Creative Accounting

Apple’s Accountants Are Apparently Insanely Great at Their Jobs

Braeburn Apples (flickr.com/deborahfitchett)

Apple is famously innovative on the product side, but what of the corporate accounting team? Not a discipline known for its “Think Different” ethos, right? Well, judging from this New York Times piece outlining in excruciating detail how the company reduces its tax liability, the accountants may be the most creative people on the payroll.

The numbers: Last year Apple reported $34.2 billion in profits and paid $3.3 billion in cash taxes globally, which works out to a tax rate around 9.8 percent. (Wal-Mart paid something more like 24 percent.) That stands out even among other technology companies on the S&P 500, who report something like a third less taxes than non-tech companies. Read More