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Glossary beginning with S

Click one of the letters above to be taken to a page of all terms beginning with that letter.


Sale or Return

Goods supplied on the understanding that if not sold on (by the customer/retailer) they may be returned without charge. Such transactions are best not recorded in the accounts, until the actual sales figures are known. Examples include newspapers and magazines.

Sales Credit Note

These are issued to customers in order to cancel sales invoices either in full or in part. They are normally issued when goods or services are faulty or when the sales invoice was incorrect. 

Sales Discounts

Sales Discounts may be allowed for a variety of reasons, for example buying in bulk, spending large amounts, being a preferred customer or settlement discount.

Sales Ledger

The sales ledger keeps track, in account order, of all invoices, credit notes and discounts sent to customers and all receipts received from customers. It can be quickly referred to if you want to find the current status of any of the customer accounts. The total balance outstanding should equal the balance of the debtors control account in the nominal ledger.

Sales Receipts

These are made when invoices are paid off by the recipient of the goods or services. 


The total goods or raw materials held by a business for the purpose of resale. Stock is valued in the balance sheet at the lower of cost and net realisable value.

Stock Explosion

A report to show what components each stock item is made up of. For example, a stereo system could be made up of a set of speakers, an amplifier, a CD player, a tape-deck and some connecting wires.

Suspense Account

A temporary account that is used when you are unsure as to what you should do with a certain value. The Suspense Account can be used as a holding account until it is decided what should be done with the value. The balance on the Suspense Account should ultimately be zero.