accounting period?The durationof time, usually a year, for which a company prepares its accounts for external bodies, mostcommonly the local jurisdiction’s tax authorities. The accounting period mightcoincide with a calendar year or a tax year, or could start on the day thecompany is formed or follow some other protocol. Accounting periods of months,quarters and so on, can also be used for internal accounts.accounts?Inbookkeeping, ‘accounts’ is the umbrella term for an organisation’s assets, liabilities income, expense equity and so on. Anytransaction, whether buying or selling, paying staff or paying or receivinginterest, should be logged in a manner that is easy and practical to retrieveand the whole should be available for inspection by official or internalparties.

accumulation?The payingof funds by a customer in a pensionor annuitycontract. The time prior to the paying back of the fund in the form of a pensionis known as the accumulationphase, in this two-stage process, the other being the distribution accumulation phase?The periodof an annuity contractduring which the customer (the annuitant)pays the company, typically prior to retirement, whereupon the second phase,the distribution,commences and the fund is ‘repaid’ at the agreed rate.acquisition?The purchaseby one business of another business, leading to expansion. This can involve thepurchase of a company’s sharesin part or in full, either way leading to control of the boardroom.

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Acquisitioncan be an economical way of improving the performance of two sub-optimallyperforming companies within a certain sector, as the back-office staff can often be shared,as can machinery, logistics and sales; marketing costs can be reduced becausethere will be less competition, particularly where the acquired company was amajor player. For the reasons given however, acquisitions are often accompaniedby redundancies. Acquisitions do not necessarily take place within a sector;companies might acquire other companies to broaden their range of products andservices and take on board new expertise (seealso merger).