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What does per annum mean?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of Per Annum

Per annum means yearly or annually. It is a common phrase used to describe an interest rate. Often “per annum” is omitted, as in “I have a 4% mortgage loan.” or “This bond pays interest of 6%.”

Example of Per Annum

An example involves a supplier offering a credit customer an early-payment discount of 2% for paying an invoice in 10 days instead of paying the full amount in 30 days. In this example the supplier is giving up 2% of the invoice amount in order to be paid 20 days early.

To compute the rate per annum we restate the amounts by multiplying both the “2%” and the “20 days” by 18 (in order to get close to the 365 days in a year). The result is a per annum rate of approximately 36%.

Another example involves a business charging its customers 1.5% per month on any past due balance. The monthly rate of 1.5% can be converted to 18% per annum by multiplying the 1.5% times 12 months in a year.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Learn More About Harold

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