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Business Glossary

The A-Z of Billing, Accounting, GST, & MSME Sector

A quick guide to making yourself well-versed with your business terminology. A collection of the most commonly used terms in billing, invoicing, accounting, business management & other relevant modules. Come Back to know more every time!

Accounting Software

Accounting software is a type of computer program designed to simplify and automate financial tasks, enabling businesses to handle their financial transactions and records efficiently. It automates financial tasks like income tracking, expenses, invoices, and generating reports. Accounting software simplifies bookkeeping, saves time, and ensures accuracy in financial data. It’s an essential tool for streamlining financial operations for businesses of all sizes.

Automated Bills

An Automated bill or automated invoice is a feature offered by billing software. Using the feature, users can create recurring bills and send them to their customers automatically. Users can choose the frequency of invoice generation, like daily, weekly or monthly, and the billing software would automatically create and send the invoice to the customers. Users can use the feature to send different invoices to different customers. This simplifies the invoicing process, saves time, and allows businesses to track payments and enhance cash flow management.

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial statement that provides a snapshot of a company’s financial position at a specific point in time. It summarises the company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity, representing what the company owns, owes, and the shareholders’ investments. The balance sheet showcases the financial health, solvency, and net worth of a business and is an essential tool for evaluating its performance and making informed financial decisions.


A barcode is a visual representation of data that consists of a series of parallel lines with varying widths. It contains information encoded in a machine-readable format, typically used to identify products, inventory items, or assets. Barcodes are scanned using barcode readers or scanners to quickly and accurately retrieve product information, track inventory, and facilitate sales transactions.

Business Reports

Business Reports refer to structured summaries that present data, analysis, or insights related to specific aspects of the business. These reports provide information on sales, purchases, financial performance, inventory, expenses, or any other relevant metrics. Reports assist in decision-making, performance evaluation, and tracking progress towards business goals.

Credit Note

A credit note is a document issued by a seller to a buyer to acknowledge the reduction or cancellation of the invoice amount. It is typically issued in cases where there are refunds, product returns, discounts, or any other reason for adjusting the invoice total. Credit notes facilitate accurate accounting by reducing the accounts receivable and reflecting the correct financial transactions.

Custom Invoice

A custom invoice or a personalised invoice is a feature that allows billing software users to customise their invoices as per their business requirements. A custom invoice feature typically allows adding fields, hiding/displaying fields, changing font size & style, changing invoice colour, adding business logos and watermarks, and other customisations. Businesses can use this feature to create invoices unique to their business.

Cloud Accounting Software

Cloud accounting software, unlike on-premise software, is a cloud-based application that enables data access from any device with an active internet connection. This means if you’re managing your business using cloud-based billing software, you can access and manage your business from anywhere and from any device. It offers real-time updates on your business, provides automatic backups and also makes it easy to access by all the teams in the organisation.

Cash Voucher

A cash voucher is a document used to disburse cash payments. It represents a specific amount of money used for small expenses. It serves as a record of the transaction and ensures transparency and accuracy in cash handling. Cash vouchers are frequently used in the retail, hospitality, and service industries. They contribute to efficient expense tracking, financial control, and cash flow management.

Cash Credit

Cash credit is a financial facility provided by banks that enables customers to borrow money up to a specific credit limit. This is similar to a revolving line of credit, where the customer can withdraw funds as needed within the approved limit. Interest is only charged on the amount withdrawn, which makes it a flexible and cost-effective option for short-term funding needs. Customers can repay the borrowed amount and continue to use the credit limit many times as long as they follow the bank’s terms and conditions.

Debit Note

A debit note is a document issued by a buyer to a seller to request a reduction in the invoice amount or to record additional charges. It is typically generated when there are discrepancies in the initially issued invoice, such as overbilling, damaged goods, or returns. Debit notes serve as a notification to the seller to adjust the accounts receivable and rectify the billing errors.

Delivery Challan

A delivery challan, also known as a delivery note or dispatch note, is a document used to record the transfer or shipment of goods from one location to another. It contains essential details such as the sender’s and receiver’s information, item descriptions, quantities, and any additional instructions. A delivery challan serves as proof of delivery and facilitates the smooth movement of goods throughout the supply chain.


