August 21, 2018

Parkinson’s Law of Accounting

Parkinson’s law states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

You guys would know this from work, if you have a 100-hour budget on a job, it will take your team exactly 100 hours to complete (probably 110). Knowing full well of this anomaly, you’ll probably get a budget of 50 hours!

In a personal finance context, Parkinson’s law suggests that, “One’s personal expenses rise with the increase in income.” You’ve probably met clients earning $200,000 a year who are broke. Parkinson’s law is why.

For the computer nerds out there, “Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity.” The bigger your hard drive the more space you require (remember 200MB hard drives?) The same can be applied to bandwidth, the content on the internet has increased in line with bandwidth.

So where am I going with all this?

In my last article, I discussed the concept of QoT, the quantification of things and the democratization of business intelligence. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! Parkinson’s law of accounting:

“Management expectations rise as the speed and quality of business metrics improve.”

What does this mean for the accounting profession?

As accounting technology improves, clients will expect more data, that is both timely and accurate, presented in a meaningful manner for no extra cost. The good news is, we’re not going out of business anytime soon but, boy, are times going to change!

Related articles

Grant Thornton to Close Greensboro, NC Office

We’ve received multiple tips informing us that Grant Thornton’s Greensboro, North Carolina office will be closing in the spring after busy season has ended.

Greensboro has approximately 35 professionals in all three service lines although our sources indicate that many tax professionals were laid off late last year in anticipation of the closure. Greensboro currently functions as a satellite of the Charlotte office which houses the support professionals.

What’s not known at this time is whether the office will become virtual, similar to the setup that Ernst & Young arranged for its Greensboro office other whether it will be an outright closure.

We contacted Grant Thornton for comment and had not heard back from them at the time of this posting.

If you’re familiar with the situation in Greensboro and have more information, get in touch with us. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

Dita von Teese’s Accountant Understands Why She Has to Spend $70k on a Dress

Last month we mentioned that while we enjoy her genius, we wouldn’t want to be of Lady Gaga’s accountant. She definitely falls into the “clients that make you want to jump out the window” bucket.

Likewise, if we had our choice of clients, we wouldn’t be chasing down burlesque artists that marry rock stars, in this case, Dita von Teese. Not because we don’t enjoy burlesque artists and the rock stars they love, quite the contrary actually; it’s just seems that the headaches associated with such a client would be more trouble than it would be worth.


Surprisingly, DVT takes money quite seriously and is not as slipshod as you might expect.

I refuse to go to the hair salon and have a $300 hair dye job – I do it myself at home with an $8 dye kit… I’ve always been a saver…I saved at least 15[%] of everything I earned and invested it in mutual funds

Jesus, talk about sensible. However there is this glimmer:

I think nothing of spending $8,000 on a corset for my show. My accountant once said he couldn’t understand how I spent $70,000 on a single dress but then he came to my show and saw how lavish it was and told me afterwards that now he understood.

Those are work related expenses though; count us unimpressed. We’re expecting Gaga-esque negligent wasting of money. Like seriously getting carried away.

I bought [a Jaguar] one night on eBay for $35,000 when I’d had too much champagne.

Yes. That’s the best she can offer. Plus, there’s this:

I pay my [credit card] balances off every month.”

More sensible behavior. Doesn’t sound like she’d be that bad of a client at all. Hell, she probably even keeps all her receipts. L. Gaga’s accountant might consider asking her for some advice.

Dita von Teese: ‘I spent $70,000 on a single dress for my show’ [Telegraph]