Home' A Plus Magazine : Oct 2012 Contents 60 October 2012
The Gap store recently opened near
my accountant friend's office. Stroll-
ing past, I could see him peering at
the shop sign quizzically, trying to work out
what would be sold in a Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles shop.
"Gap sells hoodies," I explained. He nodded
unconvincingly, although I knew he had no
idea what a hoodie was.
It's not just that he is old (born in the Late
Cretaceous) but also that he is over-immersed
in his own world. Even the way he stared too
long at the lunch bill marked him out as an ac-
countant. "Just pay it. Don't extrapolate the
restaurant's annual revenue from it," I said.
But I couldn't blame him. It happens to all
professionals who do the same thing for too
many years. Here are 20 signs you've been an
accountant for too long:
1. When you download an ebook from Kindle
you refer to the price as "the net book value."
2. At the Oscars, you can't understand why
there's no prize for the production ac-
3. You think the most gripping part of the
Miss Hong Kong finals on TV is when they
announce which accounting firm collated
4. You own 10 shirts and all of them are white.
5. You think The Beatles song "Dear Pru-
dence" is about the hidden costs of conser-
6. Instead of "I'll bet my bottom dollar," you
say, "I'll risk my final consideration."
7. You know what the word "fungible" means
and love throwing it into conversations: "I
like my men/women to be tall, dark and
8. When pop stars sing "What is love?" you
call out, "An intangible asset with a chal-
lenging value profile."
9. When you make a list of pros and cons of
getting married, one column is headed "op-
10. You have three pairs of shoes and all of
them are black.
11. When you phone home from the bar on a
Friday night, you tell your spouse, "Can
you pick me up? I'm in a state of extreme
12. When your spouse wants to have children,
you say, "Put your request in writing, listing
up-front costs, recurrent expenditure and
return on investment."
13. You think of your children as "Liability 1"
and "Liability 2." If they fail to put on their
seat belts you tell your spouse, "Please deal
with our unsecured liabilities."
14. When you and your spouse look at your
drooping flesh in the mirror you say, "I
think our figures have depreciated."
15. When your spouse says "We need to talk,"
you print out some appraisal forms.
16. You think of the Christmas letter your
spouse writes to distant family members as
The Annual Report.
17. At a marriage counselling session, you use
the term "year-on-year performance."
18. When your child gets a mixed school re-
port, you make a spreadsheet of grades
against school fees so you can set a break-
19. When grandpa dies, you tell your col-
leagues he has "gone into receivership."
20. When your child fails half his exams, you
pay half the school fees with a note saying,
"Here's the money pro rata."
Does this sound like you? If it does, then
you need a holiday. Go to the Gap, buy a hood-
ie and take all liabilities, whether secured or
not, on a nice long vacation. Your office will
be fine without you. We're all replaceable. Or
fungible, if you prefer.
Nury Vittachi is a bestselling author, columnist, lecturer and
TV host. He wrote the Institute's first two storybooks, May
Moon and the Secrets of the CPAs and May Moon Rescues
the World Economy. A third, May Moon's Book of Choices,
was published in August.
Get your daily dose of Nury's humour at www.mrjam.org
Let's get fiscal
20 signs you've been an
accountant for too long
Leaving number-related matters at the office is
a hard task for some, says Nury Vittachi
"You think of the
your spouse writes
to distant family
members as The
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