Expenses are the costs incurred by a business in its day-to-day operations. They include various expenditures such as rent, utilities, salaries, marketing expenses, office supplies, equipment maintenance, and other overhead costs. Expenses are recorded in the financial statements to calculate the net income or profit of the business.

e-Way Bill

An e-way bill is an electronic document required for the movement of goods valued above a specified threshold under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. It is generated through a designated online portal and contains information such as the consignor, consignee, product details, transportation mode, and vehicle details. The e-Way bill system ensures the smooth movement of goods across state borders and facilitates compliance with tax regulations.


An e-Invoice, short for electronic invoice, is a digital version of a traditional paper invoice. It involves the generation, transmission, and storage of invoice data in a structured electronic format compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. E-invoicing streamlines the billing process, minimises errors, improves efficiency, and enables seamless integration with other financial systems. It also facilitates faster invoice processing and enhances transparency in business transactions.

Form 16

Form 16 is a certificate issued by every employer to its employees coming under the tax net. It gives a detailed overview of the income earned by the employee during the financial year, along with the taxes deducted at source (TDS) from their salary. The form contains details about the employee’s salary, allowances, deductions, and net taxable income. Using Form 16, employees can file their income tax returns and reconcile their salary income with the taxes paid.

Form 16A

Form 16A is a certificate given by the deductor, which is typically a bank, company, or government department, to the deductee, who can be an individual or an entity, for the tax that has been deducted at source (TDS) on income sources other than salary. This form contains information about the deductor, deductee, the amount paid, and the TDS deducted. Form 16A will be used to file income tax returns and reconcile the TDS on the non-salary income with the taxes paid.


GSTR JSON refers to the file format used for filing Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns in India. GSTR stands for Goods and Services Tax Return, and JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. Businesses registered under the GST are required to file periodic returns with the tax authorities, providing details of their sales, purchases, and tax liabilities. The GSTR JSON file contains structured data in a specific format, which is uploaded to the GST portal for return filing and compliance with GST regulations.


GSTIN stands for Goods and Services Tax Identification Number. It is a unique identification number assigned to businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system in India. GSTIN is a 15-digit alphanumeric code that serves as a tracking mechanism for businesses engaged in the supply of goods or services. It is used for various purposes, including tax invoicing, return filing, and compliance with GST regulations.

HSN Code

The HSN code, or Harmonized System of Nomenclature code, is a system that classifies goods for taxation purposes under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Each product or commodity is assigned a numerical code based on its characteristics and use. Businesses use HSN codes when filing GST returns to specify the type of goods being bought or sold. The HSN code system simplifies tax compliance and enhances efficiency in the tax structure by providing a standardised classification for goods.

Horizontal Balance Sheet

A horizontal balance sheet presents financial information in a side-by-side layout, unlike the typical vertical format. It showcases the assets, liabilities, and equity of a company for a particular period, enabling an easy comparison of changes over time. This presentation style makes it effortless to compare financial data across reporting periods. Besides, the horizontal layout is user-friendly, particularly for non-financial professionals, as it simplifies the process of comprehending and analysing financial information.


Issued by a seller to a buyer, an invoice provides a detailed account of products or services provided, along with their associated costs, tax rates, and other charges. It includes important information such as the invoice number, date, item descriptions, quantities, prices, taxes, and payment terms. Invoices are typically generated to request payment and are used for record-keeping and financial purposes.

JSON Format for GST Reports

JSON format is frequently utilised in GST implementations for data exchange and storage. Businesses rely on JSON format to represent and transmit GST-related data, including invoices, tax details, returns, and other financial information, between different software applications such as GST accounting and reporting systems. JSON’s lightweight and easily readable structure makes it a perfect option for data exchange and integration within GST-compliant software and APIs.

Letter of Authorisation

A Letter of Authorisation for GST is a formal document where an individual or business grants permission to another person or entity to act on their behalf in GST-related matters. This authorization allows the authorized person to handle GST registration, filing returns, submitting documents, and representing the grantor before tax authorities. It serves as legal proof of consent and trust, enabling smooth and efficient handling of GST compliance tasks by the authorized representative.

