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Control account

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Definition of Control account

Control Account Image 1

Control account

An account maintained in the general ledger that holds the balance without the detail. The detail is maintained in a subsidiary ledger.



Related Terms:

internal accounting controls

Refers to forms used and procedures
established by a business—beyond what would be required for the
record-keeping function of accounting—that are designed to prevent
errors and fraud. Two examples of internal controls are (1) requiring a
second signature by someone higher in the organization to approve a
transaction in excess of a certain dollar amount and (2) giving customers
printed receipts as proof of sale. Other examples of internal
control procedures are restricting entry and exit routes of employees,
requiring all employees to take their vacations and assigning another
person to do their jobs while they are away, surveillance cameras, surprise
counts of cash and inventory, and rotation of duties. Internal controls
should be cost-effective; the cost of a control should be less than
the potential loss that is prevented. The guiding principle for designing
internal accounting controls is to deter and detect errors and dishonesty.
The best internal controls in the world cannot prevent most fraud
by high-level managers who take advantage of their positions of trust
and authority.


Subsidiary ledger

An accounting record giving the detailed transactions in an account; the subtotals of the debits and credits are posted to the control account maintained in the general ledger. It helps to keep the general ledger free of clutter.


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.


Control Account Image 2

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
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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


Budgetary control

The process of ensuring that actual financial results are in line with targets – see variance
analysis.


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.


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.


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.


Chart of accounts

A listing of all accounts used in the general ledger, usually sorted in
order of account number.


Concentration account

A single centralized account into which funds collected at regional locations
(lockboxes) are transferred.


Configuration control

Verifying that a delivered product matches authorizing
engineering documentation. This also refers to engineering changes made subsequent
to the initial product release.


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.


Contra-asset account

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


Contra-equity account

An account that reduces an equity account. An example is Treasury stock.


Contract Accounting

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


Control

50% of the outstanding votes plus one vote.


control chart

a graphical presentation of the results of a
specified activity; it indicates the upper and lower control
limits and those results that are out of control


control premium

the additional value inherent in the control interest as contrasted to a minority interest, which reflects its power of control


controllable cost

a cost over which a manager has the ability to authorize incurrence or directly influence magnitude


Controllable profit

The profit made by a division after deducting only those expenses that can be controlled by the
divisional manager and ignoring those expenses that are outside the divisional manager’s control.


controllable variance

the budget variance of the two variance approach to analyzing overhead variances


Controlled disbursement

A service that provides for a single presentation of checks each day (typically in
the early part of the day).


Controlled foreign corporation (CFC)

A foreign corporation whose voting stock is more than 50% owned
by U.S. stockholders, each of whom owns at least 10% of the voting power.


Controller

The corporate manager responsible for the firm's accounting activities.


controller

the chief accountant (in a corporation) who is responsible
for maintaining and reporting on both the cost
and financial sets of accounts but does not handle or negotiate
changes in actual resources


controller

Officer responsible for budgeting, accounting, and auditing.


controlling

the process of exerting managerial influence on
operations so that they conform to previously prepared plans


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 control

The process of either reducing costs while maintaining the same level of productivity or maintaining costs while increasing productivity.


cost control system

a logical structure of formal and/or informal
activities designed to analyze and evaluate how well
expenditures are managed during a period


Creative Accounting Practices

Any and all steps used to play the financial numbers game, including
the aggressive choice and application of accounting principles, both within and beyond
the boundaries of generally accepted accounting principles, and fraudulent financial reporting.
Also included are steps taken toward earnings management and income smoothing. See Financial
Numbers Game.


Creative Acquisition Accounting

The allocation to expense of a greater portion of the price
paid for another company in an acquisition in an effort to reduce acquisition-year earnings and
boost future-year earnings. Acquisition-year expense charges include purchased in-process research
and development and an overly aggressive accrual of costs required to effect the acquisition.


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.


Cumulative Effect of Accounting Change

The change in earnings of previous years assuming
that the newly adopted accounting principle had previously been in use.


Cumulative Translation Adjustment (CTA) account

An entry in a translated balance sheet in which gains
and/or losses from translation have been accumulated over a period of years. The CTA account is required
under the FASB No. 52 rule.


Current account

Net flow of goods, services, and unilateral transactions (gifts) between countries.


Current Account

That part of the balance of payments accounts that records demands for and supplies of a currency arising from activities that affect current income, namely imports, exports, investment income payments such as interest and dividends, and transfers such as gifts, pensions, and foreign aid.


Cutoff control

A procedure for ensuring that transaction processing is completed
before the commencement of cycle counting.


Discounting of Accounts Receivable

Short-term financing in which accounts receivable are used as collateral to secure a loan. The lender does not buy the accounts receivable but simply uses them as collateral for the loan. Also called pledging of accounts receivable.


Discretionary account

accounts over which an individual or organization, other than the person in whose
name the account is carried, exercises trading authority or control.


DLOC (discount for lack of control)

an amount or percentage deducted from a pro rata share of the value of 100% of an equity interest in a business, to reflect the absence of some or all of the powers of control.


double-entry accounting

See accrual-basis accounting.


Dupont system of financial control

Highlights the fact that return on assets (ROA) can be expressed in terms
of the profit margin and asset turnover.


Exchange controls

Governmental restrictions on the purchase of foreign currencies by domestic citizens or
on the purchase of the local domestic currency by foreigners.


Financial accounting

The production of financial statements, primarily for those interested parties who are external to the business.


financial accounting

a discipline in which historical, monetary
transactions are analyzed and recorded for use in the
preparation of the financial statements (balance sheet, income
statement, statement of owners’/stockholders’ equity,
and statement of cash flows); it focuses primarily on the
needs of external users (stockholders, creditors, and regulatory
agencies)


Financial control

The management of a firm's costs and expenses in order to control them in relation to
budgeted amounts.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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