Financial Terms
Preauthorized checks (PACs)

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Definition of Preauthorized checks (PACs)

Preauthorized Checks (PACs) Image 1

Preauthorized checks (PACs)

hecks that are authorized by the payer in advance and are written either by
the payee or by the payee's bank and then deposited in the payee's bank account.

Related Terms:

Preauthorized electronic debits (PADs)

Debits to its bank account in advance by the payer. The payer's
bank sends payment to the payee's bank through the _ACH)Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.

e-commerce (electronic commerce)

any business activity that uses the Internet and World Wide Web to engage in financial transactions

EFT (electronic funds transfer)

Funds which are electronically credited to your account (e.g. direct deposit), or electronically debited from your account on an ongoing basis (e.g. a pre-authorized monthly bill payment, or a monthly loan or mortgage payment). A wire transfer is a form of EFT.

Electronic data interchange (EDI)

The exchange of information electronically, directly from one firm's
computer to another firm's computer, in a structured format.

electronic data interchange (EDI)

the computer-to-computer transfer of information in virtual real time using standardized formats developed by the American National Standards Institute

Electronic depository transfers

The transfer of funds between bank accounts through the Automated
Clearing House (ACH) system.

Electronic Federal Tax Payment Systems (EFTPS)

An electronic funds transfer system used by businesses to remit taxes to the government.

Preauthorized Checks (PACs) Image 1

ABM (automated banking machine)

A bank mACHine, sometimes referred to as an Automated teller mACHine (ATM).

Accelerated cost recovery system (ACRS)

Schedule of depreciation rates allowed for tax purposes.


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

Account Value

The sum of all the interest options in your policy, including interest.


The process of satisfying stakeholders in the organization that managers have acted in the best interests of the stakeholders, a result of the stewardship function of managers, which takes place through accounting.


A collection of systems and processes used to record, report and interpret business transactions.


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

Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release (AAER)

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

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.

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Accounting earnings

Earnings of a firm as reported on its income statement.

Accounting entity

A business for which a separate set of accounting records is being

Accounting equation

The representation of the double-entry system of accounting such that assets are equal to liabilities plus capital.

Accounting equation

The formula Assets = Liabilities + Equity.

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 exposure

The change in the value of a firm's foreign currency denominated accounts due to a
change in exchange rates.

Accounting insolvency

Total liabilities exceed total assets. A firm with a negative net worth is insolvent on
the books.

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 liquidity

The ease and quickness with which assets can be converted to cash.

Accounting period

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

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Accounting Policies

The principles, bases, conventions, rules and procedures adopted by management in preparing and presenting financial statements.

Accounting rate of return (ARR)

A method of investment appraisal that measures
the profit generated as a percentage of the
investment – see return on investment.

accounting rate of return (ARR)

the rate of earnings obtained on the average capital investment over the life of a capital project; computed as average annual profits divided by average investment; not based on cash flow

Accounting system

A set of accounts that summarize the transactions of a business that have been recorded on source documents.


‘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 payable

Money owed to suppliers.


Amounts a company owes to creditors.

Accounts payable

Amounts owed by the company for goods and services that have been received, but have not yet been paid for. Usually accounts payable involves the receipt of an invoice from the company providing the services or goods.

accounts payable

Short-term, non-interest-bearing liabilities of a business
that arise in the course of its activities and operations from purchases on
credit. A business buys many things on credit, whereby the purchase
cost of goods and services are not paid for immediately. This liability
account records the amounts owed for credit purchases that will be paid
in the short run, which generally means about one month.

Accounts payable

Acurrent liability on the balance sheet, representing short-term obligations
to pay suppliers.

Accounts Payable

Amounts due to vendors for purchases on open account, that is, not evidenced
by a signed note.

Accounts Payable Days (A/P Days)

The number of days it would take to pay the ending balance
in accounts payable at the average rate of cost of goods sold per day. Calculated by dividing
accounts payable by cost of goods sold per day, which is cost of goods sold divided by 365.

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.

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.

Accrual accounting

The recording of revenue when earned and expenses when
incurred, irrespective of the dates on which the associated cash flows occur.

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.

Accruals accounting

A method of accounting in which profit is calculated as the difference between income when it is earned and expenses when they are incurred.

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


A payment made by a customer to the company, or by the company to a
supplier, in advance of the performance of any associated service or delivery of

Advance commitment

A promise to sell an asset before the seller has lined up purchase of the asset. This
seller can offset risk by purchasing a futures contract to fix the sales price.

Advance material request

Very early orders for materials before the completion
of a product design, given the long lead times required to supply some items.

Agency bank

A form of organization commonly used by foreign banks to enter the U.S. market. An agency
bank cannot accept deposits or extend loans in its own name; it acts as agent for the parent bank.

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").

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.

Allowance for doubtful accounts

A contra account related to accounts receivable that represents the amounts that the company expects will not be collected.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

An estimate of the uncollectible portion of accounts receivable
that is subtracted from the gross amount of accounts receivable to arrive at the estimated collectible

authorized share capital

Maximum number of shares that the company is permitted to issue, as specified in the firm’s articles of incorporation.

Authorized shares

Number of shares authorized for issuance by a firm's corporate charter.

