Accounting is the measurement, processing and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.
Businesses often have important "intellectual property" that needs protection from competitors for the company to stay profitable. This could require patents, copyrights, trademarks, or preservation of trade secrets. Most businesses have names, logos, and similar branding techniques that could benefit from trademarking. Patents and copyrights in the United States are largely governed by federal law, while trade secrets and trademarking are mostly a matter of state law. Because of the nature of intellectual property, a business needs protection in every jurisdiction in which they are concerned about competitors. Many countries are signatories to international treaties concerning intellectual property, and thus companies registered in these countries are subject to national laws bound by these treaties. In order to protect trade secrets, companies may require employees to sign noncompete clauses which will impose limitations on an employee's interactions with stakeholders, and competitors.
Financial services businesses include banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, credit cards, insurance companies, asset and investment companies such as private equity firms, private equity funds, real estate investment trusts, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, mutual funds, index funds, and hedge funds, stock exchanges, and other companies that generate profits through investment and management of capital.
The Benefits Calculator does not currently calculate benefit entitlement for students, although we are aiming for this to be included in the future. This is because special rules apply and the results provided will not be accurate if you continue with the calculation. This includes students who are full time or part time, or in further, higher, advanced or non advanced education.