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Definition of Write off

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Write off

The transfer of some or all of the contents of an asset account into an expense
account upon the realization that the asset no longer can be converted into cash, can
be of no further use to the company, or has no market value.



Related Terms:

Direct write-off method

A method of adjusting accounts receivable to the amount that is expected to be collected by eliminating the account balances of specific nonpaying customers.


Direct method

A method of preparing the operating section of the Statement of Cash Flows that uses the company’s actual cash inflows and cash outflows.


direct method

a service department cost allocation approach
that assigns service department costs directly to revenueproducing
areas with only one set of intermediate cost
pools or allocations


Direct-Method Format

A format for the operating section of the cash-flow statement that reports actual cash receipts and cash disbursements from operating activities.


Indirect method

A method of preparing the operating section of the Statement of Cash Flows that does not use the company’s actual cash inflows and cash outflows, but instead arrives at the net cash flow by taking net income and adjusting it for noncash expenses and the changes from last year in the current assets and current liabilities.



Indirect-Method Format

A format for the operating section of the cash-flow statement that
presents the derivation of cash flow provided by operating activities. The format starts with net
income and adjusts for all nonoperating items and all noncash expenses and changes in working capital accounts.


Direct estimate method

A method of cash budgeting based on detailed estimates of cash receipts and cash
disbursements category by category.


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algebraic method

a process of service department cost allocation
that considers all interrelationships of the departments
and reflects these relationships in simultaneous
equations


Allowance method

A method of adjusting accounts receivable to the amount that is expected to be collected based on company experience.


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.


Benefit Ratio Method

The proportion of unemployment benefits paid to a company’s
former employees during the measurement period, divided by the total
payroll during the period. This calculation is used by states to determine the unemployment
contribution rate to charge employers.


Benefit Wage Ratio Method

The proportion of total taxable wages for laid off
employees during the measurement period divided by the total payroll during
the period. This calculation is used by states to determine the unemployment
contribution rate to charge employers.


Bootstrapping, bootstrap method

An arithmetic method for backing an
implied zero curve out of the par yield curve.


Capitalization method

A method of constructing a replicating portfolio in which the manager purchases a
number of the largest-capitalized names in the index stock in proportion to their capitalization.


Completed-Contract Method

A contract accounting method that recognizes contract revenue
only when the contract is completed. All contract costs are accumulated and reported as expense
when the contract revenue is recognized.


Current rate method

Under this currency translation method, all foreign currency balance-sheet and income
statement items are translated at the current exchange rate.


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direct cost

a cost that is distinctly traceable to a particular cost object


Direct cost

A cost that can be clearly associated with specific activities or products.



direct costing

see variable costing


Direct costing

A costing methodology that only assigns direct labor and material costs
to a product, and which does not include any allocated indirect costs (which are all
charged off to the current period).


Direct costs

Costs that are readily traceable to particular products or services.


Direct Deposit

The direct transfer of payroll funds from the company bank account
directly into that of the employee, avoiding the use of a paycheck.


direct deposit

A system where funds are electronically credited to your account by a financial institution or a payroll service. For example, you can arrange with your employer to have your pay cheques automatically deposited into your no fee bank account.


direct labor

the time spent by individuals who work specifically
on manufacturing a product or performing a service;
the cost of such time


Direct labor

Labor that is specifically incurred to create a product.


Direct lease

Lease in which the lessor purchases new equipment from the manufacturer and leases it to the
lessee.


direct material

a readily identifiable part of a product; the cost of such a part


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Direct materials cost

The cost of all materials used in a cost object, such as finished goods.



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.


Direct paper

Commercial paper sold directly by the issuer to investors.


Direct placement

Selling a new issue not by offering it for sale publicly, but by placing it with one of several
institutional investors.


Direct quote

For foreign exchange, the number of U.S. dollars needed to buy one unit of a foreign currency.


Direct-Response Advertising

Advertising designed to elicit sales to customers who can be
shown to have responded specifically to the advertising in the past. Such costs can be capitalized
when persuasive historical evidence permits formulation of a reliable estimate of the future revenue
that can be obtained from incremental advertising expenditures.


