Alphabet Soup

As consultants, we find that acronyms are everywhere in business. Each specific field has its own language, and finance is especially confusing to those outside the industry. Since most small business owners/managers will also be their company's CFO, we'd like to demystify several financial acronyms. Let's begin:

CFO = Chief Financial Officer (the firm's top financial expert who oversees financing, investments, accounting etc.)

IPO = Initial Public Offering (a corporation's first offering of stock to the general public, typically through a stock exchange)

ROI = Return On Investment (defined as the % return on a financial investment)

APR = Annual Percentage Rate (commonly seen as the yearly interest rate on a loan or credit card agreement)

C3PO (just checking your attention span)

WACC = Weighed Average Cost of Capital (this is a company's cost of financing itself, typically expressed as a %)

FCF = Free Cash Flow (actual cash inflow not consumed by business operations, not net income)

Y/Y = Year over Year (example: "Y/Y the 3rd quarter of 2014 had 10% higher sales than the 3rd quarter of 2013" or, "3Q14 saw sales up 10% Y/Y")

Q/Q = Quarter over Quarter (to compare sequential quarters)

There are innumerable other acronyms we could decipher, but that would require writing a lengthy book. We hope these tips will explain commonly seen acronyms. The alphabet soup should be more comprehensible now!

Nathan Yates

Forward View Consulting, 288 Crack Rock Road, Clintwood, VA 24228, USA

Nathan Yates has been fascinated by technology and finance since he was young. He was the kid devouring the business section of the newspaper (remember those?) while others read everything else. Nathan believes that the American economy is built from the bottom-up, meaning that small businesses and local nonprofits are the foundation of our nation's success. These organizations are the lifeblood of towns and cities across the U.S. Unfortunately, most consulting firms overlook companies or organizations that don't have eight-figure budgets. Nathan thought Forward View Consulting should be different. And we are. As Lead Consultant, Nathan works with each client to deliver only the best financial and/or website development services. Nathan's years of web design experience and his business degrees ensure that professional expertise is brought to each project. Our network of contacts can offer additional specialized guidance if needed. Before creating Forward View Consulting, Nathan worked for an independent equity research firm as a Research Associate covering the industrial and energy sectors. This work involved preparing quarterly 15-40 page reports on multi-billion dollar corporations along with timely analysis of M&A activity and industry-wide news. He also managed research distribution and the company's online presence. Nathan also spent a summer serving as a local financial adviser's Research Intern. Nathan earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance from Southern New Hampshire University, graduating summa cum laude. He then earned a Master's degree in Finance from Southern New Hampshire University, where he was named the Outstanding Student in his particular concentration. Now, Nathan is an adjunct professor teaching economics and finance for his alma mater. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys fishing, reading, time with family and serving as a volunteer webmaster for the Clintwood United Methodist Church.