31 Abbreviations for Accounting (Meaning and Usage)

Whether you’re a budding accountant, a business owner, or simply someone trying to decipher financial statements, understanding these abbreviations is crucial.

We’ll break down some common abbreviations used in accounting and make them easy to understand.

abbreviations for accounting

Abbreviations for Accounting

Accounting, as a field, has its own set of abbreviations and jargon to help professionals communicate efficiently.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones:

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For more abbreviations like this one, you can explore the following link: Abbreviation for yards. It offers a useful list of common abbreviations to make your writing and measurements easier to handle.

1. Accounts Receivable (AR)

Definition: Accounts Receivable (AR) represents the outstanding amount of money that customers or clients owe to a business after they have received and/or used its products or services.

2. Accounting (ACCG)

Definition: Accounting (ACCG) is a structured and systematic process of recording and reporting financial transactions for a business or organization.

3. Accounts Payable (AP)

Definition: Accounts Payable (AP) is the sum of money that a company owes to its creditors, such as suppliers, in exchange for goods and/or services they have provided.

4. Assets (Fixed and Current) (FA, CA)

Definition: Assets (Fixed and Current) encompass two categories. Current Assets (CA) include assets that can be converted into cash within a year, such as cash, inventory, or accounts receivable.

Fixed Assets (FA) are long-term assets, such as real estate, land, or major machinery, which provide benefits to a company for more than one year.

5. Asset Classes

Definition: Asset Classes refer to groups of securities that exhibit similar behavior in the financial market. The three primary asset classes are Equities (stocks), Fixed Income (bonds), and Cash Equivalents (money market instruments).

6. Balance Sheet (BS)

Definition: A Balance Sheet (BS) is a financial report that summarizes a company’s assets, liabilities, and owner or shareholder equity at a specific point in time.

7. Capital (CAP)

Definition: Capital (CAP) represents financial assets or their value, such as cash or goods. Working capital is calculated by subtracting current liabilities from current assets and represents the resources a company can utilize.

8. Cash Flow (CF)

Definition: Cash Flow (CF) is the expected revenue or expense generated by a business through its operational activities, like sales and manufacturing, over a defined period.

9. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Definition: A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional designation for accountants who have passed a standardized CPA exam and fulfilled government-mandated work experience and educational requirements.

10. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Definition: The Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) encompasses the direct expenses associated with producing and selling goods. It includes costs like raw materials and labor used in production.

11. Credit (CR)

Definition: Credit (CR) is an accounting entry that can either reduce assets or increase liabilities and equity on a company’s balance sheet, depending on the transaction. It is a fundamental concept in double-entry accounting.

12. Debit (DR)

Definition: Debit (DR) is an accounting entry that results in an increase in assets or a decrease in liabilities on a company’s balance sheet.

13. Diversification

Definition: Diversification involves spreading investments across various asset classes to mitigate risk and avoid overexposure to a single investment or asset type.

14. Enrolled Agent (EA)

Definition: An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a tax professional authorized to represent taxpayers in dealings with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

15. Expenses (Fixed, Variable, Accrued, Operational)

Definition: Expenses (FE, VE, AE, OE) encompass different types of costs that a business incurs during its operations. Fixed Expenses (FE) are regular, scheduled payments like rent. Variable Expenses (VE) can fluctuate over time, like labor costs.

Accrued Expenses (AE) are incurred but unpaid expenses, while Operational Expenses (OE) are non-production-related costs, such as advertising or property taxes.

16. Equity and Owner’s Equity (OE)

Definition: Equity is the value of assets minus liabilities. Owner’s Equity (OE) refers to the ownership interest in a company, typically expressed as a percentage of stock held by shareholders.

17. Insolvency

Definition: Insolvency occurs when an individual or organization cannot meet their financial obligations to lenders when debts become due.

18. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

Definition: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are a set of rules and guidelines developed by the accounting industry to standardize financial reporting, particularly critical for publicly traded companies.

19. General Ledger (GL)

Definition: The General Ledger (GL) is a comprehensive record of a company’s financial transactions over its lifetime.

20. Trial Balance

Definition: A Trial Balance is a financial document that compiles all ledger entries into debit and credit columns to ensure the mathematical accuracy of a company’s bookkeeping system.

