Glossary of Financial Accounting Terms
GlossarioTermini Contabilità Finanziaria

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Called Up (Share Capital)

The company has called upon the shareholders who first bought the shares, to make their payment in fu


An amount of finance provided to enable a business to acquire assets and sustain its operations.

Capital Expenditure

Spending on non-current (fixed) assets of a business.

Capitalisation Issue

Issue of shares to existing shareholders in proportion to shares already held. Raises no new finance but changes the mix of share capital and reserves.


Cash on hand (such as money held in a cash box or a safe) and DEPOSITS in a bank that may be withdrawn on demand.

Cash Equivalents

Short-term, highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value.

Cash Flow Projections

Statements of cash expected to flow into the business and cash expected to flow out over a particular period.

Cash Flow Statement

Provides information about changes in financial position.


The person who chairs the meetings of the board of directors of a company (preferably not the chief executive).


In relation to interest or taxes, describes the reduction in ownership interest reported in the income statement (profit and loss account) due to the cost of interest and tax payable.

Chief Executive

The director in charge of the day-to-day running of a company.

Close Season

Period during which those who are 'insiders' to a listed company should not buy or sell shares.

Commercial Paper

A method of borrowing money from commercial institutions such as banks.

Companies Act 2006 (The)

Legislation to control the activities of limited liability companies.


Qualitative characteristic expected in financial statements, comparable within company and between companies.


Qualitative characteristic expected in financial statements.

Conceptual Framework

A statement of principles providing generally accepted guidance for the development of new reporting practices and for challenging and evaluating the existing practices.


See prudence. Sometimes used with a stronger meaning of understating assets and overstating liabilities.


The measurement and display of similar transactions and other events is carried out in a consistent way throughout an entity within each accounting period and from one period to the next, and also in a consistent way by different entities.

Consolidated Financial Statements

Present financial information about the group as a single reporting entity.


Consolidation is a process that aggregates the total assets, liabilities and results of the parent and its subsidiaries (the group) in the consolidated financial statements.

Contingent Liabilities

Obligations that are not recognised in the balance sheet because they depend upon some future event happening.


The power to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities.

Convertible Loan

Loan finance for a business that is later converted into share capital.

Corporate Governance

The system by which companies are directed and controlled. Boards of directors are responsible for the governance of their companies.

Corporate Recovery Department

Part of an accountancy firm which specialises in assisting companies to recover from financial problems.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with stakeholders.

Corporation Tax

Tax payable by companies, based on the taxable profits of the period.

Cost of a Non-Current Asset

Is the cost of making it ready for use, cost of finished goods is cost of bringing them to the present condition and location.

Cost of Goods Sold

Materials, labour and other costs directly related to the goods or services provided.

Cost of Sales

See cost of goods sold.


Rate of Interest payable on a loan.

Credit (Bookkeeping System)

Entries in the credit column of a ledger account represent increases in liabilities, increases in ownership interest, revenue, or decreases in assets.

Credit (Terms of Business)

The supplier agrees to allow the customer to make payment some time after the delivery of the goods or services.

Typical trade credit periods range from 30 to 60 days but each agreement is different.

Credit Note

A document sent to a customer of a business cancelling the customer's debt to the business, usually because the customer has returned defective goods or has received inadequate service.

Credit Purchase

A business entity takes delivery of goods or services and is allowed to make payment at a later date.

Credit Sale

A business entity sells goods or services and allows the customer to make payment at a later date.


A person or organisation to whom money is owed by the entity.

Critical Event

The point in the business cycle at which revenue may be recognised.

Current Asset

An asset that is expected to be converted into cash within the trading cycle.

Current Liability

A liability which satisfies any of the following criteria:

(a) it is expected to be settled in the entity's normal operating cycle;
(b) it is held primarily for the purpose of being traded;
(c) it is due to be settled within 12 months after the balance sheet date.

Current Value

A method of valuing assets and liabilities which takes account of changing prices, as an alternative to historical cost.

Customers' Collection Period

Average number of days credit taken by customers.

Cut-Off Procedures

Procedures applied to the accounting records at the end of an accounting period to ensure that all transactions for the period are recorded and any transactions not relevant to the period are excluded.

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