Direct search market

Buyers and sellers seek each other directly and transact directly.


Direct stock-purchase programs

The purchase by investors of securities directly from the issuer.


Director

A member of a company’s Board of directors.


dividend growth method

a method of computing the cost
of common stock equity that indicates the rate of return
that common shareholders expect to earn in the form of
dividends on a company’s common stock


Equity Method

Accounting method for an equity security in cases where the investor has sufficient
voting interest to have significant influence over the operating and financial policies of an
investee.


FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that computes an average cost per equivalent
unit of production for the current period; keeps beginning
inventory units and costs separate from current period production
and costs


First in, first-out costing method (FIFO)

A process costing methodology that assigns the earliest
cost of production and materials to those units being sold, while the latest costs
of production and materials are assigned to those units still retained in inventory.


First-In, First-Out (FIFO) Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that
assigns the earliest inventory acquisition costs to cost of goods sold. The most recent inventory
acquisition costs are assumed to remain in ending inventory.


Flow-through method

The practice of reporting to shareholders using straight-line depreciation and
accelerated depreciation for tax purposes and "flowing through" the lower income taxes actually paid to the
financial statement prepared for shareholders.


Foreign direct investment (FDI)

The acquisition abroad of physical assets such as plant and equipment, with
operating control residing in the parent corporation.


Full-Cost Method

A method of accounting for petroleum exploration and development expenditures
that permits capitalization of all such expenditures, including those leading to productive
as well as nonproductive wells.


high-low method

a technique used to determine the fixed
and variable portions of a mixed cost; it uses only the highest
and lowest levels of activity within the relevant range


indirect cost

a cost that cannot be traced explicitly to a particular
cost object; a common cost


Indirect cost

A cost that is not directly associated with a single activity or event. Such
costs are frequently clumped into an overhead pool and allocated to various activities,
based on an allocation method that has a perceived or actual linkage between
the indirect cost and the activity.


Indirect costs

Costs that are necessary to produce a product/service but are not readily traceable to particular products or services – see overhead.


Indirect labor

The cost of any labor that supports the production process, but which is
not directly involved in the active conversion of materials into finished products.


Indirect quote

For foreign exchange, the number of units of a foreign currency needed to buy one U.S.$.


Indirect Taxes

Taxes paid by consumers when they buy goods and services. A sales tax is an example.


Interac® Direct Payment

Instead of paying with cash or a credit card, Interac direct Payment allows you to pay for your purchase with a debit card, such as your bank card. The amount of the purchase is electronically debited, or withdrawn, from your bank account (see debit card).
Here's how to pay for items using Interac direct Payment and your bank account:
1. Swipe your bank card (or debit card) through the point of sale (POS) terminal at the store's check-out
2. Enter your personal identification number (PIN), confirm the amount to be paid and indicate the account (chequing) from which the money is to be drawn.
3. The specified amount is then electronically debited from your account.


judgmental method (of risk adjustment)

an informal method of adjusting for risk that allows the decision maker
to use logic and reason to decide whether a project provides
an acceptable rate of return


Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) Inventory Method

The inventory cost-flow assumption that assigns the most recent inventory acquisition costs to cost of goods sold. The earliest inventory
acquisition costs are assumed to remain in ending inventory.


Log-linear least-squares method

A statistical technique for fitting a curve to a set of data points. One of the
variables is transformed by taking its logarithm, and then a straight line is fitted to the transformed set of data
points.


method of least squares

see least squares regression analysis


method of neglect

a method of treating spoiled units in the
equivalent units schedule as if those units did not occur;
it is used for continuous normal spoilage


modified FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that uses FIFO to compute a cost per
equivalent unit but, in transferring units from a department,
the costs of the beginning inventory units and the
units started and completed are combined and averaged


Monetary / non-monetary method

Under this translation method, monetary items (e.g. cash, accounts
payable and receivable, and long-term debt) are translated at the current rate while non-monetary items (e.g.
inventory, fixed assets, and long-term investments) are translated at historical rates.


