Accounting, Finance, and Business Glossaries

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

The best way to find definitions and discussions of most any term is to type in define "term" in Google ---
For example, suppose you want the definition of a cantango:

Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary and links to other technology glossaries

"Beyond H-1B: An Immigration Glossary Foreign B-school students wishing to study or work in the U.S. encounter a host of terms, beyond the first visa," by Francesca Di Meglio, Business Week, May 20, 2008 ---

Bob Jensen's SFAS 133 and IAS 39 Glossary on Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging

One of the Best Glossaries for Accounting is the FASB's Master Glossary:
The FASB's Accounting Standard Codification Online Database (FASCOD) ---
FASB Master Glossary ---

Acronym Search ---

Yola Web Definitions ---

A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names 

Daily News Sites for Accountancy, Tax, Fraud, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting History, and More ---

FASB Master Glossary ---

Accounting Terms and Glossary 

Accounting Terminology Guide 

Activities Based Costing (ABC) Costing Bibliography

A great resource site for finance, investing, world news, and accounting
CBS Market Watch (includes a glossary) ---

Small Business Association Loan Terms Glossary ---
Bob Jensen's small business helpers ---  --- 

InvestorWords --- 

This is an indepth list of financial trading terms. It would fit nicely into your " Stock information/financial services" section located at :

The Devil's Derivatives Dictionary at 

Watch for Fraud When Trying to Repair Your Credit ( FICO ) Score ---

Risk Glossary ---


Glossary for Traders 

Money Terms --- 

Need a dictionary for those works of critical theorists and postmodernists? Try the Red Feather Dictionary of Critical Social Science

I have the IFRS electronic version which, in my viewpoint, is the best way to study IFRS because it has a great search engine.

The IFRS electronic version also has a Glossary that nicely links each term to one or more of the standards that use the term. But the Glossary itself sucks due to the many terms it does not define and the pathetic definitions to most terms it does define.

The FASB’s Codification database Master Glossary is a bit better in terms of number of terms defined, but it does not link any terms to the standards and has pathetic definitions in some instances ---

I always make my initial test of an accounting glossary by seeing if it defines “basis adjustment”. This is a term used quite often in the IASB and the FASB standards, and it is used in standards other than IAS 39 and FAS 133. Neither the FASB nor the IASB glossaries define this common term in the standards. See what I mean!

Now if you want to see a good glossary, albeit only a FAS 133 and IAS 39 glossary, go to

Stock Market Terms ---
Financial Glossary (from 
Mortgage Glossary ---
Another Mortgage Glossary ---
And another Mortgage Glossary ---
The Banker's Glossary --- 
Yahoo Finance --- 
Harvard Business School Project Finance Portal 
     (the HBS Project Finance Portal's Glossary is at 
      I found this glossary to be very disappointing from a portal that is in other respects outstanding.)
Encyclopedia of Law and Economics 

Duhaime's Law Dictionary --- 
Bureau of Economic Analysis Glossary --- 
A Journalist's Guide to Economic Terms 
A Glossary of Political Economy Terms 
Economics and Finance --- 
Encyclopedia of Finance 
VentureLine Accounting & Finance Dictionary/Glossary ---
Stock Maven's Investor's  Glossary ---  
American Bankers Association Glossary --- 
Glossary of Reinsurance Terms ---

One of the Best Glossaries for Accounting is the FASB's Master Glossary:
The FASB's Accounting Standard Codification Online Database (FASCOD) ---
FASB Master Glossary ---

January 7, 2008 message from Silvio Branco []

Dear Mr. Jensen,

First and foremost, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for your excellent listings of resources.

My name is Silvio Branco and I am a Content Editor at Babylon Ltd., a translation software company.

Babylon launched a free Business Terms Lookup that comprises more than 10 dictionaries, among others, such well known titles as Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual Finance Glossary, MONASH Marketing Dictionary, and the European Central Bank Glossary, and which I thought could contribute to your already detailed references.

The following is the link to it:

I hope you like both of our free services and I would appreciate if you could mention them on your site by including the respective links.

With best regards,

Silvio Branco

Jensen Comment
I added the above message to the following three sites:


Economy Professor (with a great glossary) ---

April 8, 2004 message from Ed Scribner [


Possible addition on the Oil and Gas industry ---  

ConocoPhillips Energy Business Glossary (  )

Ed Scribner

I happened upon an interesting research paper on corporate governance. This paper also has a nice glossary.
"Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," by Paul A. Gompers, et al. July 2002 --- 

Chat Room Glossary
Chat Room Lingo --- 

This financial dictionary dictionary looks great
January 20, 2009 message from Financial Dictionary []

Dear Bob Jensen,

You have great collection of accounting, financial and online resources! I find your page  very helpful. Our site Financial Dictionary -  contains articles about the most popular and commonly used financial terms. If you find it a good resource for your visitors please, consider adding it to your list of useful web sites.

