How To Win In A Fight: Accountant Style

Hello Dear Blogstalkers.

This past weekend, though a hoot and a half, was busy and exhausting and I am so glad to be back to BAU.  That is a throwback acronym to my Accounting days and means Business As Usual.  We accountants were often so very busy that we had no time whatsoever to use ALL THE WORDS and thus often shortened things to time-saving acronyms.

I still employ these acronyms a surprising amount in my current life.  They are very useful.  Just yesterday for example I was at the chocolate factory because I was running low on toffee when a bag of chocolate covered Swedish fish caught my eye.

Seriously, a literal chocolate factory.

Talk About Your Childhood Wishes.
So I called Ryan who was in the car because of how he doesn't like how I sing "Pure Imagination" to him in the aisles of the chocolate factory.

And I was all, "Hello darling, just calling because I've come across some FMCG* from the Northern regions of Europe and so I did a quick check on my CPP** before I attempted acquisition and unfortunately it's not up to snuff after all my QC*** testing so could I please see you in my offsite office immediately?"

*Fast Moving Consumer Goods
**Current Purchasing Power
***Quality Control

Which I think you'll agree sounds much more professional than "Ryan! They've started coating fish in chocolate and there is only one bag left and I only have three dollars and I have to spend that on toffee because I've already gnawed on it a little, so please scoop up all the change you can find in the car and get in here STAT!"

The woman behind the counter was even like, "You young kids and your financial mumbo jumbo these days!", obviously very impressed.  And I was like, "Yes I'm very good at finances.", as Ryan came ambling in with a roll of quarters which I had been keeping in the glove compartment for surprise crane machines but that I decided was also alright to spend on candy.

So I thought I would share with all of you a brief list of other helpful acronyms.  So that, amongst other things, you can go forth and win all of the arguments about everything because you sound so smart and knowledgeable.  You are welcome.

UITF - Urgent Issues Task Force.  While this is was originally a financial oversight team, it can also work in situations where the opinions of others are necessary to reinforce your point.


"Ryan my boo, my one and only love, though your opinions on things like whether or not we should acquire an Aqua Navigating Vehicle are always important to me, I assembled a UITF of some of most fair and equanimous persons we know and unfortunately at this point in our lives they all equivocally agree that we should really focus on keeping our feet on solid ground and our eyes pointed toward the future."

Paints a much more polished dialogue than:

"I just called my mom and all of my sisters and they totally agree with me that buying a boat right now is ridiculous.  Plus I know you just want a boat so you can pretend to be a pirate.  No eye patches for you landlubber."

VALS - Values, Attitudes and Lifestyles.  Used in marketing, this term is also very useful when expressing concerns to your spouse over the fact that you do not necessarily agree on an important decision.


"Sweetheart? Though I appreciate your input in any and all aesthetic decisions, I thought we agreed that an enormous bag of legumes was not in keeping with our dual decorating VALS."

Is so much better than:

"What the hell!?  I said no beanbag chairs in the living room! Come here so I can kick you!"

R&D - Research and Development.  Used in business practice to denote a group that works to create new products and ideas.  Comes in handy also when trying out new recipes.


"To answer your question about the somewhat pungent aroma permeating the air of all of the different stories of our home, it is the result of some R&D I was doing today for the tantalization of both your tastebuds and your eyeballs. This has only occurred because I never stop thinking about ways to please you."

Might get you more help cleaning exploded pig products out of the oven than:

"Oh shit! The Ham Pie! I was just taking a quick moment sit on the deck and google pictures of celebrity hairstyles that would look darling with my face shape and I must have forgotten to set a timer.  OH MY GOD it smells everywhere!  It even smells in the garage!"

PIPS - Paperless Item Processing Systems.  I use this to refer to my laptop/ipad.

Because shouting this down the stairs:

"Honey? I've somehow contracted a PIPS virus. What? No, PIPS. P-I-P-S.  No I don't think taking my bra off would help.  I don't think you're hearing me correctly.  Can you just come up here and lend me a hand?

Can sometimes at least be distracting to a husband when what you're really trying to get across is that you *might* have broken your computer.

So there's that.  I should mention that these are all HYPOTHETICAL arguments.  Except for the beanbag one.  That happened.

Now I must go shower...(after first making sure the blinds are in the bedroom are closed this time because I can not even tell you how many mornings have been punctuated by me walking naked as a jaybird out of the bathroom, seeing the open blinds and being all "OMG WTF LRG! CYA*!")

*Cover Your Ass (Another delightful accounting term)


  1. You made me laugh but you also made me remember a time when I worked in an office that was attached to a chocolate factory.

    It was a magical time. I was allowed to walk into the back room whenever I wanted and take whatever chocolate I wanted. I ate that stuff like it was candy!

