Saturday, January 17, 2009


Accountants and CPAs are often characterized as misers. A better word for them is perhaps frugal. But there're stories. For example, there's the story about the refreshment stand at the beach

A customer walks up and orders a cold one at the refreshment stand. The vendor working there asks if the customer wants to try a new brew made locally, saying it'll only cost him a buck instead of the usual three bucks for a cold one. So the customer looks around and notices several people with the new brew, except for one guy who it appears has only a glass of water, no ice, not even a lemon-slice. The taste-testers seem all happy and contented with their refreshment, while the guy with the water seems quite dour.

So the new customer decides to try out the new brew, and he really likes it, and he goes back for another one. As he stands there waiting he asks the vendor, "Do you know what's up with that guy over there? He seems so sullen, and I notice he doesn't have one of these new brews like everybody else does."

The vendor smiles and shakes his head. "That Skippy Flint. He's a CPA --- actually does my taxes for me --- and he has a reputation as a great accountant. You get audited by the IRS, you want to Skippy Flint with you. But he knows that at five I offer these new brews for free for an hour, and so he's waiting until then."

While it's definitely a stereotype to characterize CPAs and accountants like the story does --- I've known some of these types to be very exciting individuals, like Sid who rode his bike across the United States from coast to coast or David in Idaho who grew marijuana in his house --- it is probably a good idea to try in your writing or artistic endeavor to utilize great care in keeping your books and records and being thrifty.

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