Archive for the ‘Humor and cartoons’ Category

[April 1, 2013 Special Edition]  Corporate leaders from across the country today gathered on Wall Street for the first ever display of business support for honest financial statements.

Ruta Crumwell led off with an emotional call for death to all who betray the public trust.

CFOs then marched en masse to a traders pit, sawed off their pinocchio length noses, and lit a bonfire visible at the SEC.

Richard Foldover, beloved leader of defunct Lehman Sisters and the featured speaker at the event, then spoke at length on the evil of Repo 105.

The evening ended with auditors wiping up with clean audit opinions.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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At first glance, this blog post appears to be fluff put forth to get a chuckle or laugh from you. There is a serious side to it, though.  Social media should be a subject of keen and intense interest for all financial professionals, be they out working or still at college.  Opinions, thoughts, ideas can go viral in this social media world.  Memes are one such channel for these opinions, thoughts and ideas.

In this blog post I exhibit a collection of memes on studying for tests.  Working professionals probably remember taking their own exams.  Current professors and students are now in crunch time just prior to final exams.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”  In 2012, many of us think of it as an image or video passed from one social media user to another.

The study of memes is important, because memes open a window into the popular culture.  Memes that spread quickly reveal what a large number of  people think or believe.

I am an accounting professor, and what students think is of interest to me.  I performed Google image searches on key words related to studying.  Google results are structured to reveal the most clicked on images first.  All images presented in this blog post are thought to be in the public domain.

Most of these memes convey what older generations have called gallows humor.  Those who are about to be hanged are somehow able to find humor in their situation.

A consistent theme running through the various memes is that studying is painful.


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Although officially called Thanksgiving Day in the USA, many call it Turkey Day. Ever wonder why?

I have many fond childhood memories of Thanksgiving in Iowa.  It was always spent with Mom’s side of the family.  Each year there was always a huge turkey and many pumpkin pies to eat.   There were so many pies, we kids were allowed to cut our own slices, as large as we wanted.  And Aunt Bessie’s whipped cream was the absolute best.

Thanksgiving feasts have changed quite a bit since then.  In America they are all standardized.  How so?  They all start at the same time–halftime.  And now we have space turkeys who go “Hubble, hubble, hubble.”

Ever wonder why a turkey is called a turkey?  Mignon Forgarty, the Grammar Girl, has the answer.  It turns out we should call it a Mexico.

One of my favorite TV shows was The Smothers Brothers.  Regular Jim Stafford always had a funny song for Thanksgiving.  Hope you enjoy.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Professors across the the country and around the world struggle with fighting student distraction in an age of BYOD (bring your own device).

In the following clip, a student goes retro in a very funny way.

I’m old enough to have been there and done that.

by David Albrecht

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Chanting CPA at the Emmys

The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom about some Cal Tech physicists.  Come on, if a sitcom about physicists can be so popular, then surely a show about about accountants can be more so.

As if to prove my point, The Big Bang Theory recently aired a skit about Ernst & Young accountants at the Emmy awards.

Here is a clip from the show that is destined to be the most higgly rated BBT show of the season.

The E&Y representative, John the human spreadsheet, blew out his clicking finger during a power point presentation?  Like that has never happened before.

Thanks to Barry Rice on AECM for the tip.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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A meme is an image or recording packaged in such a way as to communicate a message or capture the fancy of those who see/view/hear it.  It is communicated via the Internet.   Their explosive impact has come of age in today’s social media world.

A few minutes ago I received an e-mail from Auntie Bev, into which she had pasted several meme images.  One caught my eye, and I’ve since been able to determine that it’s a true viral phenomenon, posted to thousands of blogs and Facebook accounts.

I’m not sure about the message of this meme.  Perhaps it is that some cheaters are unstoppable.  Or, masterful cheating is admirable.  Perhaps the message is that because cheating is unstoppable, it’s OK to do it.

Using my screen capture utility, I have snipped the following image from another viral meme.  It delivers quite a different message.

I suppose the message for this one is that opportunistic cheating is everywhere.  Or, it might be that cheating is due to teacher carelessness.  Whatever, the meme is funny.  Darn kids.  If this one would only try to learn as much as he tries to cheat.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Usually I write about very serious topics:  financial reporting and auditing and how the government regulates them, accounting education, and social media usage in higher education and in financial services industries.

When I go off topic, however, I pass along something cool.  Very cool.

Today’s video is all that.  Starring Suzanne Senna as Brooke Alvarez, host of FactZone on the Onion News Network.  Alvarez interviews industry experts who opine that Facebook is a CIA initiative, on a FactZone video released on March 19, 2011.

Of course it is.


Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Hot, hot, hot.  In most of the USA, above average temperatures and below average rain have parched both the ground and the spirits of good citizens.  This is especially true for me.

Look at this, then tell me what you think.

