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Contra-asset account

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Definition of Contra-asset account

Contra-asset Account Image 1

Contra-asset account

An offset to an asset account that reduces the balance of the asset account.



Related Terms:

bad debts

Refers to accounts receivable from credit sales to customers
that a business will not be able to collect (or not collect in full). In hindsight,
the business shouldn’t have extended credit to these particular
customers. Since these amounts owed to the business will not be collected,
they are written off. The accounts receivable asset account is
decreased by the estimated amount of uncollectible receivables, and the
bad debts expense account is increased this amount. These write-offs
can be done by the direct write-off method, which means that no
expense is recorded until specific accounts receivable are identified as
uncollectible. Or the allowance method can be used, which is based on
an estimated percent of bad debts from credit sales during the period.
Under this method, a contra asset account is created (called allowance
for bad debts) and the balance of this account is deducted from the
accounts receivable asset account.


Account

An explanation or report in financial terms about the transactions of an organization.


Account Value

The sum of all the interest options in your policy, including interest.


Accountability

The process of satisfying stakeholders in the organization that managers have acted in the best interests of the stakeholders, a result of the stewardship function of managers, which takes place through accounting.


Accounting

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



accounting

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
reports.


Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release (AAER)

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


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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
maintained.


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.


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.


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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 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


Accounting system

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


Accounts

‘Buckets’ within the ledger, part of the accounting system. Each account contains similar transactions (line items) that are used for the production of financial statements. Or commonly used as an abbreviation for financial statements.


Accounts payable

Money owed to suppliers.


ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

Amounts a company owes to creditors.


Accounts payable

Amounts owed by the company for goods and services that have been received, but have not yet been paid for. Usually accounts payable involves the receipt of an invoice from the company providing the services or goods.


Contra-asset Account Image 4

accounts payable

Short-term, non-interest-bearing liabilities of a business
that arise in the course of its activities and operations from purchases on
credit. A business buys many things on credit, whereby the purchase
cost of goods and services are not paid for immediately. This liability
account records the amounts owed for credit purchases that will be paid
in the short run, which generally means about one month.



Accounts payable

Acurrent liability on the balance sheet, representing short-term obligations
to pay suppliers.


Accounts Payable

Amounts due to vendors for purchases on open account, that is, not evidenced
by a signed note.


Accounts Payable Days (A/P Days)

The number of days it would take to pay the ending balance
in accounts payable at the average rate of cost of goods sold per day. Calculated by dividing
accounts payable by cost of goods sold per day, which is cost of goods sold divided by 365.


Accounts receivable

Money owed by customers.


ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

Amounts owed to a company by customers that it sold to on credit. Total accounts receivable are usually reduced by an allowance for doubtful accounts.


Accounts receivable

Amounts owed to the company, generally for sales that it has made.


accounts receivable

Short-term, non-interest-bearing debts owed to a
business by its customers who bought goods and services from the business
on credit. Generally, these debts should be collected within a month
or so. In a balance sheet, this asset is listed immediately after cash.
(Actually the amount of short-term marketable investments, if the business
has any, is listed after cash and before accounts receivable.)
accounts receivable are viewed as a near-cash type of asset that will be
turned into cash in the short run. A business may not collect all of its
accounts receivable. See also bad debts.


Accounts receivable

A current asset on the balance sheet, representing short-term
amounts due from customers who have purchased on account.


Accounts Receivable

Amounts due from customers for sales on open account, not evidenced
by a signed note.


Accounts Receivable

Money owed to a business for merchandise or services sold on open account.


Accounts Receivable Days (A/R Days)

The number of days it would take to collect the ending
balance in accounts receivable at the year's average rate of revenue per day. Calculated as
accounts receivable divided by revenue per day (revenue divided by 365).


Accounts receivable turnover

The ratio of net credit sales to average accounts receivable, a measure of how
quickly customers pay their bills.


accounts receivable turnover ratio

A ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by the year-end balance of accounts receivable. Technically
speaking, to calculate this ratio the amount of annual credit sales should
be divided by the average accounts receivable balance, but this information
is not readily available from external financial statements. For
reporting internally to managers, this ratio should be refined and finetuned
to be as accurate as possible.


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.


Acquisition of assets

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the selling firm's assets.


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.


Allowance for doubtful accounts

A contra account related to accounts receivable that represents the amounts that the company expects will not be collected.


Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

An estimate of the uncollectible portion of accounts receivable
that is subtracted from the gross amount of accounts receivable to arrive at the estimated collectible
amount.


Asset

Any possession that has value in an exchange.


Asset

A resource, recorded through a transaction, that is expected to yield a benefit to a
company.


Asset

Something that is owned; a financial claim or a piece of property that is a store of value.


