D-U-N-S Number (Data Universal Numbering System) A code developed by Dun & Bradstreet that identifies a specific business name and location. Commonly used by sellers as a “customer number.”
D. B. A. Doing business as.
Damages A sum of money the court imposes upon a defendant as compensation for the plaintiff because the defendant has injured the plaintiff by breach of a legal duty.
DASD Direct access storage device
Data Facts, images, or sounds that may or may not be pertinent or useful for a particular task. The characteristics of data are: type, accuracy/precision, age, level of summarization, completeness, accessibility, source bias, and relevance/value.
Data Definition Identification of all the fields in the database, how they are formatted, how they are combined into different types of records, and how the record types are interrelated.
Data Dictionary The central repository of information about the database.
Data File A set of related records.
Data Flow Diagram A diagram using four (4) standardized symbols to represent flows of data between processes and sub-processes in a business.
Data Loss The loss of data during transmission due to the physical properties of the data channel or distortion from other signals.
Data Model A description of the structure of the data from the user’s perspective.
Data Redundancy The simultaneous use and modification of two or more copies of the same data.
Data Validation Checking transaction data for any errors or omissions that can be detected by examining the data.
Database A collection of data stored in a particular format and accessed through a computer.
Database Administration The process of managing a database.
Database Management System (DBMS) The integrated set of programs used to define, update, and use databases, and control their efficiency.
Days Inventory Held The average number of days a firm holds inventory. Determined by dividing average daily cost of goods sold into the balance sheet inventory account.
Days Payable Outstanding The average number of days the firm takes to pay for its purchases. Found by dividing average daily purchases into the balance sheet accounts payable balance.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) 1. A calculation that expresses the average time in days, that receivables are outstanding;
2. A measure of the effect of sales terms on the operating cycle of a business. Although commonly used as a measure for credit department efficiency, it can be very misleading for that purpose, due to such factors as dating terms and selling cycles.
De Facto Arising out of fact. Existing in fact although not in law.
Debenture 1. A promissory note backed by general credit of a company and usually not secured by property;
2. Unsecured bond, usually with a maturity of fifteen years or more.
Debit Card A plastic card used to transfer money from a buyer’s bank account into a seller’s bank account.
Debit Memorandum (Memo) A document prepared by a customer informing the supplier that the customer is reducing the amount paid on a merchandise invoice due to a return, cancellation or a claimed allowance.
Debt Capital The long-term capital raised by selling bonds.
Debt Ratio Total debt to total assets.
Debt Security A security that represents an obligation between a creditor and the business issuing the obligation.
Debt/Equity Ratio Total liabilities divided by total equity.
Debtor The person who owes payment or other performance of the obligation secured, whether or not he owns, or has rights in, the collateral.
Debtor In Possession (DIP) In a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, a debtor may continue to maintain possession of the assets of the company.
Debugging The process of finding and correcting errors in a program.
Deceit Conduct in a business transaction by which one person, through fraudulent representations, misleads another who has a right to rely on such representations as the truth; or, who by reason of an unequal station in life, has no means of detecting such fraud.
Decentralization 1. A philosophy of organization and management that focuses on dispersal of authority within an organizational structure;
2. The separation of a business into more manageable operating units;
3. A handing down of decision-making authority to lower levels in an organization frequently not physically or logistically juxtaposed.
Decertification A process whereby a union is removed as the representative of a group of employees.
Decision Making The process of making rational choices among alternatives. The four phases of a decision making process are: intelligence, design, choice, and implementation.
Decision Support System (DSS) An interactive information system providing information, tools, or models to help people make decisions.
Decision-Making Lag The time needed to decide what changes to make in government policy after a macroeconomics problem is identified.
Declaratory Judgment A determination by a court on a question of law; the court simply declaring the rights of the parties but not ordering anything to be done.
Declining-Balance Depreciation Method A method of depreciation that provides declining periodic depreciation expense over the estimated life of an asset.
Decoding The process of converting data from the form for transmission back into the form for use by people.
Decree The judgment of the judge in a suit in equity.
Deductible An amount of a loss that the insured agrees to pay.
Deduction (Authorized) A deduction in the payment of a merchandise invoice, permitted by the seller for damage, shortage, advertising, new store opening, or other promotional event.
Deduction (Unauthorized) Any deduction or short payment of a merchandise invoice taken against the seller that has not been allowed in advance by the seller. Commonly resulting in a chargeback.
Deed A written instrument in a special form, signed, sealed and delivered, and used to pass the legal title of real property from one person to another.
Deed of Trust An instrument by which title to real property is conveyed to a trustee to hold as security for the holder of notes or bonds.
