the total owned and borrowed funds in a business.

capital gain

a financial gain made from selling fixed assets such as land, buildings, or a business at a price above the original purchase price.

capital requirement

a list of expenses that must be met to establish a business. Even before a business is started, the owner should start keeping records.


includes all money in the bank, in the cash drawer and in petty cash. Banknotes, coins, bills and negotiable securities (like cheques) is cash. But so is the money you can draw on demand – your bank accounts or savings accounts also represent “cash”.

cash book

a record of cash payments and receipts, showing these under various categories.

cash discount

a deduction that is given for prompt payment of a bill.

cash flow

the flow of internal funds generated within the business as a result of receipts from debtors, payments to creditors, drawings and cash sales.

cash receipts

the money received by a business from customers


people whom together share responsibility on behalf of a business by jointly signing documents or cheques.


security provided by a borrower to cover the possibility that the loan will not be repaid.


a business owned by a group of people called shareholders, which has its own legal identity separate from its owners.

consumer price index (CPI)

a measure of the aggregate rise or fall in prices of commonly used goods and services, published by the Commonwealth Government as a basis, among other things, for deciding what overall increases should be made to wages and salaries.

contingent liability

a liability which will only arise upon the happening of a certain event, for example, the guarantor of a loan being asked to honour the guarantee if the borrower defaults.


a legally binding agreement between two or more parties.

controllable expenses

those expenses that can be controlled or restrained by the businessperson.


a type of property right which protects the expression of ideas such as literary or dramatic works, television productions, drawings etc., from being used for commercial gain without permission of the copyright owner. Registration is not a prerequisite for protection.

cost of goods sold

the total cost to the business of the goods sold during an accounting period. In its simplest form this is the sum of the opening stock plus all purchases less the closing stock.

cover note

a temporary certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company to give immediate insurance cover until a formal document is prepared and issued.


an entry made on the right hand side of an account and indicating a gain to a liability, owner’s equity or revenue account.

credit application

a form to be completed by an applicant for a credit account, giving sufficient details to allow the seller to establish the applicant’s creditworthiness.

credit control

any policy designed to increase or decrease credit.

credit limit

the upper limit of credit that a business will allow a customer to have.


a person or business to whom money is owed.

current assets

includes cash, short-term deposits, customers’ accounts, stock (includes work in progress, raw materials and finished goods), that will be converted into cash during the normal course of business, within a year.

current liabilities

short-term debts such as bank overdraft, creditors and provisions set aside to pay taxation and other commitments (for example, holiday or long service leave) and expected to come due within one year of the Balance Sheet.


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