25 Accounting Terms All Business Owners Should Know

In the business world accounting terms are often used. There may be times you are unsure of some of the words that are stated by your accountant. It is crucial as a business owner to be aware of these phrases.As one of the leading Utah Accounting Firms COS helps aid that confusion. Listed below is 25 common accounting terms:


1. Accounts Payable This includes all expenses that a business incurs but has not yet paid. On a balance sheet Accounts Payable is recorded as  liability as it is a debt owed by the company. 

2. Accounts Receivable Includes all of the revenue (sales) that a company provides but has not collected the payment on. 

3. Accrued Expense An expense that incurred but hasn’t been paid is described by the term Accrued Expense.

4. Asset Anything that the company owns that has a money value. This value is listed in order of liquidity, from cash (most liquid) to land (least liquid). 

5. Balance Sheet (BS) The financial statement that reports on all companies assets, liabilities, and equity. 

6. Inventory Classify the assets that a company has purchased to sell to its customers that remain unsold. 

7. Liability All debts that a company has yet to pay are referred to as liabilities. Common liabilities include payroll, loans, and accounts payable.

8. Cost of goods sold Expenses that are directly related to the creation of products and services. What are not included in this category are costs that are needed to run the business. An example of cost of goods sold is the cost of materials, or direct labor. 

9. Depreciation This term accounts for the loss of value in an asset over time. 

10. Expense Any cost that is incurred by the business. 

11. Gross Margin A percentage calculated by taking gross profit and dividing it by revenue for the same period. This represents the profitability of a company after deducting COGS. 

12. Gross Profit This indicates the profitability of a company dollars, without taking overhead expenses into account. 

13. Income Statement The income statement is generally known as the financial statement that shows revenues, expenses, and profits over a given time period. 

14. Net Income The dollar amount that is earned in profits. This is calculated by taking revenue and subtracting all expenses in a given period, including COGS, Depreciation, Taxes, and Overhead. 

15. Accounting Period The accounting period is designated in all financial statements. The accounting period communicates the span of time that is reported in the statements. 

16. Allocation This describes the procedure of assigning funds to various accounts or periods. 

17. Business Entity The legal structure, or type, of a business. Company formations include, Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), S-Corporation, and, C-Corporation. Each of these entities has a set of requirements, tax implications, and laws. 

18. Credit An increase in liability of an equity account, or decrease in an expense account or asset. 

19. Debit An increase in an asset or expense account or a decrease in a liability or equity account. 

20. General Ledger Is the complete record of a company’s financial transactions. The general ledger is used in order to prepare all financial statements. 

21. On Credit/On Account A purchase that happens on credit or on account that will be paid at a future time. The buyer gets to enjoy the benefit of that purchase. 

22. Overhead Expenses that relate to running the business. They do not include expenses that make the product or deliver service. 

23. Return on Investment This term is used to include returns on various projects and objectives. 

24. Trial Balance A list of all accounts in a General ledger with their balance amount. The total debits must equal the total credits. 

25. Variable Cost These are costs that change the volume of sales and are opposite of fixed costs. Variable costs increase more sales because they are expenses that are incurred in order for the sale.

Business owners are now better equipped with commonly used accounting terms. Through the help of COS Accounting & Tax, known as on of the leading Utah accounting firms business owners can succeed.

Leave a Reply