Financial Terms
Accounting rate of return (ARR)

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Definition of Accounting rate of return (ARR)

Accounting Rate Of Return (ARR) Image 1

Accounting rate of return (ARR)

A method of investment appraisal that measures
the profit generated as a percentage of the
investment – see return on investment.

accounting rate of return (ARR)

the rate of earnings obtained on the average capital investment over the life of a capital project; computed as average annual profits divided by average investment; not based on cash flow

Related Terms:

Abnormal returns

Part of the return that is not due to systematic influences (market wide influences). In
other words, abnormal returns are above those predicted by the market movement alone. Related: excess

Absolute Right of Return

Goods may be returned to the seller by the purchaser without restrictions.

Accelerated cost recovery system (ACRS)

Schedule of depreciation rates allowed for tax purposes.

Accelerated depreciation

Any depreciation method that produces larger deductions for depreciation in the
early years of a project's life. Accelerated cost recovery system (ACRS), which is a depreciation schedule
allowed for tax purposes, is one such example.

accelerated depreciation

(1) The estimated useful life of the fixed asset being depreciated is
shorter than a realistic forecast of its probable actual service life;
(2) more of the total cost of the fixed asset is allocated to the first
half of its useful life than to the second half (i.e., there is a
front-end loading of depreciation expense).

Accelerated depreciation

Any of several methods that recognize an increased amount
of depreciation in the earliest years of asset usage. This results in increased tax benefits
in the first few years of asset usage.

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A collection of systems and processes used to record, report and interpret business transactions.


A broad, all-inclusive term that refers to the methods and procedures
of financial record keeping by a business (or any entity); it also
refers to the main functions and purposes of record keeping, which are
to assist in the operations of the entity, to provide necessary information
to managers for making decisions and exercising control, to measure
profit, to comply with income and other tax laws, and to prepare financial

Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release (AAER)

Administrative proceedings or litigation releases that entail an accounting or auditing-related violation of the securities laws.

Accounting change

An alteration in the accounting methodology or estimates used in
the reporting of financial statements, usually requiring discussion in a footnote
attached to the financial statements.

Accounting earnings

Earnings of a firm as reported on its income statement.

Accounting entity

A business for which a separate set of accounting records is being

Accounting equation

The representation of the double-entry system of accounting such that assets are equal to liabilities plus capital.

Accounting equation

The formula Assets = Liabilities + Equity.

accounting equation

An equation that reflects the two-sided nature of a
business entity, assets on the one side and the sources of assets on the
other side (assets = liabilities + owners’ equity). The assets of a business
entity are subject to two types of claims that arise from its two basic
sources of capital—liabilities and owners’ equity. The accounting equation
is the foundation for double-entry bookkeeping, which uses a
scheme for recording changes in these basic types of accounts as either
debits or credits such that the total of accounts with debit balances
equals the total of accounts with credit balances. The accounting equation
also serves as the framework for the statement of financial condition,
or balance sheet, which is one of the three fundamental financial
statements reported by a business.

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Accounting Errors

Unintentional mistakes in financial statements. Accounted for by restating
the prior-year financial statements that are in error.

Accounting exposure

The change in the value of a firm's foreign currency denominated accounts due to a
change in exchange rates.

Accounting insolvency

Total liabilities exceed total assets. A firm with a negative net worth is insolvent on
the books.

Accounting Irregularities

Intentional misstatements or omissions of amounts or disclosures in
financial statements done to deceive financial statement users. The term is used interchangeably with fraudulent financial reporting.

Accounting liquidity

The ease and quickness with which assets can be converted to cash.

Accounting period

The period of time for which financial statements are produced – see also financial year.

Accounting Policies

The principles, bases, conventions, rules and procedures adopted by management in preparing and presenting financial statements.

Accounting system

A set of accounts that summarize the transactions of a business that have been recorded on source documents.

Accrual accounting

The recording of revenue when earned and expenses when
incurred, irrespective of the dates on which the associated cash flows occur.

accrual-basis accounting

Well, frankly, accrual is not a good descriptive
term. Perhaps the best way to begin is to mention that accrual-basis
accounting is much more than cash-basis accounting. Recording only the
cash receipts and cash disbursement of a business would be grossly
inadequate. A business has many assets other than cash, as well as
many liabilities, that must be recorded. Measuring profit for a period as
the difference between cash inflows from sales and cash outflows for
expenses would be wrong, and in fact is not allowed for most businesses
by the income tax law. For management, income tax, and financial
reporting purposes, a business needs a comprehensive record-keeping
system—one that recognizes, records, and reports all the assets and liabilities
of a business. This all-inclusive scope of financial record keeping
is referred to as accrual-basis accounting. Accrual-basis accounting
records sales revenue when sales are made (though cash is received
before or after the sales) and records expenses when costs are incurred
(though cash is paid before or after expenses are recorded). Established
financial reporting standards require that profit for a period
must be recorded using accrual-basis accounting methods. Also, these
authoritative standards require that in reporting its financial condition a
business must use accrual-basis accounting.

Accruals accounting

A method of accounting in which profit is calculated as the difference between income when it is earned and expenses when they are incurred.

