Going concern – a silly name

Going concern what a ludicrous expression accountants have invented. 

If they think a company will survive in the future they should just say it. But no they have gone out of their way to treat it as a concept give it a stupid name and hide behind the terminology to show how clever they are.

Instead of going concern what if they called it a ‘leaving worry’?  It would be just as understandable.

 It cannot be a farewell- as in going away. Where is it going? Or perhaps how is it going? As in ‘the going is good’? Going should be abandoned. Going is foolish. Why not viable? That is more reasonable.

Concerns don’t go anywhere. And is the ‘concern’ part an ongoing worry? But no, one has to guess that their concern is nothing to worry about. Nor is it related to the phrase ‘to whom it may concern.’ Concern here means organisation or enterprise. So for instance ‘viable organisation’ would be easier to understand, than going concern.

Going concern is obvious for an accountant but not for the ordinary person.

There is some doubt whether the term was even invented by an accountant. It seems that the first reference appeared as an advertisement a little over 200 years ago, when a bottle factory was put up for sale. [1] Did the owner put in the advert or did he ask his accountant to sell his factory. A mystery!  If they didn’t invent it, accountants have taken it over and created the monster for the auditing profession.

[1] Source Oxford English Dictionary, “1818 Caledonian Mercury 27 Apr. (advt.)  The Bottle Manufactory is a going concern which would be a great advantage to a purchaser, in the view of continuing the business”.

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