At Effective Accounting – we always talk in Plain English – to ensure you fully understand your accounts and tax returns. This is really important to us and follows one of our core values to be HUMAN. 
If your accountant doesn’t, and the language they use often leaves you scratching your head – here is a quick guide to some of the jargon!  
 
See here for Part 1 A-C 
 
See here for Part 2 D-H 
 
See here for Part 3 I-O 
 
See here for Part 4 P-R 
Salary 
Regular payment from an employer to an employee for work carried out. 
 
Sales forecast 
A prediction of a company’s future sales. 
 
Self-assessment 
Is the HMRC’s requirement that each director of a limited company submits a self-assessment form detailing their personal finances for tax purposes. Must be completed annual on or before the 31st January. 
 
Service address 
An address for the purpose of receiving business post as an alternative to a residential address. When registering a company, you must state both service and director residential addresses, these can often be the same address if you run your business from your home. 
 
Shareholder 
A person or company who own a share in your business. Their rights of involvement in your business are usually governed by a Shareholder’s Agreement. 
 
Shares 
The name given to a portion of your company’s ownership when divided amongst your shareholders. 
 
Sole trader 
The exclusive owner of a company who is solely responsible for all profits and losses of that business. 
 
Start-up 
A name given to a new business. 
 
Statutory sick pay 
The amount employees are entitled to as statutory pay if they’re unable to work due to illness, as laid out by the government. 
 
Substitution 
If recognised as outside the IR35 rules, it is possible for a self-employed contractor to send a ‘suitable substitute’ contractor in their stead. 
 
Supervision, direction or control 
A test carried out to determine if a contractor is inside or outside IR35. If they are a under the supervision of, taking direction from or under the control of their end client, then they should be seen as an employee and not a contractor. 
 
Supplier reference 
By allocating each supplier with a reference number, this is a useful way to record important details about them. 
 
Tangible assets 
Items that a business owns that you can physically touch. E.g. property, equipment and vehicles. 
 
Target market 
A group of consumers that a particular product or service is aimed at. 
 
Taxable supplies 
The taxable supplies you sell (goods or services) which are liable to VAT. Only applicable to VAT registered business and can be set at a standard, reduced or zero rate. 
 
Taxable turnover 
The total value given to the taxable supplies you make in the UK, excluding VAT. 
 
Tax point 
The moment when the liability to pay VAT arises. For good this is when the goods are sent to the customer and for services it’s when the service is carried out. 
 
Trial balance 
A list within your yearly general ledger of all your balances, in the form of debits and credits. 
 
Umbrella company 
This is the name given to a company that acts as an employer to agency contractors. They usually take on the contractor’s responsibilities for process their payments and paying their tax. 
 
Unallocated payments 
A payment added to your accounting records that has not been linked to an expense or invoice. This can result in incorrect records if not resolved. 
 
UTR number 
This is your Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR) given to the self-employed by the HMRC. To be allocated a UTR you will need to register for self-assessment. 
 
Written down value 
This is the value given to a company asset after accounting for depreciation or amortization. 
 
Working practices 
The day-to-day relationship between a contractor and their client. Another way to test if a contract is inside or outside IR35. 
 
You can contact us and we’ll help you through the complexities of financial planning and company accounting involved in running your own business. 
 
 
 
Written by 
 
Nicola J Sorrell 
- Effective Accounting 
 
Founder | Xero Champion | IR35 Expert 
Tagged as: Accounting Jargon
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