Find definitions of government, business and computing terms that you may come across when you are dealing with government over the internet.
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ABN Lookup - an online database that contains publicly available information provided by businesses when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
ABRpublic - the former name of ABN Lookup.
ACCC - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Accessibility - the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Acrobat Reader - stand-alone program or Web browser plug-in from Adobe that lets you view a Portable Document Format (PDF) file in its original format and appearance. The Acrobat Reader is free and can be downloaded from Adobe.
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) - a technology for providing high transmission speeds for video and voice to homes over ordinary copper telephone wire.
Agency - a government department or representative, either federal or state, or any other kind of government organisation.
Agent - a person you authorise to act on your behalf in your business dealings.
Anti-dumping - laws preventing the dumping of goods exported to Australia at a price that's below the 'normal value' of the goods.
Area Consultative Committees (ACCs) - non-profit, community-based organisations funded by the federal government, supporting small business and communities in rural, regional, remote and metropolitan Australia.
ASIC - Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
ATO - Australian Taxation Office.
AusIndustry - an area of the federal government that aims to help the Australian business and research community become more innovative and internationally competitive.
Australian Business Number (ABN) - a single identifying number used when dealing with other businesses and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Australian Business Register (ABR) - a register of information provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by businesses and other entities when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) that can be accessed by the internet. Some of this information is available publicly from ABN Lookup.
Australian Company Number (ACN) - the number allocated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) when you register a company under Corporations Law.
Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) - an individual written agreement previously available between an employer and employee about terms and conditions of employment.
Authentication - a system whereby people gain trusted access to computer-based systems only through adequate proof of identity.
Automatic Data Capture (ADC) - a collective term for a group of technologies used for managing information. These include bar-coding, magnetic stripe, Radio Frequency (RF), Tagging and Data Communication, Optical and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (OCR, MICR), smartcards, and vision and voice recognition systems.
Award - the setting out of terms and conditions of employment, along with salary levels, through an industrial agreement between employers and employees.
B2B - business-to-business e-commerce. Websites designed for businesses to trade with each other over the internet.
B2C - business-to-consumer e-commerce. Websites designed to allow consumers to buy goods and services over the internet.
B2G - business-to-government e-commerce. Websites designed to allow businesses to trade with government over the internet.
Back up - to make a copy of data required for restoring a computer program or file.
Bandwidth - the amount of 'stretch' in a network connection ie. its maximum carrying capacity for data traffic.
Bankrupt - an individual is bankrupt when they cannot pay their debts and aren't able to reach an agreement with their creditors.
Benchmark - a set of conditions against which a product or system is measured.
Benchmarking - the process of comparing your business to similar businesses in your industry.
Best practice - improving business operations and services by following standards, codes of practice and benchmarking.
Bookmark (or favourite) - most Web browsers give you an option of adding a URL to a 'HotList' or by marking it with a 'bookmark'. By doing this, you can store the linking information (the URL) to any Web pages you plan to revisit.
BPS (Bits Per Second) - the speed at which a particular modem can transmit data.
Break-even - when a business' income meets a business' expenses.
Broadband - a high bandwidth network (carrying voice audio and data simultaneously) allowing for high-speed internet access.
Browser - software that makes it possible for a networked computer to visit webpages - common browsers include Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.
Business Activity Statement (BAS) - a form used to report business tax entitlements and obligations including Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Pay As You Go (PAYG).
Business as usual - continuation of business' normal operations.
Business continuity - a business' ability to continue operations after unexpected interference or cessation due to an event such as a natural disaster.
Business continuity planning- the process of preparing for and recovering from possible risks and disasters to help a business continue operations.
Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) - community-based organisations located in city and rural areas that provide assistance to foster viable local economic enterprise.
Business Entry Point (BEP) - an initiative funded by the Australian Government and coordinated by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE). It's also the former name of the business.gov.au website.
Business Incubator - office space and facilities funded by the federal government to assist new and growing businesses by providing premises, advice, services and other support.
Business Licensing Information Service (BLIS) - a state and territory government service which provides information on licensing requirements for business.
