Financial Terms
mission statement

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Definition of mission statement

Mission Statement Image 1

mission statement

a written expression of organizational purpose that describes how the organization uniquely meets its targeted customers’ needs with its products or services

Related Terms:

build mission

a mission of increasing market share, even at
the expense of short-term profits and cash flow; typically
pursued by a business unit that has a small market share
in a high-growth industry; appropriate for products that
are in the early stages of the product life cycle


A statement that shows where a company’s cash came from and where it went for a period of time, such as a year.

Cash Flow statement

A financial report that shows the movement in cash for a business during an accounting period.


The fee paid to a broker to execute a trade, based on number of shares, bonds, options, and/or
their dollar value. In 1975, deregulation led to the creation of discount brokers, who charge lower
commissions than full service brokers. Full service brokers offer advice and usually have a full staff of
analysts who follow specific industries. Discount brokers simply execute a client's order -- and usually do not
offer an opinion on a stock. Also known as a round-turn.

Commission broker

A broker on the floor of an exchange acts as agent for a particular brokerage house and
who buys and sells stocks for the brokerage house on a commission basis.

Commission house

A firm which buys and sells future contracts for customer accounts. Related: futures
commission merchant, omnibus account.

common-size income statement

Income statement that presents items as a percentage of revenues.

Mission Statement Image 2

Convention statement

An annual statement filed by a life insurance company in each state where it does
business in compliance with that state's regulations. The statement and supporting documents show, among
other things, the assets, liabilities, and surplus of the reporting company.

Errors and Omissions Insurance

Insurance coverage purchased by the agent/broker which provides protection against loss incurred by a client because of some negligent act, error, oversight, or omission by the agent/broker.

External Financial Statements

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

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

Financial reports or statements

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

Futures commission merchant

A firm or person engaged in soliciting or accepting and handling orders for
the purchase or sale of futures contracts, subject to the rules of a futures exchange and, who, in connection
with such solicitation or acceptance of orders, accepts any money or securities to margin any resulting trades
or contracts. The FCM must be licensed by the CFTC. Related: commission house , omnibus account

harvest mission

a mission that attempts to maximize shortterm
profits and cash flow, even at the expense of market
share; it is typically pursued by a business unit that
has a large market share in a low-growth industry; it is appropriate
for products in the final stages of the product
life cycle

hold mission

a mission that attempts to protect the business
unit’s market share and competitive position; typically pursued
by a business unit with a large market share in a
high-growth industry


An accounting statement that summarizes information about a company in the following format:
Net Sales
– Cost of goods sold
Gross profit
– Operating expenses
Earnings before income tax
– Income tax
= Net income or (Net loss)
Formally called a “consolidated earnings statement,” it covers a period of time such as a quarter or a year.

Income Statement

One of the basic financial statements; it lists the revenue and expense accounts of the company.
The Income statement is prepared for a given period of time.

income statement

Financial statement that summarizes sales revenue
and expenses for a period and reports one or more profit lines for the
period. It’s one of the three primary financial statements of a business.
The bottom-line profit figure is labeled net income or net earnings by
most businesses. Externally reported income statements disclose less
information than do internal management profit reports—but both are
based on the same profit accounting principles and methods. Keep in
mind that profit is not known until accountants complete the recording
of sales revenue and expenses for the period (as well as determining any
extraordinary gains and losses that should be recorded in the period).
Profit measurement depends on the reliability of a business’s accounting
system and the choices of accounting methods by the business. Caution:
A business may engage in certain manipulations of its accounting methods,
and managers may intervene in the normal course of operations for
the purpose of improving the amount of profit recorded in the period,
which is called earnings management, income smoothing, cooking the
books, and other pejorative terms.

Income statement

A financial report that summarizes a company’s revenue, cost of
goods sold, gross margin, other costs, income, and tax obligations.

income statement

Financial statement that shows the revenues, expenses, and net income of a firm over a period of time.

Income statement (statement of operations)

A statement showing the revenues, expenses, and income (the
difference between revenues and expenses) of a corporation over some period of time.

Income Statements

A financial statement that displays a breakdown of total sales and total expenses.

Net errors and omissions

In balance of payments accounting, net errors and omissions record the statistical
discrepancies that arise in gathering balance of payments data.

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.

Official statement

A statement published by an issuer of a new municipal security describing itself and the issue

Pro forma financial statements

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

Pro forma statement

A financial statement showing the forecast or projected operating results and balance
sheet, as in pro forma income statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flows.

profit and loss statement (P&L statement)

This is an alternative moniker
for an income statement or for an internal management profit report.
Actually, it’s a misnomer because a business has either a profit or a loss
for a period. Accordingly, it should be profit or loss statement, but the
term has caught on and undoubtedly will continue to be profit and loss

Registration statement

A legal document that is filed with the SEC to register securities for public offering.


This is the restoration of a lapsed life insurance policy. The life insurance company will require evidence of continuing good health and the payment of all past due premiums plus interest.