For the past few weeks I’ve felt hot and tired.  My never ending condition of exhaustion comes from the fast pace of teaching summer classes at the U, and not yet being acclimated to the heat of South Carolina.  To compound matters, my old laptop died.  To my dismay, I discovered that my backups got messed up.  Consequently, I’m lost my archived e-mail from before June.

Look for a flood of blog posts in the near future.  I’ll clear out a backlog of partially written posts I’ve worked on during the past three weeks.  Then, I’ll turn to the Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association to be held in Washington DC, starting this coming weekend.  I expect I’ll have quite a bit to say about IFRS adoption, government regulation of financial reporting, and the fatally flawed audit model used in North America and Europe.  Then, I’ll be turning to social media usage.  Just for kicks, I’ll write a bit about some developments in higher education.

I’m glad to be back.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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Who has better footwork, Rita Hayworth or a world champion soccer player?  Probably Rita.

The following clip has nothing to do with accounting or soccer.  Ellen from Germany pieced together clips of a dancing Rita Hayworth with BeeGees disco classic:  Stayin Alive.  The reult is amazing.

Just wondering.  Does your accounting or social media firm do anything this cool?

Thanks to David Fordham (JMU) for the tip.

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

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When my second birthday arrived, accounting genes helped me realize my age had doubled in one year.

Age doubling seemed like a good idea at the time, because I had my drivers license on my fifth birthday (1 2 4 8 16).  Today, though, I’m 4,611,686,018,427,387,904.

Bob Jensen (AECMer and retired from Trinity U) doesn’t like to admit to it, but the last time his wife baked him a birthday cake, neighbors alerted the fire department (picture on right).

Despite breaking a few eggs along the way, it’s a happy day when an accountant can add another year to the ledger.  This post is dedicated to all accountants who have a birthday during 2012.

For other birthday sentiments, please read, “When a Boomer Accountant Has a Birthday.”

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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Kyle Dodwell is a young CPA at Brown, Smith Wallace, LLP.  I like him, a lot.  He’s active, engaged and upbeat, unlike his video persona in his series of video blogs.

His second installment has been released.  Here is the introduction from the BSW website:

As busy season winds down, Kyle was looking forward to using the frequent flier miles he received after opening a bank account for a nice trip. That’s until he received a 1099 in the mail requiring him to report the taxable value for these miles. Since 2002, the IRS has said that customer frequent flier miles aren’t taxable.

Suddenly this year, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, Citibank sent tax forms to customers that received airline miles as a reward for opening a checking or savings account. So, what’s up with the 1099? Watch what happens when Kyle calls the IRS.

Watch and enjoy.

Mike Bowlan (Marketing Director at Brown Smith Wallace) sends this along:

Kyle’s CPA Video Blog ventures into new territory next month in Vegas! [Association for Accounting Marketing's annual conference in Las Vegas June 10-13]  It will be Kyle’s biggest, boldest adventure yet!!

For those who missed his world premier video, here it is:

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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It is end of semester time across the country.  For a lucky few professors, finals ended early and tests/papers are already graded.  For the rest of us, pain awaits.

At this time of year, there are two types of professors.  The first type uses multiple choice questions on tests.  The grading process is easy:  take a pile of scantron sheets to the data center, leave them, go to coffee shop and read paper, return to data center to pick up summary sheet with each student’s grade.   They laugh at the second type of professor (of which I am a charter member).

The other type of professor wouldn’t be caught dead using multiple choice tests, because they believe multiple choice tests actually work against learning.  These professors have essay tests, problem tests, projects and term papers.  This is where the grading problem starts.

Students are tired by the end of a semester.  Occasionally one turns off his/her brain during week six.  However, by week 15, the din of flicking switches to the off position has reached a deafening crescendo.

In this blog  post, I’m pasting a few cartoons by Jorge Cham, Ph.D.  He has been drawing cartoons depicting the grad school experience for nearly two decades.  His cartoons are copyrighted, but may be used by bloggers if they provide attribution and a link back to his site.  His extensive archive of comics can be found at PhDComics.com.

The first cartoon I’m showing captures one aspect of grading–the assigning of partial credit.  The theory goes that surely a student who has sat in class after class has picked up something, so should be due some sort of partial credit for the partial understanding in his/her brain.  Right.

I don’t assign negative points, but there are times when I’ve been tempted.

The second cartoon shows the instructor’s frustration after grading many tests, all of which required assignment of partial credit.  The joy, the relief, of a good answer truly lifts the soul.  Several times I’ve graded my own answer sheet! After a while they all look the same.

The third and final cartoon shows the instructor’s mental pain when depression sets in.  You doubt this?  Don’t.

Jorge Cham, Ph.D., has a terrific sense of humor.  You can sign up for e-mail alerts that arrive every time he draws another cartoon.  You can also buy products, such as t-shirts, books and the PhD Movie.  http://phdcomics.com

Happy finals!

Debit and credit – - David Albrecht

Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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