Authorized shares

The number of shares of stock that the company is legally authorized to sell.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

A collection of 32 regional electronic interbank networks used to
process transactions electronically with a guaranteed one-day bank collection float.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

A banking ClearingHouse that processes direct
deposit transfers.

Automated storage/retrieval system

A racking system using Automated systems
to load and unload the racks.

Automatic Benefits Payment

Automatic payment of moneys derived from a benefit.

Average accounting return

The average project earnings after taxes and depreciation divided by the average
book value of the investment during its life.

Average age of accounts receivable

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

Balance of payments

A statistical compilation formulated by a sovereign nation of all economic transactions
between residents of that nation and residents of all other nations during a stipulated period of time, usually a
calendar year.

Balance of Payments

The difference between the demand for and supply of a country's currency on the foreign exchange market.

Balance of Payments Accounts

A statement of a country's transactions with other countries.

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.


Money in a bank cheque account, the difference between receipts and payments.

Bank collection float

The time that elapses between when a check is deposited into a bank account and when the funds are available to the depositor, during which period the bank is collecting payment from the payer's bank.

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 draft

A draft addressed to a bank.

bank draft

A guaranteed form of payment which is issued in amounts over $5,000.

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

An international bank headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, which
serves as a forum for monetary cooperation among several European central banks, the bank of Japan, and the
U.S. Federal Reserve system. Founded in 1930 to handle the German payment of World War I reparations, it
now monitors and collects data on international banking activity and promulgates rules concerning
international bank regulation.

Bank line

Line of credit granted by a bank to a customer.

Bank overdraft

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

Bank reconciliation

The process of taking the balances from the bank statement and the general ledger and making adjustments so that they agree.

Bank reconciliation

A comparison between the cash position recorded on a company’s
books and the position noted on the records of its bank, usually resulting in some
changes to the book balance to account for transactions that are recorded on the
bank’s records but not the company’s.

Bank wire

A computer message system linking major banks. It is used not for effecting payments, but as a
mechanism to advise the receiving bank of some action that has occurred, e.g. the payment by a customer of
funds into that bank's account.

Banker's acceptance

A short-term credit investment created by a non-financial firm and guaranteed by a
bank as to payment. Acceptances are traded at discounts from face value in the secondary market. These
instruments have been a popular investment for money market funds. They are commonly used in
international transactions.

Bankers Acceptances

A bill of exchange, or draft, drawn by the borrower for payment on a specified date, and accepted by a chartered bank. Upon acceptance, the bill becomes, in effect, a postdated certified cheque.


State of being unable to pay debts. Thus, the ownership of the firm's assets is transferred from
the stockholders to the bondholders.


The reorganization or liquidation of a firm that cannot pay its debts.

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.

Bankruptcy risk

The risk that a firm will be unable to meet its debt obligations. Also referred to as default or insolvency risk.

Bankruptcy view

The argument that expected bankruptcy costs preclude firms from being financed entirely
with debt.

Block house

Brokerage firms that help to find potential buyers or sellers of large block trades.

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 payment rate

The prepayment rate of a MBS coupon that will produce the same CFY as that of
a predetermined benchmark MBS coupon. Used to identify for coupons higher than the benchmark coupon
the prepayment rate that will produce the same CFY as that of the benchmark coupon; and for coupons lower
than the benchmark coupon the lowest prepayment rate that will do so.

business intelligence (BI) system

a formal process for gathering and analyzing information and producing intelligence to meet decision making needs; requires information about
internal processes as well as knowledge, technologies, and competitors

Capital account

Net result of public and private international investment and lending activities.

Capital Account

That part of the balance of payments accounts that records demands for and supplies of a currency arising from purchases or sales of assets.

Cash accounting

A method of accounting in which profit is calculated as the difference between income
when it is received and expenses when they are paid.

Central Bank

A public agency responsible for regulating and controlling an economy's monetary and financial institutions. It is the sole money-issuing authority.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

a professional designation in the area of management accounting that
recognizes the successful completion of an examination,
acceptable work experience, and continuing education requirements

Change in Accounting Estimate

A change in accounting that occurs as the result of new information
or as additional experience is acquired—for example, a change in the residual values
or useful lives of fixed assets. A change in accounting estimate is accounted for prospectively,
over the current and future accounting periods affected by the change.

Change in Accounting Estimate

A change in the implementation of an existing accounting
policy. A common example would be extending the useful life or changing the expected residual
value of a fixed asset. Another would be making any necessary adjustments to allowances for
uncollectible accounts, warranty obligations, and reserves for inventory obsolescense.

Change in Accounting Principle

A change from one generally accepted accounting principle to another generally accepted accounting principle—for example, a change from capitalizing expenditures
to expensing them. A change in accounting principle is accounted for in most instances
as a cumulative-effect–type adjustment.

charge-back system

a system using transfer prices; see transfer

Chart of accounts

A listing of all accounts used in the general ledger, usually sorted in
order of account number.

Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS)

A computerized Clearing system for sterling funds
that began operations in 1984. It includes 14 member banks, nearly 450 participating banks, and is one of the
Clearing companies within the structure of the Association for payment Clearing Services (APACS).







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