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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
Every year the
of a limited company must be approved by
who belong to a
Chartered Accountants or Corporative
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
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,
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
(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
Real accounts relate to tangible things, ie.
land, buildings, machinery, furniture, vehicles, cash.
accounts are the record of business with firms or people, ie. the
suppliers (who are called creditors) and the customers (or
(cuentas o libros contables);
who are called in on behalf of
the members (shareholders) of a company to examine and report
upon the accounts of the company
accountant: 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
certificate: 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.
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 Trading
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);
a statement of the company's position on a certain
date. It shows the assets and the liabilities, and the
capital on that date
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
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
valuation = appraisal, assessment:
process of deciding the value of something;
the value of the store of goods available for sale
a slang term for
a small cheat or dishonest action
get away with it: be successful; to
something without being caught
(lograr su objetivo, salirse con la suya).
SOME ADDITIONAL ACCOUNTING TERMS
the person responsible for keeping the records day by day
(perito mercantil, tenedor de libros, contable).
way in which the details of all business transactions are recorded
(contabilidad, tenduría de libros).
a written record of a commercial transaction
items recorded in an account book, on the left-hand side, recording
receipts, assets, losses and expenses
(débitos, partidas registradas en el Debe).
called entries, made in an account book recording payments,
liabilities, profits and income. These entries are written on the
(créditos, partidas registradas en el Haber,
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).
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).
sum of money which is kept on hand, easily available
a record of only one side of a business transaction, as
used in day books, sales books, etc., showing the single item of debit
in book-keeping to post means to transfer items from subsidiary
account books to the ledger, or ledgers
(asentar, contabilizar en el Libro Mayor).
for Gist (General Understanding)
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.
on PLAY to listen to the conversation
LECCION 6 - PAGINA 1