The 2016 Journal of Accountancy Jargon Bracket

April 5, 2016

Thanks to all who took part in the Journal of Accountancy’s inaugural Jargon Bracket. We took 16 overused words or phrases and let readers decide which one they’d like to hear less of during their next meeting or conference call. Voters advanced the choices through a bracket, the same way teams advance in March and early April in college basketball.

Some wondered why other phrases didn’t make the list—choices such as “robust” and “utilize.” Some wondered how “ideate”—our Michigan State—was eliminated in the first round. After three rounds of voting (Round 1, Round 2), we have a champion.

The winner is the phrase most likely to cause eye rolls from our readers. It beat worthy semifinalists “take it offline,” “deliverable,” and “leverage.”

And the winner is...
And the winner is...


Deep dive,” a noun that has nothing to do with that scuba weekend in the Florida Keys after busy season.

Its path to the title included close victories over “peel back the onion” (55–45) and “buy-in” (54–46).

In the semifinals, “deep dive” edged “take it offline” 54–46.

In the final, “deep dive” got 285 votes, beating out “deliverable” (265 votes in the final) and “leverage” (151 votes).

We won’t peel back the onion on why “deep dive” was our winner, but we’ll look ahead to next year, when every slate is clean and jargon terms everywhere will try to get buy-in about the best ways to survive and advance.

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