Accountancy Can Be Cured

This came from the groaners listserv, but don’t blame me. Some of my best friends are accountants.

I am the parent of a child who became an accountant.

It all started innocently enough when Cecil (not his real name) gave up his dope habit and said he was thinking of “doing accountancy.”

I’d heard that dope smoking led to kids experimenting with stronger more dangerous things but I never thought that Cecil would take to accountancy. Like all parents I believed that it would never happen to me. My wife and I forbade him to take the course at school. We spoke to the Headmaster. Nothing helped.

In desperation we took him to a drug pusher. He tried to get Cecil into Mandrax and amphetamines. He even tried opium. It failed. By the time he went to university Cecil was a confirmed accountancy addict.

Nothing interested him anymore. At varsity he was supporting a 5 tut habit a week. When my wife died all he could talk about was the tax implications and estate duty.

In order to support his habit he took to auditing during his holidays. He would spend hours cross casting the telephone directory in order to improve his efficiency on the calculator.

Finally I gave up. Cecil wrote and passed his Board exam and was soon a partner in a firm of Chartered Accountants. He was eternally lost to humanity. There was nothing I could do.

It was then that I started Accountants Anonymous, a worldwide organization which has among its goals the early detection of possible accountants and, with careful training and rehabilitation, the eradication of this menace to society.


* Personality change: children who are dynamic, witty, exciting and adventurous become dull and boring. Apathy pervades their waking hours.

* They drink more tea.

* Money problems arise, caused by miserable salaries paid by accountancy firms to “articled clerks” (street jargon for accountancy dependants who are forced to work long periods before becoming eligible to join the Club).

* Look out for increased expenditure on pens, erasers and calculators.

* Monitor friends carefully: in particular, watch out for equally dull, lifeless and boring individuals clad in 3 piece pin-stripe suits with thinning material in the seat of the trousers.


“Tuts” The weekly orgiastic ritual “trip”

“Pass Rate” Never above 15% – tends to induce a cold sweat and hypertension at least twice a year.

“Gaap” (Afrikaans). What you do when in the company of an accountant.

“Bored Exam” The final test to check whether an individual is sufficiently boring and uninteresting to be called a CA. (If accountants pass this, there is no going back).

FACT: Gert Rademeyer was rescued from accountancy.


If you think your child is on the way to becoming an accountant, then rehabilitation is the only answer. With care and professional help accountants can be cured, detoxified and allowed to resume their rightful place in society. Try using drugs like cocaine, LSD or amphetamines – any drug which induces euphoria reminiscent to that felt before taking to accountancy will sometimes shock an accountancy addict into seeing the error of his ways.

Aversion techniques have been proved effective in tests on male subjects. Through auto-suggestion the patient learns to associate accountancy with having his willy cut off with an axe.

It is essential to detect accountancy addiction in its early stages and a calm and sympathetic discussion with your child could probably go a long way to curing him. Take him to a firm of auditors and let him see for himself the effects of accountancy. Never give up. Accountancy can be cured.

FACT: Not only hemophiliacs and alcoholics fall prey to accountancy.

Set aside all feelings of shame and disappointment you might experience when you learn that your child is doing accountancy.

Don’t be embarrassed to tell your friends and relatives about it. You’ll be surprised how many people admit to knowing someone who is an accountant.

FACT: Accountancy doesn’t just happen.


DO be prepared to listen to your child’s explanation about wanting to become an accountant.

DON’T fall asleep while he tries to explain.

DO point out the dangers of becoming an accountant.

DON’T cook up horror stories about accountants. Let him find out for himself. Arrange a visit to an accountant – even if it means having to go along yourself.

DO be understanding. Recovering from failing the Board exam could lead to months of misery and suffering but this in no way compares to the YEARS of misery and suffering you will experience if he PASSES.

DON’T threaten to knock his head off his shoulders.

DO encourage bad marks at school. This discourages accountancy pushers.

DO try to encourage conversation about non-accountancy subjects like the weather, sex or politics. Provoke arguments. Hit him with a meat cleaver. If he says “why did you do that?”, there’s hope. If, however, he says “that meat cleaver is being depreciated on a straight line basis to reduce its cost over its estimated useful life and maltreatment like you’ve just subjected it to is going to necessitate an adjustment in either the rate or the estimated useful life,” then sadly there’s no hope.

Warning: Accountancy can permanently damage your child’s brain.

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