Business resilience - a business's ability to bounce back after an event or disaster.
Buyout - when one party buys another party's entire stake or share in a business.
Cache - a small, fast, temporary memory store for regularly accessed or recently used data.
Capital cost - a one off substantial purchase of physical items such as plant, equipment, building or land.
Capital Gains Tax - the tax on any gain you make when you sell an asset such as shares, units in a unit trust and property, excluding most homes and motor vehicles.
Cash flow - the measure of actual cash flowing in and out of a business.
Certification - the formal process of making certain that an individual is qualified in terms of particular knowledge or skills.
Certified Agreement (CA) - a collective agreement made directly between an employer and a group of employees, or between an employer and a union or unions representing employees.
Channel - a way of delivering something to its destination, whether it's a message to be communicated or a physical product to be delivered.
Codes of practice - set out specific standards of conduct in an industry. Can be mandatory or voluntary.
Collective bargaining - two or more competing businesses negotiate a deal for the sale or purchase of products or services within a common customer or supplier.
Company - a legal entity seperate from its members (shareholders).
Compliance - procedures that are undertaken at regular intervals or on an ongoing basis to ensure that the regulations and/or laws laid down by an authoritative body are kept.
Consultant - an individual, partnership or corporation engaged to provide professional independent and expert advice or services.
Content Syndication - a business.gov.au service allowing partner sites to publish a complete range of government news and information for businesses on their own website.
Contingency - a planned response to a future circumstance.
Contingency plan - a plan or series of actions to carry out when an unlikely event occurs.
Contract - a legally enforceable agreement made between two or more parties. A contract may be a verbal contract or a written contract, or may be partly verbal or partly written.
Contractor - someone who contracts to provide supplies or perform work at a certain price or rate.
Cookie - a coded file sent to a web server to record visits. Used to identify users and customise information based on previous visits.
Copyright - a law that protects original works of art, literature, music, films, sound recording, broadcasts and computer programs from copying and certain other uses.
Corporations Law - the legal regulation of companies, securities and futures industries in Australia.
Credit - a lending term used when a customer purchases a good or service with an agreement to pay at a later date eg. an account with a supplier, a store credit card or a bank credit card.
Creditor - a person or business that allows you to purchase a good or service with an agreement to pay at a later date. A creditor is also anyone who you owe money to, such as a lender or supplier.
DBCDE - Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
Debt - any amount that is owed including bills, loan repayments and income tax.
Debtor - a person or business that owes you money.
Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) - a legally endorsed entity that is entitled to receive income tax deductible gifts.
Demographics - the characteristics of a segment of the population eg. customers.
Depreciation - the process of expensing an asset over a period of time. An asset is depreciated to spread the cost of the asset over its useful life.
Digital signature - an electronic signature used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of an electronic document.
Digital Signature Certificate - an electronic 'credit card' that establishes credentials when doing business or other transactions on the internet.
DIICCSRTE - Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
Domain name - identifies an organisation's address on the internet, either a website address (the domain name follows the 'www') or an email address (the domain name follows the '@' symbol in the email address).
Download - transfer of data from a server to your computer's hard drive.
E-business - business conducted over the internet, not only buying and selling but also servicing customers and collaborating with business partners.
E-commerce - the buying and selling of goods and services on the internet.
E-marketplace - allows buyers and sellers to carry out transactions over the internet.
E-procurement - the business-to-business purchase and sale of supplies and services over the internet.
Eco-efficiency - producing goods and services with less energy and fewer raw materials, resulting in less waste, pollution and cost.
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) - exchange between businesses of computer-readable data in a standard format.
Encryption - the coding or scrambling of information in a file so that it can only be decoded and read by someone who has the correct decoding key.
Environment management - managing your impact on the environment, and to what extent.
Environmental Management System (EMS) - a business system implemented to manage current and future environmental impact. An EMS integrates environmental management into a business' daily operations, long term planning and other quality management systems.
Excise duty - an indirect tax levied on certain types of goods produced or manufactured in Australia including petrol, alcohol, tobacco and coal.
