27 business terms all communicators should know

Do you know your way around your company’s financials and annual reports? You’ll need to have a handle on it to be a strategic advisor and have a seat at the table.

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Do you know the financial logic behind the reports that your company generates?

There’s no reason to fear the numbers. Numbers tell stories, and the data you are sitting on could be a trove of story ideas. Even budgets tell stories: Some things are valued by your organization, and others are not.

Here are 27 important terms every communicator should know:

1. Accruals. Expenses that have been incurred but haven’t yet been recorded in the company’s books. An example would be wages or taxes.

2. Adjusted EBITDA. EBITDA stands for “earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization.” This figure is a standardization of the EBITDA measure so you can accurately compare the value of two dissimilar organizations.

3. Annual report. Yearly report on the health of a company to shareholders. It usually includes a letter from the CEO; financial statements including balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement; and auditor’s report—a summary of financial data and accounting policies.

4. Annuity. A financial product that pays out a yearly amount, usually used as income streams for retirees.

5. Balance sheet. A snapshot view of your organization’s finances. This should list both assets and liabilities.

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