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Definition of Debtors

Debtors Image 1


Sales to customers who have bought goods or services on credit but who have not yet paid their debt.

Related Terms:

Current assets

Amounts receivable by the business within a period of 12 months, including bank, debtors, inventory and prepayments.


Notes receivable are promissory notes that the company has accepted from its debtors. Most promissory notes pay interest. Those that are due within a year are shown under “Current Assets.” Those that mature in more than a year would be listed under “Long-term Assets.” If a note is being
collected in installments, the payments due within the next twelve months are shown as a current asset, and the remainder is shown as a long-term asset.

Working capital

Current assets less current liabilities. Money that revolves in the business as part of the process of buying, making and selling goods and services, particularly in relation to debtors, creditors, inventory and bank.

Accounts receivable

Money owed by customers.


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.

Debtors Image 1

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.

Acquisition of assets

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


A firm's productive resources.


Anything of value that a company owns.

Debtors Image 2


Things that the business owns.


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 age of accounts receivable

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

Average collection period, or days' receivables

The ratio of accounts receivables to sales, or the total
amount of credit extended per dollar of daily sales (average AR/sales * 365).

BAN (Bank anticipation notes)

notes issued by states and municipalities to obtain interim financing for
projects that will eventually be funded long term through the sale of a bond issue.

concurrent engineering

see simultaneous engineering

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.

Current asset

Typically the cash, accounts receivable, and inventory accounts on the
balance sheet, or any other assets that are expected to be liquidated within a short
time interval.

Current cost

Under target costing concepts, this is the cost that would be applied to a
new product design if no additional steps were taken to reduce costs, such as
through value engineering or kaizen costing. Under traditional costing concepts, this
is the cost of manufacturing a product with work methods, materials, and specifications
currently in use.

Current coupon

A bond selling at or close to par, that is, a bond with a coupon close to the yields currently
offered on new bonds of a similar maturity and credit risk.

Current-coupon issues

Related: Benchmark issues

Current Dollars

A variable like GDP is measured in current dollars if each year's value is measured in prices prevailing during that year. In contrast, when measured in real or constant dollars, each year's value is measured in a base year's prices.

Current Income Tax Expense

That portion of the total income tax provision that is based on
taxable income.

Current issue

In Treasury securities, the most recently auctioned issue. Trading is more active in current
issues than in off-the-run issues.

Current liabilities

Amount owed for salaries, interest, accounts payable and other debts due within 1 year.

Current liabilities

Bills a company must pay within the next twelve months.

Current liabilities

Amounts due and payable by the business within a period of 12 months, e.g. bank overdraft, creditors and accruals.

current liabilities

current means that these liabilities require payment in
the near term. Generally, these include accounts payable, accrued
expenses payable, income tax payable, short-term notes payable, and
the portion of long-term debt that will come due during the coming year.
Keep in mind that a business may roll over its debt; the old, maturing
debt may be replaced in part or in whole by new borrowing.

Current Liabilities

Debts or other obligations coming due within a year.

Current liability

This is typically the accounts payable, short-term notes payable, and
accrued expense accounts on the balance sheet, or any other liabilities that are
expected to be liquidated within a short time interval.

Current maturity

current time to maturity on an outstanding debt instrument.
current / noncurrent method
Under this currency translation method, all of a foreign subsidiary's current
assets and liabilities are translated into home currency at the current exchange rate while noncurrent assets
and liabilities are translated at the historical exchange rate, that is, the rate in effect at the time the asset was
acquired or the liability incurred.

Current rate method

Under this currency translation method, all foreign currency balance-sheet and income
statement items are translated at the current exchange rate.

Current ratio

Indicator of short-term debt paying ability. Determined by dividing current assets by current
liabilities. The higher the ratio, the more liquid the company.

Current ratio

A ratio that shows how many times a company could pay its current debts if it used its current assets to pay them. The formula:
(current assets) / (current liabilities)

current ratio

Calculated to assess the short-term solvency, or debt-paying
ability of a business, it equals total current assets divided by total current
liabilities. Some businesses remain solvent with a relatively low current
ratio; others could be in trouble with an apparently good current ratio.
The general rule is that the current ratio should be 2:1 or higher, but
please take this with a grain of salt, because current ratios vary widely
from industry to industry.

Current Ratio

A measure of the ability of a company to use its current assets to
pay its current liabilities. It is calculated by dividing the total current
assets by the total current liabilities.

Current Ratio

current assets divided by current liabilities. This ratio indicates the extent to which the claims of short-term creditors are covered by assets expected to be converted to cash in the near future.

Current Tax Payment Act of 1943

A federal Act requiring employers to withhold income taxes from employee pay.

Current yield

For bonds or notes, the coupon rate divided by the market price of the bond.

current yield

Annual coupon payments divided by bond price.

Current Yield

The percentage return on a financial asset based on the current price of the asset, without reference to any expected change in the price of the asset. This contrasts with yield-to-maturity, for which the calculation includes expected price changes. See also yield.

Days in receivables

Average collection period.

Demand master notes

Short-term securities that are repayable immediately upon the holder's demand.

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.

Documented discount notes

Commercial paper backed by normal bank lines plus a letter of credit from a
bank stating that it will pay off the paper at maturity if the borrower does not. Such paper is also referred to as
LOC (letter of credit) paper.

Exchange of assets

Acquisition of another company by purchase of its assets in exchange for cash or stock.

