ACCOUNTING: Penny Foolish

Pittsburgh's Dravo Corp., which builds bridge foundations, dams and power plants, has long thought it a waste of time to balance its books down to the last penny. It thought that such meticulous accounting, when it involved estimates on large projects, was not accurate anyway. Five months ago, Dravo's bookkeepers were told to lop off all pennies in most of their accounts, and round their figures out to the nearest dollar. Last week Dravo reported the results: a 40% saving in accounting costs; a 9% reduction in the clerical force.

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