M1 A measure of the money supply consisting of currency and coin held by the nonbank public, checkable deposits, and traveler's checks.
M2 A monetary aggregate consisting of M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds.
M3 A monetary aggregate consisting of M2 plus negotiable certificates of deposits.
Machiavellianism A measure of the degree to which people are pragmatic, maintain emotional distance, and believe that end justifies means.
Macroeconomics The study of the behavior of entire economies.
Magistrate A public officer, usually a judge, who has power to issue a warrant for the arrest of a person charged with a public offense.
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) Data input technology based on the automatic recognition of magnetic ink. Typically used on checks.
Mail Drop Mail receiving service.
Mail Float The number of days that a check takes to arrive at a customer or a lock box location from the date of mailing.
Mail Fraud The use of the U.S. Mail to defraud companies or individuals. This has become one of the main statutes to prosecute individuals on federal fraud charges. Prosecution under the mail fraud statute must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. That the statement is false;

2. That it was made with the intention it should be relied on;

3. That it was made for the purpose of securing money or property;

4. That the statement was delivered by mail;

5. That money or property was obtained by means of the false statement.
Mainframe A computer used to control large databases, perform high volume transaction processing, and generate reports from large databases.
Mainframe Computing The form of computing in which a single centralized computer performs the processing for multiple users.
Make Versus Buy An either-or question: whether to create your own supply of an essential item or rely on an outside producer to make it for you.
Maker In a promissory note, the maker is the one primarily liable.
Malice Describes a wrongful act done intentionally without excuse.
Malicious Prosecution The prosecution of another at law with malice and without probable cause to believe that such legal action will be successful.
Malpractice Professional misconduct, negligence or unreasonable lack of professional skill which results in injury or loss to another.
Management 1. The process of getting activities completed efficiently with and through other people;

2. The process of setting and achieving goals through the execution of five basic management functions: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling; that utilize human, financial, and material resources.
Management by Exception The philosophy of managing which involves monitoring the operating results of implemented plans and comparing the expected results with the actual results. This feedback allows management to isolate significant variations for further investigation and possible remedial action.
Management By Objectives (MBO) A system in which specific performance objectives are jointly determined by subordinates and their superiors, progress towards objectives is periodically reviewed, end results are evaluated and rewards are allocated on the basis of this progress.
Management Functions Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.
Management Hierarchy The pyramid arrangement of the several levels of managers.
Management Information System (MIS) 1. An organized approach to gathering data from inside and outside the company and processing it by computer to produce current, accurate, and informative reports for decision makers;

