Guy DuBois, First Absurdist Account, Dead at 76

WORCESTER, Mass.  Guy DuBois, the creative accountant who first brought the principles of Absurdism to the traditionally-staid realm of double-entry bookkeeping, died yesterday after a brief illness at the Fagerquist Senior Living Center here.  He was 76.

Tomb of the Unknown Accountant, Waukegan, Illinois


“Guy really opened up a lot of new vistas for CPAs who felt constrained by generally accepted accounting principles consistently applied,” said Norman Taussig of the National Museum of Accounting in Waukegan, Illinois.  “He’d add a zero to a column of numbers just for the hell of it,  or insert some ribald nonsense into a footnote–he was quite a card.”

The invention of double-entry bookkeeping in early-medieval Egypt is generally cited as the origin of accounting in the profession’s “creation myths,” according to CPA-historian Norbert Dwinnell.  “Double-entry bookkeeping was fine in its time,” says Dwinnell, “but Guy looked at the crazy world around him and said ‘Why not triple or even quadruple-entry bookkeeping?’  That’s the kind of visionary he was.”

Early Absurdist calculators.

“Absurdism” refers to a philosophy that examines the conflict between the human tendency to seek meaning in life and the inability to find the same in an irrational universe.  “At some point you have to abandon the search for meaning,” DuBois told a plenary session of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants at their 2015 annual convention.  “I looked for years, and the closest I came to finding it was a rest stop along Interstate I-70, near Concordia, Missouri, which is just absurd.”

DuBois is perhaps best known for his audit of Megatron Diversified in 2005, which resulted in the collapse of the largest energy conglomerate in America.  “I couldn’t get the debits and credits to match,” he said in subsequent testimony to Congress.  “My solar-powered calculator was on the fritz, and quite frankly, Mr. Chairman, my parrot admires your armpit.”

In lieu of flowers, family members request that you hop on one leg and make a noise like your favorite animal.

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Fauxbituaries.”

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