IDIOM CONNECTION

Lesson 51

Accounting Idioms

Introduction

Do you ever use the services of an accountant? For what?

Reading

The small company has been in the red for several years and the situation is becoming serious. The company is saddled with debt and the chance of getting back in the black seems impossible. They have invited a group of bean counters from outside the company to go over the books. One problem is that the company does not really know how to keep the books. The only solution to their financial problems seems to be for the company to ask the bank to write off some of their loans. They can then close the books for the year and find an outside accounting firm to help them manage their business better.

Reading Questions

Answer the following questions. The answers can easily be found in the reading above.

1. Is the small company in the red?

2. Is the company saddled with debt?

3. Is there a good chance for them to get back in the black?

4. Were some bean counters invited to the company?

5. Will the bean counters go over the books?

6. Can the company keep the books well?

7. Will the company ask the bank to write off some of their loans?

8. Can the company then close the books and find an outside accounting firm to help manage the business?

Making Connections and Idiom Meanings

Some of the idioms have another meaning or are connected to another meaning. Use this information to help you choose the correct meaning for each of the underlined idioms:

1. Red ink is often used to show debt or losses on financial balance sheets. What does in the red mean in the following sentence?

The small bank is in the red.
a)    making much money
b)    not making money
c)    going to stop business soon

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. A saddle is a leather seat that you put on the back of a horse. To saddle someone with something means to burden someone with something. What does to be saddled with debt mean in the following sentence?

The man has been saddled with debt since he lost his job.
a)    finished with his debt
b)    burdened with debt
c)    in a very good financial situation

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. Black ink is often used to show a profit on financial balance sheets. What does in the black mean in the following sentence?

The small business has been in the black since it opened.
a)    making money
b)    not making money
c)    unknown by many people

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. If you count all of the beans somewhere, then you are looking at very small details of something. What does a bean counter mean in the following sentence?

The small company must hire a new bean counter.
a)    accountant
b)    receptionist
c)    salesperson

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. It is almost the end of the year and we have to go over the books in our company.
a)    begin to record the accounting information for
b)    check the accounting records of
c)    prepare for the new year in

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The woman has been keeping the books in her company for many years.
a)    keeping written financial records
b)    reading much financial information
c)    working very hard

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The company has no money and the bank will probably have to write off their loan.
a)    increase their loan
b)    cancel their loan
c)    discuss their loan

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. We closed the books for one year and we will now begin the next year.
a)    opened the accounting books
b)    ended the accounting period
c)    started the accounting records for next year

Your answer is: ___  out of 1



Yes/No Questions

Answer the following questions with a yes or no answer and then explain your answer:

1. The small company is in the red again. Is the company having problems?
a)    Yes
b)    No

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The family is saddled with debt. Does the family have lots of money?
a)    Yes
b)    No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The ice cream company should be in the black soon. Should they be making money soon?
a)    Yes
b)    No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The young man wants to be a bean counter. Is he interested in money and numbers?
a)    Yes
b)    No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The accountant will go over the books soon. Will the accountant look at the financial records of the company?
a)    Yes
b)    No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The company will hire a new secretary to keep the books. Will the secretary deal with the accounting records?
a)    Yes
b)    No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The bank will write off the loan. Will the bank increase the amount of the loan?
a)   Yes
b)   No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The company will close the books soon. Will the company finish this accounting period soon?
a)   Yes
b)   No

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Grammar Focus

1. The company has no money and is always _______________ the red.
a)    on
b)    in
c)    into

Your answer:   ___  out of 1

2. The small store has been saddled ________________ debt for many years now.
a)    in
b)    over
c)    with

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

3. The business owner worked hard and the company is finally ____________________ the black.
a)    onto
b)    into
c)    in

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

4. The man is a very good ________________ counter.
a)    beans
b)    been
c)    bean

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

5. The woman asked her friend to go __________________ her books.
a)    under
b)    into
c)    over

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

6. The man knows how to keep the ____________________ in his company very well.
a)    book
b)    booked
c)    books

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

7. The company would like the bank to write __________________ the loan.
a)   over
b)   in
c)   off

Your answer is: ___  out of 1

8. The company is working hard to close ______________________ books for the year.
a)   the
b)   this
c)   those

Your answer is: ___  out of 1




Discussion Questions

Answer the following questions using the idioms from this section:

1. Do you know any companies that are in the red?

2. Have you ever worked for a company that was in the red?

3. Do you know anybody who is saddled with debt?

4. Have you ever been saddled with debt?

5. Is your personal budget usually in the black?

6. Do you know anyone whose personal budget is not in the black?

7. Would you like to be a bean counter?

8. Do you know anyone who is a bean counter?

9. Do you think that the president of a small company should regularly go over the books?

10. Would you like to go over the books in a company?

11. Do you know how to keep the books in a company?

12. If you had a company, who would keep the books?

13. Did you ever write off a personal loan to a friend?

14. Do you know any bank that wrote off a loan to someone?

15. When does a company usually close the books for the year?

16. Have you ever helped to close the books for a company?

Role Play

Student A: You own a small restaurant which is not doing well. You are saddled with debt and you are not making any money. You are talking with an accountant about this situation.

Student B: You are an accountant and you are going over the books of the small restaurant. You are advising them to close the business because you believe that it will be impossible for them to get back in the black.

Lesson 51