    1. Oh man. I wish I had a chocolate factory attached to my office. Especially since that would mean I would have a chocolate factory in my house.

    2. Try to convince Ryan that you need a chocolate factory in your house. Maybe some company needs a little extra space for one of their machines or something and would pay you in chocolate for the rental space.

      If this works then please remember that I gave you this idea and share the chocolate. Thanks.

      (I just started a low carb diet today. I MAY be going slightly insane by lack of sugary deliciousness. After one day.)

    3. I started a low carb diet two weeks before my wedding. On the day before Thanksgiving. It lasted one day. Until I remembered that pies have carbs.

    4. I looked around the house today for something to eat. I discovered that I have everything I need to make 3 different kinds of cobblers, delicious garlic bread, pasta with sauce, and about 38,705 other carb-tastic things that I suddenly want more than any other food. Plus the birthday cake from my baby's 1st birthday on Saturday is sitting there on the counter. Mocking me.

      But at least I can eat all the bacon I want. (I keep repeating this in my head. It's....working?)

    5. Also gas station hot dogs with no bun and mustard. You're also allowed to cry yourself to sleep on this diet.

  2. Renee D.8/06/2013

    Chocolate covered swedish fish for real?!?! I so want some! I do not think I have ever seen those around here. I am not a huge chocolate fan (which is probably why I lost weight while managing a Godiva store for 4 years) but love chocolate covered yummies! Will have to look for those. Oh, as always you make me laugh and smile :) Thank you for my afternoon pick me up!

    1. I know right!? I had never seen those before and I LOVE both chocolate and swedish fish so I had to jump on the opportunity obviously. I could NEVER manage a chocolate store. Unless they just hired me to manage it right into the ground by eating all of the product.

    2. Omg its not just me I was an assistant manager at Godiva, loved the chocolate but I lost a ton of weight while working there. My manager also lost a bunch of weight and we thought it was odd.

  3. I work in the legal field and we use CYA also. A LOT. Like ALL THE TIME. C'ing our A is a HUGE priority around here.

    1. I think that was my favorite acronym when I worked in an office. With accounting it just meant completing all of the necessary paper trails and due diligence and such but it really works in a number of situations.

      I'm currently for example, trying to find a maternity bathing suit that C's my A. It's been a rough go.

  4. When I worked in insurance I swear CYA/CM(y)A was used in every other sentence.

    1. Sometimes I even shout it to Ryan when we are taking a walk and we come to rotating sprinklers that hit the sidewalk approximately every three seconds. "I'm going in! CMA!"

  5. Anonymous8/06/2013

    Does Willie Wonka not accept credit?

    1. I really don't know. I had just run in with literally three dollar bills to grab a $2.50 bag of toffee and run back out. I feel like me bringing a credit card to that place would be full of danger and bankruptcy.

  6. Ay yes, this takes me back. When I worked in public accounting, we had CYA files. Even the partners would be all like, "put this in your CYA file." And I'd walk away giggling.

    1. Anonymous8/12/2013

      It was a partner at the firm I worked for that first explained to me what CYA meant. That was awkward, to say the least. What can I say? It was my second week as an intern!

  7. Please let me know when this chocolate factory of yours (yes, it's very existence is for your personal pleasure) starts making chocolate covered potato chips. I'll not only bring all my change, but actual dollar bills to obtain these inevitable future FMCG's.
    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    (Just Another Adoring Fan)

  8. In my very important work day in corporate America (of which I'm about to be hired full time!), we use acronyms All. the. time.

    There is a group of people we refer to as OBF which obviously means, Out by Four. They are also sometimes referred to as IBT which obviously means In by Ten.

    Then there is the hourly assignment of the WPE, which could stand for none other than worst person ever...basically whoever says something snarky to the boss once the previous WPE's hour is up first.

    We are obviously very busy and important. Right?

  9. Anonymous8/06/2013

    Problems arise when your husband is ALSO an accountant, and also quite skilled at seeing through ones attempts at acquiring delicious chocolate coated items.

    (This is also a problem because the NQ* in one household is ridiculous)

    *Nerd Quotient

  10. OMG Lauren, I love you so much. You are so clever and hilarious. I may name my firstborn after you.

  11. Being an accountant in the UK I didn't recognise some of the acroymns but I wholeheartedly agree. I work in Government as an Accountant (honest, I don't make the worst money decisions you hear about in the news, I help fix them) and the amount of acroymns used in Government let alone Government accounts is ridiculous. I keep recommending that a glossary of terms would be useful but no-one is listening - as per.

    I've also always wondered if you can get a virus on an iPad, I mean we do access the internet with it, and now you have answered the question and I am stressing.....

  12. At my old firm we had a new employee that used the workpaper reference "SALY," and we had no idea what she meant. Now it's one of my favorite....same as last year....useful in life, not just accounting.


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