Business Financial Glossary

Financial Glossary

ACH (Automated Clearing House)

A system of sending electronic payments (or debits) to companies, individuals, or governments instead of paper checks. Commonly used for payroll, vendor payments, tax payments. Payments can be future-dated.

Cash Concentration
Moving funds from many accounts into one central account in order to improve the cash flow, reduce excess balances, and earn more interest.

Cash Flow
The amount of cash that a business has coming in and going out during a certain period. If the balance is lower at the end of the period, the cash flow is negative. If the closing balance is higher, cash flow is positive.

Cash Management
In the general sense, cash management is simply how a company controls the funds coming into and going out of the business. It can also refer to special services a bank might provide to a business customer.

Direct Debit
A system of automatically withdrawing payments from a bank account. Common uses might be for membership fees, lease payments, utility payments.

Direct Deposit
A system of electronically making payments into a bank account. Popularly used for employee payroll.

The paying of funds out of a bank account.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
Moving money from one account to another, either within one bank or between different financial institutions.

Line of Credit
A loan that allows the customer to draw on borrowed funds as needed for a certain time period, up to a certain limit.

Money Market Account
An interest-bearing bank account that usually has higher interest rates than other accounts, but also has stricter limits on balance amounts and number of allowed transactions.

Positive Pay
A fraud prevention tool that helps compare checks issued vs. checks presented for payment in order to identify possible tampering.

Pre-Authorized Debits
Automatic debits established to make payments at pre-scheduled, specific times.

Remote Deposit
Depositing checks without having to visit a branch or ATM. Users scan checks and submit the images electronically.

Sweep Account
An account that automatically redistributes money into another account when a certain threshold is reached. An example would be checking account that moves funds over a certain dollar amount into a higher-interest account. Sweep accounts reduce the amount of manual transactions needed.

Wire Transfers
Using the recipient’s financial institution routing number and account number, wires securely send funds from one account to another.

Zero Balance Account
At the end of the day, these accounts wind up with a balance of zero dollars. They maintain only enough funds to cover the day’s checks or pay down credit balances. Used by businesses to eliminate excess balances and maximize investments.