Extendable notes

Note the maturity of which can be extended by mutual agreement of the issuer and

Financial assets

Claims on real assets.

financial assets

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

Fixed assets

Things that the business owns and are part of the business infrastructure – fixed assets may be
tangible or intangible.

fixed assets

An informal term that refers to the variety of long-term operating
resources used by a business in its operations—including real
estate, machinery, equipment, tools, vehicles, office furniture, computers,
and so on. In balance sheets, these assets are typically labeled property,
plant, and equipment. The term fixed assets captures the idea that the
assets are relatively fixed in place and are not held for sale in the normal
course of business. The cost of fixed assets, except land, is depreciated,
which means the cost is allocated over the estimated useful lives of the

Fixed Assets

Land, buildings, plant, equipment, and other assets acquired for carrying on the business of a company with a life exceeding one year. Normally expressed in financial accounts at cost, less accumulated depreciation.

Fixed Assets Turnover Ratio

A measure of the utilization of a company's fixed assets to
generate sales. It is calculated by dividing the sales for the period
by the book value of the net fixed assets.

Intangible assets

assets owned by the company that do not possess physical substance; they usually take the form of rights and privileges such as patents, copyrights, and franchises.

Intangible fixed assets

Non-physical assets, e.g. customer goodwill or intellectual property (patents and trademarks).

Long-term assets

Value of property, equipment and other capital assets minus the depreciation. This is an
entry in the bookkeeping records of a company, usually on a "cost" basis and thus does not necessarily reflect
the market value of the assets.

Longer-Term Fixed Assets

assets having a useful life greater than one year but the duration of the 'long term' will vary with the context in which the term is applied.

Money market notes

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

Municipal notes

Short-term notes issued by municipalities in anticipation of tax receipts, proceeds from a
bond issue, or other revenues.

Net assets

The difference between total assets on the one hand and current liabilities and noncapitalized longterm
liabilities on the other hand.

Non-reproducible assets

A tangible asset with unique physical properties, like a parcel of land, a mine, or a
work of art.

Notes payable

Amounts owed by the company that have been formalized by a legal document called a note.

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.


(also called average collection period). The number of days of net sales that are tied up in credit sales (accounts receivable) that haven’t been collected yet.

Other assets

A cluster of accounts that are listed after fixed assets on the balance sheet,
and which contain minor assets that cannot be reasonably fit into any of the other
main asset categories.

Other current assets

Value of non-cash assets, including prepaid expenses and accounts receivable, due
within 1 year.

Personal Assets

assets, the title of which are held personally rather than in the name of some other legal entity.

Preferred Stock Stock that has a claim on assets and dividends of a corporation that are prior

to that of common stock. Preferred stock typically does not carry the right to vote.

Project notes (PNs)

Project notes are issued by municipalities to finance federally sponsored programs in
urban renewal and housing and are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Project financing A form of asset-based financing in which a firm finances a discrete set of assets on a standalone
Projected benefit obligation (PBO) A measure of a pension plan's liability at the calculation date assuming
that the plan is ongoing and will not terminate in the foreseeable future. Related:accumulated benefit obligation.

Publicly traded assets

assets that can be traded in a public market, such as the stock market.

Quick assets

current assets minus inventories.


The percentage return or profit that management made on each dollar of assets. The formula is:
(Net income) / (Total assets)

Real assets

Identifiable assets, such as buildings, equipment, patents, and trademarks, as distinguished from a
financial obligation.

real assets

assets used to produce goods and services.

Realizable Revenue A revenue transaction where assets received in exchange for goods and

services are readily convertible into known amounts of cash or claims to cash.

Receivables balance fractions

The percentage of a month's sales that remain uncollected (and part of
accounts receivable) at the end of succeeding months.

Receivables turnover ratio

Total operating revenues divided by average receivables. Used to measure how
effectively a firm is managing its accounts receivable.

Reproducible assets

A tangible asset with physical properties that can be reproduced, such as a building or

Residual assets

assets that remain after sufficient assets are dedicated to meet all senior debtholder's claims in full.

Return on assets (ROA)

Indicator of profitability. Determined by dividing net income for the past 12 months
by total average assets. Result is shown as a percentage. ROA can be decomposed into return on sales (net
income/sales) multiplied by asset utilization (sales/assets).

return on assets (ROA)

Although there is no single uniform practice for
calculating this ratio, generally it equals operating profit (before interest
and income tax) for a year divided by the total assets that are used to
generate the profit. ROA is the key ratio to test whether a business is
earning enough on its assets to cover its cost of capital. ROA is used for
determining financial leverage gain (or loss).

Return on total assets

The ratio of earnings available to common stockholders to total assets.

Return on Total Assets Ratio

A measure of the percentage return earned on the value of the
assets in the company. It is calculated by dividing the net income
available for distribution to shareholders by the book value of all

Tangible fixed assets

Physical assets that can be seen and touched, e.g. buildings, machinery, vehicles, computers etc.

TANs (tax anticipation notes)

Tax anticipation notes issued by states or municipalities to finance current
operations in anticipation of future tax receipts.

Total Debt to Total Assets Ratio

See debt ratio

Treasury notes

Debt obligations of the U.S. Treasury that have maturities of more than 2 years but less than 10 years.

Unbilled Accounts Receivable

Revenue recognized under the percentage-of-completion
method in excess of amounts billed. Also known as cost plus estimated earnings in excess of







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