Com o decorrer dos anos sobremodo em face do exercício profissional (no período de 1977 a 1992, autuei como auditor na Price Waterhouse e Ernst & Ernst, durante a década de 1992 a 2000, fui controller da Divisão South America da The CocaCola Company e a partir de 2000 tornei-me consultor e advogado militante nas áreas de finanças, tributária e empresarial) armazenei diversos pequenos comentários significativos de termos contábeis. Portanto vários são objeto de minha avaliação pessoal, todavia a sua grande maioria foram conceitos coletados nestas épocas, pelo que sequer tenho registro das fontes. Todavia são adequadas e revisadas. Nesta nova realidade de IFRS, pode ser de muita valia para os profissionais ligados à área financeira de uma maneira geral.
Gradualmente, à medida em que revisados os demais conceitos, estarei postando no blog. Nesta publicação os conceitos do grupo da letra "A".
Abnormal Losses: Losses arising in the production process that should have been avoided.
Above the line: This term can be applied to many aspects of accounting. It means transactions, assets etc., that are associated with the everyday running of a business
Absorption Costing: The method of allocating all indirect manufacturing costs to products. All fixed costs are allocated to cost units.
Account: A section in a ledger devoted to a single aspect of a business (eg. a Bank account, Wages account, Office expenses account). Part of double entry records, containing details of transactions for a specific item.
Accounting: The process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decision by users of the information.
Accounting cycle: The sequence in which data is recorded and processed until it becomes part of the financial statements at the end of the certain period. This covers everything from opening the books at the start of the year to closing them at the end. In other words, everything you need to do in one accounting year accounting wise.
Accounting equation: The formula used to prepare a balance sheet: assets = liability + equity. This formula is at the heart of double-entry bookkeeping. We also should consider: assets = source of funds - liabilities. Therefore an increase in assets must be accompanied by an equal increase in the liabilities and / or equity. This the reason a balance sheet balances.
Accounting Information System: The total suite of components that, together, comprises of all the inputs, storage, transaction processing, collating, and reporting of financial transaction data. It is in effect, the infrastructure that supports the production, and delivery of accounting information.
Accounting Periods: The period of time used by the business to process it´s accounts to produce such as the Profit and Loss Report and the Balance Sheet. For example, a company may runs it´s accounts on a monthly basis and produce a twelve (12) sets of financial reports in one year, monthly financial reports..
Accounts Payable: An account in the nominal ledger which contains the overall balance of the Purchase Ledger.
Accounts Payable Ledger: A subsidiary ledger which holds the accounts of a business's suppliers. A single control account is held in the nominal ledger which shows the total balance of all the accounts in the purchase ledger.
Accounting Policies: Those principles, bases, conventions, rules and practices applied by an entity that specify how the effects of transactions and other events are to be reflected in its financial statements.
Accounts: Final Accounts. This is a term previously used to refer to statements produced at the end of accounting periods, such as the trading and profit and loss account and the balance sheet. Nowadays, financial statements, is more commonly used.
Accounts Receivable: An account in the nominal ledger which contains the overall balance of the Sales Ledger.
Accounts Receivable Ledger: A subsidiary ledger which holds the accounts of a business's customers. A single control account is held in the nominal ledger which shows the total balance of all the accounts in the sales ledger.
Accretive: If a company acquires another and says the deal is 'accretive to earnings', it means that the resulting PE ratio (price/earnings) of the acquired company is less than the acquiring company. Example: Company 'A' has an earnings per share (EPS) of $1. The current share price is $10. This gives a P/E ratio of 10 (current share price is 10 times the EPS). Company 'B' has made a net profit for the year of $20,000. If company 'A' values 'B' at, say, $180,000 (P/E ratio=9 [180,000 valuation/20,000 profit]) then the deal is accretive because company 'A' is effectively increasing its EPS (because it now has more shares and it paid less for them compared with its own share price). (see dilutive )
Accrual method of accounting: Most businesses use the accrual method of accounting (because it is usually required by law). When you issue an invoice on credit (ie. regardless of whether it is paid or not), it is treated as a taxable supply on the date it was issued for income tax purposes (or corporation tax for limited companies). The same applies to bills received from suppliers. (This does not mean you pay income tax immediately, just that it must be included in that year's profit and loss account).