FAQ - frequently asked questions.
Firewall - internet security to protect a LAN (Local Area Network) against hackers.
Fixed asset - a physical asset used in the running of a business.
Fixed cost - a cost that cannot be directly attributed to the production of a good or service.
Franchise - a business model where a franchisee purchases the right to trade in goods or services, within the terms of a franchise agreement.
Franchise agreement - a legal contract setting out the operational terms and conditions of a franchise business. This usually covers franchisor and franchisee responsibilities, lease agreements, intellectual property, marketing and payments.
Franchisee - a person or business that legally purchases the right to operate a franchise outlet.
Franchisor - a person or business that owns a franchise and agrees to sell the rights, within the terms of a franchise agreement.
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) - an agreement between two or more countries to improve the flow of goods and services between borders, and eliminate or significantly reduce tariffs and trade barriers.
Freedom of Information (FOI) - the principle that the community should have access to information in the possession of the government and big business, in order to be better informed about their operations and practices.
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) - a tax paid by employers on behalf of their employees, on non-salary benefits including company cars and mobile phones.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - a method for transferring files over the internet.
Fuel tax credits - credits provided to businesses for the fuel tax (excise or Customs duty) that's included in the price of fuel used for business activities, machinery, plant, equipment and heavy vehicles.
Gateway - either hardware or software that acts as a bridge between two applications or networks so that data can be transferred between a number of computers.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) - a broad-based tax of 10 per cent on the sale of most goods and services in Australia.
GovForms - a tool developed by business.gov.au which allows businesses to discover, manage and complete online transactions with federal, state and territory and local government agencies.
Gross profit - also referred to as net sales. This is the difference between sales and the direct cost of making the sales.
Hacker - a person who uses their computer and internet knowledge to obtain unauthorised access to other peoples' or organisations' computer networks, systems and websites.
High-end - expensive or high quality products or services.
Homepage - the opening page or entry page of a website.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) - the language used to create and define a web page.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) - a method of sending web pages over the internet. These letters often appear at the start of a website address eg. http://www.business.gov.au.
Hyperlink - a highlighted word (or graphic) within a hypertext document (web page). When you click a hyperlink, it will take you to another place within the same page, or to another page.
ICT - Information and Communications Technology.
Independent contractor - a person who is self-employed and hired to do work for a business, but is not an employee of that business.
Information economy - an economy based on the exchange of knowledge information and services rather than physical goods and services.
Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) - privacy standards which regulate how Australian and ACT government agencies manage, collect, disclose and store personal information in their records.
Input tax credit - a credit for any Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the price paid for goods and services used in a business.
Instalment Activity Statement (IAS) - a form similar to the Business Activity Statement (BAS) but for businesses not registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and for individuals who are required to pay Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments or PAYG withholding.
Intellectual Property (IP) - laws that protect the property of your mind or intellect when creating something new or original including an invention, brand name, book, film, trade secret or artistic design.
Inventory - an itemised list of goods or materials a business is holding for sale.
IP address - the unique numerical address assigned to every computer connected to the internet.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) - a digital telephone system that can provide high-speed (up to 128 Kbps) transmission of voice and data.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) - an organisation that allows users to dial into its computers to connect to the internet, for a fee.
Knowledge management - the collection, classification and dissemination of information about a company, its products and its processes.
LAN (Local Area Network) - a group of personal computers linked together in order to share programs and data.
Legal name - the name of the entity that appears on all official documents or legal papers. It may be different from the trading name.
Liability - a financial obligation or amount owed.
Licence - a legal document that grants a business or person with official permission to conduct a certain activity.
Loan - a finance agreement where a business borrows money from a lender and pays it back in instalments (plus interest) within a specified period of time.
Margin - the difference between the selling price of a good or service and the profit. Margin is generally worked out as a gross margin percentage which shows the proportion of profit for each sales dollar.
Mark up - the amount added to the cost price of goods to help determine a selling price. It's the difference between the cost of a good or service and the selling price, but doesn't take into account what proportion of the amount is profit.
