Financial Glossary – Q

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Q Theory – gives you a ratio of the market value of a company to the net replacement cost of its assets. If q is greater than 1, this suggests that you should invest in that company. If q is less than 1, you should sell – it means the shares are worth more than the stockholders currently expect the company to earn in profit by retaining them. Also known as the q Ratio, Tobin’s q, Tobin’s q Theory, or Kaldor’s V.

Qualification – refers to a pass of an exam or an official completion of a course. There are many jobs that people cannot work in without the necessary qualifications. For example, to work as a medical doctor, you must have a university degree plus a medical licence.

Qualitative Research – a mainly exploratory type of scientific research which generates non-numerical data. It is used to understand people’s beliefs, experiences, behavior, attitudes and interactions.

Quality – the term refers to how good something is. While quantity means ‘how much,’ quality means ‘how good.’ In business, many terms use the word ‘quality.’ For example, quality management, quality control, quality assurance, and quality improvement.

Quality Assurance – a program for the systematic monitoring of various aspects of production, a service, or a project. The aim is to ensure that standards are being met.

Quality Circle – a group of employees who get together regularly to solve problems related to their own jobs. It is a management technique that started in Japan and spread to much of East Asia.

Quality Control – or QC is a system in manufacturing of maintaining standards. An inspector examines the final product visually to make sure it meets specifications and standards. If it is a service, the inspector checks the end results.

Quality Creep – when quality improvements over time, accompanied by price rises, eventually lead to a decline in sales. Consumers become unwilling to pay a premium for all the quality improvements.

Quality Engineering – the engineering discipline that focuses on the principles and practice of product and service quality assurance and control.

Quality Improvement – the systematic approach to the elimination or reduction of waste and losses in the production process. It involves weeding out what does not work properly, and then either eliminating it or improving it.

Quality Management – everything a company does to make sure that it produces and delivers its goods and services to specifications, and also at the appropriate cost. Quality management consists of four components: quality planning, quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement.

Quality Management System (QMS) – a set of business processes that focus on meeting customer requirements and regulatory requirements. The system also focuses on improving customer satisfaction.

Quality of Life – the term refers to how well a person or community lives. It includes their state of mental, physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Quantity Theory of Money – a theory that states that the money supply and prices in an economy go up and down in direct proportion to each other. When the money supply goes up, so do price levels by approximately the same percentage – the same happens when the money supply declines. It is the foundation stone of monetarism.

Quash – to officially declare that a court decision or judgment is now invalid or null. If I quash a rumor, it means that I completely suppress it. To quash an uprising or riot means to suppress it completely using force.

Quick Ratio – measures a company’s ability to use its most liquid assets to clear all current liabilities. It is an indicator of a business’ financial strength.

Quitclaim Deed – a legal instrument in which the owner of a property (grantor) transfers interest to another person (grantee). The grantor gives up all rights to the grantee.

Quorum – the smallest number of members required to be present at a meeting before it can officially start, or before official and binding decisions are taken. Parliaments, company shareholder meetings, associations, boards, etc., typically have quorums.

Quota – in international trade the term refers to the imposition of limits in either the quantity or monetary value of targeted imported goods or services. Quotas may be directed at imported goods or specific countries. In business, a quota could mean the sales target that sales reps or their departments have to meet by a speficied date. Basically, the term means a set amount.