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What would be your concise definition?

I have a sneaking affection for the definition given in 'Hubert hunts his hum' by Sue Lock
'An accountant is someone who adds up a lot of numbers and takes them away again to show you how much money you haven't got'. (Quoting from memory)
However, given the variety of things that accountants do, I think your quest for an informative concise definition is likely to be unfulfilled.
Mike Page
I'm not sure that's the right word. I don't like ... judge. I'm giving up fear anf guilt along with judgement.

Difficult, though, if you (i don't mean you) are faced with someone's relentlessly destructive and costly behavior every day.

If I find myself in such a position I try to discover my own part in it.
Oh yes, I don't worry about when it happens, except ... matter how bad a day/week/year/life they seem to be having.

People seem to need a lot of reassurance.

People are plagued with unnecessary fear. I cannot leave myself out.
It wasn't a rigmarole to me; just me being myself. I want to be helpful more than anything else and my ultimate purpose is peace.

(We always called it "rigamarole".)

Never heard it said that way. I'll look it up one day.
Some day you'll have to tell me about your life-changing experience...

Perhaps not a suitable topic for this forum, unless we can get a thread going about the language of mysticism. I enjoy the gendo quotations that appear periodically.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Bookkeepers record. Auditors verify. Not all accountants give advice on ... me that you have little knowledge of what accountants do.

OK, and there's cost and management accounting to consider, too, which I hadn't thought of. Maybe this is a no-go area for angels,

Hey, I never noticed your halo! Does it go under or over the PoP?

but the SOD
they might remove the problem). For some reason the Macq. doesn't ring as true to us non-accountants as it does ... to put "financial" instead of "economic" in the Macq def, and maybe remove some of what seems extraneous to me?

I don't think a complete concise definition is possible, given the wide range of activities conducted these days by those who are accountants, of one sort or another.
The OED definitions of accounting, accountancy and bookkeeping are quite clear but I think its rather old-fashioned definition of accountant - one who professionally makes up or takes charge of accounts - is as unsatisfactory as the others cited in this thread. Perhaps this reflects the lexicographers' difficulty in grappling with the range of possibilities.

For comparison, here is the OED definition of lawyer:

One versed in the law; a member of the legal profession, one whose business it is to conduct suits in the courts, or to advise clients, in the widest sense embracing every branch of the profession, though in colloquial use often limited to attorneys and solicitors

Is accountancy a profession?

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
And what, precisely, does that mean?

Ah, I see you must be an accountant.

I usually describe myself as a recovering accountant these days.

Sorry. They have a reputation,
whether deserved or not, for concentrating so hard on correctness of form that the real goal is not achieved. Present company excepted.

I'm not sure who is here at present but you should perhaps be aware that I am not the only accountant who posts here. AFAIK none of us have written dictionary definitions but some of us can turn our hands to poetry on occasion. Even if you were to meet us in RL I bet you would never guess that we are accountants.
and fails I don't agree. Accountants deal with a great deal of non-financial information.

But surely only as it applies to accounts, reporting, and financial questions? And if you look at what economic means, it is clearly the big picture, while my accountant helps me with my personal financial situation or that of my company.

Accounting is viewed by some as a branch of economics. When you look at what is involved in corporate financial reporting these days, you can see that accountants need to have a grasp of the big picture too.
What would be your concise definition?

As I've said in another post, I don't think a concise definition is possible.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
they might remove the problem). For some reason the Macq. ... and maybe remove some of what seems extraneous to me?

I don't think a complete concise definition is possible, given the wide range of activities conducted these days by those who are accountants, of one sort or another.

But surely they all relate to finance? And not economics?
The OED definitions of accounting, accountancy and bookkeeping are quite clear but I think its rather old-fashioned definition of accountant ... every branch of the profession, though in colloquial use often limited to attorneys and solicitors Is accountancy a profession?

The accountants like to think so. They do have similar professional requirements in terms of education and familiarity with the rules.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Sorry. They have a reputation,

whether deserved or not, for concentrating so hard on correctness of=20 form that the real goal is not achieved. Present company excepted.

I'm not sure who is here at present but you should perhaps be aware tha=t=20 I am not the only ... occasion. Even if you were to meet us in RL I bet you would=20 never guess that we are accountants.

It's hard to know what you're really saying. I'm trying to read between=20 the lines and get that you would rather not have me guess you were an=20 accountant.
I don't expect particular accountants I meet to conform to the=20 stereotype I have of them; I have known some who were living examples of =

the type that is the butt of the accountant joke. I have known others=20 who played the guitar and were willing to jump out of areoplanes.

What is an actuary?
Someone who thought accountancy would be too exciting.
But surely only as it applies to accounts, reporting, and ... with my personal financial=20 situation or that of my company.

Accounting is viewed by some as a branch of economics.=20

As I guess you would have gathered, I find this misleading.
When you look at
what is involved in corporate financial reporting these days, you can=20 see that accountants need to have a grasp of the big picture too.

Yes, but my point is that the focus of their efforts is on the=20 preparation and verification of the corporate accounts and the control=20 of income and expenditure.
We need a definition that indicates what they do without necessarily=20 going into the fine detail; too much detail would be an example of a=20 stereotypical accountant running the show.
What would be your concise definition?

As I've said in another post, I don't think a concise definition is=20 possible.

That makes it really tough for the dictionary makers, huh?

Surely, given what you attest above, an attempt is possible. If poetry=20 is not beyond the accountant, conciseness should be achieveable too.=20 Otherwise you would seem to be backing up my argument that the defining=20 should be taken out of the hands of the accountants.
=20
Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Of course. From my sister, the Good Fairy.
izzy
I don't expect particular accountants I meet to conform to the stereotype I have of them; I have known some ... of the accountant joke. I have known others who played the guitar and were willing to jump out of areoplanes.

Damn! That *is* my stereotype for an accountant. Well, not always the guitar, but at least a ukelele.

Tony Cooper
Orlando, FL
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
In my capacity as a home brewer and baker, I've done a lot of zymurgy in my time; ...

So you've used a lot of (Latin) Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer's yeast and baker's yeast.
There is a Hebrew pun on that Latin phrase that translates as "hair of the dog that bit you". Spent brewer's yeast is an ancient remedy for a hangover.
The Hebrew pun is (using 3 for the letter aiyin with a G/K-sound) is: Sa3aR = hair + MinSHakh = bite + KeLeV = dog.
Saccharo Myces Cerevisiae

Compare Greek Cerberus, the 3-headed dog that guarded the entrance to Hades.
chow, I mean ciao,
Israel "izzy" Cohen
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