bean counter

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bean counter

1. A derogatory term used to describe someone who obsesses over trivial and insignificant expenditures in an attempt to save money. As soon as the staff learned they had to purchase their own office supplies, they knew it was a result of the finance department's new bean counter tightening the company's purse strings.
2. An accountant. We need to get a bean counter in here to analyze these expense reports and give us the big picture on our finances.
See also: bean, counter
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a bean counter

If you call someone a bean counter, you mean that they are only interested in how much money a business makes and spends. Note: In the following expressions, `bean' means money. The reason for our failure is that we have bean counters running our companies. The Japanese have engineering and manufacturing people. Medical bean counters don't think it is cost-effective to detect this type of cancer in the older age groups. Note: You can call this type of approach bean counting. If someone does this, you can say they count the beans. He is angry with the Hollywood establishment — the `bean-counting producers, the idiot studio heads and the lawyers.' Those who count the beans in our society have all the power, and will do for the foreseeable future. Note: These expressions usually show disapproval.
See also: bean, counter
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012


n. a statistician; an accountant. When the bean-counters get finished with the numbers, you won’t recognize them.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
They see us as scorekeepers, bean counters, and police.
Lombardi said she was thrilled to learn of the Bean Counter's latest honor.
It's also rumored that there will be a live taping of the couple during their cake tasting at the Bean Counter.
Bean Counter Coffee Bar & Bakery, Worcester: Telephone: (508) 754-3125; Bean Counter Coffee Bar & Bakery, Shrewsbury: Telephone (508) 754-0505; Black Diamond Coffee, Shrewsbury: (508) 842-3709.
Marcia Ciaccio of Holden, who helped open The Bean Counter in Shrewsbury, manages the Black Diamond.
In his book, 'Bean Counters - The Triumph of the Accountants and How they Broke Capitalism', Brooks levelled accusations against PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young (EY) and said that they have massive conflicts of interest because they sell consultancy services to the same companies whose accounts they are auditing.
But because the MoD don't talk to the bean counters in the UK Treasury, the sums have never been worked out.
However, I'm surprised that none of your usual bean counters have been in touch about the huge cost.
The decision, I imagine, is a cost-cutting move that probably came after bean counters crunched the paper's numbers and provided higher-ups with bulletproof evidence that commentary about the ancient gameand the space that holds itis no longer read widely enough by bubbes and zaydes from their terraces in Florida, and therefore should be snipped in favor of advertisements about, say, some totally hashtagable tech conference.
As a newspaper that understands and is supportive of this great city, please do all you can to ensure Network Rail are not allowed to introduce a cut-price cheap alternative that today's Network Rail bean counters can walk away from but which we Brummies will have to live with for decades.
Some bean counters in London probably thinks this all makes sense.
Are any pen-pushers, bean counters, supervisors, managers and non-jobs in the council going as well?
The campaign is significant because it is not the work of bean counters, but of a coalition of medical and consumer groups.
The story notes that Ammann tries to distance himself from the "bean counters," in part by driving his Corvette Z06 around GM's test track at a speed of up to 150 miles per hour.
However, he said penny-pinching bean counters at the department have dramatically reduced the amount being spent on advice.