Financial Terms
Financial plan

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Definition of Financial plan

Financial Plan Image 1

Financial plan

A financial blueprint for the financial future of a firm.

Related Terms:

Corporate financial planning

financial planning conducted by a firm that encompasses preparation of both
long- and short-term financial plans.

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.

Long-term financial plan

financial plan covering two or more years of future operations.

Short-term financial plan

A financial plan that covers the coming fiscal year.


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.

Assets requirements

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

Economic assumptions

Economic environment in which the firm expects to reside over the life of the
financial plan.

Financial Plan Image 2

Financial objectives

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

Planned capital expenditure program

Capital expenditure program as outlined in the corporate financial plan.

Planned financing program

Program of short-term and long-term financing as outlined in the corporate
financial plan.


A variable that handles financial slack in the financial plan.

Sales forecast

A key input to a firm's financial planning process. External sales forecasts are based on
historical experience, statistical analysis, and consideration of various macroeconomic factors.


a financial plan for the future based on a single level
of activity; the quantitative expression of a company’s commitment
to planned activities and resource acquisition and use

balancing item

Variable that adjusts to maintain the consistency
of a financial plan. Also called plug.

planning horizon

Time horizon for a financial plan.

Baker Plan

A plan by U.S. Treasury Secretary James Baker under which 15 principal middle-income debtor
countries (the Baker 15) would undertake growth-oriented structural reforms, to be supported by increased
financing from the World Bank and continued lending from commercial banks.

Financial Plan Image 3

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.

Corporate financial management

The application of financial principals within a corporation to create and
maintain value through decision making and proper resource management.

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.

Defined benefit plan

A pension plan in which the sponsor agrees to make specified dollar payments to
qualifying employees. The pension obligations are effectively the debt obligation of the plan sponsor.
Related: defined contribution plan

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.

Dividend reinvestment plan (DRP)

Automatic reinvestment of shareholder dividends in more shares of a
company's stock, often without commissions. Some plans provide for the purchase of additional shares at a
discount to market price. Dividend reinvestment plans allow shareholders to accumulate stock over the Long
term using dollar cost averaging. The DRP is usually administered by the company without charges to the

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.

Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)

A company contributes to a trust fund that buys stock on behalf of

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 control

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

Financial Plan Image 4

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).

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 intermediaries

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

Financial lease

Long-term, non-cancelable lease.

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 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 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 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.

Floor planning

Arrangement used to finance inventory. A finance company buys the inventory, which is then
held in trust by the user.

Insured plans

Defined benefit pension plans that are guaranteed by life insurance products. Related: noninsured plans

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.

Materials requirement planning

Computer-based systems that plan backward from the production schedule
to make purchases in order to manage inventory levels.

Money purchase plan

A defined benefit contribution plan in which the participant contributes some part and
the firm contributes at the same or a different rate. Also called and individual account plan.

Non-financial services

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

Non-insured plans

Defined benefit pension plans that are not guaranteed by life insurance products. Related:
insured plans

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.

Overfunded pension plan

A pension plan that has a positive surplus (i.e., assets exceed liabilities).

Pension plan

A fund that is established for the payment of retirement benefits.

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.

Plan for reorganization

A plan for reorganizing a firm during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.

Plan sponsors

The entities that establish pension plans, including private business entities acting for their
employees; state and local entities operating on behalf of their employees; unions acting on behalf of their
members; and individuals representing themselves.

Planned amortization class CMO

1) One class of CMO that carries the most stable cash flows and the
lowest prepayement risk of any class of CMO. Because of that stable cash flow, it is considered the least risky CMO.
2) A CMO bond class that stipulates cash-flow contributions to a sinking fund. With the PAC,
principal payments are directed to the sinking fund on a priority basis in accordance with a predetermined
payment schedule, with prior claim to the cash flows before other CMO classes. Similarly, cash flows
received by the trust in excess of the sinking fund requirement are also allocated to other bond classes. The
prepayment experience of the PAC is therefore very stable over a wide range of prepayment experience.

Planning horizon

The length of time a model projects into the future.

Pro forma financial statements

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

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. 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 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.

Tax-deferred retirement plans

Employer-sponsored and other plans that allow contributions and earnings to
be made and accumulate tax-free until they are paid out as benefits.

Underfunded pension plan

A pension plan that has a negative surplus (i.e., liabilities exceed assets).

Withdrawal plan

The ability to establish automatic periodic mutual fund redemptions and have proceeds
mailed directly to the investor.

Financial accounting

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

Financial reports or statements

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

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.

Planning, programming and budgeting system (PPBS)

A method of budgeting in which budgets are allocated to projects or programmes rather than to responsibility centres.

statement of financial condition

See balance sheet.

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 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

property, plant, and equipment

This label is generally used in financial
reports to describe the long-term assets of a business, which include
land, buildings, machinery, equipment, tools, vehicles, computers, furniture
and fixtures, and other tangible long-lived resources that are not
held for sale but are used in the operations of a business. The less formal
name for these assets is fixed assets, which see.

cafeteria plan a “menu” of fringe benefit options that include

cash or nontaxable benefits

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

a profit-sharing compensation program in which investments are made in
the securities of the employer

enterprise resource planning (ERP) system

a packaged software program that allows a company to
(1) automate and integrate the majority of its business processes,
(2) share common data and practices across the entire enterprise, and
(3) produce and access information in a realtime environment

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

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

financial incentive

a monetary reward provided for performance
above targeted objectives

manufacturing resource planning (MRP II)

a fully integrated materials requirement planning system that involves
top management and provides a basis for both strategic
and tactical planning

materials requirements planning (MRP)

a computerbased information system that simulates the ordering and
scheduling of demand-dependent inventories; a simulation
of the parts fabrication and subassembly activities that are
required, in an appropriate time sequence, to meet a production
master schedule

operational plan

a formulation of the details of implementing
and maintaining an organization’s strategic plan;
it is typically formalized in the master budget


the process of creating the goals and objectives for
an organization and developing a strategy for achieving
them in a systematic manner

strategic planning

the process of developing a statement of
long-range (5–10 years) goals for the organization and
defining the strategies and policies that will help the organization
achieve those goals

tactical planning

the process of determining the specific
means or objectives by which the strategic plans of the
organization will be achieved; it is short-range in nature
(usually 1–18 months)

Manufacturing resource planning (MRP II)

An expansion of the material requirements planning concept, with additional computer-based capabilities in the areas of
direct labor and machine capacity planning.

Material requirements planning (MRP)

A computer-driven production methodology
that manufactures products based on an initial demand forecast. It tends to result in
more inventory of all types than a just-in-time (JIT) production system.

Pension plan

A formal agreement between an entity and its employees, whereby the
entity agrees to provide some benefits to the employees upon their retirement.

Property, plant, and equipment

This item is comprised of all types of fixed assets
recorded on the balance sheet, and is intended to reveal the sum total of all tangible,
long-term assets used to conduct business.

chief financial officer (CFO)

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

costs of financial distress

Costs arising from bankruptcy or distorted business decisions before bankruptcy.

financial assets

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

financial intermediary

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

financial leverage

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

financial markets

Markets in which financial assets are traded.

financial risk

Risk to shareholders resulting from the use of debt.

financial slack

Ready access to cash or debt financing.

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.

Plant and Equipment

Buildings and machines that firms use to produce output.

401k Plan

A retirement plan set up by an employer, into which employees can
contribute the lesser of $13,000 or 15 percent of their pay (as of 2004), which
is excluded from taxation until such time as they remove the funds from the account.







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