Default Judgment A judgment entered against a defendant who was served but failed to respond in filing an answer to a plaintiff’s action.
Defendant A person who has been sued in a court of law; the person who answers the persons complaint.
Deferrals Delays in the recognition of expenses that have been incurred or revenues that have been received.
Deferred Liabilities Are represented by mortgages, bonds, debentures, serial notes, purchase money obligations, and long term notes, which mature more than one year from statement date.
Deferred Payment Sale Selling on an installment plan with payments delayed or postponed until a future date.
Deferred Revenue Money received from customers in advance of performance of revenue activities. This amount will be spent on goods or services, or will be repaid to the customer.
Deficiency The debit balance in the owner’s equity account of a partner.
Deficiency Judgment If upon the foreclosure of a mortgage, the mortgaged property does not sell for an amount sufficient to pay the mortgage indebtedness, the difference is called a deficiency and is chargeable to the mortgagor or to any person who has purchased the property and agreed to pay the mortgage.
Deficit The debit balance in the retained earnings account.
Deficit Net Worth The unbalanced financial condition whereby the sum of total liabilities exceed the total assets of a firm.
Deficit Retained Earnings An unbalanced financial condition that exists when the retained earnings are negative and reduce net worth accordingly.
Defined Benefit Plan A pension plan that promises employees a fixed annual pension benefit at retirement, based on years of service and compensation levels.
Defined Contribution Plan A pension plan that requires a fixed amount of money to be invested on the employee’s behalf during the employee’s working year.
Deflation A sustained and continuos decrease in the price level.
Defraud To deprive one of some right by deceitful means.
Del Credere Agency When an agent guarantees his principal the payment of the debt due from the buyer of goods, that agent is operating under a del credere agency.
Delegation The assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carryout specific activities.
Delinquent A past due obligation.
Deliverables Tangible work products, such as documents, plans, or computer programs.
Delivery A voluntary transfer of the possession of property; from one person to another, with the intention that title vest in the transferee.
Delivery Order A written order to deliver goods directed to a warehouseman or other person who, in the ordinary course of business, issues warehouse receipts, or bills of lading.
Demand A request by a party entitled under a claim of right, to the performance of a particular act.
Demand (economics) The quantity of a product that consumers are willing to buy at a particular price.
Demand Curve A curve showing the quantity of a commodity demanded at various possible prices, other things constant.
Demand Deposits Accounts at financial institutions that pay no interest and in which depositors can write checks to obtain deposits at any time.
Demand-Pull Inflation Occurs when producers raise process in response to strong consumer demand.
Demand-Side Economics Macroeconomics policy that focuses on changes in aggregate demand as a way of promoting full employment and price stability.
Demographics Statistics on such subjects as age, income, marital status, recreational habits, and ethnic customs for people who live within a given geographical area.
Demurrage Is a sum provided in a contract of shipment to be paid for the delay or detention of vessels or rail cars beyond the time agreed upon for loading or unloading.
Demurrer A common-law procedural method by which the defendant admits all the facts alleged in the plaintiffs complaint but denies that such facts state a cause of action.
Department of Justice An arm of the federal government; works closely with the FTC to preserve competitive markets through investigations by its Antitrust Division.
Departmentalization The process of creating the basic format or departmental structure for the organization; forming groups, departments, and divisions on the basis of the objectives of the organization.
Dependent Covenants In contracts, covenants are either concurrent or mutual, dependent or independent. Dependent covenants mean the performance of one promise must occur before the performance of another promise.
Depletion The cost of metal ores and other minerals removed from the earth.
Deposit 1. An amount of money given in partial payment for goods to insure the fulfillment of an agreement;
2. Funds placed by a customer in the care of a bank to keep safe until withdrawn.
Depository Bank Under Article 4 Bank Deposits or Collections, this means the first bank to which an item is transferred for collection, even though it is also the payer bank.
Depreciation 1. An accounting technique by which management gradually recovers the cost of expensive fixed assets over the course of their expected lives;
2. The decrease in usefulness of plant assets.
Depression A severe reduction in an economy’s total production accompanied by high unemployment lasting several years.
Descent The transfer of a title of property of the heirs upon the death of the ancestors; heredity succession.
Deskilling The process of reducing the value of skills previously needed to do specific types of work.
Detailed Requirements Analysis The process of creating a user-oriented description of exactly what a proposed computer system will do.
Devaluation Increasing the rate of exchange at which foreign currency will be traded for domestic currency.
Dictum The written opinion of a judge, expressing an idea, argument, or rule that is not essential for determination of the issues.
Digital Data Data encoded as a series of 0’s and 1’s.
Digitization The coding of images or sounds as a set of numbers.