Thank you for your time Rachel Holberg


U.S. Census Bureau definitions of income ---

Investment Tutorials and Glossary
From the Scout Report on March 22, 2001

Investopedia Tutorials 

Investopedia (reviewed in the September 7, 2000 _Scout Report for Business & Economics_) presents this wonderful collection of investment education tutorials. Tutorials are divided into two sections. The Building Blocks section provides investment basics including reading financial tables, retirement planning, and the P/E ratio. The intermediate tutorials offered in More Advanced Tutorials section include the Federal Reserve, inflation, and buying on margin. The tutorials are information-rich, clearly written, and link to terms found in the Investopedia glossary. However, they lack accompanying illustrations, save for a few charts and graphs.

The Global Accountancy Search Engine ---

Case Studies and Questions --- 
“Lessons From the Collapse of Hedge Fund, Long-Term Capital Management” at the International Financial Risk Institute.  
This case study also includes an analysis of what caused the collapse and offers CPAs the same credit risk instruction the world’s bank regulators received. In addition, the site’s Dictionary of Financial Risk Management has detailed definitions for financial analysts and managers.

The Washington Post Glossary of Business Terms 

An Electronic Encyclopedia  at

Bloomberg Financial Glossary --- 

Online Glossary of Online Terms from the Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. Government --- 
(This Glossary has a somewhat unique design for online users.)

Harcourt's online glossary of accounting terms --- 

Online glossary of auditing terms.

Sam's Q&A Investing Glossary

CPATeam Links (a great listing)

Glossary of Inventory and Materials Management Definitions 

DFIN Links


Utah Association of CPAs


Murphy Green

KPMG Due Diligence

COAST Dictionaries on Computer Security and EDP Auditing

Various Dictionaries


Glass Steagall Act Glossary 

Glossary of Business Terms --- 

Finance Tutorial (of sorts):  A Primer on Foreign Exchange Derivatives

"Of Knock-ins, Knock-outs & KIKOs," by Ranju Sarkar, Business Standard, April 2, 2008 --- Click Here

Option is a contract which gives a buyer a right, but not an obligation, to buy an underlying/ currency/ stock/ commodities at a pre-determined rate, known as strike price, for settlement at a future day. The right to buy is called a call option. The right to sell is called a put option. There are different types of options.
Knock-out option: An option which ceases to exist if the knock-out event occurs. A knock out happens when a particular level is hit (like the Swiss franc touching the level of 1.10 against the dollar), when the option ceases to exist.
Knock-in option: An option which comes into existence if the knock-in event happens. It works exactly the reverse of a knock-out. In a knock-in, an option comes into existence if a certain level is hit.
KIKO (knock-in, knock-out): This is an option with both a knock-in and knock-out. The option kicks in, or comes alive, if the knock-in is seen. The option ceases to exist if anytime, pre or post, the knock-in event happening, the knock-out happens.
One-touch option: When a certain level (of any currency pair) is hit, a company buying an option gets a pre-determined pay-off (it could be $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000). This is how companies made money through derivative deals last year.
Double-touch option: There are two levels. If either of the two levels is hit, the company buying an option will get a pay off. All options require a buyer to pay a premium. Conversely, sellers of options would receive a premium.
Banks, foreign exchange consultants work out zero-cost option structures/ strategies for companies so that they don’t have to pay any premium. To make a zero-cost structure, a company has to buy some option and sell some option so that the premium is zero (the premium paid for buying an option is set-off against the premium received for selling the option).
For instance, when the rupee-dollar parity is 40.10, an exporter buys a put option at the rate of 39.50, and sells a call option for 41.00 for delivery of exports at the end of June, July and August an export commitment of $1 million each month. By entering into this contract, the best rate the exporter can get is 41, and the worst rate it can get is 39.50.
If the rupee goes below 39.50, the exporter will be able to encash its receivables at the rate of 39.50. If the rupee is trading between 39.50 and 41, the exporter will be able to encash its receivables at the prevailing market rate.
However, if the rupee is ruling above 41, it will get its receivables at Rs 41 as he’s locked in that level. This kind of structure is popular with software companies, who can realise their receivables in a range (between the best and worst), unlike in a forward contract where they get locked in at a particular rate.
Banks also offer, what they call, a 1:2 leveraged option, wherein a company buys some calls, makes some puts and use a combination of these to create zero-cost strategy for the company. Companies that have big positions in derivative trades have been selling KIKOs, or a series of KIKOs and buying one-touch options and double-touch options. These structures helped companies make money last year.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's links to accounting, finance, and business glossaries ---

