Someone formally qualified (usually by taking exams set by a recognised accounting body) to give financial advice.

Accounting period

The period for which the organisation or project prepares its accounts. Often 12 months for an organisation; projects may be for a different period.


Records of money coming in and going out with supporting vouchers.


Income or expenditure which is due in an accounting period, but not received or paid by the end of the period.

Accruals accounting

Accounting where adjustments are made to show all the income earned and expenditure incurred during the accounting period, whether or not it is actually received or paid in the accounting period. See also cash accounting.


The actual tasks required to produce the desired outputs. © BOND


See programme advance and personal advance.

Advance register

A record showing advances paid to team members, how they have been accounted for and whether any amounts are still outstanding.

Analysed cash and bank book

The record of all cash and/or bank amounts coming in to and going out of an organisation, with extra columns to show the type of receipt or payment.


Something owned.


An independent assessment of an organisation or of its financial statements by a qualified person(s). See also external audit and internal audit, financial audit and management audit

Audit report

A written document, signed by an auditor. It identifies the standards by which the audit has been undertaken and states the auditors' opinion. It points out any major weaknesses found in the course of the audit. A financial audit report is attached to the financial statements at the end of an accounting period. See also qualified audit report and unqualified audit report.


Someone independent, who carries out an audit

Auditor's opinion

The opinion within an audit report, which summarises the auditor's view of the organisation or of its financial statements.

Balance Sheet

A financial statement showing the organisation's assets and liabilities

Bank book

The record kept to show all items going in to or out of the bank account. Usually known as, and part of, the cash book.

Bank mandate A bank mandate is a document instructing a bank to open an account. It specifies among other things who can sign cheques.

Bank overdraft

A bank current account with money overspent. This may be temporary, whilst the bank account holder is waiting for more money to be deposited, or longer-term by agreement with the bank.

Bank pass book

A book provided and updated by a bank to show the record of money held in an account. It has the same purpose as a bank statement.

Bank reconciliation

A method of agreeing an organisation's bank book with its bank statement or bank pass book.

Bank statement

A list produced by a bank showing all payments into and out of an account over a period of time, and the amount held at the start and end of the period. The period is generally a calendar month. See also bank pass book.

Black market

An illegal market for goods and services (e.g. for the exchange of currency). Sometimes referred to as a parallel market. See also grey market


A person keeping the record of accounts and other financial transactions.


A financial plan showing the money needed to achieve programme goals within the given period.

Budget code

A number that represents an item in the budget or in other parts of the accounts. Codes are often used in computerised accounting systems.

Budget and actual statement

A statement comparing budgeted income and expenditure by budget headings, with actual income and expenditure. Differences known as variances are also shown. Also referred to as budget and actuals, and variance report.

Budget and actuals

See budget and actual statement.

Capital budget

A separate budget for fixed assets, such as vehicles, equipment and computers. Many organisations include these items in a separate section of the main recurring budget.

Cash accounting

Accounting which shows only money actually received or paid during the accounting period, with no adjustments for what might be outstanding. See also accruals accounting.

Capital item See fixed asset

Cash book

A record of money coming in to and going out of an organisation in date order. This term is used to include cash and bank transactions.

Cash budget

See cash flow forecast.

Cash count

Counting the actual cash held and agreeing this with the amount shown in the cash book.

Cash flow forecast

A statement which forecasts the money coming in to and going out of an organisation over a period of time in the future. Also referred to as a cash budget.


The person responsible for looking after the cash and bank transactions.

Cash reconciliation

See cash count.

Chart of accounts

A list of all the budget codes used by an organisation or project.


See budget code.


Ability of an individual or organisation to pay for goods and services. An example of a credit-worthiness check would be to make sure a bank was likely to continue long-term before opening an account.


Those to whom an organisation owes money for goods or services. Also referred to as  payables.

Current account

A bank account from which money may be withdrawn without notice. A current account does not usually pay interest. See also deposit account.


Outstanding amounts owed to an organisation for goods or services. Also referred to as receivables.

Deposit Account

A bank account which gains interest. A bank must be told in advance if you wish to withdraw money from a deposit account. See also current account.


An individual or organisation that provides funding.
Expenditure Obligations to make payments incurred in an accounting period.  The actual payment dates may or may not fall in the period.  Compare with payment

External audit

An audit undertaken by an independent person or group of people not employed by the organisation being audited. See also internal audit.

Financial audit

An independent examination of financial records and statements, on which auditors express an opinion. See also management audit.

Financial controller

Usually the head of the finance team. Takes responsibility for sound finance staffing, systems and procedures. Sometimes used to mean accountant.

Financial controls

The procedures adopted to ensure accurate accounting and to prevent theft. Also called 'internal controls'.

Financial records

Information kept to record transactions. Examples include the cash book and supporting vouchers, invoices and receipts.

Financial report

See budget and actual statement .

Financial statements

Financial summaries produced at the end of an accounting period. Examples include a receipts and payments account, an income and expenditure account and a balance sheet.

Financial systems

An organisation's accounting records and financial controls.

Fixed asset

Item with a value above an agreed threshold which is held for more than one year. Examples include buildings, vehicles and computers.

