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Anchorage Office

(907) 240-4954

Biloxi Office

(228) 818-0558

3586 Sangani Blvd.,
Ste L-311 Diberville, MS 39540

Wichita Office

(316) 633-1005

Common Bookkeeping Terms

Some common terms used in bookkeeping include the following:

  • Accounting period - The time period for which financial information is being tracked. Most businesses track their financial results on a monthly basis, so each accounting period equals one month. Some businesses choose to do financial reports on a quarterly or annual basis. Businesses that track their financial activities monthly usually also create quarterly and annual reports.
  • Accounts payable - The account used to track all outstanding bills from vendors, contractors, consultants, and any other companies or individuals from whom the company buys goods or services.
  • Accounts receivable - The account used to track all customer sales that are made by store credit. Store credit refers not to credit card sales but rather to sales in which the customer is given credit directly by the store and the store needs to collect payment from the customer at a later date.
  • Depreciation - An accounting method used to track the aging and use of assets. For example, if you own a car, you know that each year you use the car its value is reduced (unless you own one of those classic cars that goes up in value). Every major asset a business owns ages and eventually needs replacement, including buildings, factories, equipment, and other key assets.
  • General Ledger - Where all the company’s accounts are summarized. The General Ledger is the granddaddy of the bookkeeping system.
  • Interest - The money a company needs to pay if it borrows money from a bank or other company. For example, when you buy a car using a car loan, you must pay not only the amount you borrowed but also interest, based on a percent of the amount you borrowed.
  • Inventory - The account that tracks all products that will be sold to customers.
  • Journals - Where bookkeepers keep records (in chronological order) of daily company transactions. Each of the most active accounts — including cash, Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable — has its own journal.
  • Payroll - The way a company pays its employees. Managing payroll is a key function of the bookkeeper and involves reporting many aspects of payroll to the government, including taxes to be paid on behalf of the employee, unemployment taxes, and workman’s compensation.
  • Trial balance - How you test to be sure the books are in balance before pulling together information for the financial reports and closing the books for the accounting period.

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