Fun with Accounting Terms

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Balance sheet – a place to hide the other side of a fictitious transaction.

Income statement – a description of the money that companies don’t really make, but show to investors.

Cash flow statement – a description of how companies take money from their investors and give it to their top executives.

Accountant – someone hired to explain how companies really made more money than they actually did.

Accounting standards – a group of words that allow companies to do anything they want to do.

Big bath – How companies take a $2 per share loss and make it into a $4 per share loss so next year’s loss won’t look nearly so bad.

Bottom line – the tip of the iceberg.

Derivative – a financial instrument that is derived with the idea of stealing your money.

Financial instrument – similar to a medical instrument used for small, dark places.

Off-balance-sheet financing – a technique used when you can’t find a reasonable place to put the other side of the entry.

Principles vs. rules – a choice of ways that accountants and companies can use accounting standards to confuse investors.

Smoothing – a technique of reversing reserves that shouldn’t have been recorded in the first place.

Stock options – a financial instrument where the company has the option of screwing the IRS or the investors.

Source: Accounting Ethics Blog


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