Accounting for Business Terms with "S"

Glossary of Accounting for Business - Glossario Contabilità Imprese

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SA800: Partnership Return form This shows each partner’s share of profits (or losses) and must be filed with HMRC annually.

Sale or Return: goods supplied on the understanding that if not sold on (by the customer/retailer) they may be returned without charge. Such transactions are best not recorded in the accounts, until the actual sales figures are known. Examples include newspapers and magazines.

Sales: goods sold by the business in which it normally deals, which were bought with the prime intention of resale.

Sales Credit Notes: these are issued to customers in order to cancel sales invoices either in full or in part. They are normally issued when goods or services are faulty or when the sales invoice was incorrect.

Sales Day Book: primary record for recording sales invoices, ie credit sales.

Sales Discounts: Sales Discounts may be allowed for a variety of reasons, e.g. buying in bulk, spending large amounts, being a preferred customer (trade discount) or settlement discount.

Sales Invoice: a document showing details of goods sold and the prices of those goods.

Sales Ledger: it keeps track, in account order, of all invoices, credit notes and discounts sent to customers and all receipts received from customers. It can be quickly referred to if you want to find the current status of any of the customer accounts. The total balance outstanding should equal the balance of the debtors control account in the nominal ledger.

Sales Receipts: these are made when invoices are paid off by the recipient of the goods or services.

Sensitivity Analysis: also called 'what if' analysis. Altering volumes and amounts so as to see what would be likely to happen if they were changed. For example, a company may wish to know the financial effects of cutting its selling price by £1 a unit.

Settlement Discount: a Settlement or cash Discount is a percentage discount of the total invoice value that is offered to a customer to encourage early payement. For example, if it is normal policy to request that payment is made by customers 30 days after the invoice date, a cash discount of 4% might be offered for payment within 10 days of the invoice date. A cash discount differs from a trade discount in that although the seller offers the discount to the customer it is up to the customer to decide whether or not to accept the offer of the discount. Therefore the discount does not appear on the face of the invoice but it will be noted at the bottom of the invoice in the "Terms" section. There is one complication here with VAT. If a cash discount is offered then the VAT is calculated on the assumption that the cash discount is taken up by the customer and therefore the VAT calculation is made based upon the net invoice total after deducting the cash discount.

Shares: the division of the capital of a limited company into parts or shares. Documents issued by a company to its owners (the shareholders) which state how many shares in the company each shareholder has bought and what percentage of the company the shareholder owns. Shares can also be called 'Stock'.

Share Capital: the balance sheet nominal value paid into the company by shareholders at the time(s) shares were issued

Share Discount: where a share was issued at a price below its par, or nominal value, the shortfall was known as a discount. However, it is no longer legal under the Companies Acts to issue shares at a discount.

Share Premium: where a share is issued at a price above its par, or nominal value, the excess is known as a premium.

Shareholder: a shareholder is an individual or company (including a corporation), that legally owns one or more shares in a company. Companies listed at the stock market strive to enhance shareholder value. Shareholders are granted privileges depending on the class of share, including the right to vote (usually one vote per share owned) on matters such as elections to the board of directors, the right to share in distributions of the company's income, the right to purchase new shares issued by the company, and the right to a company's assets during a liquidation of the company.

Shareholders' Equity: in business and accounting, shareholder equity is everything of the company that is owned by the shareholders.

Shareholders' Funds: a measure of the shareholders' total interest in the company represented by the total share capital plus reserves.

Shares At No Par Value: shares that do not have a fixed par, or nominal value.

Simple Interest: simple Interest (I) is calculated by multiplying the amount invested (sometimes called the principle, P) by the length of time (T) the money is invested and the rate of interest (R) converted to a equation; that is: I = ( P x R x T ) / 100.

Sinking Fund: an account set up to reduce another account to zero over time (using the principles of amortisation or straight line depreciation). Once the sinking fund reaches the same value as the other account, both can be removed from the balance sheet.

SME: Small and Medium Enterprises (ie. small and medium size businesses). The distinction between what is 'small' and what is 'medium' varies depending on where you are and who you talk to.

Sole Trader: the simplest type of business is that of a sole trader. A sole trader is someone who trades under his or her own name. Many businesses are sole traders, from electricians through to accountants. Being a sole trader does not mean that the owner is the only one working in the business. Some sole traders are one-man businesses, but many will also employ a number of other staff. The owner of the business will have contributed capital to finance the business, although it may also have loans, either commercial or from friends. The owner is also the only party to benefit from the profits of the business. When the owner takes money, or goods out of the business it is referred to as drawings.

Source of Funds / Capital Employed: any money invested into the business including Share Capital, Reserves, and long-term loans.

Standard Cost: what you would expect something to cost.

Standard Costing: a control technique that compares standard costs and standard revenues with actual costs and actual revenues in order to determine differences (variances) that may then be investigated.

Standard Rate: the VAT rate usually used.

Standard Rated Business: a business that charges VAT at the standard rate on its sales.

Standing Order: an order made by a customer (business or personal) to their bank to pay a specified amount usually on or around a particular day of the month regularly to another account.

Statement: a copy of a customer's account taken from the supplier's books showing unpaid invoices and unallocated credit notes. A statement may include an aged analysis to show amounts outstanding over 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and more.

Statement Of Affairs: a statement from which the capital of the owner can be found by estimating assets and liabilities. Then Capital = Assets - Liabilities. It is the equivalent of the balance sheet.

Stock: the total goods or raw materials held by a business for the purpose of resale. Stock is valued in the balance sheet at the lower of cost and net realisable value. (Also known as inventory.)

Stock Explosion: a report to show what components each stock item is made up of. For example, a stereo system could be made up of a set of speakers, an amplifier, a CD player, a tape-deck and some connecting wires.

Stock Turnover: the number of times stock is sold in an accounting period. (Also known as 'stockturn'.)

Stocktaking: the process of physically identifying and counting the stock on hand at a given point in time.

Straight Line Method (Depreciation): see Depreciation - Straight Line Depreciation Method.

Subsidiary Company: the outdated term for what is now known as a "subsidiary undertaking".

Subsidiary Undertaking: an undertaking which is controlled by another undertaking or where that other undertaking exercises a dominating influence over it.

Subsidiary Ledgers: these are ledgers where supporting or memorandum ledger accounts are kept, in addition to the main ledger.

Sunk Cost: sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree. Sunk costs should not influence decisions because they have already been incurred and cannot affect a decision.

Suspense Account: a temporary account that is used when you are unsure as to what you should do with a certain value. The Suspense Account can be used as a holding account until it is decided what should be done with the value. The balance on the Suspense Account should ultimately be zero.