Common Accounting Terms (Explained in Plain English)

Your accounts releasable (AR) is the opposite of your accounts payable. Whereas your AP consists of the money you owe to others, your AR consists of money that your clients / customers owe to you.  Your AR is considered a current asset, and it can be used to measure a company’s liquidity.

Balance Sheet (BS)

Simply stated, your balance sheet (BS) is a financial report that lists all of an organization’s assets (i.e., what it owns, such as machinery, property, company vehicles, patents, etc.), it’s liabilities (also known as a company’s debts), and how much of the business is owned by shareholders (also known as shareholders’ equity.)

Working Capital (CAP)

In the accounting world, a company’s financial assets are also referred to as its working capital (CAP). Your capital assets include things such as cash (and cash equivalents), storage facilities, marketable securities (i.e. assets that can be quickly liquidated into cash, such as stocks and treasury bills), production facilities, and other related items.  In other words, working capital is how much operating liquidity a business has.

Cash Flow (CF)

Cash flow refers to the net amount of cash (and cash-equivalents) that flow in and out of an organization.  Cash flows can be positive or negative and is generally, but not always, an indication of a company’s profitability.  It is an indication of a company’s liquidity.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Accountants that have passed a certified public accountant (CPA) exam are designated as CPAs. CPAs act as consultants to individuals, business owners and corporations and they guide their clients in a variety of financial matters. Further, only CPAs (not accountants) are permitted to “issue” a company’s official public-facing financial statements (internal statements, which are not for public consumption, can be issued by an accountant or CPA.)

In closing

If you’re interested in learning more about how your business can benefit from partnering with a local CPA firm, look no further. The experts at Hughes, Snell and Co., PA, have years of experience in working with clients of all sizes, across a variety of industries. Regardless as to whether you need help establishing an LLC, or you’re interested in learning more about how maxing out your 401(k) contributions can save you money on your personal income taxes, call our office today to get started.