M is for Materiality

Halfway through the alphabet, it seemed a good time for a little poem to talk about one of the core accounting principles. Hope you’re learning some interesting things about Accounting.

Photo from Target, which keeps a sophisticated LIFO (Last-In-First-Out) inventory system for its wastebaskets, but likely does not depreciate them.

Materiality relates to a question of which
Only accountants would ask it
What value is served on an annual report
If you depreciate a wastebasket?

Round up the pennies when you print out the deck
Fewer numbers cause less drama
Round off to the thousands if the company’s so big
That your numbers have lots of commas

Make sure Not to miss an intangible though
An asset need not be flagrant
Some Invisible things still have value, you know
And go on the financial statements


Deferrals, accruals, what investors need know
Don’t leave out whatever’s important
You can check in your Hormgren or auditor’s guide
To choose what to keep from your assortment

While it may seem that GAAP asks for too much detail
Accountants too KISS, just like Cupid
We live by the basic Materiality idea
And Keep It Simple Stupid!


April 15 would also have been traditional Tax Filing Day in the U.S., although y’all have until May 17th, now, so have fun with that!


2 Replies to “M is for Materiality”

  1. Trying to make a poem to fit a specific theme on the fly is hard work, well done! And some pretty choice rhymes there!

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