I was driving home from Dunkin’ Donuts earlier today, part of my Sunday morning routine, and I noticed the car in front of me had a customized license plate.
The license plate was “BDE”.
I’m sure it was probably someone’s initials, but the first thought that came to my mind was “Bad Debt Expense”, an accounting phrase used to capture the cost associated with customers not paying a bill which they owed.
Perhaps it was fresh in my mind because we had just covered the topic in class this past week. But then I remembered that earlier in the week we had been talking about an account category known as Property, Plant, and Equipment, or simply PP&E.
I’ve been using that phrase for over 30 years, but in the middle of the lecture it struck me that my students were probably quite familiar with the initials PPE, thanks to COVID-19, making it a popular abbreviation for Personal Protective Equipment.
So then I started to run through all the abbreviations I use in Accounting, and I realized many of them have another meaning outside the world of Accounting:
|Abbreviation||Accounting Meaning||Real World Meaning|
|AP||Accounts Payable||Associated Press|
|AR||Accounts Receivable||Augmented Reality|
|ADA||Allowance for Doubtful Accounts||American With Disabilities Act
American Dental Association
|PPE||Property, Plant, and Equipment||Personal Protective Equipment|
|BP||Bonds Payable||British Petroleum|
|STI||Short Term Investments||Sexually Transmitted Infection|
|AD||Accumulated Depreciation||Athletic Director
|BDE||Bad Debt Expense||Best Day Ever|
|EBITDA||Earnings before Interest, Taxes,
Depreciation, and Amortization
|Everything Borden Is Teaching
No wonder it takes students a while to get the hang of this stuff.
I’ll end this here because I’ve got to take care of some AP so they don’t become BDE.
When I’m finished with that I’ll check on my STI…
*Image from MBS Accountants