Beans are a cheap commodity, so to count them is a rather silly thing to do. A "bean counter" is one who nitpicks over small things in order to save costs. It is a derogatory term for accountants, bankers, and anyone who holds a financial interest in an endeavor.
The Saturn ION's oil filter housing is cheap plastic because bean counters decided that a metal one was too expensive.
by kevinthenerd October 03, 2006