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Accounting reference date (ARD) The date in each year to which a company's financial accounts are prepared. This date is usually the last day of the month of the company's incorporation date. For example, a company incorporated on 12 May, the ARD will be 31 May the following year.
Accounts Filing Date When a company is first set up and incorporated it will automatically be assigned a date for the company's 'end of financial year'. This date is the last day in the month that it incorporated as a limited company provides a guideline on when accounts need to be filed each year. For example: the company incorporates on 13th October 2018, therefore, its accounting reference date and end of financial year will be the 31st October. For its first year of operation, the company must file accounts for the dates 13th October 2018 to 31st October 2019. Subsequent annual accounts will be filed for the dates 1st November to 31st October (12 months). For its first year, it must file its accounts within 21 months of its incorporation date. In this example, the Company must file its annual accounts no later than 12th July 2020. After its first year, it must file its annual accounts within nine months of its sccounting reference date. For example, for 2020's annual accounts, the company will have to file no later than 31st July 2021 for the period 1st November 2019 - 31st October 2020.
Accounts Payable Money due to the suppliers of a business. Fixed Costs will also form part of this Ledger.
Accounts Receivable The Sales Ledger of a business - money due from Customers.
Annual Returns Each Limited Company is required to file details of Directors, Secretaries, Share Capital. Not to do so is an offence.
Bad Debt An unpaid account due to the Supplier.
Balance Sheet A summary of what the business owns and what it owes.
Bankrupt Persons Automatically disqualified from acting as Directors for the duration of their bankruptcy (normally 1 year).
Bankruptcy Order An Order from the Courts declaring a person or persons to be Bankrupt.
Bankruptcy Petition A Formal Request to the courts to make an individual or individuals bankrupt.
Bona Fide Genuine!
Book Value The value attached to assets in the Balance Sheet. Not usually realised in a liquidation!
Business Any trading entity, be it a Sole Trader, Partnership, Company or other that buys and/or sells Goods or Services.
Capital Employed Also known as funds employed. The total amount of capital used for the acquisition of profits by a firm or project.
Charge / Mortgage A Charge or Mortgage is the security a company gives for a loan.
Charities Commission The legal body responsible for monitoring the activities of Registered Charities
Co. Limited by Guarantee A Company where the Members (Shareholders) each pay a single sum for an equal share.
Companies House The organisation that controls all limited companies. They monitor logging of Accounts and Annual Returns.
Company (A) A Company is a trading entity with Limited Liability.
Company Dissolved Dissolution is the final stage of eliminating a company from the Companies House Register.
Company Ratios Mathematical ratio's that illustrate and summarize the current financial condition of a company.
Company Registered No. The number issued by Companies House when a new company is registered.
Company Struck Off Companies House have decided that the Company is no longer trading and has removed it from the Register.
Confirmation Statement (previously annual return) The due date is usually a year after either: the date the company was incorporated. the date they filed their last annual return or confirmation statement.
Consolidated Accounts In the UK, the Companies Act 2006 (CA06) now requires medium-sized groups to prepare consolidated (group) accounts. Under s399 of CA06, group accounts only need to be prepared where, at the end of a financial year, an undertaking is a parent company. A common question asked is whether this includes overseas subsidiaries. If a company is registered in the UK, those subsidiaries would need to be included within the consolidated financial statements. CA06, which is effective for financial periods beginning on or after 6 April 2008, specifies benchmarks for groups to qualify as a 'small' group where 2 out of the following 3 conditions must be met:
  • Aggregate turnover must not be more than 6.5m net (7.8m gross)
  • The aggregate balance sheet total must not be more than 3.26m (3.9m gross)
  • The aggregate average number of employees must not be more than 50

Corporate Structure Related companies (family tree).
County Court Judgment (CCJ) In England and Wales, county court judgments are legal decisions handed down by county courts. Judgments for monetary sums are entered on the Register of County Court Judgments and are "public record information".
