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Pick a Number by Audra Ong, Roger Hussey

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Preface

Two accountants applied for the same job. The final interviews were with the chief executive officer (CEO). He asked the first candidate “What is three plus three?” The immediate answer was “six.” The same question was asked to the second candidate who looked the CEO in the eye and said, “What do you want the answer to be?” The second candidate got the job.

The message of this story is that the answer in accounting can depend on the rules and regulations that are used. Unfortunately, those rules are subject to change. Even more confusing is that some countries have different accounting rules. This means that the amount of profit or loss made by a company may depend on whether U.S. rules, UK rules, or those from another country are being ...

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