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CONTINGENT LIABILITY is: (a) A possible obligation from past events that will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the enterprise; or (b) A present obligation from past events but is not recognized because (i) it is not probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation; or (ii) the obligation cannot be measured reliably. Some examples: in corporate reports are pending lawsuits, judgments under appeal, disputed claims, and the like, representing potential financial liability.

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ACCOUNTING CYCLE is the sequence of steps in preparing the financial statements for a given period. It refers to the fact that because financial reports are given each period (usually a year) there are a set of steps (cycle) taken each period that result in the reports and preparation for the next period or cycle. The term cycle is used because every period there is a start and an end. The cycle usually starts with the budget, goes through the journal entries, adjusting entries, posting to the accounts, financial reports, and closings.

SALES TAX is a tax levied by a government entity, usually state or city, on the retail price of an item and certain taxable services, collected by the retailer.

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