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Accounting Resources

A guide to accounting resources available through Shapiro Library and on the web.

Accounting Glossary


Accounting Glossary
TERM DEFINITION
Accounting Information System This link opens in a new window A structure that a business uses to collect, store, manage, process, retrieve, and report its financial data.
Accounting Methods This link opens in a new window The rules a company follows in reporting revenues and expenses. The two primary methods of accounting are accrual accounting (generally used by companies) and cash accounting (generally used by individuals).
Accounting Principles This link opens in a new window Standards of accuracy and probity that apply to those carrying out accounting procedures.
Anomalies in Financial Data Outliers in a set of financial data.
Anomaly Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.
Audit Sampling This link opens in a new window The application of an audit procedure to less than 100% of the items within an account balance or class of transactions for the purpose of evaluating some characteristic of the balance or class.
Basic Visualizations Charts, graphs, and other similar types of visual representations of data.
Consolidated Financial Statements This link opens in a new window The financial statements of a group of entities that are presented as being those of a single economic entity. These statements are useful for reviewing the financial position and results of an entire group of commonly owned businesses.
Cost Behavior This link opens in a new window An indicator of how a cost will change in total when there is a change in some activity.
Cost This link opens in a new window Cash amount (or the cash equivalent) given up for an asset.
Current Assets This link opens in a new window The assets used by a company in its ordinary work (for example, materials, finished goods, cash and monies due) and that are held for a short time only (generally less than a year).
Current Liabilities This link opens in a new window The debts a company has to pay within its next accounting period. In a company’s annual accounts, these would be debts that must be paid within the year and are usually payments for goods or services received.
Data Life Cycle Stages and processes data goes through in an organization from beginning (collection) to end.
Due Diligence (Tax) This link opens in a new window Steps a tax preparer must take when preparing a return or claim for a refund claiming the following:
  • Earned income tax credit (EITC)
  • Child tax credit (CTC), additional child tax credit (ACTC), credit for other dependents (ODC)
  • American opportunity tax credit (AOTC)
  • Head of household (HOH) filing status
Equity This link opens in a new window An ownership interest in a business, such as stockholders’ equity or owner’s equity.
External Controls This link opens in a new window Action taken by an outside party that impacts the governance of a business.
Fair Value This link opens in a new window The price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date.
Financial Data Integrity The overall accuracy, completeness, and consistency of financial data.
Financial Statement Footnotes This link opens in a new window Explanatory and supplemental notes that accompany a firm’s financial statements. The notes vary depending on the accounting framework used to construct the financial statements (such as GAAP or IFRS). Footnotes are an integral part of the financial statements and must be issued to users along with financial statements.
Financial Statement Projection This link opens in a new window A financial picture that management believes it can attain as of a future date.
Forensic Investigation This link opens in a new window The application of scientific knowledge and methodology to legal problems and criminal investigations.
Fund Accounting This link opens in a new window A system of accounting used by nonprofit entities to track the amount of cash assigned to different purposes and the usage of that cash.
General Ledger This link opens in a new window Grouping of accounts that are used to sort and store information from a company’s business transactions.
Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) A set of guidelines used by auditors to conduct an audit (AICPA General Accepted Auditing Standards) (This file has all 10 standards.)
How Cash Flow Data Connects to Other Financial Statement Components Knowing how activity in the balance sheet, income statement, and retained earnings/equity statement affect cash flow.
Internal Controls This link opens in a new window Mechanisms, rules, and procedures implemented by a company to ensure the integrity of financial and accounting information, promote accountability, and prevent fraud.
Internal Stakeholders Individuals or groups within an organization (employees, owners, shareholders, managers, and so on
Long-Term Liabilities This link opens in a new window Obligations resulting from a previous event that are not due within one year of the date of the balance sheet (or not due within the company’s operating cycle if it is longer than one year). Long-term liabilities are also known as noncurrent liabilities.
Macroeconomic Factor This link opens in a new window Something that influences the structure, performance, behavior, and decision making of the whole, or aggregate, economy.
Microeconomic Factor This link opens in a new window Something that influences the decisions of individuals and firms to allocate resources of production, exchange, and consumption.
Network Design This link opens in a new window The planning of the implementation of a computer network infrastructure.
Nontaxable Income This link opens in a new window Income that is not subject to taxes.
Occupational Fraud This link opens in a new window When an employee, manager, or executive of an organization deceives the organization itself.
Risk Assessment (audit) This link opens in a new window The auditor’s assessment of the risks of material misstatement in a financial statement audit.
Statement of Cash Flows This link opens in a new window One of the financial statements issued by a business, and describes the cash flows into and out of the organization.
Tax Avoidance This link opens in a new window The use of legal methods to minimize the amount of income tax owed by an individual or a business.
Tax Credits This link opens in a new window Amount of money that taxpayers can subtract directly from the taxes they owe.
Tax Deductions This link opens in a new window An item that can be subtracted from taxable income to lower the amount of taxes owed.
Tax Evasion This link opens in a new window The use of illegal means to avoid paying taxes.
Tax Filing Status This link opens in a new window Determines the rate at which income is taxed. The five filing statuses are: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.
Tax Liability This link opens in a new window Payment owed by an individual, a business, or other entity to a federal, state, or local tax authority.
Tax Position This link opens in a new window Position used to measure current or deferred income tax assets and liabilities that an entity takes in a previously filed tax return or expects to take in a future tax return. A tax position can yield a permanent reduction or deferral of income taxes payable.
Tax Return This link opens in a new window Form or forms filed with a tax authority that report income, expenses, and other pertinent tax information.
Taxable Income This link opens in a new window Amount of income used to calculate the taxes owed by an individual or a company.
Transaction This link opens in a new window A business event that has a monetary impact on the financial statements of a business. It is recorded in the business’s accounting records.
Valuation Techniques This link opens in a new window Tools used to summarize financial reporting data and evaluate the performance and financial position of a company.
Variances Differences between budget to actual, actual to expected, year over year, and so on.

Dictionary of Accounting


The 4th Edition of A&C Black's Dictionary of Accounting This link opens in a new window provides over 5,000 definitions of terms used in accounting, from personal finance and investments to company accounts, balance sheets, and stock valuations.