Credit Application Form The form that you should get All potential customers - and suppliers who want a deposit - to complete.
Credit Information Agency A Business that supplies information on other businesses, including commercial status, such as ICSM.
Credit Limit/Rating Checkaco Credit ratings are alpha / numeric in conjunction with a credit guide figure and are a summary opinion on your enquiry subject, alpha denoting risk level, numeric reflecting the size of the business:- A = excellent, B= Good C= Fair D = Poor. Numeric, 1 = 50m plus turnover, 5 = 599k to 999k turnover, 10 = 1k to 24k turnover etc. See guide for more info.
Current (Liquid) Assets Those items owned by a business that can easily be turned into cash; e.g the Sales Ledger and Stock.
Customer The Purchaser in any Contract of Supply.
Deal (the) The contract that is created when supplier and customer agree the sale and purchase of Goods or Services.
Deposit (financial) A pre-payment against Goods ordered, as evidence of Good faith or to cover the costs of producing the Goods.
Depreciation The reduction in value of Fixed Costs due to aging and wear and tear.
Direct Costs Those costs which are only incurred in the process of procuring saleable items: Raw Materials, Component Parts.
Directors' Remuneration Disclosure is required of all remuneration paid to or receivable by the directors and prescribed officers of the company for services as a director or prescribed officer of any other company within the same group of companies. In terms of the Companies Act, 2008 companies should provide full disclosure of each individual executive and non-executive director's remuneration in the Annual Financial Statements of the company, giving details as required in the Act of base pay, bonuses, share-based payments, granting of options or rights, restraint payments and all other benefits (including present values of existing future awards). Similar information should be provided for the prescribed officers of the company.
Disqualified Directors Persons regarded by the Insolvency Service as unfit to run a Company. Note: they can run a Firm!
Down Payment See Deposit
Duly Authorised Signatory A person, such as a Buyer, who is empowered by the Directors or Owners to act on their behalf.
Event Event History as recorded at Companies House.
Equity Another word for Share Capital (see below).
Fixed Assets A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and which is not expected to be consumed or converted into cash any sooner than at least one year's time.
Financially Strapped Slang expression meaning seriously short of money - unable to make payments when due.
Firm (A) A Firm is any trading entity other than a Registered Company.
Fixed Assets Those items owned by a business such as plant and machinery that make it possible for the business to operate.
Fixed Co Those items that the business has to pay for, regardless of the level of Sales; Rent, Depreciation, Administration.
Gazette or Daily Gazette The Gazette is formally the combination of three publications: The London Gazette, The Belfast Gazette and The Edinburgh Gazette. The Gazettes are official journals of record. As a publication, The Gazette consists largely of statutory notices. This means that there is some legal requirement for the notice placer to advertise an event or proposal in The Gazette.
There are over 450 different types of notice that are advertised in The Gazette, including:
  • 242 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette
  • 82 notice types required by law to be published in The Gazette, as well as somewhere else (for example, a newspaper)
  • 54 notice types required by law to be published, but the law doesn't specify where
  • 36 notice types that may be published in The Gazette
  • 41 notice types that are optional publication, so are not required by law to be published

Goods (and Services) Items or Services (See Services below) that can be bought and sold.
Held Orders Orders that a Supplier is unwilling to release until a problem has been resolved.
History Events required to be notified by law to Companies House, such as change of registered office address, acquisition of new business etc.
ICSM Database A unique database of current and historic information about businesses in certain markets.
Insolvency The state of a business when wound up. Usually a Liquidator manages the disposal of the business's assets.
Intangible Assets Non-physical assets, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, goodwill and brand recognition.
Interim Financial Statements/Accounts Cover a period of less than one year. Often, these interim statements are prepared quarterly, but they may also be prepared monthly or even half-yearly.
Irretrievable Costs Expenses that a Supplier will have to incur to provide the Goods or Services required.
Issued Share Capital The amount of nominal value of shares held by the shareholders. It is the face value of the shares that have been issued to the shareholders. Issued share capital and share premium represent the amount invested by the shareholders in the company.