Moving average inventory method

An inventory costing methodology that calls for the re-calculation of the average cost of all parts in stock after every purchase.
Therefore, the moving average is the cost of all units subsequent to the latest purchase,
divided by their total cost.


net present value method

a process that uses the discounted
cash flows of a project to determine whether the
rate of return on that project is equal to, higher than, or
lower than the desired rate of return


Net Present Value (NPV) Method

A method of ranking investment proposals. NPV is equal to the present value of the future returns, discounted at the marginal cost of capital, minus the present value of the cost of the investment.


Normalizing method

The practice of making a charge in the income account equivalent to the tax savings
realized through the use of different depreciation methods for shareholder and income tax purposes, thus
washing out the benefits of the tax savings reported as final net income to shareholders.


Payback method

A capital budgeting analysis method that calculates the amount of
time it will take to recoup the investment in a capital asset, with no regard for the
time cost of money.


Percentage-of-Completion Method

A contract accounting method that recognizes contract
revenue and contract expenses as progress toward completion is made.


pre-authorized direct deposit

A system where funds are electronically credited to your account by a financial institution or a payroll service.


Purchase method

Accounting for an acquisition using market value for the consolidation of the two entities'
net assets on the balance sheet. Generally, depreciation/amortization will increase for this method compared
with pooling and will result in lower net income.


Purchase method

An accounting method used to combine the financial statements of
companies. This involves recording the acquired assets at fair market value, and the
excess of the purchase price over this value as goodwill, which will be amortized
over time.


Residual method

A method of allocating the purchase price for the acquisition of another firm among the
acquired assets.


risk-adjusted discount rate method

a formal method of adjusting for risk in which the decision maker increases the rate used for discounting the future cash flows to compensate for increased risk


Simple compound growth method

A method of calculating the growth rate by relating the terminal value to
the initial value and assuming a constant percentage annual rate of growth between these two values.


simplex method

an iterative (sequential) algorithm used to solve multivariable, multiconstraint linear programming problems


six-sigma method

a high-performance, data-driven approach to analyzing and solving the root causes of business problems


Statement-of-cash-flows method

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


step method

a process of service department cost allocation
that assigns service department costs to cost objects after
considering the interrelationships of the service departments
and revenue-producing departments


strict FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that uses FIFO to compute a cost per equivalent unit and, in transferring units from a department, keeps the
cost of the beginning units separate from the cost of the
units started and completed during the current period


Successful Efforts Method

A method of accounting for petroleum exploration and development
expenditures that permits capitalization of expenditures only on successful projects.


Temporal method

Under this currency translation method, the choice of exchange rate depends on the
underlying method of valuation. Assets and liabilities valued at historical cost (market cost) are translated at
the historical (current market) rate.


weighted average method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that computes an average cost per
equivalent unit of production for all units completed during
the current period; it combines beginning inventory units
and costs with current production and costs, respectively,
to compute the average


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


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.


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


bad debts

Refers to accounts receivable from credit sales to customers
that a business will not be able to collect (or not collect in full). In hindsight,
the business shouldn’t have extended credit to these particular
customers. Since these amounts owed to the business will not be collected,
they are written off. The accounts receivable asset account is
decreased by the estimated amount of uncollectible receivables, and the
bad debts expense account is increased this amount. These write-offs
can be done by the direct write-off method, which means that no
expense is recorded until specific accounts receivable are identified as
uncollectible. Or the allowance method can be used, which is based on
an estimated percent of bad debts from credit sales during the period.
Under this method, a contra asset account is created (called allowance
for bad debts) and the balance of this account is deducted from the
accounts receivable asset account.


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


normal cost system

a valuation method that uses actual
costs of direct material and direct labor in conjunction with
a predetermined overhead rate or rates in determining the
cost of Work in Process Inventory


standard cost system

a valuation method that uses predetermined
norms for direct material, direct labor, and overhead
to assign costs to the various inventory accounts and
Cost of Goods Sold


Value-added tax

method of indirect taxation whereby a tax is levied at each stage of production on the value
added at that specific stage.


variable costing

a cost accumulation and reporting method
that includes only variable production costs (direct material,
direct labor, and variable overhead) as inventoriable
or product costs; it treats fixed overhead as a period cost;
is not acceptable for external reporting and tax returns



 

 

 

 

 

 

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