RETAINED EARNINGS are profits of the business that have not been paid out to the owners as of the balance sheet date. The earnings have been "retained" for use in the business (Retained Earnings is an account in the equity section of the balance sheet). It is comprised of the balance, either debit or credit, of appropriated or unappropriated earnings of an entity that are retained in the business. A good rate of growth in retained earnings is an indicator that the firm enjoys a sustainable competitive advantage. NOTE: Appropriated earnings are not available for dividends, but may be used to reduce a deficit or may be transferred to stated capital. Other appropriations of profits require a vote of the shareholders.
LOCKBOX is 1. a fireproof metal strongbox (usually in a bank) for storing valuables e.g., a safety deposit box; and, 2. a service offered by banks to companies in which the company receives payments by mail to a post office box and the bank picks up the payments several times a day, deposits them into the companys account, and notifies the company of the deposit. This enables the company to put the money to work as soon as its received, but the amounts must be large in order for the value obtained to exceed the cost of the service.
MAINTENANCE is the activity involved in maintaining something in good working order. May include replacement of significant portions of the item(s) being maintained.
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