What is a sale? In the vernacular of our everyday life we tend to equate selling with the art of persuading others to part with their money in exchange for some goods or services.

But, in this book, we are dealing with terms as they are used in the finance area and in the financial reports put together by accountants—and accountants live in a rather precise world. That is as it should be, for people who use financial reports want to know that an accounting term always means the same thing, whether it is used in Microsoft’s annual report or in the statement the local paint store submits to its banker. Also, the reports that accountants produce all too often end up as documents in court proceedings, ...

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