Red Means Bad

I was in a meeting with a volunteer organization I work with and they had let us see the financials from the previous few months. One lady piped up to say how excited she was to see $147,700 as the grand total. And that it was in red. Which means it’s really good and they wanted to see it so they highlighted it in red.

(pause while math/accounting types laugh and then I explain…)

When you have spreadsheets and accountants get a hold of them they usually have negative numbers – debts – in red. Ergo the expression ‘in the red’.

And usually they also put them in parenthesis as well. It’s not that they don’t want you to tell everybody keep it a secret SHHHHH! It’s that your organization is losing $147,700.






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