Business Finance Glossary - A


The formal statement of a companys financial affairs.

Accounts payable

Money owed by a company or individual for the goods or services they have received.

Accounts receivable

Money owed to a company or individual for the goods or services they have provided.


The appointment of a licensed insolvency practitioner over a defaulting company either by a court, by a holder of a floating charge over the company's assets, or by the company itself. Administration has the primary purpose of rescuing the company by trading it back into solvency.

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Annual accounts

Must be submitted to Companies House with the auditor's report, or an accountant's report for companies with turnover of less than £5 million and a balance sheet of less than £2.8 million. The accounts consist of a directors' report signed by a director or the company secretary, a profit and loss account, a balance sheet signed by a director, the auditor's report signed by the auditor or accountant's report signed by the accountant, and notes to the accountants. The accounts must be laid before a general meeting of all members of the company. They must be approved by the meeting.

Annual Return

Summary of company structure, registered address and shareholding, filed each year by every company with Companies House.


Assets are all the business's possessions The things owned by the company such as vehicles, shares, buildings, and money in the bank.

Asset Finance

Loans specifically made against plant, equipment, vehicles, or IT hardware and software.


Accountants appointed to review and report upon the annual accounts of a company. Only accountants qualified as members of one of the professional bodies recognised by legislation can act as auditors.

Audit report

The result of the review of the annual accounts by the auditors. It must accompany the accounts when filed at Companies House. An unqualified report means that the auditors found nothing wrong with the accounts. If the auditors are concerned that the accounts are not a true reflection of the state of the company the report will be qualified by their comments on what they have found.

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