Accounting, Business Studies and Economics Dictionary

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Wage - A payment for work, usually weekly. See also salary.

Wage and price controls - Direct government intervention into wage and price formation with legal power to enforce the government's decisions on wages and prices.

Wage-cost push inflation - An increase in the price level caused by increases in labour costs that are not themselves associated with excess aggregate demand for labour. also called the wage price spiral.

Wages and prices chasing each other as the aggregate demand curve continually shifts to the right and the aggregate supply curve continually shifts upwards.

Wages - Payments made to the employees of a business for their work on behalf of the business. These are classed as expense items and must not be confused with 'drawings' taken by sole proprietors and partnerships (see drawings ).

Walk – The theory that stock prices behave in an unpredictable fashion because the stock market is efficient. The market price of a company's stock goes randomly around real (intrinsic) value.

Wants - The unlimited desires or wishes that people have for goods and services.

Warrant - 1. In finance, a warrant is a security that entitles the holder to buy stock of the issuing company at a specified price, which is usually higher than the stock price at time of issue. Or 2. government accounting, order drawn authorising the payment to a particular designated payee. Or 3. guarantee of the occurrence of something, such as warranting the performance of another party.

Warranty - A guarantee that faulty products will be repaired or replaced within a period of time.

Waste - Any material which is no longer of use to the system that produced it and which has to be disposed of.

Waste management - The way in which businesses deal with the problem of waste materials.

Wasting asset - 1. a natural resource such as oil, coal, and timber, having a limited use­ful life and subject to depletion. Such assets decrease in worth primarily due to the extraction of the valued commodity held by these assets.  Or 2. a fixed asset with limited life and subject to depreciation. It there­ fore excludes land.  Or 3. security whose value expires at a specified time in the future.

Wealth - The total assets of a household, firm or government minus its total liabilities.

Web browser – Refers to browsers for the World Wide Web (WWW) enabling one to hook up with network servers to obtain HTML documents and Web pages

Web page – Refers to on-line advertisement or information on the world wide web encouraging business or getting information.

Weight – Is the relative importance given to an individual item included in forecasting.

Weighted average - The average of several items, where each item is ascribed a weight. according to its importance. The weights must add up to 1.

Weighted average costing – Is the procedure for computing the unit cost of a process. Beginning work in process inventory costs are added to the costs of the current period, then a weighted average is obtained by dividing the combined costs by equivalent units.

Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) – This method weights the percentage cost of each component by the percentage of that component in the financial structure.

Weighted average inventory method – This is an inventory valuation method in calculation in which the weighted average cost per unit for the period is the cost of the goods available for sale divided by the number of units available for sale.

Weighting – A process which adjusts and index number to take into account the relative importance of a variable. 

Welfare - Government programs that supplement the incomes of the needy.

Welfare economics - The study of how the allocation of resources affects economic well being.

Welfare loss - The loss of consumer plus producer surplus in imperfect markets (when compared with perfect competition).

White-collar union - A union which represents non manual workers (office workers, management and professional staff).

White knightRefers to an firm or individual that comes to the aid of a company facing a hostile takeover bid.

White paper - 1. is a government report; bound in white; also called a white book. Or2. a short treatise whose purpose is to educate industry customers. Or 3. an authoritative report on a major issue, as by a team of journalists.

Wholly owned subsidiary – This is used to refer to the situation where the parent company owns 100% of the stock of the subsidiary company.

Wholesale Refers to the selling of items to retailers usually in large quantities which are then broken up into smaller quantities to be on sold to consumers.

Wholesale banks - Banks specialising in large scale deposits, and loans and dealing mainly with companies.

Wholesale deposits - Large-scale deposits and loans made by and to firms at negotiated interest rates.

Wholesaler - A wholesaler buys in bulk (large quantities) from the manufacturer and sells on smaller quantities either to retailers or, occasionally, direct to customers

Wide area network (WAN) – Is a network comprising a large geographic area.

Wide monetary base (MO) - Notes and coin outside the central bank plus banks' operational deposits with the central bank.

Wi-Fi  (wireless fidelity)  - Is the popular term for a high frequency wireless local area network.

Willingness to pay - The maximum amount that a buyer will pay for a good.

Windfall profitsRefers to a profit or gain that occurs as a result of a specific event that was not controlled by the firm or person that realised the gain from that event.

Window dressing – Is the process of making a company look better financially than it really is.

WIP (Work in Process/Progress) -  This is used to refer to items part way through the manufacturing process e.g. they are not yet finished goods.

Withdrawals (W) (or leakages) - Income earned by households and not passed on to firms in return for goods and services purchased, and income earned by firms and not passed on to households in return for factor services purchased. Withdrawals equal net saving (S) plus net taxes (T) plus expenditure on imports (M):  W= S + T + M.

Withholding - 1. an income tax that is being withheld from the employees' wages and the firm is paying directly to the government. Or 2. a tax which is deducted from the dividends payable on investments which are to paid people residing in other countries.

Withholding tax – Refers to deductions by an employer from employee salaries for the payment of federal and state income taxes.

Work cell – Refers to a physical or logical grouping of resources that performs a defined job or task.

Worker co-operative - A business organisation owned by employees who contribute to production and share in profit.

Worker participation - The employees contribute to decision-making in the business. See also works councils and democratic leadership.

Working capital - The funds left over to meet day to day expenses after current debts have been paid. It is calculated by current assets minus current liabilities.

Working capital cycle - The flow of liquid resources into and out of a business.

Working capital ratioThis ratio shows working capital as a proportion of sales.

Work papersThese refer to in accounting the documents that show the evidence which auditors have gathered through the work they have done, these papers also show the methods and different procedures the auditors have followed, and what conclusions the auditors have arrived at in the audit of the financial statements.

Working to rule - Workers do the bare minimum they have to, as set out in their job descriptions..

Work in progress- The value of partly finished (ie. partly manufactured) goods.

Works councils - Committees, made up of workers, who are consulted or informed on matters that affect employees.

Work study - A process which investigates the best possible way to use business resources.

Work to rule - When employees do not carry out duties which are not in their employment contract.

World bank - International Bank For Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

World price - The price of a good that prevails in the world market for that good.

World Trade Organisation (WTO) -  An organisation which seeks to promote free trade between nations and monitors world trade.

World wide web (WWW) – Refers to the internet system for worldwide hyper­text linking of multimedia documents, making the relationship of information that is common between documents easily accessible and completely independent of physical location.

Worm – A destructive computer program that replicates itself and penetrates a valid computer system. It may also spread within a network.

WorthRefers to something having a specified value.

Write down - To reduce the book value of the asset.

Write-off - Depreciating an asset to zero in one go.

Write up  - To increase the recorded value of an asset, but it is not allowed under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and therefore seldom used.

Writing off - The process of reducing the value of an asset by the amount of depreciation.

WTO - World Trade Organisation.  Organisation of member states aimed at reducing barriers to free trade.

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Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

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