It’s ACCRUAL world for Accountants
By Naseem Nolan
In a world full of assumptions and generalisations, stereotypes are prevalent, and no occupation is immune to its own fair share of unrealistic, albeit occasionally amusing stereotypes. Some professions tend to be painted with a darker shade of grey than others, accountancy being one of those. When one conjures up the image of an accountant, the classic stereotype presents us with a bleary-eyed, spreadsheet-obsessed male, who wears a suit as dull as his personality and crunches numbers for lunch.
This assumption, although perhaps applicable to a rare few, is entirely contrary to the reality of the accounting profession. So if you are considering a career in accountancy or you simply feel you have misjudged your friendly neighbourhood tax advisor, then take a look at some of the most prevalent misconceptions associated with the profession and take some of these points into ACCOUNT!
1. “Accountants are BOOORING”
A sweeping statement to say the least, with absolutely no evidence behind it. Accountants, shocking as it may seem, are human beings too, who, just like the rest of us nonnumerical folk, have lives, hobbies, and interests outside of their job. One could just as easily encounter a dull Cirque du Soleil performer as they could a dull accountant (perhaps a poor example but…). If you still require proof that accountants are anything but bland, here are two words to consider: MICK. JAGGER. (Surprisingly lesser known for his accounting studies than his music career).
2. “You can’t be an accountant without being a maths whizz.”
No, you do not need to be a modern-day Pythagoras. Being a mathematical genius is in no way a prerequisite to becoming successful in finance, in fact, accountancy is far more about problem-solving and analytical abilities than mathematics. The acquired skills in communication, analysis and problem solving that come with training in Accountancy are exceptionally valuable assets, transferable to any career path.
3. “Monotony with a side of excel spreadsheets is the order of the day”.
Contrary to popular belief, accounting is a varied and consistently evolving profession. Due to continuous advancements in technology, accountants can now focus more time on the many other aspects of the role such as financial advising, reporting, client meetings, project management, change and process improvements. Yes, excel will surely feature, but rest assured it will not be the focus of your day-to day.
4. “Accountants are going to be replaced by robots.”
No, the machines are not taking over and Arnold Schwarzenegger will not ‘’be back’’ to take over your financial reporting duties. Yes, technology is advancing, and certain accounting processes are automating but this simply means a shift, not an all-out extinction.
5. “Accounting is a boys’ club.”
Unfortunately, we cannot deny that accounting has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, however, the number of women studying accountancy on a world-wide scale is now closer to parity than ever before. According to a 2019 survey, almost 59% of those employed in legal and accountancy jobs in Ireland were female. It is important to acknowledge that women across all professions, finance included, are still faced with adversity in the form of gender pay gaps and underrepresentation in executive leadership roles (to name a few), but change is slowly but surely rearing its head.
That about sums it up!
And don’t forget, if you are looking for quality accountancy and finance staff, are considering a career in accounting or have simply been left hungry for more top-quality accountancy puns look no further than Celtic Careers.