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.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The federal agency that
oversees the issuance of and trading in securities of public businesses.
The SEC has broad powers and can suspend the trading in securities of a
business. The SEC also has primary jurisdiction in making accounting
and financial reporting rules, but over the years it has largely deferred to
the private sector for the development of generally accepted accounting
principles (GAAP).

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Federal agency responsible for regulation of securities markets in the United

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

A federal agency that administers securities legislation,
including the Securities Acts of 1933 and 1934. Public companies in the United States
must register their securities with the SEC and file with the agency quarterly and annual financial

Securities & Exchange Commission

The SEC is a federal agency that regulates the markets.

Statement billing

Billing method in which the sales for a period such as a month (for which a customer also
receives invoices) are collected into a single statement and the customer must pay all of the invoices
represented on the statement.

Statement of cash flows

A financial statement showing a firm's cash receipts and cash payments during a
specified period.

Statement of Cash Flows

One of the basic financial statements; it lists the cash inflows and cash outflows of the company, grouped into the categories of operating activities, financing activities, and investing activities. The statement of Cash Flows is prepared for a specified period of time.

statement of cash flows

One of the three primary financial statements
that a business includes in the periodic financial reports to its outside
shareowners and lenders. This financial statement summarizes the business’s
cash inflows and outflows for the period according to a threefold
classification: (1) cash flow from operating activities (cash flow from
profit), (2) cash flow from investing activities, and (3) cash flow from
financing activities. Frankly, the typical statement of cash flows is difficult
to read and decipher; it includes too many lines of information and
is fairly technical compared with the typical balance sheet and income

Statement of cash flows

Part of the financial statements; it summarizes an entity’s cash
inflows and outflows in relation to financing, operating, and investing activities.

statement of cash flows

Financial statement that shows the firm’s cash receipts and cash payments over a period of time.

Statement-of-cash-flows method

A method of cash budgeting that is organized along the lines of the statement of cash flows.

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.

Statement of retained earnings

An adjunct to the balance sheet, providing more detailed information about the beginning balance, changes, and ending balance in
the retained earnings account during the reporting period.

Statement on Management Accounting (SMA)

a pronouncement developed and issued by the Management
Accounting Practices Committee of the Institute of Management
Accountants; application of these statements is
through voluntary, not legal, compliance

Statement Retained Earnings

One of the basic financial statements; it takes the beginning balance of retained earnings and adds net income, then subtracts dividends. The statement of Retained Earnings is prepared for a specified period of time.

stockholders' equity, statement of changes in

Although often considered
a financial statement, this is more in the nature of a supporting schedule
that summarizes in one place various changes in the owners’ equity
accounts of a business during the period—including the issuance and
retirement of capital stock shares, cash dividends, and other transactions
affecting owners’ equity. This statement (schedule) is very helpful
when a business has more than one class of stock shares outstanding
and when a variety of events occurred during the year that changed its
owners’ equity accounts.

Transmission Mechanism

The channels by which a change in the demand or supply of money affects aggregate demand for goods and services.

Treadway Commission

Also known as the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial
Reporting. A special committee formed in 1985 to investigate the underlying causes of fraudulent
financial reporting. The commission was named after its chairman, former SEC commissioner
James Treadway. The commission's report, published in 1987, stressed the need for strong
and independent audit committees for public companies.

values statement

n organization’s statement that reflects its
culture by identifying fundamental beliefs about what is
important to the organization

vision statement

a written expression about the organization’s
future upon which all company personnel can base
their decisions and behavior so that everyone is working
toward the same long-run results

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.


he written statement that follows any "trade" in the securities markets. Confirmation is issued
immediately after a trade is executed. It spells out settlement date, terms, commission, etc.

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.

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

This important term
refers to the body of authoritative rules for measuring profit and preparing
financial statements that are included in financial reports by a business
to its outside shareowners and lenders. The development of these
guidelines has been evolving for more than 70 years. Congress passed a
law in 1934 that bestowed primary jurisdiction over financial reporting
by publicly owned businesses to the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC). But the SEC has largely left the development of GAAP to the
private sector. Presently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is
the primary (but not the only) authoritative body that makes pronouncements
on GAAP. One caution: GAAP are like a movable feast. New rules
are issued fairly frequently, old rules are amended from time to time,
and some rules established years ago are discarded on occasion. Professional
accountants have a heck of time keeping up with GAAP, that’s for
sure. Also, new GAAP rules sometimes have the effect of closing the barn
door after the horse has left. Accounting abuses occur, and only then,
after the damage has been done, are new rules issued to prevent such
abuses in the future.

revenue-driven expenses

Operating expenses that vary in proportion to
changes in total sales revenue (total dollars of sales). Examples are sales
commissions based on sales revenue, credit card discount expenses, and
rents and franchise fees based on sales revenue. These expenses are one
of the key variables in a profit model. Segregating these expenses from
other types of expenses that behave differently is essential for management
decision-making analysis. (These expenses are not disclosed separately
in externally reported income statements.)







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