Accounting, Business Studies and Economics Dictionary

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T Account - A particular method of displaying an account where the debits and associated information are shown on the left, and credits and associated information on the right. There are five types of basic accounts are assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses.

Tacit collusion - Where oligopolists take care not to engage in price cutting, excessive advertising or other forms of competition. There may be unwritten 'rules' of collusive behaviour such as price leadership.

Tactical decisions - Calculated, medium term decisions.  May be used to implement strategic decisions.

Takeover - The purchase of one firm by another. Also called acquisition..

Tally sheetRefers to is a form used for counting, i.e. a form on which the actual quantities can be recorded on, especially helpful when conditions make the likelihood of counting errors possible such as counting inventory.

Tangible assets - Assets which are physical in nature. Examples include buildings, motor vehicles, plant and equipment, fixtures and fittings. See intangible assets .

Tangible book value – This is different from the actual book value as it deducts from the assets book value the intangible assets e.g. Goodwill and patents etc.

Target Refers to the goal that the entity or individual intendeds to achieve and which they believed is attainable, e.g. sales target, profit target or completion date.

Target audience - People who are potential buyers of a product or service.

Target costing – Refers to the method used in the analysis of product design that involves estimating a target cost, via a desired profit and sales price, and then designing the product/service to meet that cost.

Target income – Refers to the amount of income an organisation is trying to achieve during a particular period. The specification of target income may be based upon a desired rate of return on invested money (for example, 20% return on investment) or a growth in earnings per share (EPS).

Target market - The group of people for whom a particular product is designed.

Target price – Refers to the expected market price for a product, given the company's knowledge of its customers and competitors.

Tariff - A tax applied on imports.

Tariff escalation - The system whereby tariff rates increase the closer a product is to the finished stage of production.                                       

Tax Is a charge imposed by a governmental body on personal income, corporate income, estates, gifts, or other sources to obtain revenue for the public good. Tax filing and payment are legally enforceable.

Taxable -  Is when goods or funds subject to taxation.

Taxable incomeIs used to refer to that income which has to be reported to the relevant government for the calculating income taxes payable.

Tax allowance - An amount of income that can be earned tax-free. Tax allowances vary according to a person's circumstances.

Tax avoidance – Is the payment of the least tax possible by using legal tax planning opportunities such as estate planning. Tax evasion in contrast, utilises illegal methods to achieve this end. 

Tax effect - 1. the impact on taxes of a taxable revenue or expense item. For instance, an interest expense itemised deduction of $2000 will result in tax savings of $560 at the 28% tax bracket. OR 2. general term describing the consequences of a specific tax scenario with respect to a particular tax paying entity. Many factors are considered such as time elements, projections and estimates of revenues, expenses, deductions, acquisitions, disposals, and the like and their relationship upon present and future tax liability .

Tax evasion – Refers to the failure to pay taxes legally due a governmental agency. There is a penalty for tax fraud based on the underpayment of tax. Criminal prosecution also may apply.

Tax expenditures - Tax provisions, such as exemptions and deductions from taxable income and tax credits, that are designed to induce market responses considered to be desirable. They are called expenditures because they have the same effect as directly spending money to induce the desired behaviour.

Tax haven (low tax jurisdiction) – Refers to a foreign country providing significant, permanent tax breaks to individuals and companies operating within it. In a tax haven country, foreigners may receive income or own assets and pay very low taxes.

Tax incidence - The location of the burden of a tax; that is, the identity of the ultimate bearer of the tax.

Tax indexing – Is a method using a form of indexation to decrease the overall impact of the erosion of purchasing power in periods of inflation and subsequent "bracket creep."

Tax loss carried forward or backwards – Is used to refer to a tax benefit that allows a firm or individual to subtract any losses in order to be able to reduce any tax liability they have.

Tax planning - The systematic analysis of differing tax options aimed at the minimization of tax liability in current and future tax periods.

Tax rate - The percentage rate at which a tax is levied on a particular activity.

Tax-related incomes policy (TIP) - Tax incentives for labour and management to encourage them to conform to wage and price guidelines.

Tax return – Is the general name of the form used to file taxes payable to a federal or local government.

Tax shelter - Refers to legal methods that a taxpayer is allowed to use in order to lower a tax liability . An example of this the use of amortisation or depreciationof assets.

Tax (financial) year – Is the period that a tax return covers. i.e. In Hong Kong it is from 1st April to 31st March.

