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Definition of Covenants

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Covenants

Promise usually made in a contract whereby a party to the contract promises to do or not to do specified things.


Covenants

Provisions in a bond indenture or preferred stock agreement that require the bond or preferred
stock issuer to take certain specified actions (affirmative covenants) or to refrain from taking certain specified
actions (negative covenants).



Related Terms:

Financial Covenants

A promise made related to financial conditions or events. Often a promise not to allow certain balance sheet items or ratios to fall below an agreed level. Usually found in loan documents, as a protection mechanism.


Loan Covenants

Express stipulations included in loan agreements that are designed to monitor
corporate performance and restrict corporate acts, affording added protection to the lender.


Negative Loan Covenants

Loan covenants designed to limit a corporate borrower's behavior
in favor of the lender.


Positive Loan Covenants

Loan covenants expressing minimum and maximum financial measures
that must be met by a borrower.



Restrictive covenants

Provisions that place constraints on the operations of borrowers, such as restrictions on
working capital, fixed assets, future borrowing, and payment of dividend.


Conflict between bondholders and stockholders

These two groups may have interests in a corporation that
conflict. Sources of conflict include dividends, distortion of investment, and underinvestment. Protective
covenants work to resolve these conflicts.


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Financial Covenant

A feature of a debt or credit agreement that is designed to protect the lender or creditor. It is common to characterize covenants as either positive or negative covenants.
A positive covenant might require that the debtor maintain a minimum amount of working capital.
A negative covenant might limit dividend payments that may be made.


Changes in Financial Position

Sources of funds internally provided from operations that alter a company's
cash flow position: depreciation, deferred taxes, other sources, and capital expenditures.


chief financial officer (CFO)

Officer who oversees the treasurer and controller and sets overall financial strategy.


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.


costs of financial distress

Costs arising from bankruptcy or distorted business decisions before bankruptcy.


Country financial risk

The ability of the national economy to generate enough foreign exchange to meet
payments of interest and principal on its foreign debt.


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.


External Financial Statements

Corporate financial statements that have been reported on by an external independent accountant.


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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 analysts

Also called securities analysts and investment analysts, professionals who analyze
financial statements, interview corporate executives, and attend trade shows, in order to write reports
recommending either purchasing, selling, or holding various stocks.


Financial assets

Claims on real assets.


financial assets

Claims to the income generated by real assets. Also called securities.


Financial Assistance

Economic assistance provided by unrelated third parties, typically government agencies. They may take the form of loans, loan guarantees, subsidies, tax allowances, contributions, or cost-sharing arrangements.


financial budget

a plan that aggregates monetary details
from the operating budgets; includes the cash and capital
budgets of a company as well as the pro forma financial
statements


Financial control

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


Financial Covenant

A feature of a debt or credit agreement that is designed to protect the lender or creditor. It is common to characterize covenants as either positive or negative covenants.
A positive covenant might require that the debtor maintain a minimum amount of working capital.
A negative covenant might limit dividend payments that may be made.


Financial distress

Events preceding and including bankruptcy, such as violation of loan contracts.


Financial distress costs

Legal and administrative costs of liquidation or reorganization. Also includes
implied costs associated with impaired ability to do business (indirect costs).


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Financial engineering

Combining or dividing existing instruments to create new financial products.



Financial future

A contract entered into now that provides for the delivery of a specified asset in exchange
for the selling price at some specified future date.


financial incentive

a monetary reward provided for performance
above targeted objectives


Financial Incentive

An expression of economic benefit that motivates behavior that might otherwise not take place.


Financial intermediaries

Institutions that provide the market function of matching borrowers and lenders or
traders.


financial intermediary

Firm that raises money from many small investors and provides financing to businesses or other
organizations by investing in their securities.


Financial Intermediary

Any institution, such as a bank, that takes deposits from savers and loans them to borrowers.


Financial Intermediation

The process whereby financial intermediaries channel funds from lender/savers to borrower/spenders.


Financial lease

Long-term, non-cancelable lease.


Financial Lease

Lease in which the service provided by the lessor to the lessee is limited to financing equipment. All other responsibilities related to the possession of equipment, such as maintenance, insurance, and taxes, are borne by the lessee. A financial lease is usually noncancellable and is fully paid out amortized over its term.


Financial leverage

Use of debt to increase the expected return on equity. financial leverage is measured by
the ratio of debt to debt plus equity.


financial leverage

The equity (ownership) capital of a business can serve
as the basis for securing debt capital (borrowing money). In this way, a
business increases the total capital available to invest in its assets and
can make more sales and more profit. The strategy is to earn operating
profit, or earnings before interest and income tax (EBIT), on the capital
supplied from debt that is more than the interest paid on the debt capital.
A financial leverage gain equals the EBIT earned on debt capital
minus the interest on the debt. A financial leverage gain augments earnings
on equity capital. A business must earn a rate of return on its assets
(ROA) that is greater than the interest rate on its debt to make a financial
leverage gain. If the spread between its ROA and interest rate is unfavorable,
a business suffers a financial leverage loss.


financial leverage

Debt financing amplifies the effects of changes in operating income on the returns to stockholders.


