Financial Terms
Provision for Doubtful Accounts

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Definition of Provision for Doubtful Accounts

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Provision for Doubtful Accounts

An operating expense recorded when the allowance for
doubtful accounts is increased to accommodate an increase in uncollectible accounts receivable.

Related Terms:


‘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.

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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).

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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.

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

Antidilution Provisions

A clause in a shareholders agreement preventing a company from issuing additional shares, without allowing the current shareholders the opportunity to participate in the offering to avoid dilution of their percentage ownership.

Antifraud Provisions

Specific sections and rules of the 1933 Act and 1934 Act that are
designed to reduce fraud and deceit in financial filings made with the SEC. The antifraud provisions
are Section 17(a) of the 1933 Act and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the 1934 Act.

Average age of accounts receivable

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

Balance of Payments Accounts

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

Call provision

An embedded option granting a bond issuer the right to buy back all or part of the issue prior
to maturity.

Chart of accounts

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

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.

Fair price provision

See:appraisal rights.

Income Tax Provision

The expense deduction from pretax book income reported on the
income statement. It consists of both current income tax expense and deferred income tax
expense. The terms income tax expense and income tax provision are used interchangeably.

IRA/Keogh accounts

Special accounts where you can save and invest, and the taxes are deferred until money
is withdrawn. These plans are subject to frequent changes in law with respect to the deductibility of
contributions. Withdrawals of tax deferred contributions are taxed as income, including the capital gains from
such accounts.

National Income and Product Accounts

The national accounting system that records economic activity such as GDP and related measures.

Optimal redemption provision

provision of a bond indenture that governs the issuer's ability to call the
bonds for redemption prior to their scheduled maturity date.

Permanent accounts

The accounts found on the Balance Sheet; these account balances are carried forward for the lifetime of the company.


Estimates of possible future liabilities that may arise.

Provisional call feature

A feature in a convertible issue that allows the issuer to call the issue during the noncall
period if the price of the stock reaches a certain level.

Put provision

Gives the holder of a floating-rate bond the right to redeem his note at par on the coupon
payment date.

Sales Revenue Revenue recognized from the sales of products as opposed to the provision of


Temporary accounts

The accounts found on the Income Statement and the Statement of Retained Earnings; these accounts are reduced to zero at the end of every accounting period.

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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