(1) A programming construct that allows the temporary storage of data while in the midst of processing. For example a program may be processing weekly payments of accounts payable and producing cheques. The program may use a variable to accumulate the total of payments, adding each new payment to the sum in the variable. (2) In reference to management decision making, costs that vary with quantity of effort or production. For example: direct materials or direct labour is a variable cost.

Variance (accounting)

A deviation of actual results from expected. budgeted or standard results. Variances are usually labelled favorable or unfavorable but should be regarded as attention directors rather than answers.


An organisation or individual who sells goods or services to a customer. Also called a supplier.

Vertical integration

An organisational growth strategy involving acquisition and development of business units that act as inputs to other business units within the organisation. This may be illustrated by a wholesale organisation that wishes to grow using vertical integration. They could acquire a company that manufacturers products that they have been wholesaling, as well as establishing retail outlets for the range of products they have been distributing on a wholesale basis.

Variance (Statistics)

The square of the standard deviation.

Value added tax

Value Added Tax. or VAT as it is usually called is a sales tax which increases the price of goods. At the time of writing. the Sales tax standard rate in Pakistan is 15%.