Definition of bean counter in English:

Share this entry

bean counter


informal, derogatory
A person, typically an accountant or bureaucrat, perceived as placing excessive emphasis on controlling expenditure and budgets.
Example sentences
  • Enter the bean counter as Southwest's costs grow
  • A bean counter will say you should respond by cutting in other places, which usually means shifting the burden onto other people, especially your employees.
  • As a small business owner, you are not only the head honcho, but also the bean counter, chief salesman, IT boffin, tax specialist and marketing guru too.


bean counting

Example sentences
  • In these days of corporate bean counting and environmental awareness, main-stream car manufacturers very rarely make anything just for the sheer hell of it.
  • Although far from being infallible, the entire enterprise of citation index and impact factor is better than the alternative, straightforward bean counting.
  • The publish-or-perish emphasis for some, but not all, institutions has deteriorated into bean counting, and the race is on to publish en masse.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bean count·er

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.