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2.1 What is a business?Types of business entity

Businesses of whatever size or nature exist to make a free acca books pdf profit.

There are a number of different ways of looking at a business. Some ideas are listed below.

 A business is a commercial or industrial concern which exists to deal in the manufacture, free acca books download pdf resale or supply of goods and services.

 A business is an organisation which uses economic resources to create goods or services which customers will buy.

 A business is an organisation providing jobs for people.

 A business invests money in resources (for example buildings,free acca study materails machinery, employees) in order to make even more money for its owners.

This last definition introduces the important idea of profit. Businesses vary from very small businesses (the local shopkeeper or plumber) to very large ones (Vodafone, IKEA, Corus). However, all of them want to earn profits.

Profit is the excess of income over expenditure. When expenditure exceeds revenue, the business is running at a loss.

One of the jobs of an accountant is to measure income and expenditure free accounting books , and so profit. It is not as straightforward a task as it may seem.

2.2 Types of business entity There are three main types of business entity. 

Sole traders. A sole tradership is a business owned acca study materails and run by one individual, perhaps employing one or two assistants and controlling their work. The individual's business and personal affairs are, for legal and tax purposes, identical.

Limited liability companies. Limited liability status means that the business's debts and the personal free download for pdf debts of the business's owners (shareholders) are legally separate. The shareholders cannot be sued for the debts of the business unless they have given some personal guarantee. This is called limited liability.

Partnerships. These are arrangements between individuals to carry on business in common with a view to profit. exam preparation & tutoring A partnership, however, involves obligations to others, and so a partnership is usually governed by a partnership agreement. Unless it is a limited liability partnership (LLP), partners will be fully liable for debts and liabilities, for example if the partnership is sued.

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 Information

1.1 Data and information 

Data is the raw material for data processing. Data relates to facts, events and transactions and so forth.

Information is data that has been processed in such a way as to be meaningful to the person who

receives it. Information is anything that is communicated.

Information is sometimes referred to as processed data. free acca books pdf The terms 'information' and 'data' are often used interchangeably. It is important to understand the difference between these two terms. Researchers who conduct market research surveys might ask members of the public to complete questionnaires about a product or a service. These completed questionnaires are data; they are processed and analysed in order to prepare a report on the survey. This resulting report is information and may be used by management for decision-making purposes.

1.2 Qualities of good information

Good information should be free acca books download pdf relevant, complete, accurate and clear, it should inspire confidence, it should be appropriately communicated, its volume should be manageable, it should be timely and its cost should be less than the benefits it provides. Let us look at those qualities in more detail.

(a) Relevance. Information must be relevant to the purpose for free acca study materails which a manager wants to use it. In practice, far too many reports fail to 'keep to the point' and contain irrelevant paragraphs which only annoy the managers reading them. 

(b) Completeness. An information user should have all the information they need to do their job properly. If they do not have a complete picture of the situation, they might well make bad decisions. 

(c) Accuracy. Information should obviously free accounting books be accurate because using incorrect information could have serious and damaging consequences. However, information should only be accurate enough for its purpose and there is no need to go into unnecessary detail for pointless accuracy.

(d) Clarity. Information must be clear to the user. If the user does not understand it properly they acca study materails cannot use it properly. Lack of clarity is one of the causes of a breakdown in communication. It is therefore important to choose the most appropriate presentation medium or channel of communication.

(e) Confidence. Information must be trusted by the managers who are expected to use it.free download for pdf However, not all information is certain. Some information has to be certain, especially operating information, for example, related to a production process. Strategic information, especially relating to the environment, is uncertain. However, if the assumptions underlying it are clearly stated, this might enhance the confidence with which the information is perceived.

(f) Communication. Within any organisation, individuals are given the authority to do certain tasks, and they must be given the information they need to do them. An office manager might be made responsible for controlling expenditures in the office, and given a budget expenditure limit for the year. As the year progresses, the manager might try to keep expenditure in check but unless they are told throughout the year what is the current total expenditure to date, they will find it difficult to judge whether they are keeping within budget or not. exam preparation & tutoring

 (g) Volume. There are physical and mental limitations to what a person can read, absorb and understand properly before taking action. An enormous mountain of information, even if it is all relevant, cannot be handled. Reports to management must therefore be clear and concise and, in many systems, control action works basically on the 'exception' principle. 

(h) Timing. Information which is not available until after a decision is made will be useful only for comparisons and longer-term control, and may serve no purpose even then. Information prepared too frequently can be a serious disadvantage. If, for example, a decision is taken at a monthly meeting about a certain aspect of a company's operations, information to make the decision is only required once a month, and weekly reports would be a time-consuming waste of effort. 

(i) Channel of communication. There are occasions when using one particular method of communication will be better than others. For example, job vacancies should be announced in a medium where they will be brought to the attention of the people most likely to be interested.

The channel of communication might be the company's intranet, a national or local newspaper, a professional magazine, a job centre, an online recruitment website or school careers office. Some communication may suit electronic mail. Other information may best be communicated by telephone or word of mouth. A formal report may be the best format for comprehensive information that includes graphics and figures. 

(j) Cost. Information should have some value, otherwise it would not be worth the cost of collecting, distributing and storing it. The benefits obtainable from the information must also exceed the costs of acquiring it, and whenever management is trying to decide whether or not to produce information for a particular purpose (for example whether to computerise an operation or to build a financial planning model) a cost/benefit study ought to be made. 

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