Dustin Wheeler

Dustin Wheeler
Dustin is a technology-driven CPA in Orem, Utah.

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An accountant's favorite number

Someone recently told me that an accountant’s favorite number is zero.  After spending approximately zero seconds pondering the statement, I asked why.  Her response was that when reconciling an account in QuickBooks, if the difference line is $0.00, it is reconciled correctly and her work is done!  I agree that it is a great feeling.  (Just say “no” to reconciliation discrepancies, which is what happens if the difference line is not zero.)

Come to think of it, zero is a solid number of choice for accountants.  I can think of a few of my own reasons:

  1. An accountant’s heaven is zero data entry nirvana (see Doug Sleeter’s comment in my post)
  2. An accountant can add, subtract, and multiply by the number zero without having to punch it into a calculator.
  3. Despite what you may have learned in elementary school, accountants are so good at math that they can divide by zero.  Well, maybe not… but they know what #DIV/0! means.
  4. The easiest numbers to account for have zero decimal places, with the value being exactly as displayed.
  5. Zero is a great price.  After all, an alternative acronym for CPA is “Cheapest Price Available.”
  6. A zero looks like a doughnut.  Accountants love doughnuts.
  7. Bring a box of doughnuts to an accountant’s office and, like magic, there will be zero left by the end of the day.

Finally, sometimes my blog posts serve absolutely zero purpose besides hopefully making you laugh and linking back to older posts where you can find some good information.

1 comment to An accountant’s favorite number

  • Seriously, when I started at what was Deloitte Haskins + Sells a little over 29 years ago, they taught us a specific way to foot a column of numbers. You entered the total as a negative number, then added the list. If you hit zero at the end you knew you had it right. I still do that today.

    8. A zero looks like a bagel. Accountants love bagels.

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