Financial leverage clientele

A group of investors who have a preference for investing in firms that adhere to
a particular financial leverage policy.


Financial leverage ratios

Related: capitalization ratios.


Financial market

An organized institutional structure or mechanism for creating and exchanging financial assets.


financial markets

Markets in which financial assets are traded.


Financial Numbers Game

The use of creative accounting practices to alter a financial statement
reader's impression of a firm's business performance.


Financial objectives

Objectives of a financial nature that the firm will strive to accomplish during the period
covered by its financial plan.


Financial plan

A financial blueprint for the financial future of a firm.


Financial planning

The process of evaluating the investing and financing options available to a firm. It
includes attempting to make optimal decisions, projecting the consequences of these decisions for the firm in
the form of a financial plan, and then comparing future performance against that plan.


Financial Position

Status of a firm's assets, liabilities, and equity accounts as of a certain time, as shown in its financial statement.


Financial press

That portion of the media devoted to reporting financial news.


Financial ratio

The result of dividing one financial statement item by another. Ratios help analysts interpret
financial statements by focussing on specific relationships.


financial reports and statements

financial means having to do with
money and economic wealth. Statement means a formal presentation.
financial reports are printed and a copy is sent to each owner and each
major lender of the business. Most public corporations make their financial
reports available on a web site, so all or part of the financial report
can be downloaded by anyone. Businesses prepare three primary financial
statements: the statement of financial condition, or balance sheet;
the statement of cash flows; and the income statement. These three key
financial statements constitute the core of the periodic financial reports
that are distributed outside a business to its shareowners and lenders.
financial reports also include footnotes to the financial statements and
much other information. financial statements are prepared according to
generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which are the authoritative
rules that govern the measurement of net income and the reporting
of profit-making activities, financial condition, and cash flows.
Internal financial statements, although based on the same profit
accounting methods, report more information to managers for decision
making and control. Sometimes, financial statements are called simply
financials.


Financial reports or statements

The Profit and Loss account, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow statement of a business.


Financial risk

The risk that the cash flow of an issuer will not be adequate to meet its financial obligations.
Also referred to as the additional risk that a firm's stockholder bears when the firm utilizes debt and equity.


financial risk

Risk to shareholders resulting from the use of debt.


financial slack

Ready access to cash or debt financing.


Financial Trend Analysis

Process of analyzing financial statements of a company for any continuing relationship.


Financial year

The accounting period adopted by a business for the production of its financial statements.
Finished goods Inventory that is ready for sale, either having been purchased as such or the result of a conversion from raw materials through a manufacturing process.


Fraudulent Financial Reporting

Intentional misstatements or omissions of amounts or disclosures
in financial statements done to deceive financial statement users. The term is used interchangeably
with accounting irregularities. A technical difference exists in that with fraud, it
must be shown that a reader of financial statements that contain intentional and material misstatements
must have used those financial statements to his or her detriment. In this book, accounting
practices are not alleged to be fraudulent until done so by an administrative, civil, or
criminal proceeding, such as that of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a court.


Future-Oriented Financial Information

Information about prospective results of operations, financial position and/or changes in financial position, based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Future-oriented financial information is presented as either a forecast or a projection.


London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE)

A London exchange where Eurodollar futures
as well as futures-style options are traded.


London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE)

London exchange where Eurodollar futures as well as futures-style options are traded.


Long-term financial plan

financial plan covering two or more years of future operations.


Non-financial services

Include such things as freight, insurance, passenger services, and travel.


Notes to the financial statements

A detailed set of notes immediately following the financial statements in
an annual report that explain and expand on the information in the financial statements.


Perfectly competitive financial markets

Markets in which no trader has the power to change the price of
goods or services. Perfect capital markets are characterized by the following conditions: 1) trading is costless,
and access to the financial markets is free, 2) information about borrowing and lending opportunities is freely
available, 3) there are many traders, and no single trader can have a significant impact on market prices.


Pro forma financial statements

financial statements as adjusted to reflect a projected or planned transaction.


Published Financial

financial statements and financial information made public.


Restatement of Prior-Year Financial Statements

A recasting of prior-year financial statements to remove the effects of an error or other adjustment and report them on a new basis.


Short-term financial plan

A financial plan that covers the coming fiscal year.


Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT)

A dedicated computer network to support funds transfer messages internationally between over 900 member banks worldwide.


Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 52

This is the currency translation standard currently
used by U.S. firms. It mandates the use of the current rate method. See: Statement of financial Accounting
Standards No. 8.


Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 8

This is a currency translation standard previously in
use by U.S. accounting firms. See: Statement of Accounting Standards No. 52.


statement of financial condition

See balance sheet.


absorption costing

a cost accumulation and reporting
method that treats the costs of all manufacturing components
(direct material, direct labor, variable overhead, and
fixed overhead) as inventoriable or product costs; it is the
traditional approach to product costing; it must be used for
external financial statements and tax returns


Abusive Earnings Management

The use of various forms of gimmickry to distort a company's true financial performance in order to achieve a desired result.


Accidental Dismemberment: (Credit Insurance)

Provides additional financial security should an insured person be dismembered or lose the use of a limb as the result of an accident.


Account

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


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 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 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 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 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.


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 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-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.


Accrued expenses payable

Expenses that have to be recorded in order for the financial statements to be accurate. Accrued expenses usually do not involve the receipt of an invoice from the company providing the goods or services.


Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income

Cumulative gains or losses reported in shareholders'
equity that arise from changes in the fair value of available-for-sale securities, from the
effects of changes in foreign-currency exchange rates on consolidated foreign-currency financial
statements, certain gains and losses on financial derivatives, and from adjustments for underfunded
pension plans.


acid test ratio (also called the quick ratio)

The sum of cash, accounts receivable, and short-term marketable
investments (if any) is divided by
total current liabilities to compute this ratio. Suppose that the short-term
creditors were to pounce on a business and not agree to roll over the
debts owed to them by the business. In this rather extreme scenario, the
acid test ratio reveals whether its cash and near-cash assets are enough
to pay its short-term current liabilities. This ratio is an extreme test that
is not likely to be imposed on a business unless it is in financial straits.
This ratio is quite relevant when a business is in a liquidation situation
or bankruptcy proceedings.


activity-based costing (ABC)

a process using multiple cost drivers to predict and allocate costs to products and services;
an accounting system collecting financial and operational
data on the basis of the underlying nature and extent
of business activities; an accounting information and
costing system that identifies the various activities performed
in an organization, collects costs on the basis of
the underlying nature and extent of those activities, and
assigns costs to products and services based on consumption
of those activities by the products and services


Adjusted Cash Flow Provided by Continuing Operations

Cash flow provided by operating
activities adjusted to provide a more recurring, sustainable measure. Adjustments to reported cash
provided by operating activities are made to remove such nonrecurring cash items as: the operating
component of discontinued operations, income taxes on items classified as investing or financing activities, income tax benefits from nonqualified employee stock options, the cash effects of purchases and sales of trading securities for nonfinancial firms, capitalized expenditures, and other nonrecurring cash inflows and outflows.


Aggregation

Process in corporate financial planning whereby the smaller investment proposals of each of the
firm's operational units are added up and in effect treated as a big picture.


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.


Aggressive Cost Capitalization

Cost capitalization that stretches the flexibility within generally
accepted accounting principles beyond its intended limits, resulting in reporting as assets
items that more reasonably should have been expensed. The purpose of this activity is likely to
alter financial results and financial position in order to create a potentially misleading impression
of a firm's business performance or financial position.


American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

Certificates issued by a U.S. depositary bank, representing foreign
shares held by the bank, usually by a branch or correspondent in the country of issue. One ADR may
represent a portion of a foreign share, one share or a bundle of shares of a foreign corporation. If the ADR's
are "sponsored," the corporation provides financial information and other assistance to the bank and may
subsidize the administration of the ADRs. "Unsponsored" ADRs do not receive such assistance. ADRs carry
the same currency, political and economic risks as the underlying foreign share; the prices of the two, adjusted for the SDR/ordinary ratio, are kept essentially identical by arbitrage. American depositary shares(ADSs) are
a similar form of certification.


Annual fund operating expenses

For investment companies, the management fee and "other expenses,"
including the expenses for maintaining shareholder records, providing shareholders with financial statements,
and providing custodial and accounting services. For 12b-1 funds, selling and marketing costs are included.


Annual report

Yearly record of a publicly held company's financial condition. It includes a description of the
firm's operations, its balance sheet and income statement. SEC rules require that it be distributed to all
shareholders. A more detailed version is called a 10-K.


Annual Report

The report required by the Stock Exchange for all listed companies, containing the company’s financial statements.


Antifraud Provisions

Specific sections and rules of the 1933 Act and 1934 Act that are
designed to reduce fraud and deceit in financial filings made with the SEC. The antifraud provisions
are Section 17(a) of the 1933 Act and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the 1934 Act.


Articulation

When numbers from different financial statements relate to one another.


Asset

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


Asset-Based Financing

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


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.


Assets requirements

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


Audit Committee

A subcommittee of a company's board of directors assigned the responsibility
of ensuring that corporate financial reporting is fair and honest and that an audit is conducted
in a probing and diligent manner.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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