and on the recommendations that are made by Wal-Mart's internal and external auditors. They believe that the system of internal and disclosure controls provides reasonable assurance that Wal-Mart's assets are safeguarded and that the financial information disclose is reliable.
Wal-Mart considers investments with a maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. The majority of payments due from banks for third-party credit card, debit card and electronic benefit transactions (EBT) process within 24-48 hours, except for transactions occurring on a Friday, which are generally processed on Monday. All credit card, debit card and EBT transactions that process in less than seven days are classified as cash and cash equivalents. Amounts due from banks for these transactions classified as cash totaled $866 million at the end of January 31, 2004.
Their accounts receivables consist primarily of receivables from insurance companies generated by their pharmacy sales, receivables from real estate transactions and receivables from suppliers for marketing or incentive programs. Additionally, amount due from banks for customer credit card, debit card and EBT transactions that take in excess of seven days...