Letter of Credit

A Letter of Credit (LC) is a financial document issued by a bank or financial institution on behalf of a buyer (applicant) to the seller (beneficiary). It guarantees that the buyer’s payment will be made to the seller upon fulfilment of specific conditions, such as providing the required documents or meeting contractual obligations. This ensures a secure and reliable payment method for international trade transactions, reducing risks for both the buyer and seller.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) refers to the predictable and consistent revenue a business generates from its subscription-based products or services every month. It is a crucial metric for subscription businesses and SaaS companies, representing the steady income stream derived from ongoing customer subscriptions. MRR provides valuable insights into the company’s financial stability, growth potential, and customer retention efforts.


In the context of a business loan, a mortgage refers to a secured loan where a business entity offers a valuable asset, often property or real estate, as collateral to the lender. This collateral guarantees that the lender can claim and sell the asset to recover the loan amount if the business fails to meet its loan repayment obligations. Mortgages in business loans are commonly used when larger loan amounts are required and to reduce the lender’s risk. Mortgages often lead to more favourable loan terms, such as lower interest rates or longer repayment periods.

Net Income

Net income, also known as net profit, represents the amount of money a business earns after deducting all its expenses, taxes, and other costs from its total revenue. It is a fundamental indicator of a company’s financial performance and profitability. A positive net income indicates that the company’s revenue exceeds its expenses, while a negative net income indicates a loss. 

Net Sales

Net Sales, also referred to as net revenue or net sales revenue, represents a company’s total revenue earned from its core business operations after adjusting for returns, allowances, and discounts. Net sales provide a clear view of the revenue generated from selling products or services, considering factors that might reduce the final revenue received. 

Non-performing  Assets (NPAs)

Non-performing assets (NPAs), also known as non-performing loans (NPLs), refer to loans or financial assets that have stopped generating the expected income for a lender due to borrower default or delayed payments. NPAs are a concern for banks and other financial institutions as they indicate credit risk and can impact the lender’s profitability and overall financial health. Addressing and managing NPAs is crucial to maintaining financial institutions’ stability and ability to lend.

Operating Margin

Operating Margin, also known as operating profit margin, is a financial metric that indicates the profitability of a company’s core business activities. Calculated by dividing operating income by total revenue and expressing the result as a percentage, the operating margin reflects the proportion of revenue that remains as operating profit after accounting for direct operational costs. It provides insights into a company’s ability to manage expenses and generate profit solely from its primary operations, excluding non-operational factors like interest and taxes.

Overdraft Loan

An Overdraft Loan is a short-term credit facility offered by banks to individuals or businesses. It allows the borrowers to withdraw more money from their bank account than their available balance up to a predetermined limit. Overdraft loans are useful for managing cash flow fluctuations and covering unexpected expenses. Borrowers are charged interest on the withdrawn amount, making it a form of credit primarily meant for short-term use.

Purchase Return

A purchase return, or a purchase refund or vendor return, refers to returning purchased goods to the supplier or vendor. It typically occurs when the buyer receives defective, damaged, or incorrect items or when there is an overstock situation. Purchase returns are initiated by the buyer and involve issuing a return invoice or credit note to adjust the accounts payable balance.

Payment In

Payment in refers to the receipt of funds or payment received by a business from its customers or clients. It includes various payment methods such as cash, cheques, credit cards, bank transfers, or any other accepted forms of payment. Payment in is recorded as an inflow of cash or accounts receivable, contributing to the revenue of the business.

Payment Out

Payment out refers to the expenditure or disbursement of funds by a business for various purposes, such as vendor payments, operating expenses, salaries, taxes, or any other financial obligations. It includes payments made through cash, cheques, electronic transfers, or other payment methods. Payment out is recorded as an outflow of cash or accounts payable, reducing the business’s financial liabilities.

Purchase Order

A purchase order (PO) is a commercial document a buyer provides to a seller, indicating the specific products or services to be purchased, their quantities, agreed-upon prices, delivery terms, and other relevant details. It serves as a formal request or agreement between the buyer and seller and acts as a reference for future transactions, inventory management, and financial records.

