On the Obscurity of Accounting


So today, I sat in the fourth session of a tax seminar that Abbey and I signed up for as part of our intention to launch White Space with full integrity. Abbey had gone to the first three sessions, but owing to another commitment, had asked me to attend the fourth session on her behalf.

And that was how I found myself in a room with two dozen certified public accountants and bookkeepers, lost in a bewildering linguistic domain involving words such as “debit,” “credit,” “ledger,” “journal,” “memo entry,” and so on and so forth.

(That I find the language of accountancy bewildering is an embarrassment to my parents, both of whom are excellent accountants and former bankers. My mother can’t get over the fact that I still get confused between “debit” and “credit.”)

In fairness to myself, I managed to catch the drift of the lecture. Somewhat. The advantage of being a philosopher (or a student of philosophy) is that you can make out the general drift of things (the essence I suppose) divorced from their linguistic particulars (and here I betray my affection for Plato over Aristotle). I couldn’t quite write the journal or ledger entries during the exercises, but I was quick to grasp the implications of classing acquisitions as capital goods on the amortization of VAT input taxes.

Still, I was glad when the session was over. It’s always a relief to stop feeling like an idiot.

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