Are You An Accounting Nerd?

By William Brighenti
4/29/2010

There are varying degrees of accounting nerdiness. Some accounting nerds live normal lives, marry and, according to Kinsley, even propagate. Some never marry since everyone they ever dated lapsed into comas, never to be heard from again. Others are complete introverts and should never have left the convent or monastery. (The Father of Accounting, Luca Pacioli, was a monk. He never left the monastery. Hence, he was also the Father of Accounting Nerdiness.)

Do you know how much of an accounting nerd you are? Like most accounting nerds, you probably suffer from the mistaken belief that you are not an accounting nerd at all. However, unless the confidence interval of your belief of not being an accounting nerd possesses an alpha significance value of less than 5%, then how can you be so sure that you are not a nerd after all? Let’s face facts: chances are you don’t have a clue about how nerdy you really are. And it’s totally irrelevant how you perceive yourself; rather, what is relevant is how all of your friends, associates, clients, and family members laugh hysterically and derisively about you behind your back, ridiculing you as the nerdiest geek they ever met. But they won’t ever tell you because that would ruin their enjoyment.

Perhaps it’s time for you to assess objectively your accounting nerdiness. Below are a series of questions designed to measure just how much of an accounting nerd you are. Please answer all of these questions truthfully.

1. Do you examine your sales receipt before you leave the register at a store, adding it up in your mind to verify its accuracy, even though twenty people are behind you waiting in line and the store is closing?

2. After you have examined your sales receipt while at the register of a store and added up every item on the receipt to ensure its accuracy, do you then tick and vouch each item on the receipt to the actual goods in your carriage?

3. When you go out to lunch with others, when the check arrives, do you whip out your calculator and tally up each individual’s share to the penny, including tip and tax?

4. When your spouse borrows money from you, do you

  1. Charge her/him interest
  2. Compound the interest daily
  3. None of the above

5. Did your tax filing status influence the timing of your wedding date?

6. On your honeymoon, did you select a Caribbean resort offering a CPE course in order to deduct its cost?

7. On your office desk, do you have a picture of Spock from Star Trek?

8. Do you reconcile your personal savings account bank statement every month in QuickBooks, even though the only transaction is an interest posting?

9. Out in the field on audit assignments, when you discover a client error requiring an adjusting entry, do you scream “gotcha”, and dance around the table singing “We are the champions of the world”?

10. Do you eat lunch at your desk, dropping your food in your keyboard, and continue typing with ketchup and grease on your fingers?

If you answered no to all nine questions and selected 4c, you are not an accounting nerd; however, you probably will never pass the CPA exam and should change careers before you are fired.

If you answered no to all nine questions but selected 4b, you are not an accounting nerd but you would be advised never to marry.

If you answered yes to at least five questions, and did not select 4c, you are bi-nerd and could swing either way.

If you answered yes to all nine questions and selected 4b, you are a true accounting nerd destined to be a partner at a public accounting firm as long as you do not enter a religious order in order to avoid taxes on your wages and obtain a non-taxable living allowance.