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Tracking error

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Definition of Tracking error

Tracking Error Image 1

Tracking error

In an indexing strategy, the difference between the performance of the benchmark and the
replicating portfolio.



Related Terms:

Variance minimization approach to tracking

An approach to bond indexing that uses historical data to
estimate the variance of the tracking error.


Accounting Errors

Unintentional mistakes in financial statements. Accounted for by restating
the prior-year financial statements that are in error.


Benchmark error

Use of an inappropriate proxy for the true market portfolio.


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.


Measurement error

errors in measuring an explanatory variable in a regression that leads to biases in
estimated parameters.



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.


Standard error

In statistics, a measure of the possible error in an estimate.


Tracking Error Image 2

standard error of the estimate

a measure of dispersion that reflects the average difference between actual observations and expected results provided by a regression line


Accounting

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


accounting

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
reports.


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.


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
maintained.


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.


Tracking Error Image 1

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 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.


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.


Accrual accounting

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


Tracking Error Image 2

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.


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.


Average accounting return

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


budget variance

the difference between total actual overhead
and budgeted overhead based on standard hours allowed
for the production achieved during the period; computed
as part of two-variance overhead analysis; also
referred to as the controllable variance


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.


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.


Constant dollar accounting

A method for restating financial statements by reducing or
increasing reported revenues and expenses by changes in the consumer price index,
thereby achieving greater comparability between accounting periods.


Contract Accounting

Method of accounting for sales or service agreements where completion
requires an extended period.


controllable variance

the budget variance of the two variance approach to analyzing overhead variances


cost accounting

a discipline that focuses on techniques or
methods for determining the cost of a project, process, or
thing through direct measurement, arbitrary assignment, or
systematic and rational allocation


Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB)

a body established by Congress in 1970 to promulgate cost accounting
standards for defense contractors and federal agencies; disbanded
in 1980 and reestablished in 1988; it previously issued
pronouncements still carry the weight of law for those
organizations within its jurisdiction


Covariance

A statistical measure of the degree to which random variables move together.


Covariance

A measure of the degree to which returns on two assets move in
tandem. A positive covariance means that asset returns move together; a
negative covariance means they vary inversely.


Creative Accounting Practices

Any and all steps used to play the financial numbers game, including
the aggressive choice and application of accounting principles, both within and beyond
the boundaries of generally accepted accounting principles, and fraudulent financial reporting.
Also included are steps taken toward earnings management and income smoothing. See Financial
Numbers Game.


Creative Acquisition Accounting

The allocation to expense of a greater portion of the price
paid for another company in an acquisition in an effort to reduce acquisition-year earnings and
boost future-year earnings. Acquisition-year expense charges include purchased in-process research
and development and an overly aggressive accrual of costs required to effect the acquisition.


Cross-sectional approach

A statistical methodology applied to a set of firms at a particular point in time.


Cumulative Effect of a Change in Accounting Principle

The change in earnings of previous years
based on the assumption that a newly adopted accounting principle had previously been in use.


Cumulative Effect of Accounting Change

The change in earnings of previous years assuming
that the newly adopted accounting principle had previously been in use.


Debt service parity approach

An analysis wherein the alternatives under consideration will provide the firm
with the exact same schedule of after-tax debt payments (including both interest and principal).


Direct materials mix variance

The variance between the budgeted and actual mixes of
direct materials costs, both using the actual total quantity used. This variance isolates
the unit cost of each item, excluding all other variables.


double-entry accounting

See accrual-basis accounting.


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.


Financial accounting

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


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
agencies)


fixed overhead spending variance

the difference between the total actual fixed overhead and budgeted fixed overhead;
it is computed as part of the four-variance overhead analysis


fixed overhead volume variance

see volume variance


Gain-on-Sale Accounting

Up-front gain recognized from the securitization and sale of a pool
of loans. Profit is recorded for the excess of the sales price and the present value of the estimated
interest income that is expected to be received on the loans above the amounts funded on the loans
and the present value of the interest agreed to be paid to the buyers of the loan-backed securities.


Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP)

A technical accounting term that encompasses the
conventions, rules, and procedures necessary to define accepted accounting practice at a particular time.


Generally accepted accounting principles

The rules that accountants follow when processing accounting transactions and creating financial reports. The rules are primarily
derived from regulations promulgated by the various branches of the AICPA Council.


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.


generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

Procedures for preparing financial statements.


Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

A common set of standards and procedures
for the preparation of general-purpose financial statements that either have been established
by an authoritative accounting rule-making body, such as the Financial accounting
Standards Board (FASB), or over time have become accepted practice because of their universal
application.


Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

GAAP is the term used to describe the underlying rules basis on which financial statements are normally prepared. This is codified in the Handbook of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.


internal accounting controls

Refers to forms used and procedures
established by a business—beyond what would be required for the
record-keeping function of accounting—that are designed to prevent
errors and fraud. Two examples of internal controls are (1) requiring a
second signature by someone higher in the organization to approve a
transaction in excess of a certain dollar amount and (2) giving customers
printed receipts as proof of sale. Other examples of internal
control procedures are restricting entry and exit routes of employees,
requiring all employees to take their vacations and assigning another
person to do their jobs while they are away, surveillance cameras, surprise
counts of cash and inventory, and rotation of duties. Internal controls
should be cost-effective; the cost of a control should be less than
the potential loss that is prevented. The guiding principle for designing
internal accounting controls is to deter and detect errors and dishonesty.
The best internal controls in the world cannot prevent most fraud
by high-level managers who take advantage of their positions of trust
and authority.


labor efficiency variance

the number of hours actually worked minus the standard hours allowed for the production
achieved multiplied by the standard rate to establish
a value for efficiency (favorable) or inefficiency (unfavorable)
of the work force


Labor efficiency variance

The difference between the amount of time that was budgeted
to be used by the direct labor staff and the amount actually used, multiplied
by the standard labor rate per hour.


labor mix variance

(actual mix X actual hours X standard rate) - (standard mix X actual hours X standard rate);
it presents the financial effect associated with changing the
proportionate amount of higher or lower paid workers in production


labor rate variance

the actual rate (or actual weighted average rate) paid to labor for the period minus the standard rate multiplied by all hours actually worked during the period;
it is actual labor cost minus (actual hours X standard rate)


Labor rate variance

The difference between the actual and standard direct labor rates
actually paid to the direct labor staff, multiplied by the number of actual hours
worked.


labor yield variance

(standard mix X actual hours X standard rate) - (standard mix X standard hours X standard rate);
it shows the monetary impact of using more or fewer total hours than the standard allowed


Management accounting

The production of financial and non-financial information used in planning for the future; making decisions about products, services, prices and what costs to incur; and ensuring that plans are implemented and achieved.


management accounting

a discipline that includes almost
all manipulations of financial information for use by managers
in performing their organizational functions and in
assuring the proper use and handling of an entity’s resources;
it includes the discipline of cost accounting


Management Accounting Guidelines (MAGs)

pronouncements of the Society of Management Accountants of
Canada that advocate appropriate practices for specific
management accounting situations


material mix variance

(actual mix X actual quantity X standard price) - (standard mix X actual quantity X standardprice);
it computes the monetary effect of substituting a nonstandard mix of material


material price variance

total actual cost of material purchased
minus (actual quantity of material  standard
price); it is the amount of money spent below (favorable)
or in excess (unfavorable) of the standard price for the
quantity of materials purchased; it can be calculated based
on the actual quantity of material purchased or the actual
quantity used


material quantity variance

(actual quantity X standard price) - (standard quantity allowed  standard price);
the standard cost saved (favorable) or expended (unfavorable)
due to the difference between the actual quantity
of material used and the standard quantity of material
allowed for the goods produced during the period


material yield variance

(standard mix X actual quantity X standard price) - (standard mix X standard quantity X standard price);
it computes the difference between the
actual total quantity of input and the standard total quantity
allowed based on output and uses standard mix and
standard prices to determine variance


Materials price variance

The difference between the actual and budgeted cost to
acquire materials, multiplied by the total number of units purchased.


