About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Accounting & Me: A Love/Hate Relationship

So you know how I complain about accounting all the time?

Like, all the time?

That's just talk.

Really, I love accounting. Mostly. No, I do.

Does that seem strange to you? That someone could possible love accounting? Probably. It used to seem strange to me, too. Until it happened.

I love problem-solving. I love searching for the answer and balancing entries. I love 14-column work paper. I love Excel. I love my TI-83 calculator. But not as much as I love my adding machine. There's something about the noise an adding machine makes as I'm pounding furiously at the keys that I just can't get enough of.

(Side note: Do you know what the most annoying thing in the world is? Adding machines and telephones have their numbers in reverse order. On an adding machine, 123 are the bottom three numbers and on a telephone 789 are the bottom numbers. You don't even know how many times I've dial wrong phone numbers because of this. Once you go adding machine, you never go back.)

But back to "I love my adding machine." I wish I had an adding machine. I think someday soon I will buy one for my personal use. A calculator is not even close to the same thing. I definitely miss my adding machine at work. I would talk more about it, but this is a post about accounting, not my adding machine.

I love learning strange accounting tidbits. Here's a story for you: Say someone is trading in their old car for a new car at the dealer, and they have to pay an additional $1000. Have you ever heard someone say the phrase "to boot"? As in, "I gave them my old car and $1000 to boot!" Yes? You know you have.

"Boot" is an accounting word. For real. I am not making this stuff up, because I'm not that creative. Boot is the additional value in a like-kind exchange. So the $1000 is the boot. That's seriously what it's called. You can give boot and receive boot. (And yes, I used 'boot' correctly in that sentence.) See, accounting CAN be interesting!

I love learning account laws, called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP. (Pronounced like "gap.") You know how many things in this world are the way they are now because of GAAP? A freaking lot. It's crazy how much the world revolves around accounting, and you didn't even know it!

(Side note: Generally Accepted Auditing Standards are called GAAS. Accounting is funny, too.)

I love learning tax laws. You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff I hear in tax class. I love the challenge of consolidated financial statements. I love the feeling I get when I finally grasp a difficult concept.

I love that accounting never changes. I mean, it does change a little bit, but only minor changes like accounting for depreciation or gains/losses. The theory will always stay the same. I love that the things I learned in my first accounting class are still things I use today.

I love the balance sheet, income statement, and the statement of retained earnings. I love the way they tie together the financial status of a company. I do not like the statement of cash flows. Well...if I can just look at it I don't mind it. I do not like to create it.

I love accounting. So what? Does that make me weird? Well, I think it's weird that you like science, or nursing, or psychology, or music, or teaching. I couldn't do any of those things, I can tell you that right now. I wouldn't be good at any of them, because that's not the way my mind words.

I love how analytical accounting is. I love how it always, always makes sense. I mean, it maybe doesn't always make sense to me, but it always makes sense to people smarter than me. There's never any "we don't know what to do here" or "we're not sure how this happened" or "we have no idea what caused this." It's black and white. It's always yes, no, right, wrong. It's straightforward. And I love it.


  1. I would have liked to have read something about how awesome I was at the adding machine at work while you were talking about adding machines. You know, my awesome time record of doing Godfrey's checks. ;)

  2. You were awesome at the adding machine. I bet you and I even had an adding machine contest. I mean, if we're so bored we have a water-drinking contest, I'm sure we had one that actually required we do some work.

  3. Oh yes, I can remember a few adding machine contests. We were a good match in skill for each other all right!

  4. Kid---you need a couple kids and a job that makes you work 45 hours a week!!! You have too much time on your hands!!! AK