Accounting and Auditing Slang Dictionary

As an auditor in the field, you learn to speak a new language – nobody uses standard terms and without knowing the ins and outs of his second language, you will end up being lost.  Here are some of the commonly used, and misunderstood, accounting terms and definitions in which you will need to know when entering the field.

Bean Counter – Slang term for an Accountant.

Black Hole – Often used in several contexts, however most commonly for a large client that you work at for an extended period of time.

Blowing a Budget – To exceed the number of hours you are budgeted to complete a task by a considerable amount.

Bottlenecking – When a large amount of the work required on an audit is shifted closer toward the deadline instead of completed in a steady fashion throughout the time allotted toward the audit.

Foot – To add and subtract all the numbers in a vertical fashion. To add and subtract horizontally is to cross-foot.

Lead Sheets – These are the trial balance broken out by sections such as Fixed Assets, Receivables, Cash, etc. It lists all the groupings of accounts which relate to that testing area.

Tie Out – To reference balances in the financials to their source documents to ensure they are correct, or vice versa. The term tie out is popular as it does not define a specific direction of audit evidence such as the terms trace and vouch.

PBC – Acronym that stands for Prepared By Client. This is anything that was originally created by the client rather than something the auditing firm independently prepared.

This dictionary is small and still a work in progress – go ahead and send in your favorite accounting terms and definitions to add to the list, and check out the Guide for New Accountants!

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