Active portfolio strategy

A strategy that uses available information and forecasting techniques to seek a
better performance than a portfolio that is simply diversified broadly. Related: passive portfolio strategy

Adjustable rate preferred stock (ARPS)

Publicly traded issues that may be collateralized by mortgages and MBSs.

After-tax real rate of return

Money after-tax rate of return minus the inflation rate.

Aggressive Accounting

A forceful and intentional choice and application of accounting principles
done in an effort to achieve desired results, typically higher current earnings, whether the practices followed are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or not. Aggressive
accounting practices are not alleged to be fraudulent until an administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding takes that step and alleges, in particular, that an intentional, material misstatement
has taken place in an effort to deceive financial statement readers.

All equity rate

The discount rate that reflects only the business risks of a project and abstracts from the
effects of financing.

Amortizing interest rate swap

Swap in which the principal or national amount rises (falls) as interest rates
rise (decline).

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The periodic rate times the number of periods in a year. For example, a 5%
quarterly return has an APR of 20%.

annual percentage rate (APR)

Interest rate that is annualized using simple interest.

annual return

The fund return, for any 12-month period, including changes in unit value and the reinvestment of distributions, but not taking into account sales, redemption, distribution or other optional charges or income taxes payable by any unitholder that would reduce returns.

Annualized holding period return

The annual rate of return that when compounded t times, would have
given the same t-period holding return as actually occurred from period 1 to period t.

Annuity in arrears

An annuity with a first payment on full period hence, rather than immediately.

Arithmetic average (mean) rate of return

Arithmetic mean return.

Arithmetic mean return

An average of the subperiod returns, calculated by summing the subperiod returns
and dividing by he number of subperiods.

Auction rate preferred stock (ARPS)

Floating rate preferred stock, the dividend on which is adjusted every
seven weeks through a Dutch auction.

Average accounting return

The average project earnings after taxes and depreciation divided by the average
book value of the investment during its life.

Average rate of return (ARR)

The ratio of the average cash inflow to the amount invested.

Average tax rate

Taxes as a fraction of income; total taxes divided by total taxable income.

average tax rate

Total taxes owed divided by total income.

Barbell strategy

A strategy in which the maturities of the securities included in the portfolio are concentrated
at two extremes.

BARRA's performance analysis (PERFAN)

A method developed by BarrA, a consulting firm in
Berkeley, Calif. It is commonly used by institutional investors applying performance attribution analysis to
evaluate their money managers' performances.

Barrier options

Contracts with trigger points that, when crossed, automatically generate buying or selling of
other options. These are very exotic options.

Base interest rate

Related: Benchmark interest rate.

Basic business strategies

Key strategies a firm intends to pursue in carrying out its business plan.

Benchmark interest rate

Also called the base interest rate, it is the minimum interest rate investors will
demand for investing in a non-Treasury security. It is also tied to the yield to maturity offered on a
comparable-maturity Treasury security that was most recently issued ("on-the-run").

Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees

A committee formed in response to SEC chairman Arthur Levitt's initiative to improve the financial
reporting environment in the United States. In a report dated February 1999, the committee
made recommendations for new rules for regulation of financial reporting in the United States that
either duplicated or carried forward the recommendations of the Treadway Commission.

book rate of return

accounting income divided by book value.
Also called accounting rate of return.

Book Returns

Book yield is the investment income earned in a year on a portfolio of assets purchased over a number of years and at different interest rates, divided by the book value of those assets.

Break-even payment rate

The prepayment rate of a MBS coupon that will produce the same CFY as that of
a predetermined benchmark MBS coupon. Used to identify for coupons higher than the benchmark coupon
the prepayment rate that will produce the same CFY as that of the benchmark coupon; and for coupons lower
than the benchmark coupon the lowest prepayment rate that will do so.

Break-even tax rate

The tax rate at which a party to a prospective transaction is indifferent between entering
into and not entering into the transaction.

Broker loan rate

Related: Call money rate.

Bullet strategy

A strategy in which a portfolio is constructed so that the maturities of its securities are highly
concentrated at one point on the yield curve.

Buy-and-hold strategy

A passive investment strategy with no active buying and selling of stocks from the
time the portfolio is created until the end of the investment horizon.

Call money rate

Also called the broker loan rate , the interest rate that banks charge brokers to finance
margin loans to investors. The broker charges the investor the call money rate plus a service charge.

Capitalization Rate

A discount rate used to find the present value of a series of future cash receipts. Sometimes called discount rate.

Carring costs

Costs that increase with increases in the level of investment in current assets.


Related:net financing cost.

carrying cost

the total variable cost of carrying one unit of
inventory in stock for one year; includes the opportunity
cost of the capital invested in inventory

Carrying cost

The cost of holding inventory, which can include insurance,
spoilage, rent, and other expenses.

carrying costs

Costs of maintaining current assets, including opportunity cost of capital.

Carrying value

Book value.

