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Called to Account: Buffett, a longtime critic of nonstandard accounting metrics, called out by SEC for using them himself

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A, +0.29% has a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude about the use of non-GAAP metrics, the made-up accounting that companies use to enhance financial results.

“Wall Street analysts often play their part in this charade, too, parroting the phony, compensation-ignoring ‘earnings’ figures fed them by managements.”

Warren Buffett

Buffett has repeatedly complained about the use of non-GAAP metrics, the non-standard numbers calculated with a formula other than the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles required for all U.S. public companies. His most recent letter to shareholders whinged that it’s become “common for managers to tell their owners to ignore certain expense items that are all too real.

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