POS Billing

Point of Sale (POS) billing refers to the process of generating invoices and completing financial transactions at the point of sale. It involves using specialised software or systems to calculate the total purchase amount, apply discounts if applicable, and generate itemised invoices for customers. POS billing enables businesses to efficiently process sales, manage inventory, and provide seamless customer experiences.

Product Batching

Product batching refers to the process of categorising or grouping products based on specific attributes or characteristics. It involves assigning batch numbers or codes to identify items produced or received together. Product batching is particularly relevant in industries where items need to be tracked and managed based on production or expiry dates, such as FMCG, pharmaceuticals, or perishable goods.

Product Serialisation

Product serialisation refers to the process of assigning unique serial numbers or codes to individual products or items. It enables businesses to track and trace specific units throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to distribution and sales. Product serialisation helps enhance product authenticity, improve inventory management, facilitate recalls, and combat counterfeit activities.

Proforma Invoice

A proforma invoice is a preliminary or provisional invoice provided by a seller to a buyer before the completion of a transaction. It outlines the estimated costs, terms, and conditions for the products or services to be supplied. A proforma invoice is not a legally binding document. It allows the buyer to review the terms, make adjustments if necessary, and seek approval or initiate the transaction process.

PSB Loan

A PSB Loan refers to a loan extended by a Public Sector Bank (PSB), which is a government-owned financial institution. PSB loan scheme is a new initiative by the Indian government to provide quick and easy access to credit for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Loans of up to Rs. 10 lakh can be availed within 59 minutes from the time of application. This loan scheme offers in-principle loan approval of up to Rs. 5 crores from reputed banks. These loans often come with lower interest rates and borrower-friendly terms. 

Profit and Loss Statement

A Profit and Loss Statement, also known as an income statement or P&L statement, is a financial document that summarises a company’s revenues, expenses, and profits over a specific period, usually a quarter or a fiscal year. It provides a detailed summary of a company’s financial performance, including revenue from primary operations, production or service costs, and resulting profit or loss. The P&L account helps stakeholders evaluate the company’s profitability, operational efficiency, and overall financial health.

Payroll Management

Payroll management involves the organised administration of employee compensation. It includes activities such as wage calculation, processing deductions, managing benefits, and ensuring timely and accurate payment. This critical function ensures compliance with legal regulations and maintains employee satisfaction by providing consistent and transparent compensation processes.

Provisional Balance Sheet

A provisional balance sheet is a preliminary financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and shareholder’s equity at a specific point in time, typically the end of a fiscal period. This balance sheet is prepared before the final year-end financial statements are ready and is subject to adjustments. It helps stakeholders, including investors and analysts, gain insights into the company’s financial position while awaiting the completion of the comprehensive annual financial reporting process.

Proforma Invoice

A proforma invoice is a preliminary document issued by a seller to a buyer before a commercial transaction is finalised. It outlines the details of goods or services to be provided, their quantities, prices, and terms of sale. Unlike a formal invoice, a proforma invoice is not a demand for payment but serves as an estimate or quotation. It helps buyers understand the cost structure and make informed decisions before committing to a purchase. Proforma invoices are often used in international trade, enabling parties to assess potential costs and conditions before the actual transaction takes place.


A quotation, commonly referred to as a quote, is a formal document a seller provides to a prospective buyer. It outlines the specific price, terms, and conditions under which the seller is willing to supply goods or services to the buyer. A quotation typically includes item descriptions, quantities, unit prices, total costs, payment terms, delivery schedules, and any applicable discounts. Quotations are essential for clarifying expectations and facilitating informed purchasing decisions, as they enable buyers to compare offers from different suppliers and choose the right one.

QR Code

A QR code, short for Quick Response code, is a two-dimensional matrix barcode containing information encoded in black squares and white spaces. QR codes are designed to be quickly scanned and decoded by smartphones, tablets, or dedicated QR code scanners. They can store various types of data, such as URLs, contact information, product details, or text. Their ease of use and versatility have made QR codes popular for bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds.