Limited Companies Trading entities using the protection of limited liability for the owners.
Limited Liability Partnership A Partnership where some or all of the Partners has limited liability to the business debts.
Liquidation The process of selling off the assets of a business that is wound up.
Main Place of Business May be the Registered Office or any other location suitable for the Company needs.
Mortgage / Charge A Mortgage or charge is the security a company gives for a loan.
Net Worth The bottom line in a Balance Sheet, also known as Shareholders' Funds. Represents the amount of equity in a company, which belongs to the shareholders. The amount of shareholders' funds yields an approximation of theoretically how much the shareholders would receive if a business were to liquidate.
Operating Profit The profit resulting from the manufacture (or purchase) of saleable stock and the subsequent sale of same.
Overheads Another term for Fixed Costs.
Owners The Proprietor(s) of a firm or the Shareholders of a Company
Paid up Equity A type of account on a municipality's or company's balance sheet that is reserved for long term capital investment projects or any other large anticipated expenses that will be incurred in the future. This type of reserve fund is set aside to ensure the company has adequate funding to at least partially finance the project.
Partnership (A) A trading entity run by two or more Partners without the protection of Limited Liabil
Personal Reports A Personal Report contains information as to the individual's personal financial standing. Consent needed first!
Pre-Payment See Deposit above.
Pre-tax Profit The net Profit (or Loss) after all expenses other than the Tax Man are taken into account.
Principal A person who is authorised to act on behalf of a business. Normally this would be a Director or the Co. Secretary.
Profit & Loss Statement Shows whether a Company is making money or losing it!
Proprietor(s) The person or persons owning a Firm
Public Limited Companies PLCs are usually the bigger businesses and are the most stringently controlled by Companies House.
Queries Queries and Disputes, differences between supplier and customer that need to be resolved before payment can be made.
Registered Number A company registration number is a unique combination of numbers and, in some cases, letters. The company registration number (also known as the company number, registration number or simply abbreviated to CRN) is used to identify the company and verify the fact that it is an entity registered with Companies House.
Registered Office The official place of business of a Company. Not always the place from which they trade.
Registered Number The number issued by Companies House when a new company is registered.
Service Organisation A business that supplies Services rather than Goods; eg accountants, solicitors et al
Services Any function performed by or through people, for the benefit of the Customer.
Shadow Directors Persons acting as directors of a Company without the title of Director.
Share Capital Funds provided by the Owners (not always the current directors) of a business.
Shareholders The owners of the company.
Shareholders' Funds See Net Worth above.
SIC Code A five-digit Standard Industrial Classification code. They are used by government bodies such as Companies House and the Office for National Statistics to systematically identify and categorise the principal business activities of limited companies operating within the UK.
Sole Trader A trading entity run by a single person, whether in their own name or in a trading name.
Statutory Demand A Formal Notice that a supplier intends to petition the courts to wind up the company or bankrupt the sole trader.
STOP (on) A business that is on STOP with any of its suppliers is usually a higher risk, regardless of other information.
Sundry Reserves The total of Capital reserves, share premium account, any other related company reserves and capital grants.
Suppliers People, Firms or Companies from whom you buy Goods.
Tangible Assets Assets that have a physical form such as machinery, buildings, land, and current assets, such as inventory.
Terms of Sale/Service A business with properly drafted Terms is always better placed in dispute situations than those with none.
Turnover The total sales of a business from its trading activities. It does not include the sale of Fixed Assets.
VAT Value Added Tax
VAT Registered Number Issued by HMRC when a business registers for VAT.
Winding Up Order An order from the courts to wind up a company.
Winding Up Petition A formal request to the courts to wind up a company
Working Capital The money 'in the system' to buy/manufacture goods and their income from selling them. Calculated as the current assets minus the current liabilities.
Working Capital Deficit If the working capital is negative the business may have to delay payments to suppliers - be warned!