I have several expenses and incomes in the application I'm currently coding. What can I call an entity like that, that is either positive (income) or (negative)? It should be related to money, if possible.

Edit: Not sure if I expressed myself clearly. I'm looking for a word like "money-transfer", "stream" or "money that goes over the table" (no matter which direction). A word that fits in a financial context.

  • 1
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    – Helmar
    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:22
  • BTW I don't understand why this question was flagged "duplicate" when the linked question literally has absolutely nothing to do with what I asked for? Also... this question is almost 8 years old... Where did that time go? :'(
    – codepleb
    Feb 1 at 16:09

6 Answers 6


In a ledger they would be entries.

In a bank statement they would be transactions.

The bank statement records your transactions debit, credit, deposit, withdrawal.

New Oxford American Dictionary (Thesaurus)

  • "Transaction" is what I went with btw.
    – codepleb
    Feb 18, 2021 at 14:59

In accountancy there is a common phrase 'income and expenditure' but that's not the single word you asked for.

You might find the term 'cashflow' covers what you intended. Be careful of using that word when speaking with financial professionals though, because they may possibly interpret it with a specific meaning that is outside of your usage.

For your application, postive cashflow would be money coming in (income) and negative cashflow money going out (expenditure).

Broadly speaking, in a business context cashflow will be the instantaneous sum of income and expenditure so you would hear someone say 'we have a month of heavy negative cashflow ahead of us' meaning that in aggregate, they expect their cash resources to be significantly reduced at the end of the period.

  • If you want to be more precise, revenue, not income, pairs with expense; income is revenue minus expense. I thought of cash-flow too. My only issue is that cash-flow is actual money coming into or going out of your till or bank account; so if you sell or buy on credit there will be a revenue or expense but no simultaneous cash-flow; conversely, there will be a cash-flow when the payments is actually made, but no revenue or expense.
    – Jacinto
    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:50
  • I was going to use cashflow, until michael.hor257k came with transaction, that fits well in my opinion. Still +1 for this answer, thank you.
    – codepleb
    Sep 11, 2016 at 10:55

In banking terms this would be a Transaction (it's overloaded in software industry but in the Financial Industry it's well defined

Definition: A transaction is a business event that has a monetary impact on an entity's financial statements, and is recorded as an entry in its accounting records. Examples of transactions are as follows:

  • Paying a supplier for services rendered or goods delivered.
  • Paying a seller with cash and a note in order to obtain ownership of a property formerly owned by the seller.
  • Paying an employee for hours worked.
  • Receiving payment from a customer in exchange for goods or services delivered.
  • Note that this also contaisn michael.hor257k's answer: "recorded as an entry in its accounting records. ". The entry may not contain all properties of the transaction, IIRC the date is generally not part of balance sheet entires.
    – MSalters
    Sep 12, 2016 at 11:05
  • Didn't notice the second part of his answer I thought we were supposed to give one response per answer. Sep 12, 2016 at 20:34

Net income

In business, net income (total comprehensive income, net earnings, net profit, informally, bottom line) is an entity's income minus cost of goods sold, expenses and taxes for an accounting period.

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    Thanks, but I mean more a "single" entity and not all the incomes and expenses summed up altoghether. I need a word for single expenses/incomes that summed together will be the "net income" in the end.
    – codepleb
    Sep 11, 2016 at 9:09
  • Does not answer the question.
    – Drew
    Sep 11, 2016 at 18:54

Profits = Income (revenues) - expenses.

incidentally, revenues is the money coming in - "income" technically can be a little more nuanced a term, at least in accounting and finance.

EBITA (pronounced e-bit-a) is a very common finance term that also answers the question. Earnings Before Income Taxes and Appreciation.

Other terms, depending on context you are writing - and for the audience (accountant and MBAs might quibble over the words):

Finance Net Income Gross Income Gross Profit Cash flow

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    Does not answer the question. Neither profits nor EBITA is a hypernym of income (or revenue) and expenses. You are just listing somewhat related words.
    – Drew
    Sep 11, 2016 at 18:54
  • Yes, I was dumbing it down a bit, because I thought this was for someone looking for different ways to express the concepts when writing (I read this too fast and did not see that it was for "coding")
    – CJ Cornell
    Sep 11, 2016 at 21:34

The term is Asset.

In the accounting equation — Assets = Liabilities + Equity—if an asset account increases (a debit), then either another asset account must decrease (a credit), or a liability or equity account must increase (a credit).

The fact that so many people would provide so many different wrong answers, and that other people would give those poor answers votes, on a subject that is as old is business worries me about the structure of this whole stackexchange system. Maybe we should ask an account what the term is.

  • I'm not the one who downvoted. I just did some research about it though. It sounds like an "asset" is something positive that brings in money. Like something that increases your gain. Can you really use that word for expenses/incomes?
    – codepleb
    Sep 11, 2016 at 18:37
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    Considering that expenses are definitely not assets, I would say that StackExchange voting is working very much as intended.
    – MSalters
    Sep 12, 2016 at 11:07

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