Curso Avanzado de Inglés de Negocios





LECCION 6 - PAGINA 1   índice del curso   página siguiente



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Lee y escucha aquí a los integrantes de la empresa Harpers & Grant Ltd.


Lee aquí la historia de la empresa en la cual vas a trabajar durante 15 días.


Realiza todas las actividades de cada día de trabajo y consulta las respuestas.


Solicita aquí tu examen final únicamente cuando hayas completado las 15 lecciones de este curso.



Reading for Comprehension

In this first step, you will read carefully the presentation of this unit (phrasal verbs have been highlighted in yellow). A full glossary below will help you understand it better. To get information in Spanish, just place the arrow of your mouse on any highlighted word without clicking.

Every year the accounts of a limited company must be approved by auditors, usually qualified accountants who belong to a Chartered Accountants or Corporative Accountants association. They act on behalf of the shareholders. Their duty is to ensure that the directors are reporting correctly on the state of affairs of the company and, if so, give a certificate to the company. They do not judge whether the directors are managing the company efficiently or not. That is something the shareholders must judge for themselves.
Harper & Grant have
their accounts audited by independent auditors in no way connected with the firm. William Buckhurst, as Company Secretary, is responsible for seeing that the books and records for the period in question are ready for checking. And, of course, it could make a bad impression if the accounts department was not able to supply immediately any information wanted by the auditors.
There exist several important account books, such as: the ledger, the cash book and the petty cash book.

What precisely do the auditors check? They have to be satisfied that everything which goes into making up the Profit Statement, the Balance Sheet and the Directors' Report is correct.
The Profit Statement (sometimes called a Trading and Profit and Loss Account) shows how the profit for the year is arrived at. It starts with net sales or income, and deducts the cost of materials, work and overhead charges. This leaves a trading surplus, from which charges, such as depreciation on plant and buildings, auditors' fees, and administration and selling costs must be deducted to produce the net profit (or loss).
The Balance Sheet is a summarised statement showing the amount of funds employed in the business and the sources from which these funds are derived. On one side is listed the capital employed, which usually consists of the issued share capital plus reserves and retained earnings. This starts with the total cost of its fixed assets (land, buildings and machinery) and any trade investments (interests in other companies), followed by a breakdown of net current assets (that is, cash and stocks, plus what the firm is owed by its customers, less its liabilities, or what it owes to others). The totals on the two sides of the Balance Sheet must agree; that is, come to the same figure. The total dividend to be paid for the year is a current liability, and is therefore an item in the compilation of net current assets.

One of the most difficult jobs in preparing accounts is stock valuation; that is, putting a value on all goods in the hands of the company. It may seem easy, as goods could be counted, and then the price paid for them could be checked against the suppliers' invoices. But the value of commodities (e.g. copper) often fluctuates. Furthermore, much of a company's stock will consist of work in progress or finished stock, and the volume of all stock is changing daily, if not hourly. The rule for stock valuation is that it should be taken at cost price or market price, whichever is the lower.

So far we have seen only one case of dishonesty in Harper & Grant, when a clerk in the Sales Department took some cash left lying on a desk. Unfortunately, there is always a temptation to people handling money all the time to attempt, in a weak moment, a fiddle which they feel will not be noticed. If they
get away with it they may well be tempted to do it again, or make a regular practice of it, perhaps on a larger scale.