Recurring Invoice

A recurring invoice is a type of invoice that is generated and sent to a customer on a regular schedule, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually. It is commonly used for subscription-based services, membership fees, rental payments, and other situations where the same amount is billed at consistent intervals. Recurring invoices save time by automating the billing process, providing convenience for both businesses and customers. 

Reward Points

Reward points are a form of loyalty points customers earn when they make purchases or engage in specific actions with a company’s products or services. These points accumulate over time and can be redeemed for discounts, free items, or other benefits offered by the business. Reward points programs are commonly used by businesses to encourage customer retention, increase engagement, and enhance brand loyalty. 

Retail Billing Software

Retail billing software is a specialised computer application designed to facilitate the management of sales, inventory, and financial transactions within a retail business. This software streamlines the process of creating invoices, recording sales, tracking inventory levels, and managing customer information. It often integrates with barcode scanners, cash registers, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals to automate sales and reduce manual data entry. Retail billing software helps retailers efficiently handle transactions, generate accurate invoices, monitor stock levels, analyse sales trends, and enhance customer service.

Sales Return

A sales return, also known as a customer return or merchandise return, is the process of accepting returned goods from a customer. It occurs when the customer is dissatisfied with the purchased product, receives a damaged item, or no longer needs it. Sales returns are handled by issuing a return invoice or credit note to adjust the sales revenue and accounts receivable balance.

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing refers to the practice of using text messages (SMS) to promote products, services, or engage with customers. It involves sending targeted, permission-based messages to mobile phone users to communicate promotional offers, updates, event invitations, or other relevant business information. SMS marketing can be an easy and effective way to reach a wide audience, enhance customer engagement, and drive sales.

SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Businesses)

SMBs, or Small and Medium-sized Businesses, refer to enterprises that fall within a certain range of size criteria, often based on factors such as revenue, number of employees, or total assets. SMBs generally have fewer resources and a smaller scale of operations compared to larger corporations. SMBs play a significant role in the economy, contributing to job creation, innovation, and local economic development. 


A start-up refers to a newly established business or company that is in its initial stages of development and operation. Start-ups are characterised by their focus on innovative ideas, products, or services, often in emerging industries or markets. They typically operate with limited resources, seeking to scale rapidly and capture a significant share of their target market. Start-ups often aim to disrupt traditional business models and offer unique solutions to existing problems. Securing funding from venture capitalists, angel investors, or crowdfunding platforms is common for start-ups to fuel their growth and development. Start-ups face higher risks due to uncertainties, but they also have the potential for rapid expansion and success if their ideas resonate with the market and they execute their strategies effectively.

Secured Loans

A secured loan is a type of borrowing arrangement where a borrower pledges collateral, often an asset such as real estate, vehicles, or valuable possessions, to the lender as security for the loan. If the borrower fails to repay the loan according to the agreed terms, the lender has the right to seize and sell the collateral to recover the outstanding debt. Because secured loans are backed by collateral, they are considered less risky for lenders, which often leads to lower interest rates and more favourable terms for borrowers. Common examples of secured loans include home mortgages and auto loans.

Thermal Printer Bill:

A thermal printer bill is a receipt or invoice generated using a thermal printer. A thermal printer is a type of printer that generates text or graphics on paper by selectively heating coated thermochromic paper. Thermal printers are commonly used in retail for printing receipts and labels due to their fast printing speed and durability.

Trade License:

A trade license is a permit issued by the government or relevant authority that allows a business or individual to carry out specific commercial activities within a designated area. It ensures that businesses comply with local regulations and zoning laws.

Trial Balance:

A trial balance is a financial statement that lists all general ledger accounts’ balances at a specific time. It is used to verify the accuracy of a company’s accounting records and helps prepare financial statements.

Tax Incentives:

Tax incentives are government policies or provisions in tax laws that offer financial benefits, such as reduced tax rates or deductions, to encourage young entrepreneurs and start-ups to establish more businesses. They are often used to promote economic growth, investment, and job creation.

TDS (Tax Deducted at Source):

TDS is a tax collection mechanism where a person or entity is required to deduct a certain percentage of tax at the source of income, such as salaries, interest, or payments to contractors. The deducted amount is subsequently sent to the government on behalf of the receiver.

