International Accounting Day Fun Facts!

Several friends partying on International Accounting DayComing up next week, November 10th, is International Accounting Day.

In honor of this festive occasion, I thought I’d list some fun accounting facts that you may not know.  Enjoy, and remember that next Monday is the last day to get your International Accounting Day shopping done!

  • Did you know accountants have their own patron saint?  Saint Matthew the Evangelist is the patron saint of not just accountants, but also of tax collectors, bankers, civil servants, perfumers, and the city of Salerno, Italy.
  • The FBI is full of accountants!  Around 15% of the agents employed by the Bureau qualify as special agent accountants; in fact, 12 of the first 34 investigators hired by the FBI for their original force in 1908 were accountants.
  • Mick Jagger trained as an accountant before becoming a singer.
  • Bubble Gum was invented by an accountant at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company.
  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who present the Oscars, pay PricewaterhouseCoopers over $150,000 per year for auditing and tax return preparation.  PwC is also charged with safeguarding the ballots (a service they provide for practically no charge).
  • A Franciscan friar, Luca Pacioli, published the first book on double-entry accounting in 1494.  In this book, he warned that one “should not go to sleep at night until the debits equaled the credits.”
  • Alternative/punk rocker Gibby Haynes graduated with a degree in Accounting from Trinity University, and was even named Accounting Student of the Year.
  • NFL kicker Ray Wersching was a CPA during the off-season.
  • When Hernando Cortes traveled to the New World, he brought his accountant, Alonso de Avila, along.  He rewarded his accountant’s excellent service by making him the first mayor of Veracruz, in present-day Mexico.
  • Pottery maker Josiah Wedgewood is credited with bringing accounting into the Industrial Age.  After an economic downturn in 1772, he created a “price book of workmanship” that allowed him to discover the distinction between fixed and variable costs.

Have a safe and merry International Accounting Day!