LEAST-SQUARED METHOD of approximating cost is a statistical approach that is both objective and considers all the data points. By using mathematical formulas to arrive at the best possible cost line (i.e., the regression line), it is more accurate than the methods mentioned previously. The regression line is in the form Y=a + bX, where X is the independent variable and Y is the dependent variable. The coefficient of determination (R2) can be used to judge the line's goodness of fit.

OPERATING RISK is the inherent or fundamental risk of a firm; without regard to financial risk. It is the risk that is created by operating leverage. Sometimes called business risk.

FINANCIAL FORECASTS are prospective financial statements that present expected future financial position, results of operations, and cash flows based on expected conditions, i.e. a financial forecast is of the most likely future scenario.

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