Market position - the position an organisation, product or service has in the market, usually in relation to its competition.
Memorandum of association - a formal document (including the company name, address, objectives, and capital) that constitutes the charter of incorporation of a company.
Memorandum of understanding (MoU) - a formal agreement in principle between two parties.
META tag - a special HTML tag that contains keywords that represent web page content. These are used by search engines to build indexes.
Milestone - a goal or objective with a target date.
Mission statement- a statement outlining how an organisation intends on achieving its vision.
Mitigation - taking steps to reduce or eliminate the impact of possible risks on a business.
Modem - the hardware that connects a computer to an ISP through the telephone network.
Multi-Use List (MUL) - a list of pre-qualified potential suppliers of nominated goods and/or services, who have satisfied the conditions for inclusion. MULs are used by Australian Government agencies to select suppliers during a tender or other procurement process.
Multimedia - documents or platforms that combine different kinds of data such as plain text, video, graphics or audio.
National Employment Standards (NES) - a set of minimum employee entitlements to leave, public holidays, notice of termination and redundancy pay.
National Privacy Principles (NPPs) - regulate how private sector organisations manage personal information. They cover the collection, use, disclosure and secure management of personal information.
Net Profit - also referred to as the bottom line. This is the total gross profit minus all business expenses.
Network - a way of connecting computers to share data and resources with others. A Local Area Network (LAN) is a common type of network.
Off-the-shelf - a complete ready-made product that can be purchased by the general public.
Organisation & Business Names search - a search of Australian corporate and registered business names and incorporated associations on ASIC Connect.
Overheads - the fixed costs associated with operating a business such as rent, marketing, utilities and administrative costs.
Paid Parental Leave - a national scheme to provide eligible working parents with 18 weeks of Government-funded pay at the National Minimum Wage.
Partnership - a type of structure where two or more people start a business and can legally share profits, risks and losses according to terms set out in a partnership agreement.
Patent - an exclusive right granted to an owner to sell their particular device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful.
Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments - a system for paying instalments towards your expected income tax liability on your business and investment income for the current income year.
Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding - a legal requirement to hold back a portion of payments made to employees and other businesses, which is then paid to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Payroll tax - a state and territory government tax on industry, calculated on the amount of wages paid.
PDF (Portable Document Format) - a file format for presenting documents containing any combination of text, graphics, and images, to be read by the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Permit - a legal document granting permission to carry out a planned action.
Personal Services Income (PSI) - income that is mainly a reward for an individual's personal effort or skills.
Plant and equipment - also known as fixed assets used in the operation of a business.
Portal - a gateway for internet users that offers a range of services such as news, search engines and links to other sites.
Predatory pricing - when a business sets an unrealistically low price for the purpose of forcing a competitor to withdraw from the market.
Procurement - the purchase of goods and services from outside suppliers by an organisation, for use in production, sales and distribution activities.
Product liability - insurance that covers a business for damage or injury caused to another business or person, through the failure of a product sold by that business.
Professional indemnity - insurance that protects a business if their client suffers a loss as a direct result of their advice.
Profit - the total revenue a business earns minus the total expenses.
Public liability - insurance that protects a person against claims for property damage and bodily injury.
Protocol - an established method of exchanging data over the internet.
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) - a system to provide authentication, confidentiality and non-repudiation in online transactions, based on digital certificates and signatures.
Quarantine - controls, regulations and isolation imposed on goods, animals or plants brought to or from foreign countries in order to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
RAM (Random Access Memory) - used by applications to perform necessary tasks while a computer is on.
Rates - property taxes charged by local government on properties in their municipal area.
Reasonable Benefit Limit (RBL) - the largest benefit which superannuation fund members are allowed to receive on a concessional tax basis by the government, either on a lump sum or on a pension.
Registrations of Interest (ROI) - the canvassing of interested parties who might be available to conduct business or public work on behalf of the government.
Request For Quote (RFQ) - a process the government undertakes to obtain quotes for the provision of goods or services.
Request For Tender (RFT) - a process the government undertakes to obtain tenders for the provision of goods or services.