2. A system that provides management with needed information on a regular basis.
Management Prepared Financial Statements Financial reports prepared by the management of the firm.
Management Process The five basic management functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
Managerial Accounting The branch of accounting that uses both historical and estimated data in providing information that management uses in conducting daily operations in planning future operations, and in developing overall business strategies.
Managers Individuals in an organization who direct the activities of others.
Mandamus A writ issued by a court of law, in the name of the state.
Mandatory Injunction An injunctive order issued by a court of equity that compels affirmative action by the defendant.
Manifest A shipping document for any of several forms of transport which lists origin, contents, value, destination, carrier, and other pertinent information for use at terminals or a custom house.
Manipulating Data Transforming data into a different form or creating new data from old data through arithmetic operations, sorting, modification, or other operations.
Manufacturing Company A firm that converts raw materials and component parts into consumer and industrial goods.
Maquiladoras Domestic Mexican firms that manufacture or assemble products for a foreign company. The products are then sent back to the foreign company for sale and distribution.
Margin of Profit Income remaining from a business transaction after all expenses are paid. The excess of income over expenses.
Marginal Account Marginal customers fall short of the mark in one or more ways, so a sale to one presents an abnormal risk. A marginal account has one or more of the following characteristics: management is weak, finances are inadequate, payments are slow or suits, liens or judgments are excessive.
Marginal Analysis A planning technique that assesses the incremental costs or revenues of a decision.
Marginal Cost Cost incurred from manufacturing or providing each additional unit; includes normal profit.
Marginal Propensity to Consume The fraction of a change in disposable income that is spent on consumption; the change in consumption divided by the change in disposable income that caused it.
Marginal Propensity to Import The fraction of a change of income that is spent on imported goods and services; the change in total spending on imports, divided by the change in income that caused it.
Marginal Propensity to Save The fraction in the change of disposable income that is saved; a change in saving divided by the change in disposable income that caused it.
Marginal Rate of Return The marginal revenue product of capital expressed as a percentage of its marginal cost.
Marginal Rate of Substitution A measure of how much of one good a consumer will give up, to get one more unit of another good while remaining equally satisfied.
Marginal Revenue The change in total revenue resulting from a one unit change in sales.
Marginal Utility The change in total satisfaction derived from one additional unit of a specific product.
Markdown A price reduction of goods below their normal selling price.
Market A group of potential customers with the authority and the ability to purchase a particular product or service that satisfies their collective demand.
Market Economy or Pure Capitalism An economic system in which economic decisions are made freely according to the market forces of supply and demand.
Market Failure A condition that arises when unrestrained operation of markets yields socially undesirable results.
Market Segmentation The process of dividing up a total market into subgroups with similar characteristics.
Market Socialism An economic system in which the state owns all resources other than labor but uses market forces to allocate the resources.
Market Structure The important features of a market such as the number of firms, uniformity across firms, ease of entry, and forms of competition.
Market Value The price which goods or property would bring in a current market of willing buyers and seller.
Market/Book Ratio Equal to the return on equity multiplied by the price/earnings ratio. It is the relationship between the value the stock market has placed on the company relative to the money invested by stockholders (stockholders' equity).
Marketable Securities Investments in securities that can be readily sold when cash is needed.
Marketable Title A title of such character that no apprehension as to its validity would occur to the mind of a reasonable and intelligent person.
Marketing A group of interrelated activities designed to identify consumer needs and to develop, distribute, promote, and price goods and services to satisfy these needs at a profit.
Marketing Mix The effect of meshing product, price, promotion, and distribution strategies to achieve success.
Marketing Research The facilitating function of collecting and interpreting data on consumer demands and characteristics so that firms can develop new products and sell existing ones profitably.
Markup An amount that is added to a cost amount to determine product price. To determine the percentage of markup, take actual retail price, subtract the wholesale costs and divide the difference by wholesale costs.
Markup Pricing Calculating all the costs associated with a product and then determining a markup percentage to cover the costs and expected profits.
Marshaling Assets A principle in equity for a fair distribution of a debtor's assets among his creditors.
Master Budget The comprehensible budget plan encompassing all the individual budgets related to sales, cost of goods sold, operating expenses, capital expenditures, and cash.
Master in Chancery An officer appointed by the court to assist the court of equity in taking testimony, computing interest, auditing accounts, estimating damages, ascertaining liens, and doing other tasks incidental to a suit as the court requires.
Master Schedule A schedule that specifies quantity and type of item to be produced: how, when, and where they should be produced; labor force levels; and inventory.
Matching Concept The concept that expenses incurred in generating revenue should be matched against the revenue in determining net income or net loss for the period.
Material Requirements Planning (MRP) A system that dissects products into the materials and parts necessary for purchasing, inventorying, and priority-planning purposes.
Materiality The concept that recognizes that small or insignificant deviations from generally accepted accounting principals can be treated in the easiest manner.
Materials Inventory The costs of materials that have not yet entered into the manufacturing process.
Mathematical Model A series of equations or graphical relationships that describe relationships between variables in a precise way.
Matrix Organization Temporarily groups together specialists from different departments or divisions to work on special projects.
Matrix Structure A structural design that assigns specialists from functional departments to work on one or more projects that are lead by a project manager.
Maturity Curve Depicts the relationship between experience and pay raise.
Maturity Date The date when a financial obligation, note, draft, bond or other instrument becomes due for payment.
Maturity Value The amount due (face value + interest) at the maturity date or due date of a note.
Maxim A proposition of law that because of its universal approval needs no proof or argument; the mere statement of which gives it authority.
Mean An average found by adding the numbers in an array and dividing by the total number of items presented. Typically called "the average". In the example array:

2, 5, 32, 135; 43.5 is the mean (or average).
Measures of Performance Specific indicators used to evaluate how well a person, organization, or a system is operating. Although various measures may be debated as to the effect of a variety of biases, it is critically important to measure consistently using fixed techniques. Sometimes a bias can be neutralized by broadening the scope of the measurement. E.g., to lessen the impact of sales peaks and valleys on collection performance measures, many companies use a rolling 12 month sales rather than measuring each stand alone month or quarter.
Mechanic's Lien Created by statute to assist suppliers and laborers in collecting their accounts and wages. Widely used in the construction industry, they are a special statutory lien against real property and improvements to secure payment for labor and materials.
Median The number that appears midway between the highest and the lowest numbers in an array. In the example array: 2, 7, 10, 25, 50; 10 is the median.
Median Income The middle income in a series of incomes ranked from smallest to largest.
Mediation A process by which an impartial person acceptable to both sides encourages them to communicate, bargain, and work towards a satisfactory compromise.
Mediator An impartial observer who listens to both sides separately and suggests how each side could adjust its position to resolve differences.
Medium of Exchange Anything that facilitates trade by being generally accepted by all parties in payment for goods or services.
Megabyte 1 million bytes.
Megahertz (Mhz) One million cycles per second, a measure of frequency.
Memorandum (Consignment Sale) A sale of goods for which the seller is not paid until the buyer (retailer) has sold the merchandise. Seller retains title to such goods until the retailer has sold the merchandise and payment is made by the buyer.
Mentor A person who sponsors or supports another employee who is lower in the organization.
Mercantilism A theory that viewed the accumulation of precious metals as the source of a nation's economic vitality; nations that followed the theory tried to promote exports and restrict imports.
Merchandise Inventory Merchandise on hand and available for sale to customers.
Merchant A person who deals in goods of the kind involved in a transaction; or one who otherwise by his occupation, holds himself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to the practices for goods involved; or one to whom such knowledge or skill may be attributed because he employs an agent or broker or other intermediary who, by his occupation, holds himself out as having such knowledge or skill.
Merger Occurs when two or more companies become a single enterprise; the controlling corporation retains its identity and absorbs the others.
Merit System One in which HR activities are governed by uniform and impersonal policies and procedures.
Microcomputer A personal computer or workstation.
Microeconomics Examines the factors that affect individual economic choices, how changes in these factors affect such choices, and how the choices of various decision makers are coordinated by markets. It focuses on the determination of price and output in individual markets, such as the market for breakfast cereal or the market for sports equipment.
Microprocessor A single computer chip that integrates control logic and memory.
Microworld Taken from artificial intelligence research, a small, highly restricted set of objects or ideas that operate in accordance with a limited set of rules.
Middle-of-Month Terms (MOM) Shipments made between the 1st and 15th of any month are invoiced or billed as of the 15th of that month. Shipments between the 16th and the end of the month are invoiced as of the end of the month or the first of the next month.
Midnight Deadline Under Article 4 Bank Deposits and Collections this is midnight on the next banking day following the banking day on which a bank receives the relevant item or notice, or from which the time for taking action commences to run, whichever is later.
Minicomputer A mid-range computer, typically shared by a department in a company for processing transactions, accessing databases, and generating reports (a server).
Minority Interest The portion of a subsidiary corporation's stock that is not owned by the parent corporation.
Minutes The record of a court or the written transactions of the members or board of directors of a corporation.
MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) An acronym for million instructions per second, a measure of the speed of computing.
Misdemeanor A criminal offense, less than a felony, that is not punishable by death or imprisonment.
Misrepresentation The affirmative statement or affirmation of a fact that is not true; the term does not include concealment of true facts or nondisclosure or the mere expression of opinion.
Mission The purpose of an organization.
Mistake of Fact The unconscious ignorance or forgetfulness of the existence or nonexistence of a fact, past or present, which is material and important to the creation of a legal obligation.
Mistake of Law An erroneous conclusion of a legal effect of known facts.
Mitigation of Damages A plaintiff is entitled to recover damages caused by the defendant's breach, but the plaintiff is also under a duty to avoid increasing or enhancing such damages.
Mixed Capitalism An economic system based on a market economy with limited government involvement.
Mode The number that appears most often in an array. In the example array:

22, 10, 45, 10, 38, 10, 7; 10 is the mode.
Model A representation of something, helpful in thinking about reality without having to deal with every detail of reality.
Modem A device for encoding and decoding computerized data so that it can be transmitted over telephone lines.
Modis Operandi The method of operation or pattern of activity.
Module A subprogram within a larger program.
Monetarism A school of thought that attaches great significance to variations in the money supply, as a primary determinate of aggregate demand.
Monetary Policy Regulation of the money supply by the Fed, in order to influence aggregate economic activity; the Fed's role in supplying money to the economy.
Monetary Theory The study of the effect of money on the economy.
Money Any object that a group of people uses to pay its debts and buy the goods and services that it needs.
Monopolistic Competition A market structure characterized by a large number of firms selling products that are close substitutes yet different so that each firm's demand curve slopes downward.
Monopoly Exclusive control of the supply and price of a commodity.
Morale The attitude workers have towards the quality of their total work life.
Mortgage A conveyance or transfer of an interest in property for the purpose of creating a security for a debt.
Mortgage Note A lien on real property to secure the performance of a transaction, usually the loan of a sum of money.
Motivation Feelings that drive someone toward a particular objective.
Multimedia Combinations of different types of data and media for conveying information.
Multinational Corporations (MNCS) Companies that maintain significant operations in more than one country simultaneously but manage them all from one base in a home country.
Multiple Unit Pricing A practice where a company offers consumers a lower than unit price if a specified number of units are purchased.
Multiplier The ratio of a change in equilibrium income to the initial change in expenditure that brought it about.
Multiprocessing Simultaneous execution of instructions by multiple processors within a single computer.
Multiprogramming Concurrent execution of several different programs by sharing the same central processing unit (CPU).
Multitasking Concurrent execution of several different programs by a single-user computer.
Murphy's Law "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong."
Mutual Assent In every contract each party must agree to the same thing.
Mutual Mistake A situation in which parties to a contract reach a bargain on the basis of an incorrect assumption common to each party.
Mutuality The binding of both parties in every contract.
Mythical Man-Month A term coined to explain that people are interchangeable only in projects that require little communication or learning.