360° Coverage : How money and magic overlap in Asia (The Funny Side)

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How money and magic overlap in Asia (The Funny Side)

Dec 20 2013, 12:12am CST | by

ALWAYS AGREE QUICKLY with wacky, annoying people who accost you with irritating ideas. It usually makes them go away faster.

ALWAYS AGREE QUICKLY with wacky, annoying people who accost you with irritating ideas. It usually makes them go away faster. But not always. An accountant friend said to me the other day that she...

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43 weeks ago

How money and magic overlap in Asia (The Funny Side)

Dec 20 2013, 12:12am CST | by

ALWAYS AGREE QUICKLY with wacky, annoying people who accost you with irritating ideas. It usually makes them go away faster.

ALWAYS AGREE QUICKLY with wacky, annoying people who accost you with irritating ideas. It usually makes them go away faster.

But not always. An accountant friend said to me the other day that she had realized that her profession was actually a religion. "Of course!" I replied. "Stands to reason. Wow, look at the time. Shouldn't you be heading off to do something really important right now?"

Unfortunately nothing was more important than delivering me three items of proof for her assertion. Number one: yoga has become a dominant cultural practice in the world (there are now more aficionados of this Indian discipline in the US than Methodists and Presbyterians put together), and modern yoga was developed by an accountant. "Lahiri Mahasaya maintained that there was no separation between his day job as an accountant and his work as a yogi," she said.

Well, of course. Both are about sitting on your bottom for long periods, dealing with annoying people and trying not to fall asleep.

Her second piece of evidence was in her bag: a book on the philosophy of accountancy which said that accounting rules attempt to grow ethical corporations in the same way that religious codes attempt to grow ethical communities. "Accounting is coming to be understood as 'making' the very things it pretends to describe," author James Aho wrote. This was getting too deep for me.

Her third piece of evidence: historians recently translated ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and discovered that the female deity Seshat is actually "the goddess of accountancy". Seshat wears a head piece with seven pointed studs and a leopard-skin dress. I seriously think this should be made compulsory uniform for all accountants, especially the guys.

After listening to this, I responded with the line which becomes second nature to all married men facing strong-minded women: "Yes, dear, I'm sure you're right."

But maybe she actually was. The following morning I was amazed to receive an email from a reader with a link to a news report about a "living god" in Nepal. Chanira Bajracharya, aged 15, had decided to retire from her role as the holy incarnation of a deity to rejoin normal humanity, it said. "I want to study accounting," she told reporters. The article added that she has been living a solitary life of study and contemplation and had no friends of her own age. Clearly, fate had prepared her for life as an accountant.

Money and magic overlap a lot in Asia. The guy who runs the Chinese funerary shop near my office, which sells paper replica products to burn ceremonially for your dead ancestors, has stocked up on paper iPads so that people can send Bitcoins to grandpa. I haven't been able to explain Bitcoins to myself, so have no hope of explaining it to grandpa's ghost.

Anyway, here's a beancounter joke. Q: "Did you hear about the accountant's prayer?" A: "Lord, help me be more relaxed about insignificant details, starting tomorrow at 10.53:16 a.m."

And here's a rather topical "accountants are boring" joke: Q: "What do undertakers do to liven up their Christmas office parties? A: Invite an accountant."

In the end, I told my accountant friend that I would accept that her profession was a religion if she would wear for me the same costume as Seshat wore in ancient Egypt: a seven-pointed crown and a leopard-skin dress. Fingers crossed.

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent flier. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)

IANS

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3 days ago

Fired PwC employee breached firm's ethics in Comcast complaints

Oct 13 2014 2:32pm CDT | Source: San Jose Business Journal

Even after Comcast Corp. issued a public apology last week to Conal O’Rourke, an ex-accountant who lost his job at one the nation’s big four accounting firms after a dispute with the company over his home cable services, PricewaterhouseCoopers has stood by the termination. PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed in a statement to the Silicon Valley Business Journal Monday that an internal investigation concluded that O’Rou ...
Source: San Jose Business Journal   Full article at: San Jose Business Journal
 

