Shock And Awe: Accountants Don't Rite Gud

(h/t Tax Prof)

An accountant must have put this chart together. Astute readers will notice "intended" is spelled wrong but let's ignore that and get to the results, which very clearly demonstrate what any of us who work, breathe and/or live accounting already know: accountants don't rite gud. You're looking at GRE scores by major, and I have to say that though the writing score isn't at all surprising, it's sort of pathetic to see accounting hanging out there at the bottom like that. Anyone else get the sense we're embarrassing ourselves?

The AICPA has presumably addressed this by removing written communication from the FAR, AUD and REG sections of the CPA exam, presenting candidates in 2011 with just three written communication essays in BEC. If you guys can't figure that out and pass, we truly are doomed.

The results (via Discover Magazine):

Major Verbal Quant Writing
Philosophy 589 636 5.1
English 559 552 4.9
History 543 556 4.8
Art History 538 554 4.7
Religion 538 583 4.8
Physics 534 738 4.5
Anthropology 532 571 4.7
Foreign Language 529 573 4.6
Political Science 522 589 4.8
Economics 504 706 4.5
Math 502 733 4.4
Earth Science 495 637 4.4
Engineering, Materials 494 729 4.3
Biology 491 632 4.4
Art & Performance 489 571 4.3
Chemistry 487 682 4.4
Sociology 487 545 4.6
Education, Secondary 486 577 4.5
Engineering, Chemical 485 727 4.3
Architecture 477 614 4.3
Banking & Finance 476 709 4.3
Communications 470 533 4.5
Psychology 470 543 4.5
Computer Science 469 704 4.2
Engineering, Mechanical 467 723 4.2
Education, Higher 465 548 4.6
Agriculture 461 596 4.2
Engineering, Electrical 461 728 4.1
Engineering, Civil 457 702 4.2
Public Administration 452 513 4.3
Education, Elementary 443 527 4.3
Engineering, Industrial 440 710 4.1
Business Administration 439 562 4.2
Social Work 428 468 4.1
Accounting 415 595 3.9

That's why being in accounting media (see: my sweet deal at Going Concern) is such a rewarding gig: there's no damn competition. No matter how awful my own derelict dialect, I know for a fact (based on my own test scores, naturally) that I'm head, shoulders and  ahead of my audience when it comes to stringing words into a sentence. If I were writing for English majors, I'd get slaughtered every time I left a participle dangling at the end of each sentence. Instead, my sloppy sentences are barely read and it's more likely that my attitude will get skinned before my modifiers do.

If accounting is the language of business, what does this say about our business?

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Anonymous said...

Don't be so hard on accountants. I work with engineers with the same problem. A college edumacation is losing value faster than a fed reserve note. I dated an accountant for a couple of years. Spelling and grammer wasn't the main attraction. It was the double entries between the spreadsheets.

I <3 the little bastards.

I don't think "not riting gud" is a problem specific to accountants, we no longer value the English language in this country, nor remedial math skills nor really anything that involves any sort of brain power.

After all, smart sheep are harder to lie to.

chairmanben said...

Plenty of E&Y partners have quite time ahead to read up on fraudulated and pen the Repo 105 memoirs.

Anonymous said...

"Not riting gud" is definitely not a problem specific to accountants. My sister is an English teacher and had to proofread her school administrator's doctoral thesis because his spelling and grammar are so terrible. This is a man who is in charge of educating our children! The English language is not considered a valuable commodity anymore. Schools are allowing pre-K students to use computers instead of helping them learn to write and spell. There are entire websites devoted to auto-correct errors from texting. Our society should be ashamed.