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Being an Accountant has its ups and downs.  There are a lot of good things about being an Accountant, and there are a lot of bad things about being an accountant.  Here, we will take a look at some of the false assumptions and stereotypes out there about the fabulous world of Accountancy.

 Accountants have to go to school for a long time and get certified

While I am an Accountant, and I would like to claim that this one is true, the fact is that Accountants are super good at basic math skills.  Some accountants have went to school and got their Bachelors or Masters in Accounting, however many accountants are also only good at making spreadsheets, keeping track of the Credits and Debits, and Googling answers to more complex issues.  It all depends on what type of accountant you want to be.  Many of those who get their Bachelors or Masters in Accounting go on to become CPA’s (Certified Public Accountants) and open their own firms dealing with accounting.

Accountants normally do not have any special skills or went to college to understand the full gambit of Accounting Laws and rules.  Basic accounting jobs exist and are very fulfilling and needed.

There are lots of other skills that Accountants put to good use that are often overlooked, such as professional writing and communication, Analytics, or turning the numbers into usable data to make improvements.  Accountants also have to be able to work under pressure to hit certain deadlines on time and presenting their findings to auditors and management teams.

All Accountants are Introverts or Boring

Sometimes there is truth to this stereotype, however it is not always the case.  Many people choose to be accountants because they can do their work quietly in the comfort of their own office or cubicle and the only things they have to worry about are hitting the deadlines on time.  To be a successful Accountant however, you would need to get up and get to know those people with whom your data is used.  What I mean by that is that you will have questions about certain transactions and to get those answers you will have to communicate effectively with others.  I would say there is about 50% of the time you are working alone, the other times you are working as a team to accomplish your task.

As for Accountants being boring, here is a list of famous accountants or people who studied Accountancy (source):

  • Chuck Liddell – MMA/UFC Fighter
  • Kenny G – Musician
  • Eddie Izzard – Comedian
  • D’Lo Brown – Professional Wrestler
  • Gibby Haynes – Musician
  • Bob Newhart – Comedian
  • Robert Plant – Musician
  • John Grisham – Author
  • Kevin Kennedy – Baseball Manager/TV Host
  • Mick Jagger – Musician
  • Arthur Blank – Businessman
  • J.P. Morgan – Financier

Accountants are Tax Experts

While many Accountants have branched out and specifically studied tax law and tax preparation, not all accountants have mastered this field.  Many Accountants choose to focus on the Audit side of Accounting or Finances, while others choose to buckle down and focus on taxes.  If you need help with your taxes, just don’t go to the first accountant you see and ask their advice.  I am sure they would be happy to help, but you would want to seek an accountant that specializes in taxes.  In Many states, CPA’s are also licensed to represent their clients in Tax court as well.

Accounting is a Mens Only Field

This is absolutely false.  In a lot of movies and in the media, Accountants are portrayed as male nerds with ties, glasses, and pocket protectors, while the opposite is true.  In my experience, most of the best accountants are women.  Their attention to detail and knack for getting to the bottom of all issues is something that must be engrained in their souls.  In fact, 62% of all accountants and Auditors are women.  So don’t believe the hype that Accounting is for Men only.

 

Accountants sit at a desk all day and crunch numbers

Eh, this one is hit or miss.  Depending on your position at the company, your workload could consist of purely spreadsheet work and data entry, or you would be a CFO and be in meetings all day with other management teams trying to implement new strategic goals throughout the company.  Other accountants would be responsible for Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable work and collecting payments and making bank deposits.  Point is, if you don’t want to sit at a desk all day and still want to be an accountant, you can make it happen.

Accounting has also become a more remote job than it has been in the past.  Many of the accounting positions out there are being hired for part time or even remote work.  If all you are doing is data entry or general book keeping work, there is a very good possibility that the job could be outsourced or have the ability to work in your pajamas.

 

Conclusion

Accounting is an amazing field of study for anyone who loves working with numbers of different kinds.  Accountants do not always fit the stereotypical media portrayal of nerds with calculators.  We turn numbers into usable data.  Good Accountants know how to organize and ensure that a company is running as efficiently as it can.  We can know a little or a lot about taxes and spreadsheets.  It all depends on what you want to specialize in.