Taylor rule - A rule adopted by a central bank for setting the rate of interest. It will raise the interest rate if (a) inflation is above target or (b) real, national income is above the sustainable level (or unemployment is below the equilibrium rate). The rule states how much interest rates will be changed in each case.

T-Bill -  Treasury bill.

Team building - The process designed to improve the effectiveness and motivation of people working together in groups.

Team working - Employees working in small groups with a common aim.

Technical analysis – Refers to a method of predicting stock prices based on historical price and trading patterns; it is not concerned with the financial statistics. It uses charts (e.g., head and shoulders, rising bottoms) to identify trends in the market or individual securities.

Technological change - Any change in the available techniques of production.

Technological knowledge - Society's understanding of the best ways to produce goods and services.

Technological unemploymentUnemployment caused by technological changes reducing the demand for labour in some specific tasks.

Technology  - The method for converting resources into goods and services. Or 2) A creative process which uses human, scientific and material resources to solve problems and improve efficiency.

Technology costs – Are the category of costs associated with the development, acquisition, implementation, and maintenance of technology assets.

Temporary accountIs an account that does not appear on the balance sheet; also called nominal account.

Temporary employment - Employment for a limited or finite period of time.

Tender offer - A time limited offer to buy some or all of the outstanding common stock of a corporation from its stockholders at a specified price per share in an attempt to gain control of the corporation. Also called takeover bid.

Term bonds - The principal of the bond is payable at maturity.

Term loan – Usually refers to an intermediate -to long-term (typically, two- to ten-year) business loans with provisions for systematic repayments (amortisation during the life of the loan).

Terms of trade - The ratio of the average price of a country's exports to the average price of its imports, both averages usually being measured by index numbers; it is the quantity of imported goods that can be obtained per unit of goods exported.

Term to maturity - The period of time from the present to the redemption date of a bond. Also called simply the term.

Tertiary sector - Industry which provides services to consumers and the other sectors of industry.

Testimony Refers to evidence that is given by a witness who is under oath.

Test marketing - Testing a product out on a small section of a market prior to its full launch

Theory of constraintsRefers to a management approach or theory that main focuses is on the identification and subsequent and relaxation of the constraints that may limit a firm's ability to achieve a higher level of their goal attainment.

Theory of demand - Quantity demanded and price are inversely related - more is brought at a lower price, less at a higher price (other things being equal).

Theory of liquidity preference - Keynes's theory that the interest rate adjusts to bring money supply and money demand into balance.

Theory of the firm - A theory of how suppliers of commodities behave - how they make choices - in the face of changing constraints.

Tertiary production - Activities which involve the provision of services.

Third-degree price discrimination - When a firm divides consumers into different groups al charges a different price to consumers in different groups, but the same price to all the consumers within a group.

Third partyRefers to someone other than the individual person or entity directly involved in the transaction or agreement under consideration.

Third world debt - The total external deficit of LDCs. This became extremely large in the 1980s due to events emanating from the oil price increases of the 1970s.

Till roll (cash register roll)Refers to the roll of paper where individual payments of money are recorded in cash register. It is a source document of cash receipt.

Time-based-management - Involves setting strict time limits in which tasks must be completed.

Time deposits - Deposits that require notice of withdrawal or where a penalty is charged for withdrawals on demand.

Time lag – The difference between when an action is taken and when it has its effect. The problem of time lags. Many economic actions can take a long time to take effect. This can cause problems of instability and an inability of the economy to achieve social efficiency. 

Time rates - A payment system that rewards workers for the amount of time they spend at work.

Time seriesWhen there is an ordered sequence of different  values of a specific variable or set of variables, recorded at equally spaced different time intervals.

Time series analysis - A method which allows a business to predict future levels from past figures. 

Time sharing - In real estate, division of ownership or use of a resort unit or apart­ment on the basis of time periods.

Time standard (standard time) – Is the amount of time required to perform a task by a trained operator working at a normal pace and using a prescribed method.

Times interest earned  (TIE) – This ratio measures the amount by which a firm's operating income can fall before the business is no longer able to meet its annual interest costs. The TIE ratio is used by banks to help assess an entity’s ability to meet their liability obligations. TIE is a measure of how many times during a specific year that the firm has earned their annual cost of interest associated with servicing the firms debt.

Time to market (TTM)Refers to  the length or period of time it takes to completely develop a new item or product from the original initial idea to product to market sales of the product.

Time value of moneyThis relates to the concept that one $ a person has today is worth more than a $ that a person has tomorrow.  It is based on the idea that a dollar can earn interest by putting it into a savings account or placing it in an alternative investment.

To date The time period that is before the current date.

