You are an accountant needing golden handcuffs, you are faced with a jargon-laden business exam, you are the proud owner of an incomprehensible tax form. Where do you turn? The Penguin Dictionary of Accounting is your answer. Demystifying the most complex terms in simple, easy-to-understand language, this is the ideal reference book for anyone who reads, speaks or writes accountancy - whether student, businessperson, investor, preparer of financial statements, auditor or accounts manager. Compiled by Christopher Nobes, PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor of Accounting at Reading University, this fully up-to-date edition is your first stop in unravelling the ambiguities of accounting. Thousands of succinctly written articles cover every aspect of accounting, from finance to law via tax, auditions and management accounting - and includes comprehensive coverage of the terms used in International Accounting Standards.
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Some sample entries:
Sometimes used to refer very loosely to the amount of cash coming into or out of a business in a particular period. However, it can be used as a more precise accounting term, particularly in North America, to refer to net profit with depreciation charges added back. The latter will have been deducted in the calculation of the former, but is not, of course, a cash payment of the period in question.
The worth of a business in accounting terms, as measured from its balance sheet, i.e. it is the total of all the assets, less the liabilities that are owed to outsiders. Naturally, this total equals the shareholders' equity.
VALUE ADDED TAX
A multi-stage sales tax paid by suppliers but borne, at least partly, by consumers in terms of higher prices. Each time that goods or services move from one supplier to the next, or to the final customer, the tax is levied. However, in general, the tax to be paid by a supplier to the tax authorities can be reduced by the tax suffered by the supplier in his capacity as a purchaser.
Christopher Nobes is the PricewaterhouseCoopers Professor of Accounting at Reading University. He is on the board of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and is the author of The Economist Pocket Accounting Book. He lives in Kensington, London.
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