An accounting method that tries to match the recognition of revenues earned with the expenses incurred in generating those revenues. It ignores the timing of the cash flows associated with revenues and expenses.
With the accrual method, income and expenses are recorded as they occur, regardless of whether or not cash has actually changed hands. An excellent example is a sale on credit. The sale is entered into the books when the invoice is generated rather than when the cash is collected. Likewise, an expense occurs when materials are ordered or when a workday has been logged in by an employee, not when the cheque is actually written. The downside of this method is that you pay income taxes on revenue before you've actually received it.
Accruals: If during the course of a business certain charges are incurred but no invoice is received then these charges are referred to as accruals (they 'accrue' or increase in value). The accruals process allows a business to adjust the monthly accounts for payments made in arrears. This process is the reverse of prepayments. A typical example is interest payable on a loan where you have not yet received a bank statement. These items (or an estimate of their value) should still be included in the profit & loss account. When the real invoice is received, an adjustment can be made to correct the estimate. Accruals can also apply to the income side.
There are certain expenses that are paid for some time after they have been used, electricity is a good example, but there are other similar expenses. Whilst you are using electricity the cost is accruing. If the business does not account for these costs in the correct accounting periods that the expense is incurred, then the account would be inaccurate.
In the USA, in most cases the electricity bill is sent every three months. If your business receives an electricity bill in April for electricity it has used in January to March and it has not been accounted for in the accounts, the accounts for January to March will be inaccurate. The profit in all of these months would have been overstated. To account for this correctly, the business would set up an Accruals account, which is a liability account - this is money that the business owes but has not yet paid.
Most businesses know from experience how much the quarterly electricity bill is likely to be. In view of this, a 1/3 of that quarterly electricity bill is allocated to the electricity expenses account for three months. The transactions would be a debit to the electricity account and a credit to the accruals account each month.
The result would be that each month the profit and loss report would show an expense for electricity costs and the balance sheet would show an accruals balance as a liability. This would increase each month until the electricity bill is received.
Once the bill has been received there is no longer a liability, therefore the accrual can be reversed. To do this you would then debit the accruals account and credit the electricity account equal to the amount of the accrual, in order to clear down (reset to zero) the balance. Then finally, the actual amount for the electricity bill would be paid by a debit to the electricity account and a credit to the bank account.
Accruals Concept: The accruals concept is that profit is the difference between revenue and the expenses incurred in generating that revenue.
Accrued Expense: This is an expense for which the benefits has been received, but has not been paid for by the end of the accounting period. It is included in the balance sheet under current liabilities as accruals.
Accrued Income: Accrued Income is normally from a source of income, outside of the main source of business income, such as rent receivable on an unused office in the company headquarters, that was due to be received by the end of the period, but which has not been received by the date. It is added to debtors in the balance sheet.
Accumulated Depreciation Account: This account is used to accumulate depreciation for balance sheet purposes. This is an account held in the nominal ledger which holds the depreciation of a fixed asset until the end of the asset's useful life (either because it has been scrapped or sold). It is credited each year with that year's depreciation, hence the balance increases (ie. accumulates) over a period of time. Each fixed asset will have its own accumulated depreciation account.
Accumulated Fund: A form of capital account for a non-profit-oriented organization.
Acid Test Ratio: This shows that, provided creditors and debtors are paid at approximately the same time, a view might be made as to whether the business has sufficient liquid resources to meet its current liabilities. Acid Test Ratio = (Current Assets - Stock) ÷ Current Liabilities. This ratio is very important, it is an attempt to indicate how easily a company could pay its debts without selling its stocks. It important to say that stocks is not always easy to sell.
Activity- Based Costing: The process of using cost drives as the basis of overhead absorption.
Administration Order: County court process permitting an individual to pay off a judgment debt which is less of than £5,000 in affordable installments. No insolvency practitioner is involved.
Advanced Corporation Tax (ACT - UK only - no longer in use): This is corporation tax paid in advance when a limited company issues a dividend. ACT is then deducted from the total corporation tax due when it has been calculated at year end. ACT was abolished in April 1999.
Adverse Variance: A difference arising that is apparently 'bad' from the perspective of the organization. For example, when the total actual materials cost exceeds the total standard cost due to more materials having been used than anticipated. Whether it is indeed 'bad' will be revealed only when the cause of the variance is identified. It may, for example, have arisen as a result of an unexpected rise in demand for the product being produced.
