Accounting may not be fun, but it can be funny…

11 Mai

My translation class is over, I am all moved in, and things seem to start getting back to “normal” (at least for me… It is my husband’s birthday today but he won’t have any time to celebrate since he has until Monday to prepare 5 summer classes in 4 days…). I am anxiously awaiting our departure to France next week, it will be so wonderful to spend time with family and friends (and have a break from the daily interpreting calls/ drama)!

Now I wanted to share a “fou rire” (mot du bonjour for “laughing fit”) I had recently, while reading an excerpt from the book “Initiation à l’anglais comptable et à la comptabilité anglo-saxonne” by Michel Van der Yeught. Our last unit for the Commercial I class was on Accounting Principles, and I have to admit that for me, this was the hardest to internalize with all of the different accounting systems (US/ UK/ France and now we can happily embrace the International Financial Reporting Standards) and the driest topic. I mean, nothing is fun about accounting, so what could possibly be funny while studying it?

The above excerpt is explaining the different ways assets are analyzed in a P&L statement, and showing the differences between France, UK and the US. Translation of the highlighted sentence:

Americans follow their own logic and do the opposite

Fou rire à la Louis De funès et André Bourvil

Laughing out loud!! Such a typical statement coming from a French author, at a loss to explain why or how it is done differently in America.

Why use US measurements, which differ from English measurements, which have been abandoned for the much more widely-used and accurate metric system in most of the world (including Commonwealth countries such as Australia for example)?

Why measure temperature in Fahrenheit when most of the world uses Celsius degrees?

Why use a date system that starts with the month, then the day, followed by the year, when most of the world follows the logic DD/MM/YYYY or YYYY/MM/DD?

So glad Americans drive on the right side of the road like most of Europe (except the U.K.) does… There is a logic behind these differences, but like the author said it is right on point: “Americans follow their own logic”…

Sometimes it does feel like Americans do things a certain way just to be different, in accordance with the individualistic culture of the country. But then this is America, the country of freedom, so I just let them be and appreciate the differences for the opportunities they provide in my own line of work for example. They keep things… interesting, to say the least!

Wishing you all a wonderful, sunny week-end!

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