Accounting Terminology Guide
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The New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) General Committee on Public Relations has
prepared this glossary as an educational tool for journalists who report on and interpret financial
How to Use this Guide
To jump to a letter in the alphabet, click the letter at the top. When you see “Top of Page”, click the link
and it will bring you here.
Capitalized terms that appear within definitions of other terms are also defined in this guide. Related
terms are crossreferenced to provide a clearer understanding of their interdependent relationships.
Commonly used acronyms (e.g., IRS) are listed in their abbreviated forms and defined as the complete
term (e.g., Internal Revenue Service).
A Misstatement is Inconsequential If a reasonable person would conclude after considering the
possibility of further undetected misstatements that the misstatement either individually or when
aggregated with other misstatements would clearly be immaterial to the financial statements. If a
reasonable person could not reach such a conclusion regarding a particular misstatement, that
misstatement is more than inconsequential.
Abatement complete removal of an amount due, (usually referring to a tax abatement a penalty
abatement or an interest abatement within a governing agency.)
Accelerated Depreciation Method that records greater DEPRECIATION than STRAIGHTLINE
DEPRECIATION in the early years and less depreciation than straightline in the later years of an
ASSET'S holding period. (See STRAIGHTLINE DEPRECIATION.)
Account Formal record that represents, in words, money or other unit of measurement, certain
resources, claims to such resources, transactions or other events that result in changes to those
resources and claims.
Account Payable Amount owed to a CREDITOR for delivered goods or completed services.
Account Receivable Claim against a DEBTOR for an unco