Terminology 3: Advanced

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Cash principle

Cash principle requires that invoices are only recorded at the time of payment (for supplier invoices) and collection (for invoices issued to customers). It is used especially for individuals and small businesses. If the cash principle is used, invoices that have not yet been paid will not be included in the annual balance sheet.


Accrual principle

Unlike the cash principle, the accrual principle requires all transactions to be recorded in the balance sheet, even if payments have not yet been made and receipts not received.


In general, the credit represents the loan of an asset or capital by one person (creditor) to another (debtor).


The debt is a sum of money or an asset that a person (debtor) must repay to the creditor within a time limit.


The creditor is the person who lends an asset or capital to the debtor and who will be entitled to collect what he has lent.


The debtor is the one who receives the credit and who has a debt to the creditor. He will have the duty to repay the sum of money with interest over a certain period of time.


Customer accounts are used to record invoices issued to customers, and to keep track of receipts to solicit any overdue payments.



Supplier accounts are used to record invoices received that are to be paid. For every supplier, that is who supplies goods or a service, an account is registered. In the accounting will come recorded the debits (for a purchase on invoice) towards the suppliers.


Cost centers

Cost centers are accounting units that are usually used to catalogue costs. In a company you can have different areas from which different costs result, for example for production, administration and sales. In a similar way, if we keep family accounting, the cost centers will be represented by family members.

cost centers


Segments are used to have a systematic division of costs and revenues per unit, department or branch. By using segments, you can have details for the segments created in the income statement, without creating specific accounts for each unit.

For example, a museum may use the segments to know how much revenue and personnel costs are, how much has been spent on each individual exhibit, or for a clothing store, to know the details if it has multiple branches.






VAT (Value Added Tax) is a tax that is levied on end consumers and is paid to the state to help finance it. The State collects the tax through entrepreneurs, who will include VAT in the prices of their products. In this way entrepreneurs take money from consumers and can pay VAT to the State.


VAT rate

The VAT rate is the percentage established by the State to calculate the value added tax of a product or service (consumption).


The taxable is an amount on which taxes or dues may be levied.



When deductions have been made from an amount, the part that remains is called net. For example, the net salary is that to which social security contributions (AHV, AD, BVG) have already been deducted. 



The term gross instead indicates an amount to which deductions have not yet been applied.



It is the debt that the company has to the State for the value added tax collected from sales to customers.


Recoverable VAT

It is the credit that the company has in the comparisons of the State for the tax on the added value and paid with the purchases of goods or services near the suppliers


VAT to pay

The VAT to be paid to the State is the difference between the VAT collected on sales and the VAT paid on purchases. 

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