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Total value of sales orders waiting to be processed/fulfilled.


Balance sheet

A financial document containing a list of all company assets and liabilities.

Balanced fund

A mutual fund that purchases a mixture of common stock, preferred stock, bonds and short-term bonds to provide income and capital gains while avoiding unnecessary risks.


Balanced investment strategy

A portfolio allocation strategy aimed at managing risk and investment return. Typically, portfolios are divided equally among various equity and fixed-income securities.


Balanced scorecard

A popular strategic management concept developed in the early 1990s by Drs. Robert Kaplan and David Norton, the balanced scorecard is a management and measurement system that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. The goal of the balanced scorecard is to tie business performance to organizational strategy by measuring results in four areas: financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth.


Baldridge National Quality Award

The Baldridge Award is given by the President of the United States to businessesmanufacturing and service, small and largeand to education and health care organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results.


Bank guarantee

A banks commitment to advance funds to a third party should the banks client default on a guaranteed obligation.



A legally declared condition of being unable to meet ones financial obligations and being legally declared financially insolvent.


Bargaining chip

Inducement or concession used as leverage in the negotiation process.


Bearer bond

An unregistered, negotiable bond on which interest and principal are payable to the holder, regardless of whom the bond was originally issued to.


Bear market

A market in a state of decline.


Behavioral risk management

The process of analyzing and identifying workplace behavioral issues and implementing programs, policies or services most suitable for correcting or eliminating various employee behavioral problems.


Behavior modification

A conscious attempt to change or eliminate an individuals undesirable behavior by specifying expected behavior and reinforcing and rewarding desired behavior.


Bell-shaped curve

The curve representing the normal distribution of a rating or test score.



The systematic process of comparing an organizations products, services and practices against those of a competitor organization or other industry leader to determine what allows it to achieve high levels of performance.



The standards used as a basis for comparison or measurement.


Best practices

Defined in a variety of ways, but typically refers to practices that enable the company to achieve superior performance results.


Billing cycle

The elapsed time between billing periods for products sold or services rendered.


Bill of goods

A consignment of products or services for sale.


Bill of lading

A receipt issued by a shipper to a recipient of products or services sold.


Blanket bond

Insurance coverage carried by brokers and other financial institutions providing a measure of protection against losses resulting from theft or employee dishonesty.


Blended rate

An interest rate based on an average of a previous and new rate.


Book value

The measure of a companys total asset worth minus intangible assets and liabilities.

Blue-chip stocks

A term used to describe stocks in some of the largest and most profitable companies.



A legal agreement under which an individual, business or government agency agrees to pay for certain financial losses caused by the principal or as a result of third-party defaults over which the principal has no immediate control.


Bond rating

The method of measuring a bond issuers capability to make good on its commitments to consumers.



The process of recording financial business transactions in a systematic approach so as to show their relation to each other and the condition of the company in which they occur.


Born global

Companies that have global operations from the inception of the company.



An investment approach in which companies are considered based solely on their value, without regard for the sector/industry they are part of or the condition of the economy.


Boundaryless organization

Organization that removes roadblocks to maximize the flow of information throughout the organization.


The process of identifying and differentiating an organizations products, processes or services from another organization by giving it a name, phrase or other mark.


Breach of contract

A situation in which an individual who is a party to a contract or agreement does not uphold or violates the terms of the contract.


Break-even analysis

A measure used to determine the approximate sales volume required to cover the costs associated with producing a particular product or service.


Break-even point

The point at which a companys revenues are equal to its expenses.


Break out

Increase in a securitys price above its previous high or a drop below its previous low.



A numerical summary of an organizations available resources and how those resources are to be allocated based on anticipated future expenditures for various items such as equipment, training and development programs, benefits, implementing new processes or services, etc.


Budget deficit

The amount by which a government, company or individual expenditures are in excess of the amount of income being brought in over a specific period of time.


Buffer stock

A stock accrued by a government when supplies are abundant and prices are low, and held for use when supplies are short in an effort to stabilize the price (also referred to as reserve stock).


Bull market

Market that is moving upward instead of being in a state of decline.



The procedure of combining related products together to be sold as a single unit.


Burden of proof

The burden placed on an employer as a result of a claim of discriminatory treatment, to provide a verifiable, legitimate and nondiscriminatory reason for any employment action taken which may have resulted in adverse treatment of a member(s) of a protected group.


Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The principal fact-finding agency for the federal government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other federal agencies, state and local governments, business and labor. BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor.


Business continuity planning

The process of establishing procedures and plans to safeguard and recover company data in order to minimize business disruption in case of unexpected emergencies or disasters.


Business ethics

A philosophy principle concerned with opinions about appropriate and inappropriate business conduct or behavior by individuals or groups of individuals.


Business literacy

The knowledge and understanding of the financial, accounting, marketing and operational functions of an organization.


Business plan

A document that provides relevant information about a company by outlining items such as the companys business description, market or industry, management, competitors, future prospects and growth potential, etc.


Business process management (BPM)

An integrated Web-based system providing straight-through processing, workflow and process change support, monitoring and reporting.


Business-to-business (B2B)

Any activity or program conducted between businesses through the use of a computer network connection vs. an intermediary.



A long-term investment strategy whereby investors preserve existing holdings by disregarding short-term market fluctuations.


Buy back

The process of a company repurchasing of stock or bonds it has issued.


Buy down

A financing method with which a buyer attempts to obtain a lower interest rate for the first few years or possibly the life of a loan or possibly by making certain advance payments to the lending institution (i.e., points).


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