 
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10

4 days ago

Accountant training has ‘wrong focus’

Oct 12 2014 10:54pm CDT | Source: Business Day

Profession said to be ill-tuned to SA’s needs ...
Source: Business Day   Full article at: Business Day
 

 
Update
9

1 week ago

A Man Claims Comcast Called His Boss And Got Him Fired After He Complained About Their Service (CMCSA)

Oct 7 2014 6:22am CDT | Source: Business Insider

A man is claiming that Comcast contacted his employer and got him fired after he called to complain about the service.  The Consumerist reports that a man known as Conal complained to Comcast after he was billed for services he didn't actually have. After his complaint, the company promised him extra television channels as a make-good, but instead send him a variety of equipment that he didn't need.  C ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
Update
8

1 week ago

The 25 Best Colleges To Attend If You Want To Be An Accountant

Oct 3 2014 1:20pm CDT | Source: Business Insider

If you've always been good at math and like working with numbers, you might have a future in accounting. But your raw talent alone won't necessarily land you a job. It's important that you also get a good education from the right college. To help figure out the best schools for aspiring accountants, LinkedIn recently identified the most desirable companies for accounting professionals — those that both attract and retain employees — and then found which colleges and u ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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7

2 weeks ago

SalesforceVoice: Why Your Customer Service Agents Need To Have Empathy

Sep 29 2014 10:00am CDT | Source: Forbes Real Time

The following is an approved excerpt from Jeff Toister's "Service Failure," which reveals many surprising causes of poor customer service and provides proven solutions drawn from real examples and cutting-edge research.  Many employees struggle to empathize with customers because they don’t have a ...
Source: Forbes Real Time   Full article at: Forbes Real Time
 

 
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5

2 weeks ago

Mazurkiewicz honored by NYS accounting group

Sep 26 2014 1:04pm CDT | Source: Buffalo Business First

A partner in the tax advisory group at Dopkins & Co. LLP is being recognized by the New York State Society for Certified Public Accountants for his local volunteer work. Gerard Mazurkiewicz is the recipient of the 2014 Michael H. Urbach CPA Community Builders Award, NYSSCPA announced Friday. Mazurkiewicz was selected based on his deep involvement with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, an organization for whic ...
Source: Buffalo Business First   Full article at: Buffalo Business First
 

 
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3 weeks ago

Not just an accountant's angst

Sep 24 2014 10:55am CDT | Source: Business Standard

As independent India's 11th Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) from January 2008 to May 2013, Vinod Rai came under intense and vituperative attack from ruling party politicians. None of his predecessors had ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 
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3

3 weeks ago

Lynnwood accountant gets 41-month jail term for stealing from relatives

Sep 22 2014 7:59am CDT | Source: Seattle Business Journal

Lynnwood accountant Bruce Bergman, 59, was sentenced to 41 months in jail for stealing more than $1 million in relatives' tax payments. Between 2002 and 2011, Bergman took money from relatives who thought he would pay their IRS taxes with the money. Instead, Bergman kept their money and never paid the taxes due, leaving the couple with a tax bill of more than $1 million. According to the government, some of ...
Source: Seattle Business Journal   Full article at: Seattle Business Journal
 

 
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2

4 weeks ago

Scottish Independence: Devo Max Could Be the Best for Both Worlds

Sep 18 2014 2:00am CDT | Source: IBTimes UK

Saffery Champness' private wealth accountant and partner Ronnie Ludwig speaks to I ...
Source: IBTimes UK   Full article at: IBTimes UK
 

 
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1

4 weeks ago

Lettes: Doing business is tougher than World Bank suggests

Sep 16 2014 10:32am CDT | Source: Business Standard

The World Bank's Doing Business report, ranking India 179 out of 189 countries, underlines the fact that doing business in India is not easy. But the ranking could have been worse if the data had been more accurate, as any c ...
Source: Business Standard   Full article at: Business Standard
 

 

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The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) was established in 1986, initially to serve as an information bridge between India and its thriving diaspora in North America. Today it is a full-fledged, 24 by 7 agencies putting out the real-time news from India, South Asia and news of interest to this region around the world.

 

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