Tolerable - 1. In auditing, degree of acceptable misstatement in substantive testing without materially misstating the financial statements. A tolerable rate is the maximum deviation rate in tests of controls that is acceptable by the auditor in his or her assessment of control risk. Or 2. In cost accounting, acceptable variance between actual and standard cost or revenue.

Top down Refers to the practice or method of analysing a subject, such as costs or revenue, starting from the highest level working towards the bottom.

Total assets Is calculated as the total of all assets, both fixed assets and current assets.

Total asset turnover This ratio is used as a measure of the management's efficiency in the way they manage the entity’s total assets - specifically relating to the generation of revenue flows from the entity's total investments in its assets.

Total consumer expenditure on a product (TE) (per period of time) - The price of the product multiplied by the quantity purchased.

Total consumer surplus - The excess of a persons total utility from the consumption of a good over the amount that person spends on it.

Total cost - The total cost to the firm of producing any given level of output; it can be divided into total fixed costs and total variable costs.

Total cost of ownership (TCO) - The real amount an asset will cost. Example: An accounting application retails at $1000. Support - which is mandatory, costs a further $200 per annum. Assuming the software will be in use for 5 years, TCO will be $2000 (1000+5x200=2000).

Total current assets Is a measure of  total of cash and cash equivalents, Inventory, trade receivables, and any other current assets.

Total current liabilitiesIs a measure of the total of trade payables, notes payable short term, income taxes payable, current maturities,  and any other current liabilities.

Total fixed cost - All costs of production that do not vary with level of output.

Total physical product - The total output product per period of time that is obtained from a given amount of inputs.

Total product (TP) - Total amount produced by a firm during some time period.

Total quality management (TQM) - A managerial approach which focuses on quality and aims to improve the effectiveness, flexibility, and competitiveness of the business.

Total revenue - The amount received from the sale of a good or service. It equals the price of the good or service multiplied by the quantity.

Total variable cost - Total costs of production that vary directly with level of output. Also called direct cost or avoidable cost.

Total (private) surplus -Total consumer surplus plus total producer surplus.

Total producer surplus -Total revenue minus total variable cost .

Total revenue (TR) (per period of time) - The amount received by firms from the sale product, before the deduction of taxes or any other costs.

Total social surplus - Total benefits to society from consuming a good minus total costs to society from producing it. In the absence of externalities, total social surplus is the same a (private) surplus.

Total utility - The total satisfaction resulting from the consumption of a given product or group of products by a consumer in a period of time.

TQM – Total quality management.

Trace – Refers to the process whereby an auditor tries  to determine if a financial statement item has been handled according to proper corporate or accounting policy. For example, if the auditor wants to trace the balance in the travel expense account, he will trace account post stings from the ledger to the journal they came from. The auditor will then trace from the journal transaction to the source document to assure that proper backup exists.

Traceable (accounting) Is to discover by looking back over past transactions for evidence.  It is done step by step establishing the paper-trail of a transaction. Non-traceable is used to describe the situation where no paper trail of a transaction can be established.

Tragedy of the Commons - A parable that illustrates why common resources get used more than is desirable from the standpoint of society as a whole.

Tradable emission permits - Government granted rights to emit specific amounts of specified pollutants that private firms may buy and sell among themselves.

Trade creation - A consequence of reduced trade barriers among a set of countries (typically signatories to a free trade agreement) whereby trade within the group is increased and trade with the rest of the world remains roughly constant. Thus the increase in trade among group members is an increase in total world trade.

Trade credit – Refers to a type of credit extended by one business to another busi­ness, allowing the latter to buy goods from the former without making immediate full payment by check or with cash.

Trade cycle - The fluctuation of national income around its long term trend.

Trade debtorsRefer to amounts of money that is owed by customers/clients who have purchased something (goods&services) from the firm.

Trade deficit – Refers to when there is excess of imports of goods (raw materials, agricultural and manufactured products, and capital and consumer products) over the exports of goods, resulting in a negative balance of trade.

Trade discount The producer gives a discount to retail trades people to in order to help them to increase the sales of the firm's product.

Trade diversion - A consequence of reduced trade barriers among a set of countries whereby trade with the group replaces trade that used to take place with countries outside the group.

Trade in goods (balance of trade) - The difference between imports and exports of physical products.

Trade in services (net invisibles) - The difference between the import and export of services.

Trademark – Is a legal protection afforded names, symbols, and other specific identities assigned to a product.

Trade (brand) name – Refers to the distinctive and identifiable name that is used to identify a company or product and build up brand recognition. Many large companies; e.g. Nike, Ford, Coca Cola, etc. Often a trade name is protected by copyright law.