21. Liabilities (Current and Long-Term)

Definition: Liabilities comprise a company’s financial obligations incurred during its operations. Current Liabilities (CL) are payable within a year, while Long-Term Liabilities (LTL) extend beyond a year, such as multi-year mortgages.

22. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Definition: A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a corporate structure that shields members from personal liability for company debts, protecting their personal assets in case of legal issues or bankruptcy.

23. Net Income (NI)

Definition: Net Income (NI) represents a company’s total earnings or net profit, calculated by subtracting total expenses from total revenues.

24. Present Value (PV)

Definition: Present Value (PV) is the current worth of a future sum of money based on a specific rate of return, reflecting the idea that money received now is more valuable than the same amount received in the future.

25. Profit and Loss Statement (P&L)

Definition: A Profit and Loss Statement (P&L) is a financial report that summarizes a company’s performance by reviewing revenues, costs, and expenses during a specified period, such as quarterly or annually.

26. Return on Investment (ROI)

Definition: Return on Investment (ROI) is a measure used to assess financial performance relative to the amount invested, calculated by dividing net profit by the investment cost, usually expressed as a percentage.

27. Individual Retirement Account (IRA, Roth IRA)

Definition: An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a retirement savings vehicle that allows individuals to direct pre-tax or post-tax dollars toward investments that can grow tax-deferred or tax-free, depending on the type (traditional or Roth).

28. 401K & Roth 401K

Definition: A 401K is an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that allows employees to defer a portion of their compensation into an investment-based retirement account.

The Roth 401K option involves post-tax contributions and potential employer matching.

29. Subchapter S Corporation (S-CORP)

Definition: A Subchapter S Corporation (S-CORP) is a corporate structure that, if meeting IRS requirements, is taxed as a partnership, avoiding the double taxation of dividends associated with public companies.

30. Bonds and Coupons (B&C)

Definition: Bonds are debt investments representing loans made by investors to entities, and coupons refer to the annual interest rate paid on bonds, making them a type of fixed income security.

What Does Accounting Mean?

At its core, accounting is simply keeping track of money – where it comes from and where it goes. It’s like keeping a detailed diary of a company’s financial life, ensuring everything adds up correctly.

Synonyms for Accounting

You might come across different terms for accounting, such as “bookkeeping,” “financial reporting,” or “financial management.”

These words all refer to the same concept of handling money matters in a structured way.

The History of the Word

The word “accounting” has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations where people kept records of their transactions using clay tablets and symbols.

Over time, these records evolved into more formal accounting practices, eventually leading to the sophisticated system we have today.

When to Use the Abbreviation

Accounting abbreviations are handy in written and spoken communication, especially when dealing with financial reports, invoices, or discussions with accountants. Using these abbreviations can save time and make conversations more efficient.

Example of the Word and Abbreviation in Context

Let’s say you’re a business owner looking at your financial statements. You notice that your AR (Accounts Receivable) has increased, meaning more customers owe you money for your products or services.

This can be a positive sign for your business as long as those customers eventually pay their AP (Accounts Payable) on time.


AbbreviationFull Term
ARAccounts Receivable
APAccounts Payable
FA & CAFixed and Current Assets
Asset ClassesDifferent categories of investments
BSBalance Sheet
CFCash Flow
CPACertified Public Accountant
COGSCost of Goods Sold
DiversificationSpreading investments across assets
EAEnrolled Agent
ExpensesFixed, Variable, Accrued, Operation Expenses
Equity & OEEquity and Owner’s Equity
InsolvencyInability to meet financial obligations
GAAPGenerally Accepted Accounting Principles
GLGeneral Ledger
Trial BalanceEnsures bookkeeping accuracy
LiabilitiesCurrent and Long-term Liabilities
LLCLimited Liability Company
NINet Income
PVPresent Value
P&LProfit and Loss Statement
ROIReturn on Investment
IRA & Roth IRAIndividual Retirement Account
401K & Roth 401KRetirement savings plans
S-CORPSubchapter S Corporation
B&CBonds and Coupons

These abbreviations are commonly used in the field of accounting to represent various financial concepts and terms.


Understanding accounting abbreviations is like learning a new language – it might seem complex at first, but with practice, it becomes second nature. These abbreviations help professionals communicate efficiently and make sense of the financial world.

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