Break-Even Analysis

Break-even analysis is used in cost accounting and capital budgeting to determine at what point a product or business is profitable. This analysis employs mathematical models, which may be very simple or highly complex, in order to understand the relations between the costs of doing business and the associated revenues.


Bribery, the purchase of influence or favor from a public official, is a topic of great import to companies that do business outside the United States. While arguably some forms of legalized bribery occur routinely within U.S.


Since companies strive for profitability through the efficient and economical use of resources and labor, they require financial road maps to show how they will allocate their resources to achieve their business objectives. In other words, companies require prudent budgeting to accomplish their goals.

Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)

Bulletin board systems (BBSs), also known as computer bulletin boards, were a popular method of sharing and disseminating information during the 1980s and early 1990s. In that period they were generally closed systems, meaning they weren't connected to the Internet or other external networks, and were usually accessed via direct dial-in through a modem.

Business and Society

There was a time in United States history, particularly during the late 1800s, when business owners' view of society was summed up in the immortal words of William Henry Vanderbilt, who said, "the public be damned." Vanderbilt, the president of the New York Central Railroad at the time, allegedly made the statement to reporters in an 8 October 1882 interview. Afterwards, he denied he said it, but the fact is that, until recently, business owners and society were two completely different entities, with little interest in one another's activities—as long as businesses made money and provided jobs for people.

Business Brokers

Business brokers act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers of a business. They may represent either party in the transaction, but do not take possession of goods or property, or deal on their own account.

Business Conditions

Business conditions are determined by a number of variables such as politics, regulations, economics, and the natural environment. These conditions are evaluated in the context of a country, region, or city.

Business Cycles

In the most basic terms, business cycles refer to fluctuations in the economic growth of a nation's economy. Sometimes, business cycles are simply referred to as ups and downs in the economy.

Business Education

Business education generally refers to the plethora of courses designed to provide students with any number of skills needed for success in business, especially those related to launching and running businesses. These range from advanced management science and marketing courses as part of degree programs—such as the master of business administration—to typing and computer courses taken for personal career goals.

Business Ethics

Ethics is the field of philosophy that studies systems, norms, or values that distinguish between what is good and bad or right and wrong. The field of business ethics focuses on examining conduct and policies and promoting appropriate conduct and policies within the context of commercial enterprise, both at the individual and the organizational level.

Business Failure

Business enterprises in the United States, and indeed around the world, tend to fail at a predictable rate that is influenced by national or international business cycles and other factors. In the 1980s and 1990s, U.S.

Business Information

Widely sought for a host of different uses, business information has been transformed by mainstream access to information technology, and in particular, by widespread access to the Internet. The broad concept of business information encompasses all kinds of quantitative and qualitative information, on either a macro or micro level, about companies, products, markets, corporate leaders, industries, ideas, philosophies, and practices.

Business Literature

While some scholars debate its origins and its boundaries, business literature is the body of major articles and books that have had formative influence on modern business theory and practice. As such, depending on whom one asks, it may or may not include popular business titles on the current best-seller lists.

Business Logistics

Business logistics refers to a group of related activities all involved in the movement and storage of products and information—from the sources of raw materials through to final consumers and beyond to recycling and disposal. Business logistics is a relatively new term and concept in modern business vocabulary; its origins can be traced back to World War II when the ability to mobilize personnel and material was critical to the outcome of the war.

Business Planning

Business planning is a management-directed process of identifying long-term goals for a business or business segment, and formulating realistic strategies for reaching those goals. Through planning, management decides what objectives to pursue during a future period, and what actions to undertake to achieve those objectives.

Business Plans

A company's business plan is one of its most important documents. It can serve many purposes.

Business Press

The business press is a major source of news about company events, governmental regulation, job leads, industry sales, and even investment leads, since the business press frequently writes about emerging business trends before they are noticed by the general mass media press. The business press provides in-depth news features about individual companies and the issues facing different industries.

Business Travel

The dawning of the 21st century signals a new era in international business travel both in terms of the number of businesspeople who are increasingly pursuing new ventures abroad and in the volume of business they generate. When combined, the income generated by the travel industry worldwide totals over $2 trillion per year, making it one of the ten largest industries.

Call and Put Options

An option is a financial instrument that gives its holder the choice of purchasing (call option) or selling (put option) an underlying security at a predetermined price. Most options are for limited periods, so the choice must be exercised before the option expires.

Canada, Doing Business in

The population of this vast country is about 30 million according to the 1996 census. The majority of the population lives in a narrow belt just above the northern borders of the United States.

Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

The key element of the model is that it separates the risk affecting an asset's return into two categories. The first type is called unsystematic, or company-specific, risk.

Capital Budget

Capital expenditures are the allocation of resources to large, long term projects. The capital budget is a statement of the planned capital expenditures.

Capital Gain/Loss

A capital gain or loss results from the sale, trade, or exchange of a capital asset. For tax purposes, capital assets include most personal durable goods, investments, and real estate, including stocks and homes.

Capital Markets

Financial markets are defined as the institutions and procedures that facilitate transactions in financial securities. Financial markets can be categorized as either money markets or capital markets.

Capital Structure

Capital structure describes how a corporation has organized its capital—how it obtains the financial resources with which it operates its business. Businesses adopt various capital structures to meet both internal needs for capital and external requirements for returns on shareholders investments.


Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private sector ownership and private sector control of the major economic features of a society, such as the means of production and the distribution of goods and services. Intrinsic to capitalism is the concept of a marketplace or a market society, which is what fuels capitalism and provides it with coherence.

Capitalization Rate

A capitalization rate ("cap rate") is the interest rate at which earnings, dividends, or cash flows are converted into value or equity.

Capitalized Costs

The way an expense is categorized for accounting purposes affects a company's reported net income. Current net income is obtained by deducting current expenses from current revenues and taking other factors into account.