The finance director’s language

This glossary contains a selection of the more obscure examples of beanie-speak. There are substantially more definitions in a searchable database on this book’s website.


Triple-A: the credit rating applied to the debt of the most credit-worthy of companies and sovereign borrowers.

above the line

An entry in the profit and loss account or income statement above the net profit row.

absorption costing

A dubious accounting method of cost accounting where overheads are allocated to products according to how much revenue they generate. For example, a product producing 40% of sales income is assumed to be responsible for (i.e. to absorb) 40% of overheads – which could be a complete nonsense. See activity-based costing ...

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