Fixed assets register

A complete list of fixed assets showing entries for purchased and sold items, with a calculation of any loss of value. This is updated at least once a year. Also referred to as Inventory (2)


A fixed amount held in petty cash to provide money for small purchases. Often petty cash is 'topped-up', for example monthly, to replace the amount actually spent. This then brings the float back to its original amount. Floats can also be held by individuals.


Prediction of future income or expenditure.


Theft of money or other organisational resources by deception, trickery or cheating.


Money committed by a donor or organisation to a programme.


Money that is readily available. See also restricted funds and unrestricted funds.

Funding grid

A structured way of monitoring donor funding compared with your budget. Also referred to as income allocation table (or budget) or grant analysis table


The ultimate result to which your project is contributing - the impact of the project. © BOND

Grant analysis table

See funding grid

Grey market

An unofficial market for goods and services (e.g. for the exchange of currency) that may or may not be legal. Sometimes also referred to as a parallel market. See also black market.

Hard currency

Currency which is widely accepted for payment or exchange throughout the world. Issued by an economically and politically stable country/economic zone. Examples are Euros and US dollars. See also soft currency.


A system by which a float, often to petty cash but also sometimes individuals, is replenished by exactly the same amount as has been spent and accounted for since the last replenishment. Some organisations use this term to refer to their accounting records in general.

Income Money due in an accounting period although not necessarily received in the period.  It may be received in advance or in arrears.  Compare with receipt (1)

Income allocation table

See funding grid

Income and expenditure account

A statement showing money received and paid out during an accounting period. Adjustments are made to this account, such as accruals. See also receipts and payments account.

Internal audit

An audit undertaken by a person(s) who is employed by the organisation being audited. See also external audit. Donors can conduct an 'internal audit' on programmes they fund.

Internal controls

See financial controls.

Inventory (1)

An amount of stock.

Inventory (2)

See fixed assets register.


A written request for payment of goods or services.

Letter of engagement

An agreement between an auditor and the organisation being audited, stating what the audit is going to include.


An amount owed.

Log frame

See logical planning framework

Logical planning framework

A tool for planning and managing development projects. © BOND. Also known as Logical Framework Analysis (LFA). Often abbreviated to "Log Frame"

Management audit

An examination of an organisation's management and financial processes and systems. Its purpose is to assess how well the systems and processes function. See also financial audit.

Management letter

A letter identifying outstanding points and recommendations, sent to an organisation from the auditor towards the end of a financial audit.


The comparison of budgeted figures with actual money received and paid.

Narrative report

A report to a donor or other stakeholder on a project/programme's activities for a period of time.


The specifically intended results of the project activities - used as milestones of what has been accomplished at various stages during the life of the project. © BOND


See creditors.

Parallel market

A term used for either a black market or grey market

Payment Money actually paid out by an organisation or individual.  Compare with expenditure

Payment voucher

A request for payment signed by an authorised member of staff.

Personal advance An amount paid to a staff member for personal expenditure. Personal advances are usually repaid through salary deductions. Compare with programme advances

Petty cash

A cash fund for the payment of small unplanned expenses.

Programme advance Money advanced to someone for specified or unspecified programme expenditure. Programme advances are sometimes called floats but should not be confused with personal advances.

Programme goal

See goal


The change that occurs if the project outputs are achieved - the effect of the project. © BOND

Qualified audit report

An auditor's opinion showing a negative comment about an organisation being audited. See also unqualified audit report.

Receipt (1)

Money actually received by an individual or an organisation.

Receipt (2)

A piece of paper to prove an amount has been given and received.

Receipt and payment account

A summary of bank and cash items coming in and going out over an accounting period with no adjustments. See also income and expenditure account.


See debtors.


Agreeing accounting records with each other. See also bank reconciliation.

Recurring budget

A budget used to record ongoing income and expenditure (e.g. grants, salaries, travel and materials). Also called 'revenue budget' or simply 'the budget'. See also capital budget.

Restricted funds

Funds which may only be used for a particular purpose. See also unrestricted funds.

Revenue budget

See recurring budget

Salary advance See personal advance

Segregation of duties or responsibilities

See separation of duties

Separation of duties

The system of dividing work so that one person does not process every aspect of an entire transaction. The aim is to prevent errors and misappropriation. Also called Segregation of Duties or Responsibilities

Soft currency

Currency which is not generally accepted for payment outside country of issue. Value may vary rapidly and significantly in relation to hard currencies. See also hard currency.

Staff loan

See personal advance

Stores requisition

A form requesting the issue of an item from stock. The form should show a description of the item, the budget code, the value and the signature of the person authorising the issue and the person receiving the goods.

Super goal

The long-term results of continued achievement of the goal of the project. © BOND


Written quote provided in advance giving a fixed price for goods or services.

Unqualified audit report

A report giving the auditor's opinion of an organisation, but without any negative comments. See also qualified audit report.

Unrestricted funds

Funds which may be used for any lawful purpose within an organisation. See also restricted funds.


The difference between budgeted and actual income or expenditure.

Variance report

See budget and actual statement.


Movement of an amount from one budget item to another. Virements may be allowed up to certain limits and under certain conditions laid out in the funding agreement. Beyond these limits permission is needed from the donor and/or the organisation.


A document supporting entries in the accounting records. It is used as a general term to mean receipts, invoices and payment vouchers.