CARs (cumulative abnormal returns)

a measure used in academic finance articles to measure the excess returns an investor would have received over a particular time period if he or she were invested in a particular stock.
This is typically used in control and takeover studies, where stockholders are paid a premium for being taken over. Starting some time period before the takeover (often five days before the first announced bid, but sometimes a longer period), the researchers calculate the actual daily stock returns for the target firm and subtract out the expected market returns (usually calculated using the firm’s beta and applying it to overall market movements during the time period under observation).
The excess actual return over the capital asset pricing model-determined expected return market is called an ‘‘abnormal return.’’ The cumulation of the daily abnormal returns over the time period under observation is the CAR. The term CAR(-5, 0) means the CAR calculated from five days before the
announcement to the day of announcement. The CAR(-1, 0) is a control premium, although Mergerstat generally uses the stock price five days before announcement rather than one day before announcement as the denominator in its control premium calculation. However, the CAR for any period other than (-1, 0) is not mathematically equivalent to a control premium.

Cash accounting

A method of accounting in which profit is calculated as the difference between income
when it is received and expenses when they are paid.

Cash and carry

Purchase of a security and simultaneous sale of a future, with the balance being financed
with a loan or repo.

cash burn rate

A relatively recent term that refers to how fast a business
is using up its available cash, especially when its cash flow from operating
activities is negative instead of positive. This term most often refers
to a business struggling through its start-up or early phases that has not
yet generated enough cash inflow from sales to cover its cash outflow for
expenses (and perhaps never will).

Change in Accounting Estimate

A change in accounting that occurs as the result of new information
or as additional experience is acquired—for example, a change in the residual values
or useful lives of fixed assets. A change in accounting estimate is accounted for prospectively,
over the current and future accounting periods affected by the change.

Change in Accounting Estimate

A change in the implementation of an existing accounting
policy. A common example would be extending the useful life or changing the expected residual
value of a fixed asset. Another would be making any necessary adjustments to allowances for
uncollectible accounts, warranty obligations, and reserves for inventory obsolescense.

Change in Accounting Principle

A change from one generally accepted accounting principle to another generally accepted accounting principle—for example, a change from capitalizing expenditures
to expensing them. A change in accounting principle is accounted for in most instances
as a cumulative-effect–type adjustment.

Combination strategy

A strategy in which a put and with the same strike price and expiration are either both
bought or both sold. Related: Straddle

compensation strategy

a foundation for the compensation plan that addresses the role compensation should play in the organization

computer integrated manufacturing (CIM)

the integration of two or more flexible manufacturing systems through the use of a host computer and an information networking system

confrontation strategy

an organizational strategy in which company management decides to confront, rather than avoid, competition; an organizational strategy in which company management still attempts to differentiate company
products through new features or to develop a price
leadership position by dropping prices, even though management
recognizes that competitors will rapidly bring out
similar products and match price changes; an organizational
strategy in which company management identifies
and exploits current opportunities for competitive advantage
in recognition of the fact that those opportunities will
soon be eliminated


A firm engaged in two or more unrelated businesses.

Conglomerate merger

A merger involving two or more firms that are in unrelated businesses.

Constant dollar accounting

A method for restating financial statements by reducing or
increasing reported revenues and expenses by changes in the consumer price index,
thereby achieving greater comparability between accounting periods.

Contract Accounting

Method of accounting for sales or service agreements where completion
requires an extended period.

Contribution Rate

The percentage tax charged by a state to an employer to
cover its share of the state unemployment insurance fund.

Corporate acquisition

The acquisition of one firm by anther firm.

Corporate bonds

Debt obligations issued by corporations.

Corporate charter

A legal document creating a corporation.

Corporate finance

One of the three areas of the discipline of finance. It deals with the operation of the firm
(both the investment decision and the financing decision) from that firm's point of view.

Corporate financial management

The application of financial principals within a corporation to create and
maintain value through decision making and proper resource management.

Corporate financial planning

Financial planning conducted by a firm that encompasses preparation of both
long- and short-term financial plans.

Corporate processing float

The time that elapses between receipt of payment from a customer and the
depositing of the customer's check in the firm's bank account; the time required to process customer

Corporate tax view

The argument that double (corporate and individual) taxation of equity returns makes
debt a cheaper financing method.

Corporate taxable equivalent

rate of return required on a par bond to produce the same after-tax yield to
maturity that the premium or discount bond quoted would.

cost accounting

a discipline that focuses on techniques or
methods for determining the cost of a project, process, or
thing through direct measurement, arbitrary assignment, or
systematic and rational allocation

Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB)

a body established by Congress in 1970 to promulgate cost accounting
standards for defense contractors and federal agencies; disbanded
in 1980 and reestablished in 1988; it previously issued
pronouncements still carry the weight of law for those
organizations within its jurisdiction

Cost company arrangement

arrangement whereby the shareholders of a project receive output free of
charge but agree to pay all operating and financing charges of the project.

cost leadership strategy

a plan to achieve the position in a
competitive environment of being the low cost producer of
a product or provider of a service; it provides one method
of avoiding competition

Cost of carry

Related: Net financing cost

Coupon rate

In bonds, notes or other fixed income securities, the stated percentage rate of interest, usually
paid twice a year.

Coupon Rate

The rate of interest paid on a debt security. Generally stated on an
annual basis, even if the payments are made at some other







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