Term Loan:

A term loan is a type of loan in which a lender provides a borrower with a fixed amount of money for a specific period, typically at a fixed interest rate. Businesses use term loans for various purposes, such as capital investments or business expansion.

Top-Up Business Loan:

A top-up business loan is an additional loan that can be availed by a borrower with an existing business loan. It allows borrowers to access more funds without needing a new loan application, typically at competitive interest rates. It’s useful for meeting additional business needs or expansion.

UPI (Unified Payments Interface):

UPI is a real-time payment system in India that allows individuals and businesses to make instant digital transactions using a mobile app. It simplifies fund transfers, bill payments, and online purchases.

UAN Registration (Universal Account Number):

UAN registration is the process of obtaining a unique identification number for employees in India. It is used to consolidate multiple Provident Fund (PF) accounts into a single account, making PF management more efficient.

Udyam Registration:

Udyam registration is a government initiative that provides micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with a unique registration number. It offers various benefits and incentives to registered businesses, including easier access to credit and government schemes.

Udyogini Scheme:

The Udyogini Scheme is a government program that aims to empower women entrepreneurs by providing financial support and training for starting and growing their businesses. It promotes women’s economic independence and self-reliance.

Vendor Invoice:

A vendor invoice is a document issued by a supplier to a customer detailing the products or services provided, their quantities, prices, and payment terms. It is used for billing and record-keeping purposes in business transactions.

Value Added Tax (VAT):

VAT is a consumption tax levied on the value added to a product at each stage of its production or distribution. Businesses collect VAT from customers and remit it to the government. It is a common form of indirect taxation in many countries. In India, VAT has been replaced by Goods and Services Tax (GST).

VPA (Virtual Payment Address):

A VPA is a unique identifier linked to a bank account and used in UPI transactions. It simplifies fund transfers by replacing the need for traditional bank account numbers and routing codes with an easy-to-remember address.

Working Capital:

Working capital refers to the capital a company uses in its day-to-day trading operations, calculated as the difference between its current assets and current liabilities.  Working capital is essential for covering short-term operational expenses and ensuring smooth business operations.

Working Capital Management:

Working capital management is the practice of effectively managing a company’s short-term assets and liabilities. The goal is to ensure that a business maintains sufficient liquidity to cover short-term debts and operational expenses. Efficient working capital management is crucial for financial stability and growth.

Wealth Maximization:

Wealth maximization is the primary objective of business management. It aims to increase the net wealth or overall value of a business for the benefit of its shareholders. This goal involves making strategic financial decisions that enhance the financial position of the company.

Working Capital Loan:

A working capital loan is a type of short-term financing that businesses use to meet their working capital needs. It helps cover immediate expenses such as paying suppliers, employee salaries, and other operational costs. These loans are essential for maintaining cash flow and sustaining day-to-day business activities. 

Work Order:

A work order is a formal document issued by a company to a supplier or contractor. It outlines the specific work to be completed, including its specifications, timeline, and terms of payment. Work order formats are crucial for ensuring clear communication and expectations between parties involved in a project.

WhatsApp Marketing:

WhatsApp marketing refers to the practice of using WhatsApp as a marketing tool to reach and engage with customers. It involves sending promotional messages, broadcasts, or status updates to a targeted audience. This technique leverages the popularity and convenience of the platform to connect with potential customers and promote products or services.

Works Contract Under GST:

A works contract under GST regulations involves a contract for both the supply of goods and the provision of labour services related to immovable property. It is subject to specific GST rules and rates. Works contracts often pertain to construction and real estate projects, and understanding GST implications is crucial for businesses operating in this sector.

Zero-Rated Supply:

Zero-rated supply is a term used in the context of GST. It refers to the supply of goods or services that are taxed at a rate of 0%, meaning no tax is levied on these supplies. While the tax rate is zero, businesses can still claim a refund of any input tax they have paid on purchases related to these zero-rated supplies. Zero-rated supplies are often applied to essential goods and services such as basic food items, medical services, and exports.