Materials quantity variance

The difference between the actual and budgeted quantities
of material used in the production process, multiplied by the standard cost per
unit.


Mean-variance analysis

Evaluation of risky prospects based on the expected value and variance of possible outcomes.


Mean-variance criterion

The selection of portfolios based on the means and variances of their returns. The
choice of the higher expected return portfolio for a given level of variance or the lower variance portfolio for
a given expected return.


Mean-variance efficient portfolio

Related: Markowitz efficient portfolio


Minimum-variance frontier

Graph of the lowest possible portfolio variance that is attainable for a given
portfolio expected return.


Minimum-variance portfolio

The portfolio of risky assets with lowest variance.
Minority interest An outside ownership interest in a subsidiary that is consolidated with the parent for
financial reporting purposes.


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.


net realizable value approach

a method of accounting for by-products or scrap that requires that the net realizable value of these products be treated as a reduction in the cost of the primary products; primary product cost may be reduced by decreasing either
(1) cost of goods sold when the joint products are sold or
(2) the joint process cost allocated to the joint products


noncontrollable variance

the fixed overhead volume variance;
it is computed as part of the two-variance approach to overhead analysis


Optimization approach to indexing

An approach to indexing which seeks to Optimize some objective, such
as to maximize the portfolio yield, to maximize convexity, or to maximize expected total returns.


overhead efficiency variance

the difference between total budgeted overhead at actual hours and total budgeted
overhead at standard hours allowed for the production
achieved; it is computed as part of a three-variance analysis;
it is the same as variable overhead efficiency variance


overhead spending variance

the difference between total actual overhead and total budgeted overhead at actual
hours; it is computed as part of three-variance analysis; it
is equal to the sum of the variable and fixed overhead
spending variances


Portfolio variance

Weighted sum of the covariance and variances of the assets in a portfolio.


Production yield variance

The difference between the actual and budgeted proportions
of product resulting from a production process, multiplied by the standard unit cost.


Purchase accounting

Method of accounting for a merger in which the acquirer is treated as having purchased
the assets and assumed liabilities of the acquiree, which are all written up or down to their respective fair
market values, the difference between the purchase price and the net assets acquired being attributed to goodwill.


realized value approach

a method of accounting for byproducts or scrap that does not recognize any value for these products until they are sold; the value recognized
upon sale can be treated as other revenue or other income


Regulatory accounting procedures

accounting principals required by the FHLB that allow S&Ls to elect
annually to defer gains and losses on the sale of assets and amortize these deferrals over the average life of the
asset sold.


Residual dividend approach

An approach that suggests that a firm pay dividends if and only if acceptable
investment opportunities for those funds are currently unavailable.


responsibility accounting system

an accounting information system for successively higher-level managers about the performance of segments or subunits under the control
of each specific manager


Risk premium approach

The most common approach for tactical asset allocation to determine the relative
valuation of asset classes based on expected returns.


Selling price variance

The difference between the actual and budgeted selling price for
a product, multiplied by the actual number of units sold.


Serial covariance

The covariance between a variable and the lagged value of the variable; the same as
autocovariance.


Signaling approach

approach to the determination of the optimal capital structure asserting that insiders in a
firm have information that the market does not have; therefore, the choice of capital structure by insiders can
signal information to outsiders and change the value of the firm. This theory is also called the asymmetric
information approach.


Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB)

Interpretations and practices followed by the staff of the Office of the Chief Accountant and the Division of Corporation Finance in administering the disclosure
requirements of the federal securities laws.


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 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


Strategic management accounting

The provision and analysis of management accounting data about a business and its competitors, which is of use in the development and monitoring of strategy (Simmonds).


Stratified sampling approach to indexing

An approach in which the index is divided into cells, each
representing a different characteristic of the index, such as duration or maturity.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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