cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Established Community Backer ***

The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Number.jpgHELP?!?! 

Does your accountant often use words that you never know the meanings of?

 

Then this is the guide for you!

 

Accounting terminology can be complicated and daunting to many sole traders, partnerships and small business owners especially if you are new to the business world. There are often so many other aspects of running a business that take time to learn. Taking the time to learn a whole other language is the least of your worries so let this Jargon Buster help you out.

 

BALANCE SHEET TERMINOLOGY

Here are a few terms you’ll want to know when working with balance sheets:

 

  • Balance sheet: The financial statement that presents a snapshot of the company’s financial position as of a particular date in time. It’s called a balance sheet because the things owned by the company (assets) must equal the claims against those assets (liabilities and equity).
  • Assets: All the things a company owns in order to successfully run its business, such as cash, buildings, land, tools, equipment, vehicles, and furniture.
  • Liabilities: All the debts the company owes, such as bonds, loans, and unpaid bills.
  • Equity: All the money invested in the company by its owners. In a small business owned by one person or a group of people, the owner’s equity is shown in a Capital account. In a larger business that’s incorporated, owner’s equity is shown in shares of stock.

 

Another key Equity account is Retained Earnings, which tracks all company profits that have been reinvested in the company rather than paid out to the company’s owners. Small businesses track money paid out to owners in a Drawing account, whereas incorporated businesses dole out money to owners by paying dividends.

 

INCOME STATEMENT TERMINOLOGY

Here are a few terms related to the income statement that you’ll want to know:

 

  • Income statement: The financial statement that presents a summary of the company’s financial activity over a certain period of time, such as a month, quarter, or year. The statement starts with Revenue earned, subtracts the Costs of Goods Sold and the Expenses, and ends with the bottom line — Net Profit or Loss.
  • Revenue: All money collected in the process of selling the company’s goods and services. Some companies also collect revenue through other means, such as selling assets the business no longer needs or earning interest by offering short-term loans to employees or other businesses.
  • Costs of goods sold: All money spent to purchase or make the products or services a company plans to sell to its customers.
  • Expenses: All money spent to operate the company that’s not directly related to the sale of individual goods or services.

 

OTHER COMMON BOOKKEEPING TERMS

Some other common terms used in bookkeeping include the following:

 

  • Accounting period: The time period for which financial information is being tracked. Most businesses track their financial results on a monthly basis, so each accounting period equals one month. Some businesses choose to do financial reports on a quarterly or annual basis. Businesses that track their financial activities monthly usually also create quarterly and annual reports.
  • Accounts payable AKA creditors: The account used to track all outstanding bills from vendors, contractors, consultants, and any other companies or individuals from whom the company buys goods or services.
  • Accounts receivable AKA receivables: The account used to track all customer sales that are made by store credit. Store credit refers not to credit card sales but rather to sales in which the customer is given credit directly by the store and the store needs to collect payment from the customer at a later date.
  • Depreciation: An accounting method used to track the ageing and use of assets. For example, if you own a car, you know that each year you use the car its value is reduced (unless you own one of those classic cars that go up in value). Every major asset a business owns ages and eventually needs replacement, including buildings, factories, equipment, and other key assets.
  • General Ledger: Where all the company’s accounts are summarized. The General Ledger is the granddaddy of the bookkeeping system.
  • Interest: The money a company needs to pay if it borrows money from a bank or other company. For example, when you buy a car using a car loan, you must pay not only the amount you borrowed but also interest, based on a percentage of the amount you borrowed.
  • Inventory: The account that tracks all products that will be sold to customers.
  • Journals: Where bookkeepers keep records (in chronological order) of daily company transactions. Each of the most active accounts — including cash, Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable — has its own journal.
  • Payroll: The way a company pays its employees. Managing payroll is a key function of the bookkeeper and involves reporting many aspects of payroll to the government, including taxes to be paid on behalf of the employee, unemployment taxes, and workman’s compensation.
  • Trial balance: How you test to be sure the books are in balance before pulling together information for the financial reports and closing the books for the accounting period.

 Does your accountant often use words that you never know the meanings of? Post them below! 

6 REPLIES 6
Established Community Backer ***

Re: The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Love this! Thanks, @EmilyMockett!

Intuit

Re: The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Awesome work, @EmilyMockett! This article helps so much.

 

Hi, @Jaynemartin have you encountered any of these terms since having an accountant? Or has your accountant mentioned something that isn't on this list? 


QB Community Home          Talk About Your Business 

         Find Inspiration     

Intuit

Re: The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Hi, Solutions4u

 

Thanks so much for the feedback about the bank feed and your client. It's really interesting to have these insights, they're really helpful. Are you an accountant? I would love to know more about what you do.

 

Also, is there anything else you can add to this Jargon List? Smiley Happy

 


QB Community Home          Talk About Your Business 

         Find Inspiration     

Intuit

Re: The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Hi, Rowan!

 

Welcome to the U.K QB Community. The great, @EmilyMockett wrote this post. I was wondering if there is anything else you could add to this? Or any tips you could suggest to our members about understanding the jargon that populates the finance world!

 

It would be great to have your input Smiley Very Happy


QB Community Home          Talk About Your Business 

         Find Inspiration     

Intuit

Re: The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Hi, @lynda

 

Hope you're having a great week so far!Smiley Very Happy

 

Can you add anything to this from a bookkeeping perspective? A little different, but it might be a great touch to the post!


QB Community Home          Talk About Your Business 

         Find Inspiration     

Intuit

Re: The Ultimate Jargon Buster

Hi, @phils673 - hope you're having a great day.

 

I saw that you're preparing your clients for MTD and you want to move them over to QuickBooks. This is great!

 

I would love to learn more about what you do. Is there anything else you could add to Emily's list above? Smiley Happy

 


QB Community Home          Talk About Your Business 

         Find Inspiration