Diminishing Marginal Rate of Substitution The amount of good “A” a consumer is willing to give up to get one additional unit of good “B” declines as the consumption of “B” increases.
Diminishing Marginal Returns When more and more of a variable resource is added to a given amount of a fixed resource, the resulting changes in output will eventually diminish.
Diminishing Marginal Utility The more of a good consumed per period, the smaller the increase in total utility from consuming one more unit, other things constant.
Direct Access Data access method for finding an individual item in a file by calculating its location in a computer system.
Direct Cost Cost that can be traced directly to a cost object.
Direct Marketing Automated selling through mail or other forms of communication addressed to a specific person.
Direct Method A method of reporting the cash flows from operating activities as the difference between the operating cash receipts and the operating cash payments.
Direct Write-Off Method A method of accounting for uncollectible receivables, whereby an expense is recognized only when specific accounts are judged to be uncollectible.
Directed Verdict If it is apparent to reasonable people and the court, that the plaintiff, by his evidence, has not made out his case, the court may instruct the jury to bring in a verdict for the defendant.
Directing The management function that builds a climate, provides leadership, and arranges the opportunity for motivation.
Disaffirm To declare null and void, to cancel, repudiate or disclaim any intention of being obligated.
Disaster Plan A plan of action to recover from major occurrences that shut down or harm major information systems.
Disbursement Float The delay between the time when the company writes the check and the time when its bank charges the checking account for the amount of the check.
Disbursement Policy Specifies which payment mechanism to utilize for a given disbursement, when to pay a given invoice, and the setup of guidelines regarding the disbursement system (including which banks might be involved).
Discharge 1. An employee upon being released from employment;
2. A guardian or trustee upon termination of his trust is discharged by the court;
3. A debtor released from his debts is discharged in bankruptcy;
4. A person who is released from any legal obligation is discharged.
Discipline A form of training that enforces organizational rules.
Disclaimer Audit Opinion An auditor’s report used when no opinion on the statements is issued by the auditors due to the uncertainty of the statements or the scope of the audit being severely restricted.
Disclosure Statement Used in a Chapter 11 cases and typically contains historical information on past operations and hypothetical information concerning projected future expenses and income.
Discontinued Operations The operations of a business segment that have been disposed of.
Discount 1. A term used to reflect a reduced price granted by the seller;
2. The amount by which a bond’s par value exceeds its market price;
3. The excess of par value of stock over its sales price.
Discount Rate The interest rate the Federal Reserve charges banks for discount loans; also the interest rate used to convert income to be received in the future into present value.
Discount Terms Is a premium which the seller is willing to pay for certain benefits that accompany prompt turnover of his funds.
Discounting Determining the present value of a sum of money to be received in the future.
Discovery Practice The disclosure by one party of facts, titles, documents, and other things in his knowledge or possession and necessary to the party seeking the discovery as a part of a cause of an action pending.
Discrepancy Non-conformance with letter of credit conditions or requirements in the presented documents.
Discretionary Fiscal Policy The deliberate manipulation of government spending or taxation in order to promote full employment and price stability.
Discrimination (EEOC Definition) The use of any test that adversely affects hiring, promotion, transfer or any other employment or membership opportunity of classes unless the test has been validated and is job related, and/or an employer can demonstrate that alternative hiring, transfer, or promotion procedures are unavailable.
Dishonor A negotiable instrument is dishonored when it is presented for acceptance or payment but acceptance or payment is refused or cannot be obtained.
Disinflation A reduction in the rate of inflation.
Dismissal and Discharge If the debtor’s plan calls for a single payment in cash, the proceedings are dismissed when distribution is made, and the case is closed. If the plan calls for the issuance of installment notes, the proceedings are dismissed when such notes are issued. Once the proceedings are dismissed, the debtor receives a discharge of all his obligations.
Disparate Treatment Occurs when protected group members are treated differently than other employees.
Disposable Income The income households have available to spend or save, after paying taxes and receiving transfer payments.
Disposition of Assets In the liquidation proceedings, the receiver files a petition for permission to sell the assets at a public sale.
Distress for Rent The taking of personal property of a tenant in payment of rent on real estate.
Distributed Database A database that is spread across more than one location.
Distributed Processing Dispersion of data processing among computers in multiple sites.
Distribution of Proceeds Once a referee confirms the debtor’s plan, distribution of proceeds is made.
Diversification Attempt to reduce business risk by entering other businesses which are in some way unrelated.
Diversification for Stability Argument The argument that trade with other nations will reduce or inhibit the development of a variety of domestic industries and thus reduce economic stability.
Diversion When a supplier stipulates its product be sold in a specific geographical area or into a specific market and the seller deliberately sells the product outside of that area. Diversion can be either international or domestic. Also called “product diversion.”