Bob Jensen's links to FAS 133 and IAS 39 Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments Glossary ---

Bob Jensen's FAS 133 and IAS 39 Tutorials on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments ---
CPAs who need help deciphering “lawyerspeak” can find concise definitions of legal terminology at this e-stop as well as the meaning of general business terms such as bankruptcy.
Need to know the difference between an act of God and an act of nature? The legal terms section of this online business dictionary defines them as one and the same. The Commerce Database categorizes words into separate business and legal dictionaries: The business one offers categories such as accounting.
CPAs interested in legal topics such as bankruptcy, civil rights, employment, labor and tax laws can find various terms explained in the articles section for each category at this Web stop. In addition visitors can register for free monthly newsletters on bankruptcy, employment, family and tax law.

Surety Bonds Glossary ---

From the Scout Report on May 3, 2002

ETB Thesaurus 

The European Treasury Browser (ETB) Project has recently released a multilingual thesaurus available in eight languages: Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. The thesaurus is "aimed at indexing educational resources" and building an "interoperable infrastructure to exchange and network metadata on educational resources for schools in Europe." The project seeks to add value to national resource collections by allowing teachers and students to locate Europe resources. The thesaurus gives users access to all resources, regardless of the indexing method used. Users have a choice of downloading the thesaurus between three different displays -- alphabetical, rotated, or systematic. Potential users of the ETB thesaurus are indexers working in education documentation services, publishers, libraries, teachers, students, administrators, scholars, and researchers. Interested users may find downloading the thesaurus a bit difficult; the first download yields a URL from which users can download the actual file.

Printed Dictionaries (Not Free)

A Dictionary of Accounting from Oxford University Press --- 

Dictionary of Accounting Terms by Joel G. Siegel ---


Market Guide Glossary at

Money 101 Glossary 

InvestorWords glossary of over 5,000 terms and 15,000 links, including terms on derivative financial instruments at

American Financial Services

Wall Street Journal Clossary (Requires a Password) 

Online Glossary of Research Economics 

Bentley College's Listing of Glossaries

Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms 

InvestorWords --- 
From InvestorGuide --- 

The legislation that facilitates federal deposit insurance for banks by prohibiting banks from certain 'risky' activities such as owning brokerage firms or engaging in many investment banking activities. The constraints of Glass-Steagall have been eroding steadily and many observers consider the possibility of its ultimate repeal almost a non-event.

Encyclopedia of Corporate Governance 

Global Investing

Applied Derivatives Trading  
     with a Glossary at 

Loan Terms

Foreign Currency and Foreign Trade
Glossary of Terms Used in Payments and Settlements Systems --- 


Idea Café




UBS Multiple Language Euro Glossary

Investments and Taxes

OMB Governmental Accounting

Governmental and Tax in the UK, Ireland, and Germany

Australia and New Zealand Tax and Accounting Glossaries

FIS Governmental Accounting


Concept of Capital

Capital Equipment



Utilities and Environment

Government Contracting

Legislative Glossaries


A Four Language Glossary on Derivative Instruments

Howard County Junior College listing

Financial Regulations

Environmental Economics Glossary

Financial Ratios


Thanks to Chris Nolan I found a pretty good free web site for company and company-to-industry comparison ratios at  . Click on the research tab in at that web site and enter a symbol like IBM.

Chris also recommended .  Enter a symbol or company name such as IBM.  Get the Quote for that company.  Then click on the Company Profile button to see some ratios. 

Another free web site that I recommend is
After searching on a particular company's symbol (try IBM), you will find a Market Guide link.
Alternately, you can begin with Market Guide at or  .
Users should carefully examine the Market Guide Glossary at .  A possible exercise for students is to have them verify (for selected companies and selected ratios) the Market Guide calculations.

My next recommendation is to go to . By entering a company's stock symbol, you can get all sorts of links, including that company's profile and fundamentals links. The "Company Data" path at this web site leads to

ABC News has some quick and very limited company information for free at

If you want to look up a company's annual report online, a very good annual report directory is located at . Of course there are some good SEC 10-K links, but I assume you know how to get at those 10-Ks.

For a fee, you can get more complete company and industry profiles at . This is a very good service but some good things in life are not free.