Asset

Probable future economic benefit that is obtained or controlled by an entity as a result of
a past transaction or event.


asset

Anything owned by, or owed to, an individual or business which has commercial or exchange value (e.g., cash, property, etc.).


Asset

All things of value owned by an individual or organization.


Asset activity ratios

Ratios that measure how effectively the firm is managing its assets.


Asset allocation decision

The decision regarding how an institution's funds should be distributed among the
major classes of assets in which it may invest.


Asset-Backed Securities

Bond or note secured by assets of company.


Asset-backed security

A security that is collateralized by loans, leases, receivables, or installment contracts
on personal property, not real estate.


Asset-based financing

Methods of financing in which lenders and equity investors look principally to the
cash flow from a particular asset or set of assets for a return on, and the return of, their financing.


Asset-Based Financing

Loans granted usually by a financial institution where the asset being financed constitutes the sole security given to the lender.


Asset classes

Categories of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate and foreign securities.


Asset Coverage

Extent to which a company's net assets cover a particular debt obligation, class of preferred stock, or equity position.


Asset-coverage test

A bond indenture restriction that permits additional borrowing on if the ratio of assets to
debt does not fall below a specified minimum.


Asset/equity ratio

The ratio of total assets to stockholder equity.


Asset for asset swap

Creditors exchange the debt of one defaulting borrower for the debt of another
defaulting borrower.


Asset/liability management

Also called surplus management, the task of managing funds of a financial
institution to accomplish the two goals of a financial institution:
1) to earn an adequate return on funds invested, and
2) to maintain a comfortable surplus of assets beyond liabilities.


asset mix

The weighting of assets in an investment portfolio among different asset classes (e.g. shares, bonds, property, cash, overseas investments.


Asset pricing model

A model for determining the required rate of return on an asset.


Asset pricing model

A model, such as the Capital asset Pricing Model (CAPM), that determines the required
rate of return on a particular asset.


Asset-specific Risk

The amount of total risk that can be eliminated by diversification by
creating a portfolio. Also known as company-specific risk or
unsystematic risk.


Asset substitution

A firm's investing in assets that are riskier than those that the debtholders expected.


Asset substitution problem

Arises when the stockholders substitute riskier assets for the firm's existing
assets and expropriate value from the debtholders.


Asset swap

An interest rate swap used to alter the cash flow characteristics of an institution's assets so as to
provide a better match with its iabilities.


Asset turnover

The ratio of net sales to total assets.


asset turnover

a ratio measuring asset productivity and showing the number of sales dollars generated by each dollar of assets


asset turnover ratio

A broad-gauge ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by total assets. It is a rough measure of the sales-generating
power of assets. The idea is that assets are used to make sales, and the
sales should lead to profit. The ultimate test is not sales revenue on
assets, but the profit earned on assets as measured by the return on
assets (ROA) ratio.


Assets

A firm's productive resources.


ASSETS

Anything of value that a company owns.


Assets

Things that the business owns.


Assets

Items owned by the company or expenses that have been paid for but have not been used up.


Assets requirements

A common element of a financial plan that describes projected capital spending and the
proposed uses of net working capital.


Average accounting return

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


Average age of accounts receivable

The weighted-average age of all of the firm's outstanding invoices.


Balance of Payments Accounts

A statement of a country's transactions with other countries.


Bullet contract

A guaranteed investment contract purchased with a single (one-shot) premium. Related:
Window contract.


Capital account

Net result of public and private international investment and lending activities.


Capital Account

That part of the balance of payments accounts that records demands for and supplies of a currency arising from purchases or sales of assets.


capital asset

an asset used to generate revenues or cost savings
by providing production, distribution, or service capabilities
for more than one year


Capital asset

A fixed asset, something that is expected to have long-term usage within
a company, and which exceeds a minimum dollar amount (known as the capitalization
limit, or cap limit).


Capital asset pricing model (CAPM)

An economic theory that describes the relationship between risk and
expected return, and serves as a model for the pricing of risky securities. The CAPM asserts that the only risk
that is priced by rational investors is systematic risk, because that risk cannot be eliminated by diversification.
The CAPM says that the expected return of a security or a portfolio is equal to the rate on a risk-free security
plus a risk premium.


Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

A model for estimating equilibrium rates of return and values of
assets in financial markets; uses beta as a measure of asset risk
relative to market risk


capital asset pricing model (CAPM)

Theory of the relationship between risk and return which states that the expected risk
premium on any security equals its beta times the market risk premium.


Capitalized Cost An expenditure or accrual that is reported as an asset to be amortized against

future-period revenue.


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 settlement contracts

Futures contracts, such as stock index futures, that settle for cash, not involving
the delivery of the underlying.


Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

a professional designation in the area of management accounting that
recognizes the successful completion of an examination,
acceptable work experience, and continuing education requirements


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.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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