Financial Terms
Leasehold improvement

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Definition of Leasehold improvement

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Leasehold improvement

This is any upgrade to leased property by a lessee that will be
usable for more than one year, and which exceeds the lessee’s capitalization limit.
It is recorded as a fixed asset and depreciated over a period no longer than the life
of the underlying lease.

Related Terms:

Leasehold improvements

The cost of improvements made to property that the company leases.

continuous improvement

an ongoing process of enhancing employee task performance, level of product quality, and level of company service through eliminating nonvalue-added activities to reduce lead time, making products
(performing services) with zero defects, reducing
product costs on an ongoing basis, and simplifying products
and processes

Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperatives Loans Act

See here

Land improvements

The cost of improvements to land owned by the company, such as fencing and outdoor lighting.

continuous budgeting

a process in which there is a rolling
twelve-month budget; a new budget month (twelve months
into the future) is added as each current month expires

Continuous compounding

The process of accumulating the time value of money forward in time on a
continuous, or instantaneous, basis. Interest is earned continuously, and at each instant, the interest that
accrues immediately begins earning interest on itself.

Continuous Compounding

The process of continuously adding interest to a principal plus
interest amount and calculating the resulting compound amount

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Continuous Discounting

The process of calculating the present value of a stream of future
cash flows by discounting over a continuous period of time

continuous loss

any reduction in units that occurs uniformly
throughout a production process

Continuous random variable

A random value that can take any fractional value within specified ranges, as
contrasted with a discrete variable.

Land improvements

The cost of improvements to land owned by the company, such as fencing and outdoor lighting.

Absorption costing

A method of costing in which all fixed and variable production costs are charged to products or services using an allocation base.

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

Absorption costing

A methodology under which all manufacturing costs are assigned
to products, while all non-manufacturing costs are expensed in the current period.

Accelerated cost recovery system (ACRS)

Schedule of depreciation rates allowed for tax purposes.

accepted quality level (AQL)

the maximum limit for the number of defects or errors in a process

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Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release (AAER)

Administrative proceedings or litigation releases that entail an accounting or auditing-related violation of the securities laws.

Accounting period

The period of time for which financial statements are produced – see also financial year.

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-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.

Acquisition of assets

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

Activity-based costing

A method of costing that uses cost pools to accumulate the cost of significant business activities and then assigns the costs from the cost pools to products or services based on cost drivers.

activity based costing (ABC)

A relatively new method advocated for the
allocation of indirect costs. The key idea is to classify indirect costs,
many of which are fixed in amount for a period of time, into separate
activities and to develop a measure for each activity called a cost driver.
The products or other functions in the business that benefit from the
activity are allocated shares of the total indirect cost for the period based
on their usage as measured by the cost driver.

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

Activity-based costing (ABC)

A cost allocation system that compiles costs and assigns
them to activities based on relevant activity drivers. The cost of these activities can
then be charged to products or customers to arrive at a much more relevant allocation
of costs than was previously the case.

Actual cost

The actual expenditure made to acquire an asset, which includes the supplierinvoiced
expense, plus the costs to deliver and set up the asset.

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actual cost system

a valuation method that uses actual direct
material, direct labor, and overhead charges in determining
the cost of Work in process Inventory

Agency basis

A means of compensating the broker of a program trade solely on the basis of commission
established through bids submitted by various brokerage firms. agency incentive arrangement. A means of
compensating the broker of a program trade using benchmark prices for issues to be traded in determining
commissions or fees.

Agency cost view

The argument that specifies that the various agency costs create a complex environment in
which total agency costs are at a minimum with some, but less than 100%, debt financing.

Agency costs

The incremental costs of having an agent make decisions for a principal.

Agency pass-throughs

Mortgage pass-through securities whose principal and interest payments are
guaranteed by government agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") and Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae").

Aggregate Production Function

An equation determining aggregate output as a function of aggregate inputs such as labor and capital.