If you are interested in online financial analysis, I highly recommend some of Larry Tomassini's great links.

Tomassini's CorpOnline at

Tomassini's Financial Analysis Online

Jim Borden mentioned the Deloitte & Touche web site at
I found the above server to be painfully slow.  However, Jim's recommendations should always be taken seriously.

MACRO ECONOMICS LINKS (including data classified by industry)

Last year I shared a platform with David Boldt at an education technology conference at Bentley College. David has a great web site for economists, particularly in the area of macroeconomics. His materials are listed at

If you are looking for industry and economic statistics. one place to begin searching is at

The above web site leads to a heap of macro data, but you were more interested in industry ratios. A bit of searching from the above site led me to a University of Michigan site at

There are various industry categories at the above web site. The Business and Industry button led me to the FedStats web site at

Another good set of Federal Government links can be found at

An interesting personal finance web site (among the thousands available) is at
Not much in the way of ratio data at that web site, but you will find a variety of interesting documents and links.

Some miscellaneous finance and investing glossaries
INFO SEC Glossary
Welcome to TermFinance (Glossary of Derivative Fiancial Instruments)
ACCT 5341 Accounting Theory Helpers
InvestorWords - Investing Glossary
Welcome to TermFinance
Site Map
OptionSource.Com - Preparing investors for success in stock options trading
WWWebsterDictionary-Search screen
OneLook Dictionaries (Dictionary), The Faster Finder
Study Web

Activities Based Costing (ABC)

Activities Based Management and ABC Costing (annotated bibliography) (Is ABC Fundamentally Flawed?) (bibliography) (ABC Software) (from my good friend Germain) (you have to do a little hunting) (Case Study) (Value Added) (See the Working Papers section)

I would examine the listing of the Managerial Accounting texts at Enter the search terms "Managerial Accounting" and "Management Accounting." 

I also recommend that you look at the Managerial and Cost Accounting Courses in ACE at

Miscellaneous Glossaries of Great Interest to Me:

On PBS television, the Wall Street Journal's technology editor, Walt Mossberg, clued me in on one of the neatest free software downloads that I have ever seen.  Guru software is from Israel, and the web site is at 

GuruNet is a free new one-click information service that works whenever you're online. It automatically analyzes pointed-to text in context and pops up a simple window without linking or leaving your document. You don't even have to select the word.

GuruNet's got reference information (dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia) and real-time information (e.g. news, sports, weather or stock quotes). And lots more exciting content on the way. Best of all, GuruNet works in any PC application, such as e-mail, MS-Office, PIMs and, of course, any browser.  For example, I clicked on FASB and up popped a short definition that this was the acronym for the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  I was also given a link to the Acronym Finder at  Don't expect too much in the way of definitions of technical accounting terms.  It does, however, have short definitions to some technical terms in accounting and finance.  For example, the term "derivative" includes a definition for financial instruments derivatives but makes no reference to rules for accounting for such contracts.  You can, however, get definitions, links, and reverences for most technical computing and information system words and acronyms. 

Guru is really easy to download and install.  When you are connected to the Internet, Guru is really easy to use. 

Cambridge International Dictionaries Online

Life is more than accounting and finance (well maybe just a little at least):

A great online source for references, dictionaries, quotes, great books, poetry, and much more --- 
A long listing (including wines) in English, French or Italian

Philosopy Pages
The Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names, a gateway to the entire site. A survey of the History of Western Philosophy, from antiquity to the present. A Timeline listing all of the intellectual figures discussed in these pages. Discussion of several Philosophers, with links to e-texts and other resources. Summary treatment of the elementary principles of Logic A generic Study Guide for prospective students of philosophy.

The Glossarist --- 
My minor disappointment is that under the category "Business" there is no sub-category for accounting.  My major disappointment is that The Glossarist misses many of our most important Business glossaries.  But credit must be given where credit is due.  The Glossarist links us to thousands of excellent glossaries.

Links to Nearly 5,000 Glossaries


Mike Kearl in Sociology at Trinity University has an extremely popular and helpful Website at 
Mike's links to dictionaries are are follows:

You may wish to use either Frank Elwell's glossary or Robert Drislane & Gary Parkinson's Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences for some of the discipline's terminology.  And to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism toward the numerous claims of "facts" and "truth" that one invariably comes across on the Web visit Robert T. Carroll's "The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Guide for the New Millennium".

Bob Jensen's helpers for finding glossaries, may of which are missed by The Glossarist, can be found at  

Also see Glossaries at

Dartmouth Club of San Francisco ---
Dartmouth is located in Hangover, NH