Financial Terms
Contribution Principle

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Definition of Contribution Principle

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Contribution Principle

This is the principle which specifies the factors that must be taken into account when calculating dividends. At Canada Life, the key factors are: interest earnings, mortality, and operating expense.

Related Terms:

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.


Also the difference between the selling price and variable costs, which can be expressed either per
unit or in total.

Contribution margin

The difference between variable revenue and variable cost.

contribution margin

An intermediate measure of profit equal to sales revenue
minus cost-of-goods-sold expense and minus variable operating
expenses—but before fixed operating expenses are deducted. Profit at
this point contributes toward covering fixed operating expenses and
toward interest and income tax expenses. The breakeven point is the
sales volume at which contribution margin just equals total fixed

contribution margin

the difference between selling price and
variable cost per unit or in total for the level of activity; it
indicates the amount of each revenue dollar remaining
after variable costs have been covered and going toward
the coverage of fixed costs and the generation of profits

Contribution margin

The margin that results when variable production costs are subtracted
from revenue. It is most useful for making incremental pricing decisions
where a company must cover its variable costs, though perhaps not all of its fixed

contribution margin ratio

the proportion of each revenue dollar remaining after variable costs have been covered;
computed as contribution margin divided by sales

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Contribution Rate

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

Cumulative Effect of a Change in Accounting Principle

The change in earnings of previous years
based on the assumption that a newly adopted accounting principle had previously been in use.

Defined contribution plan

A pension plan in which the sponsor is responsible only for making specified
contributions into the plan on behalf of qualifying participants. Related: defined benefit plan
Delayed issuance pool Refers to MBSs that at the time of issuance were collateralized by seasoned loans
originated prior to the MBS pool issue date.

Defined Contribution Plan

A qualified retirement plan under which the employer
is liable for a payment into the plan of a specific size, but not for the size
of the resulting payments from the plan to participants.

Equity contribution agreement

An agreement to contribute equity to a project under certain specified

Federal Insurance Contributions Act of 1935 (FICA)

A federal Act authorizing the government to collect Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.

Generally accepted accounting principles

The rules that accountants follow when processing accounting transactions and creating financial reports. The rules are primarily
derived from regulations promulgated by the various branches of the AICPA Council.

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

This important term
refers to the body of authoritative rules for measuring profit and preparing
financial statements that are included in financial reports by a business
to its outside shareowners and lenders. The development of these
guidelines has been evolving for more than 70 years. Congress passed a
law in 1934 that bestowed primary jurisdiction over financial reporting
by publicly owned businesses to the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC). But the SEC has largely left the development of GAAP to the
private sector. Presently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is
the primary (but not the only) authoritative body that makes pronouncements
on GAAP. One caution: GAAP are like a movable feast. New rules
are issued fairly frequently, old rules are amended from time to time,
and some rules established years ago are discarded on occasion. Professional
accountants have a heck of time keeping up with GAAP, that’s for
sure. Also, new GAAP rules sometimes have the effect of closing the barn
door after the horse has left. Accounting abuses occur, and only then,
after the damage has been done, are new rules issued to prevent such
abuses in the future.

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

Procedures for preparing financial statements.

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Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

A common set of standards and procedures
for the preparation of general-purpose financial statements that either have been established
by an authoritative accounting rule-making body, such as the Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB), or over time have become accepted practice because of their universal

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

GAAP is the term used to describe the underlying rules basis on which financial statements are normally prepared. This is codified in the Handbook of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Insurance principle

The law of averages. The average outcome for many independent trials of an experiment
will approach the expected value of the experiment.

Matching principle

The process of linking recognized revenue to any associated
costs, thereby showing the net impact of all transactions related to the recognition
of revenue.

Matching Principle

An accounting principle that ties expense recognition to revenue recognition,
dictating that efforts, as represented by expenses, are to be matched with accomplishments,
that is, revenue, whenever it is reasonable and practicable to do so.

Pareto principle

a rule which states that the greatest effects
in human endeavors are traceable to a small number of
causes (the vital few), while the majority of causes (the
trivial many) collectively yield only a small impact; this
relationship is often referred to as the 20:80 rule

product contribution margin

the difference between selling price and variable cost of goods sold

Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA)

A federal Act requiring self-employed business owners to pay the same total tax rates for Social Security and
Medicare taxes that are split between employees and employers under the Federal Insurance contributions Act.

Stand-alone principle

Investment principle that states a firm should accept or reject a project by comparing it
with securities in the same risk class.

Systematic risk principle

Only the systematic portion of risk matters in large, well-diversified portfolios.
The, expected returns must be related only to systematic risks.

Throughput contribution

Sales revenue less the cost of materials.

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total contribution margin

see contribution margin


The general term profit is not precisely defined; it may refer to net
gains over a period of time, or cash inflows less cash outflows for an
investment, or earnings before or after certain costs and expenses are
deducted from income or revenue. In the world of business, profit is
measured by the application of generally accepted accounting principles
(GAAP). In the income statement, the final, bottom-line profit is generally
labeled net income and equals revenue (plus any extraordinary gains)
less all expenses (and less any extraordinary losses) for the period. Inter-
nal management profit reports include several profit lines: gross margin,
contribution margin, operating profit (earnings before interest and
income tax), and earnings before income tax. External income statements
report gross margin (also called gross profit) and often report one
or more other profit lines, although practice varies from business to
business in this regard.







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