Aggressive Capitalization Policies

Capitalizing and reporting as assets significant portions of
expenditures, the realization of which require unduly optimistic assumptions.

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.

All-in cost

Total costs, explicit and implicit.

All or none

Requirement that none of an order be executed unless all of it can be executed at the specified price.

All-or-none underwriting

An arrangement whereby a security issue is canceled if the underwriter is unable
to re-sell the entire issue.

Amortized Cost

cost of a security adjusted for the amortization of any purchase premium or

Annualized holding period return

The annual rate of return that when compounded t times, would have
given the same t-period holding return as actually occurred from period 1 to period t.

Annuity Period

The time between each payment under an annuity.

applied overhead

the amount of overhead that has been assigned to Work in process Inventory as a result of productive activity; credits for This amount are to an overhead account

appraisal cost

a quality control cost incurred for monitoring
or inspection; compensates for mistakes not eliminated
through prevention activities


any possession that has value in an exchange.


A resource, recorded through a transaction, that is expected to yield a benefit to a


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


Probable future economic benefit that is obtained or controlled by an entity as a result of
a past transaction or event.


anything owned by, or owed to, an individual or business which has commercial or exchange value (e.g., cash, property, etc.).


All things of value owned by an individual or organization.

Asset activity ratios

Ratios that measure how effectively the firm is managing its assets.

Asset allocation decision

The decision regarding how an institution's funds should be distributed among the
major classes of assets in which it may invest.

Asset-Backed Securities

Bond or note secured by assets of company.

Asset-backed security

A security that is collateralized by loans, leases, receivables, or installment contracts
on personal property, not real estate.

Asset-based financing

Methods of financing in which lenders and equity investors look principally to the
cash flow from a particular asset or set of assets for a return on, and the return of, their financing.

Asset-Based Financing

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

Asset classes

Categories of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate and foreign securities.

Asset Coverage

Extent to which a company's net assets cover a particular debt obligation, class of preferred stock, or equity position.

Asset-coverage test

A bond indenture restriction that permits additional borrowing on if the ratio of assets to
debt does not fall below a specified minimum.

Asset/equity ratio

The ratio of total assets to stockholder equity.

Asset for asset swap

Creditors exchange the debt of one defaulting borrower for the debt of another
defaulting borrower.

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.

asset mix

The weighting of assets in an investment portfolio among different asset classes (e.g. shares, bonds, property, cash, overseas investments.

Asset pricing model

A model for determining the required rate of return on an asset.

Asset pricing model

A model, such as the Capital asset Pricing Model (CAPM), that determines the required
rate of return on a particular asset.

Asset-specific Risk

The amount of total risk that can be eliminated by diversification by
creating a portfolio. Also known as company-specific risk or
unsystematic risk.

Asset substitution

A firm's investing in assets that are riskier than those that the debtholders expected.

Asset substitution problem

Arises when the stockholders substitute riskier assets for the firm's existing
assets and expropriate value from the debtholders.

Asset swap

An interest rate swap used to alter the cash flow characteristics of an institution's assets so as to
provide a better match with its iabilities.

Asset turnover

The ratio of net sales to total assets.

asset turnover

a ratio measuring asset productivity and showing the number of sales dollars generated by each dollar of assets

asset turnover ratio

A broad-gauge ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by total assets. It is a rough measure of the sales-generating
power of assets. The idea is that assets are used to make sales, and the
sales should lead to profit. The ultimate test is not sales revenue on
assets, but the profit earned on assets as measured by the return on
assets (ROA) ratio.


A firm's productive resources.


anything of value that a company owns.


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.


An option is at-the-money if the strike price of the option is equal to the market price of the
underlying security. For example, if xyz stock is trading at 54, then the xyz 54 option is at-the-money.

attribute-based costing (ABC II)

an extension of activitybased costing using cost-benefit analysis (based on increased customer utility) to choose the product attribute
enhancements that the company wants to integrate into a product

Average Amortization Period

The average useful life of a company's collective amortizable asset base.

