Most small/medium businesses operate such that they minimize their tax burden by creative accounting. Seller’s discretionary earnings (SDE) is the amount of money that is a direct benefit to the current owner. This can include salary, profit, finance charges, automobile expenses, meals and entertainment, travel and any other amount that would not exist if the current owner was no longer in charge. On accountant prepared financial statements these SDE amounts can add up to a substantial sum of money, all for the benefit of the owner.