A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2015
Laws of Accounting (joke)

"The Four Laws of Accounting” (credited to Anonymous) were cited in The New Official Rules: Maxims for Muddling Through to the Twenty-First Century (1989) by Paul Dickson:

1. Trial balances don’t.
2. Working capital doesn’t.
3. Liquidity tends to run out.
4. Return on investments never will.


“Liquidity tends to run out” was replaced with “Bank reconciliations never do” by at least 2007. The original source of the “Laws of Accounting” remains unknown.


Google Books
The New Official Rules:
Maxims for Muddling Through to the Twenty-First Century

By Paul Dickson
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
1989
Pg. 13:
Accounting, The Four Laws of. (1) Trial balances don’t. (2) Working capital doesn’t. (3) Liquidity tends to run out. (4) Return on investments never will. (Anonymous.)

31 August 1989, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, “Knowing the rules makes living simple” by Mike Deupree, pg. 2A, col. 1:
COLLECTED by Paul Dickson under the title, “The New Official Rules, Maxims for Muddling Through to the 21st Century,” they include several that have to do with money, such as the four basic laws of accounting: “(1) Trial balances don’t; (2) working capital doesn’t; (3) liquidity tends to run out; and (4) return on investments never will.

Google Books
CMA: The Management Accounting Magazine
Volume 67, Issues 1-5
1993
Pg. 92:
The four laws of accounting:

. trial balances don’t
. working capital doesn’t
. liquidity tends to run out
. return on investments never will

jokesiteexample.com
Category: Accountant jokes
Date Added: 11/10/2007
Joke: Laws of Accounting1. Trial balances dont2. Bank reconciliations never do3. Working Capital does not4. Return on Investments never will.

The lighter side of accountancy and tax
Monday, November 10, 2008
Ten laws of Accounting

1.Trial balances don’t
2.Working Capital does not
3.Liquidity tends to run out
4.Return on investments never will
5. Bottom line is only the tip of the iceberg.
6. If you need accounting to prove it, it was probably not true in the first place
7. There is nothing more permanent than a temporary account
8. An accountant is a man hired to explain that you did not make the money you did
9. Accounting is economics without assumptions
10. Obviously accounting pays, otherwise there would be no accountants.

Facebook
CT Accounting Services
July 20, 2012 ·
The Four Immutable Laws of Accounting:

Trial balances don’t.
Bank reconciliations never do.
Working Capital doesn’t.
Return on Investments never will.

Twitter
Tonette Boley
‏@Randaeopg
Laws of Accounting. Trial balances don’t. Bank reconciliations never do. Working Capital does not. Return on Investments never will.
12:32 AM - 3 May 2013

Business Insider
25 Jokes That Only Accountants Will Find Funny
LIBBY KANE YOUR MONEY MAY. 20, 2014, 8:20 AM
(...)
25. Four Laws of Accounting:

1. Trial balances don’t.
2. Bank reconciliations never do.
3. Working capital does not.
4. Return on investments never will.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 • Permalink