Retail lease - a legally binding contract between a business and a landlord that sets out the terms by which a business can occupy a landlord's shop or premises.
Risk management - a systematic process of making a realistic evaluation of the true level of risks to your business.
Scam - a deliberate and targeted deception designed to obtain money or information from victims.
Search engine - a computer software program which enables a user to find items on a database or the internet.
Session cookie - a cookie that exists only until you shut down your browser.
Small Business Fair Dismissal Code - a code of compliance small businesses must adhere to when ending employment.
Smartcards - credit card-sized devices containing a computer chip, to be used for a variety of payment options - credit, debit and stored-value electronic cash - as well as storage of financial and personal information.
SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) - a small business has less than 20 employees, a medium business has between 20 and 199 employees and SMEs have less than 200 employees.
Social Media - a group of technology including blogs, online networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn) and online collaboration tools often used to expand a network/market reach on a large scale.
Sole trader - a type of structure where a business has no seperate legal existence from its owner.
Spam - an unwelcome electronic mail message usually sent to a large number of recipients.
Spider - an automated program which searches the internet.
Stamp duty - a state and territory government tax paid by a buyer on the purchase price of the property or asset.
Stocktaking - a regular process involving a physical count of merchandise and supplies actually held by a business, to verify stock records and accounts.
Streaming media - a continuous broadcast of audio or video files over the internet made possible through the use of three software packages: the encoder, the server and the player.
Succession - when a party/parties take over from another.
Successor - a person/persons who take over or succeed from another.
Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) - a government policy requiring employers to pay a charge if they do not contribute a prescribed level and standard of contributions to complying superannuation funds.
Sustainability - development that takes full account of the environmental consequences of economic activity and utilises resources that can be replaced or renewed.
Tariff - a type of tax levied by the federal government on imported goods or services.
Tax File Number (TFN) - a number allocated to taxpayers and used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to monitor income and taxation details.
Tax invoice - an invoice for the supply of goods or services which must specify that it is a taxed invoice and must include an Australian Business Number (ABN). If the invoice is not in the specified format the recipient cannot claim GST Input Tax Credits.
Tender - a process a government agency or company follows to seek quotes for required goods or services.
Third party - persons who are not a party to a contract.
Trade mark - the registration of a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging, or any combination of these, which gives the owner the legal right to use, licence or sell it within Australia.
Trading name - the name that an entity trades under, or is knows as, by its suppliers or customers. It may be different from the entity's legal name.
Trust - a relationship where a business is transferred to a third party who has legal control and has a duty to run that business to benefit someone else.
Turnover (financial) - the amount earned before expenses, tax and other deductions are removed.
Turnover (staff) - the rate at which staff take-up and leave a position in an organisation.
Unconscionable conduct - a business takes advantage of another in a way that offends the conscience, or acts in a way that is clearly unfair or unreasonable.
Unique selling position - a characteristic of a business or a product/service that sets it apart from the competition.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) - the global address of a document and other resource on the world wide web.
Venture Capital - capital invested in a start-up business that is thought to have excellent growth prospects but does not have access to capital markets because it's a private company.
Virus - a malicious piece of computer code which make unauthorised changes to a computer, distributed via the internet or email.
Vision statement - an inspiring statement that expresses an organisation's main ambitions or goals.
Withholding tax - tax deducted at the source on interest, dividend and royalty payments made to non-residents, and certain investments or payments to residents where the recipient has not provided their Tax File Number to the payer.
Worker's compensation - a payment made to an employee affected by a work related injury or illness, to compensate for the loss of earning capacity, medical and rehabilitation expenses.
Working capital - the cash available to a business for day-to-day expenses.
Worm - a virus that replicates itself on other computers.
XML (Extensible Markup Language) - a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data on the internet.
Year end - the end of an accounting period, either financial year or calendar year.
Year To Date (YTD) - a date often displayed on financial statements based on the beginning of the financial year or calendar year to a specified date.
ZIP - software files compressed into .ZIP format so that they take up less space.