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Key accounting definitions
May, 11th 2007
Accrual
Revenues and costs are accrued, that is, recognised as they are earned or incurred (and not as money is received or paid) and recorded in the financial statements, of the periods to which they relate.
 
Asset
An asset is a resource controlled by an enterprise as a result of past events from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the enterprise.
 
Inventory
Inventories are assets held for sale in the ordinary course of business or in the process of production for such sale or supplies to be consumed in the production process or in the rendering of services.
 
Average Cost
The cost of an item at a point of time, as determined by applying an average of the cost of all items, of the same nature over a period. When weightages are also applied in computation, it is termed as weighted average cost.
 
Ad Valorem
A method of levying tax or duty on goods by using their assessable value as the tax base.
 
Bad Debts
Debts owed to an enterprise which are considered to be irrevocable.
 
Balance Sheet
A statement of the financial position of an enterprise as at a given date, which exhibits its assets, liabilities, capital, reserves and other account balances at their respective book values.
 
Bill of Exchange
An instrument in writing, containing an unconditional order, signed by the maker, directing a certain person to pay a certain sum of money only to, or to the order of, a certain person, or to the bearer of the instrument.
 
Capital Assets
Assets, including investments not held for sale, conversion or consumption in the ordinary course of business.
 
Collateral Security
Security which is given in addition to the principal security against the same liability or obligation.
 
Contingent Asset
An asset, the existence, ownership or value of which may be known or determined only on the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events.
 
Debenture
A formal document constituting acknowledgement of a debt by an enterprise, usually given under its common seal and normally containing provisions regarding payment of interest, repayment of principal and securities if any. It is transferable in the appropriate manner.
 
Convertible Debenture
A debenture which gives the holder a right to its conversion, wholly or partly, into shares in accordance with the terms or issue.
 
Deferral
Postponement of recognition of a revenue or expense after its related receipt or payment (or incurrence of a liability), to a subsequent period to which it applies. Some examples are pre-paid rent and taxes, unearned subscriptions received in advance by newspapers, magazines and others.
 
Direct Cost
An item of cost that can be reasonably identified with a specific unit of product or with a specific operation or other cost centre.

Rayana Pandey

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