Average Collection Period

Average number of days necessary to receive cash for the sale of
a company's products. It is calculated by dividing the value of the
accounts receivable by the average daily sales for the period.

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).

Average-Cost Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that assigns the average
cost of beginning inventory and inventory purchases during a period to cost of goods sold and
ending inventory.

Average cost of capital

A firm's required payout to the bondholders and to the stockholders expressed as a
percentage of capital contributed to the firm. Average cost of capital is computed by dividing the total
required cost of capital by the total amount of contributed capital.

Average life

Also referred to as the weighted-average life (WAL). The average number of years that each
dollar of unpaid principal due on the mortgage remains outstanding. Average life is computed as the weighted average time to the receipt of all future cash flows, using as the weights the dollar amounts of the principal

Avoidable costs

costs that are identifiable with and able to be influenced by decisions made at the business
unit (e.g. division) level.

backflush costing

a streamlined cost accounting method that speeds up, simplifies, and reduces accounting effort in an environment that minimizes inventory balances, requires
few allocations, uses standard costs, and has minimal variances
from standard

Bank discount basis

A convention used for quoting bids and offers for treasury bills in terms of annualized
yield , based on a 360-day year.

Bank overdraft

Money owed to the bank in a cheque account where payments exceed receipts.

Bankruptcy cost view

The argument that expected indirect and direct bankruptcy costs offset the other
benefits from leverage so that the optimal amount of leverage is less than 100% debt finaning.

BARRA's performance analysis (PERFAN)

A method developed by BARRA, a consulting firm in
Berkeley, Calif. It is commonly used by institutional investors applying performance attribution analysis to
evaluate their money managers' performances.

Base Year

The reference year when constructing a price index. By tradition it is given the value 100.


Regarding a futures contract, the difference between the cash price and the futures price observed in the
market. Also, it is the price an investor pays for a security plus any out-of-pocket expenses. It is used to
determine capital gains or losses for tax purposes when the stock is sold.

Basis point

In the bond market, the smallest measure used for quoting yields is a basis point. Each percentage
point of yield in bonds equals 100 basis points. basis points also are used for interest rates. An interest rate of
5% is 50 basis points greater than an interest rate of 4.5%.

Basis Point

one one-hundredth of one percent

Basis point

one hundredth of one percentage point, or 0.0001.

Basis Point

one one-hundredth of a percentage point, used to express variations in yields. For example, the difference between 5.36 percent and 5.38 percent is 2 basis points.

Basis price

Price expressed in terms of yield to maturity or annual rate of return.

Basis risk

The uncertainty about the basis at the time a hedge may be lifted. Hedging substitutes basis risk for
price risk.

Batch cost

A cost that is incurred when a group of products or services are produced,
and which cannot be identified to specific products or services within each group.

batch-level cost

a cost that is caused by a group of things
being made, handled, or processed at a single time

Blue-chip company

Large and creditworthy company.

Bond-equivalent basis

The method used for computing the bond-equivalent yield.

Break-even lease payment

The lease payment at which a party to a prospective lease is indifferent between
entering and not entering into the lease arrangement.

Break-even time

Related: Premium payback period.

budgeted cost

a planned expenditure

business process reengineering (BPR)

the process of combining information technology to create new and more effective
business processes to lower costs, eliminate unnecessary
work, upgrade customer service, and increase
speed to market

business-value-added activity

an activity that is necessary for the operation of the business but for which a customer would not want to pay

Buy limit order

A conditional trading order that indicates a security may be purchased only at the designated
price or lower.
Related: Sell limit order.


an incidental output of a joint process; it is salable,
but the sales value of by-products is not substantial enough
for management to justify undertaking the joint process; it
is viewed as having a higher sales value than scrap


A product that is an ancillary part of the primary production process, having
a minor resale value in comparison to the value of the primary product being
manufactured. any proceeds from the sale of a by-product are typically offset
against the cost of the primary product, or recorded as miscellaneous revenue.


A material created incidental to a production process, which can be
sold for value.







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