Aged Debtors: Debtors who have owed money to the business for a defined period of time.
Aged Debtors Analysis: A report that analyses amounts owed by customers according to the length of time that those amounts have remained unpaid. For example, all customers who have outstanding invoices that are over a month old.
Aged Debtors Control: A list of customer balances of money owed to the business.
Amortization: Spreading the cost of an intangible asset, such as lease, over the years in which it is used. The depreciation (or repayment) of an (usually) intangible asset (eg. loan, mortgage) over a fixed period of time. Example: if a loan of 12,000 is amortized over 1 year with no interest, the monthly payments would be 1000 a month.
An additional example should be consider. It is usual to divide the cost of the lease by the number of years that the lease is held for, and then use that figure as the annual charge. Important to say, this is similar to depreciation except that depreciation deals with tangible or fixed assets such as motor vehicles or plant and equipment.
Analysed Sales Day Book: A sales day book where the net figure are analysed into the different type of sales.
Annualize: To convert anything into a yearly figure. Eg. if profits are reported as running at £10k a quarter, then they would be £40k if annualized. If a credit card interest rate was quoted as 1% a month, it would be annualized as 12%.
Annuity: An income-generating investment whereby, in return for the payment of a single lump sum, the annuitant receives regular amounts of income over a predefined period.
Annulment: Cancellation usually of a bankruptcy.
Appropriation Account: An account in the nominal ledger which shows how the net profits of a business (usually a partnership, limited company or corporation) have been used. Show the way that net profit is distributed (usually in the form of cash dividends) between partners in a partnership or between share holders and reserve funds in a company.
Arbitration: In arbitration an independent third party considers both sides in a dispute, and makes a decision to resolve it. The arbitrator is impartial; this means he or she does not take sides. In most cases the arbitrator's decision is legally binding on both sides, so it is not possible to go to court if you are unhappy with the decision.
Most types of arbitration have the following in common: a) Both parties must agree to use the process; b) it is private; c) the decision is made by a third party, not the people involved; c) the arbitrator often decides in the basis of written information; d) it there is a hearing, it is likely to be less formal than court; e) the process is final and legally binding; f) there are limited grounds for challenging the decision.
Arrears: Bills which should have been paid. For example, if you have forgotten to pay your last 3 months rent, then you are said to be 3 months in arrears on your rent.
Assets: Generally, an asset is something that is of value to a company. An asset can be broke downs further into tangible and intangible assets. Assets represent what a business owns or is due. Examples of tangible assets include property, vehicles, stock, cash, money held in the bank and Debtors as they owe money from sales made by the company. However, these can be broken down still further into Fixed Assets and Current Assets. Fixed refers to property, equipment, plant, vehicles etc. Current refers to cash, money in the bank, debtors etc. Non-current refers to any assets which do not easily fit into the previous categories (such as Deferred expenditure). Examples of intangible assets include patents, copyrights, trademarks and goodwill. While these may not have value to the man on the street, these generate income for the company.
Articles of Association: For UK companies, the document that arranges the internal relationships, for example, between members of the company, and the duties of directors.
Associates: Associates of individuals include family members, relatives, partners and their relatives, employees, employers, trustees in certain trust relationships, and companies which the individual controls. Associates of companies include other companies under common control.
Associate Undertaking: A company which is not a subsidiary of the investing group or company but in which the investing group or company has a long-term interest and over which it exercises significant influence.
Attainable Standard: A standard that can be achieved in normal conditions. It takes into account normal losses, and normal levels of downtime and waste.
At cost: The at cost price usually refers to the price originally paid for something, as opposed to, say, the retail price.
Audit: The process of checking every entry in a set of books to make sure they agree with the original paperwork (eg. checking a journal's entries against the original purchase and sales invoices).
Auditor: A person qualified to inspect, correct and verify business accounts.
Audit Trail: A register of the details of all accounting transactions. This register shows how a transaction was dealt with from start to finish. A list of transactions in the order they occurred.
Authorised (Licensed) Insolvence Practicioner: The person (usually an accountant or solicitor) authorised by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or a recognised professional body to act as trustee, nominee, supervisor, liquidator, administrative receiver or administrator. Only such a person can hold any of these offices.
Authorised Share Capital: The total value of shares that the company could issue, as distinct from the up and paid up share capital.