Trade payableThis term is more commonly known as an accounts payable, is an amount owed to a creditor for goods and services received.

Trade receivables -  This term is more commonly known as an accounts receivable, is an amount owed from a debtor for goods and services supplied.

Trade spendingIs generally used to refer to that marketing expense which is directed towards to process of  brand building, e.g. slotting, and advertisements.

Trade union / labour union - A group of workers organized principally for the purpose of increasing wages and improving condition:

Trading account- An account which shows the gross profit or loss of a manufacturing or retail business, i.e. sales less the cost of sales.  Or in other words subtracting cost of sales from turnover.

Trading blocs - Countries that join together to increase trade between their members and restrict trade with non-members.

Trading concern - Means an firm that derives its business from selling products. The firm buys from one source and sells to another.

Traditional theory of the firm - The analysis of pricing and output decisions of the firm various market conditions, assuming the firm wishes to maximise profit.

Traits - Words used in identifying an individual's personality.

Transaction - Two or more entries made in a journal which when looked at together reflect an original document such as a sales invoice or purchase receipt.

Transactions balances - Money balances held to finance payments because payments and receipts are not perfectly synchronized.

Transactions costs - Costs incurred in effecting market transactions (such as negotiation costs, billing costs, and bad debts).

Transaction date - The date on which an specified transaction occurred.

Transfer payments - A payment to a private person or institution that does not arise out of current productive activity; typically made by governments, as in welfare payments, but also made by businesses and private individuals in the form of charitable contributions.

Transfer price Refers to the charge made when one division of a company provides goods or services to another division of the company.

Transfer pricing (accounting) – Is the deciding on the price of goods or services that are exchanged between various divisions of a decentralised organisation.

Transfer pricing (economics) - A system operated by multi-national companies. It is an attempt to avoid relatively high tax rates through the prices which one subsidiary charges another for components and finished products.

Transmission mechanism - The channels by which a change in the demand or supply of money leads to a shift of the aggregate demand curve.

Transmitter - The sender of a message, the person starting the process off by sending the message.

Transnational corporation - Firms that have operations in more than one country. Also called multi-national companies.

Transparency -  (1) Principle that was adopted in the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which said that governments must make their trading rules, regulations, and practices open and accessible both to the public and also to other governments.

Transportation - A method designed to solve problems where there are a number of different points of supply and demand, such as a number of manufacturers distributing their products to a number of different wholesalers.

Transportation (freight) inRefers to the freight costs which must be paid by the buyer of the goods and therefore added to the costs of the merchandise, i.e. they are part of the inventory cost.

Transportation (freight) outRefers to that part of cost of the selling of the product and therefore are included as a selling expense.

Treasury bills - Bills of exchange issued by the central bank on behalf of the government. They are a means whereby the government raises short term finance.

Trend Normally refers to the general direction in which something tends to move.

Trend analysis – Is a forecasting technique that relies primarily on historical time series data to predict the future.

Trial balance - A statement which lists all the balances on all the accounts in the double entry system.

True and fair view This accounting principle states that a firm should provide a true and fair view in regard to financial conditions and also its operating results. The concept of true and fair view does not necessarily mean the absolute and total truth about the firm. Financial statementss are after all the product of different management's judgments and various  estimates. The principle of true and fair view requires that the  comparative truth is given about the firms' position.

Trust – Refers to an agreement in which the trustee takes title to property (called the corpus) owned by the grantor (donor) to protect or conserve it for either the grantor or the trust's beneficiary. The trust is established by the grantor. The trustee is typically given authority to invest the property for a return.

TurnaroundRefers to the reversal and other possible changes to the unfavourable circumstances relating to the business where a specific investment opportunity may possibly exist.

Turnover - The income of a business over a period of time (usually a year).

Turnover ratio – This ratio measure of a particular asset's activity (e.g., sales, cost of sales). The average asset balance for the period is used equal to the beginning balance plus the ending balance divided by 2. A turnover ratio is an activity ratio. By looking at the turnover of an asset in terms of generating revenue, the accountant can properly appraise a company's ability to manage assets efficiently.

Two-part tariff - A method of charging for a good or a service, usually a utility such as electricity, in which the consumer pays a flat access fee and a specified amount per unit purchased.

Two-way communication - When a receiver gives a response to a message and there is a discussion about it.

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I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you're a musician, a writer, an athlete or a businessman, there is no getting around it. If you do, you'll win—if you don't, you won't.
Bruce Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist