Creative accountants are granted a little poetic licence

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The Independent Culture

Accountants of the world: rip up your balance sheets and throw out your pinstripe suits - the future is in verse, not numbers.

Accountants of the world: rip up your balance sheets and throw out your pinstripe suits - the future is in verse, not numbers.

In a move that gives a whole new meaning to creative accounting, the first anthology of poetry by accountants is to be published this summer after being compiled by two British academics.

The accountants, shackled by a popular image as faceless technocrats more interested in algorithms and budgetary constraints than the inner-being, are pitching their poetry book as part of a renaissance among number crunchers. The anthology consists of more than 100 poems, and the compilers say it will reveal the artistic side to a profession whose creative efforts are usually limited to the tax return and expenses.

Dr Ken McPhail, the lecturer in accounting at Glasgow University who has jointly prepared the work, said there was an increasing movement of accountants looking to express their softer side.

He said: "It is about accountants getting in touch with the emotional and ethical aspects of their work and putting that in the arena of the wider public audience. We are trying to generate a greater awareness in the profession of the impact that the figures they produce have in the real world."

The book, which has the working title Poetic Accountancy, has been offered to publishers and its backers are negotiating with an American firm about a launch in July. It includes contributors from Britain, Ireland, Australia and North America.

Some of the titles to be included hint at a sceptical view of the world of profit projections - "Requiem on Accountancy", "Paralysis Without Numbers" and, angriest contender, "The Hypocrisy of It All".

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