The New, New Math
Since the Securities Exchange Commission's new Reg S D rules are putting an end to so-called pro-forma accounting, those ever-creative unaccountable accounts started peddling their high-priced consulting services elsewhere. We got hold of some of Arthur Andersen's secret marketing documents before they hit the shredder that show creative accounting has spread from the boardrooms of New York and Silicon Valley to other markets...
"We pioneered Wind Chill factor as the first brand extension for creative accounting back in the 1970s," boasts Seth "Nimbo" Stratus, chief of Andersen's Weather Advisory practice. "I mean, we all know it can get cold in the North East, but 5 degrees just doesn't sound that bad. And if you're out there in the snow in Gucci loafers and a fancy cashmere sweater, well, it does feel like -15. So we came up with the notion of Wind Chill factor so that you could adjust the temparature to how cold you thought it should be." Similarly, Andersen went on to develop the more recent Humidex scale, customized as a way to accentuate the oppressive heat in New York city summers. "Frankly, when it's 85 degrees and you start complaining you sound like a wimp," Stratus said. "But when you say it's 105 with the humidex Scale, well, that sounds a lot hotter."
Stratus went on: "These weather reporting techniques were based on tried-and-true accounting practices and fully comply with the GAFF or Generally Accepted Fudge Factors," Seth said. Unfortunately, Andersen had now way to monetize pro-forma weather forecasting. "But now we're taking the mind-share we've developed in pro-forma weather to expand our wallet-share in what we call new 'lifestyle accounting' markets.
Every construction crew knows the basics here: lowball the bid and make it up in cost overruns. But few construction contractors have the accounting system to support all the add-ons and markups that are charged back to the client. Sometimes saying "it's in the building code," just won't cut it. And that pesky customer who asks for paperwork creates a lot of hassles. So Andersen created a pro-forma budgeting and sales accounting system guaranteed to generate the necessary profit margins. You just type in the desired expansion factor, print an Arthur Andersen certified invoice and watch the blood drain from the customer's face. Used by defence contractors and software consultants for years. Includes free $475-hammer invoice.
Certified Mulligan Insurance
Golf has always been a gentleman's game except when you slice the ball so badly it smashes the pro shop window and you throw your driver into the water hazard. In fact, in regulation play, that's a two-stroke penalty. Andersen now enables casual duffers to pre-purchase Mulligan insurance for a flat rate based on handicap. "We felt that if executives could buy Director and Officer insurance (DNO) to protect them from lawsuits, then why not protect the little guy from golf blunders?" said Stratus. For Arthur Andersen, this is turning into a big revenue generator. "Scott McNealy, Jack Welch, Lou Gerstner, Tedd Waitt, all these hot-shot golfing executives are looking for something to brag about these days and it's not going to be their stock price."
Optimally Adjusted W-2 Salary
Maybe your bosses don't know your true potential and you earn a measley salary. Or maybe you're still flipping burgers while scheming to get your first million. But next time you want to impress someone at your high-school reunion, you can use an Arthur Andersen Optimally Adjusted W-2 Form to show your real worth. Or at least what you think it should be. Great for impressing dates and negotiationg your next salary. How did you think Michael Capellas got such a big salary at WorldCom?
Sliding-Scale Male Virility Ruler
By any measure, there are a lot of big swinging dicks on Wall Street. So Andersen is providing a new slide-rule based system that shows the proof. Now you can rate yourself a 10 or even a 12. When you need to prove your manliness, just whip it out. The Andersen ruler, that is. A ten-inch Andersen-Certified Sliding Ruler is available for $95. The twelve-inch Andersen Certified Sliding Ruler is only $150. Also available with the Andersen-Certified "I-got-laid Logarathmic Expander" that lets you put up the big numbers like Gene Simmons and Magic Johnson even if you can't get a date. Why risk actual contact with others, when Andersen can certify your studliness for you?
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All contents fictional and satirical.