accounts (or books):
the detailed record of a firm's business, transactions.
Nominal accounts
usually refer to the record of the various kinds of expense (rent, wages and salaries, advertising, etc.), income, profit or loss, or to the general division of accounts into separate groups.
Real accounts
relate to tangible things, ie. land, buildings, machinery, furniture, vehicles, cash.
Personal accounts
are the record of business with firms or people, ie. the suppliers (who are called creditors) and the customers (or debtors)
(cuentas o libros contables)
qualified accountants who are called in on behalf of the members (shareholders) of a company to examine and report upon the accounts of the company (auditores);
: someone who maintains and audits business accounts
chartered (or qualified) accountant
: an accountant who is a member of a professional body that has a royal charter
(contador público, perito contable);
shareholders (UK) = stockholders (US)
those who own shares in a company (accionistas);
: a formal declaration that documents and figures in the company are correct
the most important account book, since all transactions are recorded in it. It is often divided for the sake of convenience into: a sales ledger, list of goods or services supplied; a bought ledger, a list of goods or services purchased; a general ledger, list of property, such as machinery, vehicles, buildings, etc. (real accounts) and expenses, income, etc. (nominal accounts); and a private ledger, which is confidential and records items such as capital, loans, mortgages, directors' salaries and awards, etc. (Libro Mayor);
cash book
where all cash transactions are recorded (Libro de Caja);
petty cash book
the record of payments made from a small cash float, which is used to pay for such items as stationery, stamps, cleaning, taxis, etc. (Libro de Caja Chica o Gastos Menores);
Profit Statement (also called T
rading and Profit and Loss Account): a summary of all the income and expense accounts (nominal accounts) at the end of the accounting period. The balance of this account represents the net profit or loss for the period (Estado o Cuadro de Ganancias y Pérdidas);
Balance Sheet
a statement of the company's position on a certain date. It shows the assets and the liabilities, and the capital on that date (Balance General);
irectors' Report
this comments on the profit or loss made during the accounting period and makes recommendations on the dividend to be paid. This has to be approved at the annual general meeting of the shareholders (Informe de Directorio);
trading surplus
: excess; a quantity much larger than is needed
(excedente o superavit operativo);
reduction in value owing to use. For example, the value of furniture, lamps, wall lights, etc., in a home (known as fixtures and fittings) depreciates in value every year (depreciación, reducción del valor de origen);
property, stock, cash in hand (activo, bienes);
money owed, debts, ie. what one is liable to pay (pasivo, obligaciones a pagar);
the sum distributed to the members of a company out of profits of the company (dividendo);
valuation = appraisal, assessment
process of deciding the value of something; the value of the store of goods available for sale (tasación, avalúo);
a fiddle: a slang term for a small cheat or dishonest action (estafa);
get away with it
: be successful;
do something without being caught or punished (lograr su objetivo, salirse con la suya).

book-keeper: the person responsible for keeping the records day by day (perito mercantil, tenedor de libros, contable).
book-keeping system
: the way in which the details of all business transactions are recorded (contabilidad, tenduría de libros).
book-keeping entry: a written record of a commercial transaction (asiento contable).
debits: items recorded in an account book, on the left-hand side, recording receipts, assets, losses and expenses (débitos, partidas registradas en el Debe).
credit items: also called entries, made in an account book recording payments, liabilities, profits and income. These entries are written on the right-hand side (créditos, partidas registradas en el Haber, entradas, ingresos).
credit note
: a summary of a credit which the supplier agrees a customer is entitled to. The most frequent reason would be return of goods which the supplier sent in error. The value of a credit note is credited to the customer's account with the supplier (nota de crédito).
double entry: a method of showing that every business transaction has two aspects, ie. materials or goods purchased on credit are a liability on the firm to pay the supplier later, but at the same time they are an asset, as at some time the materials will be used for manu-facture and then sold, or the goods purchased will be resold (partida doble, en contabilidad).
: a sum of money which is kept on hand, easily available (disponible, "flotante").
single entry a record of only one side of a business transaction, as used in day books, sales books, etc., showing the single item of debit or credit (registro único).
to post
in book-keeping to post means to transfer items from subsidiary account books to the ledger, or ledgers (asentar, contabilizar en el Libro Mayor).




Listening for Gist (General Understanding)

In this second step, you will listen through this conversation. Don't worry about understanding every word they are saying. Now, just relax, start listening to the audio file and try to understand the general meaning. 

Auditing the Accounts

Click on PLAY to listen to the conversation


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