Divestiture The antitrust remedy that forces a company to get rid of assets acquired through illegal mergers or monopolistic practices.
Dividend A stockholder’s pro-rata share in the profits of a corporation. Dividends are declared by the board of directors of a corporation.
Dividend Payout Ratio Common stock dividend, divided by net income. It is a measure of the percentage of income paid out as dividends.
Dividends Payable Money owed to stockholders.
Division 1. A decentralized organizational unit that is structured around a common function, product, customer, or geographical territory;
2. A separately functioning business activity with the parent company responsible for payment of debts.
Division of Labor The organization of production of a single good into separate tasks in which people specialize.
Divisional Structure An organization structure made up of autonomous, self-contained units.
Docket A book containing a brief summary of all acts done in court in the conduct of each case.
Document Any paper including a document of title, security, invoice, notice of default, etc.
Document of Title Includes bill of lading, dock warrant, dock receipt, warehouse receipt, or order for the delivery of goods, and any other document that in the regular course of business or financing is treated as adequately evidencing that the person in possession of it is entitled to receive, hold, and dispose of the document and the goods it covers. To be a document of title, a document must purport to be issued by, or addressed to, a bailee and purport to cover goods in the bailee’s possession that are either identified or are fungible portions of an identified mass.
Documentary Draft Under Article 4 Bank Deposits and Collections, this means any negotiable or nonnegotiable draft with accompanying documents, securities, or other papers to be delivered against honor of the draft.
Documentary Evidence Original records consisting of journal entries, invoices, handwritten memos, signed delivery receipts, notes, contracts, etc.
Documentation The explanation of how a system operates.
Documents Against Acceptance (D/A) Documents that are the shipper’s instructions to his bank attached to a draft for collection. They are deliverable to the drawee only against the drawee’s acceptance of the draft.
Documents Against Payment (D/P) Shipper’s instructions that are given to his bank, stating that documents are attached to a draft for collection and are deliverable to the drawee only against the drawee’s payment of the draft.
Dogs (slang) Products that demonstrate low growth and low market share.
Domestic Corporation The term applied to a corporation in the state where it is incorporated.
Domicile The place a person intends as his fixed and permanent home and establishment to which, if he is absent, he intends to return.
Dominion Applied to the delivery of property of one person to another, dominion means all control over the possession and ownership of the property being separated from the transferor and endowed upon the transferee.
Dormant Partner A partner who is not known to third persons but is entitled to share in the profits and is subject to the losses. Since credit is not extended upon the strength of the dormant partner’s name, he may withdraw without notice and not be subject to debts contracted after his withdraw.
Double Indemnity A feature that guarantees that twice the face value of a life insurance policy will be paid if the insured dies accidentally.
Double Jeopardy A constitutional doctrine that prohibits a person from being prosecuted twice in the same tribunal for the same criminal offense.
Double-Entry Accounting A system of reporting transactions, based on recording increases and decreases in accounts so that debits always equal credits.
Downloading The process of transferring data from a central computer to a personal computer or work station.
Downsizing The reduction in both total staffing and layers of management.
Draft An instrument completed by a creditor ordering a debtor to pay a specific sum of money.
Draw An amount advanced to an employee and repaid from future commission earned by the employee.
Drawee The firm or person who owes the stated amount on the draft.
Drawer Usually the person or firm who issues the draft.
Drawing The amount of withdrawals made by the owner of a sole proprietorship.
Drop Shipment A term for the shipment of goods directly from a manufacturer to a customer on the order of a wholesaler or distributor who will bill the customer.
Due Date The maturity date for payment of a debt. The date on which an obligation becomes payable.
Due Process Fundamental fairness. Applied to judicial proceedings, it includes adequate notice of a hearing and an opportunity to appear and defend in an orderly tribunal. Guaranteed in the United States Constitution.
Dumping 1. Selling the same product in different markets at different prices for the purpose of disposing of excess production and maximizing total profits;
2. Selling a commodity abroad at a price that is below its cost of production or below the price charged in the domestic market.
Dun To repeatedly demand payment of a debt.
Duress of a Person A threat of bodily injury, criminal prosecution, or imprisonment of a contracting party or his near relative to such extent that the threatened party is unable to exercise free will at the time of entering into or at the time of discharging of a legal obligation.
Duress of Property Seizing by force or withholding goods by one not entitled, and such person’s demanding something as a condition for the release of the goods.
Duty A legal obligation imposed by general law or voluntarily imposed by the creation of a binding promise.
Duty Free Goods or items not affected by customs tax.
Dysfunctional Conflicts Conflicts that prevent an organization from achieving its goals.

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