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The idiomatic expression "bottom line" refers to a usually brief and concise concept, idea, thought, or conclusion that is given a greater deal of importance over other related subject matter that is often considered extraneous or even unnecessary. This idiom usually means only the information that is the most essential or relevant once the extra factors are disregarded. The "bottom line" is often used to describe the results of financial reports and other business-related objectives such as project outcomes. The use of these types of sayings usually implies preoccupation with direct results and an emphasis on receiving a quick conclusion that facilitates planning the next course of action for a given situation.
Accountants often use the idiom "bottom line" to describe the net income of a business over a certain time period such as a month or a year. The term is actually derived from the last tallied figure in the ending column and row of an accounting spreadsheet. Financial professionals who monitor the status of a certain company's performance in the stock markets can sometimes refer to the current price per share as the "bottom line" as well. They can also sometimes refer to an amount of money with this phrase, which usually implies that this particular debt needs attention within a relatively short time frame in order to avoid possible repercussions.
This English saying is also used in other situations outside of the financial industry, particularly those involving a significant amount of discussion or negotiation. Managers asking their employees for the "bottom line" usually want to hear a brief summation of current circumstances without the interjections of opinions or unrelated facts. This kind of report is generally delivered in one sentence or phrase for simplicity's sake. In workplace environs where efficient use of time can directly affect profits, updates on this type of information can be particularly important in many situations. A new potential employee may often consider the offered rate of pay to be an important "bottom line" as well.
These kinds of idiomatic sayings can have positive or negative connotations depending on the given circumstances that are directly tied to the results. A business project may be fraught with difficulties during the process, but it can have a good "bottom line" if the results generate profits or other desired results. Another business that still loses money despite smaller individual successes can be considered to have a less favorable conclusion.