The first thing that people ask accountants is, “Can you help me with my tax returns?” Accountancy is always connected to tax returns or simple computations. Some see accountants as either “rich nerds” or “lone wolves.” These perceptions are damaging, and they can sway a student from pursuing a noble profession.
For students or career-switchers who want to take the “path least taken” (accountancy), let’s sift through the facts and separate them from fiction.
Before, accountants were classified as pencil-pushers or white-collared workers. Today, accountants enjoy the same flexibility as telecommuters. They can work from home or anywhere in the world. Technology played a huge part in making this possible, and industries such as accounting service providers have broken the stereotype. Office-based work is now a thing of the past.
A Soon-to-be-extinct Career
Given the advancements in technology, accounting software, and mobile applications have made it easier for businesses to manage their finances. Specific jobs are being automated, and accountants might be next on the chopping block.
This isn’t true because only certain aspects of accountancy are using learning algorithms for automation. Yes, technology is reshaping the workforce, but it’s just shifting some roles to machine learning. Human touch is still essential because it’s a form of “double redundancy” to ensure smoother business and financial transactions.
Only Knows Debit & Credit
One of the most common misconceptions of being an accountant is that they only know “debit” and “credit.” Accountants are good communicators because they can easily translate business jargon into lay man’s terms. Since they’re often meeting people from all walks of life, accountants need to have excellent communication skills to get their points across.
Business owners also need their help analyzing data and translate these as written reports. They are critical vital players who work beyond balance sheets.
It’s Only Suited for the Suits
In the past, accountants were mostly men, and women who wanted to pursue an accounting career were frowned upon. Accountancy was even coined as an exclusive gent’s club for the elite.
However, women like Larzette Hale-Wilson and Jennie May Palen fought for women’s rights to be accountants. Women today have equal footing with their male counterparts in the accounting field, thanks to these female visionaries. Female accountants also suit today.
Accountancy Is a Linear Career
The biggest myth about accountancy is that it’s a linear career. Most people think that it’s all about crunching numbers, balancing spreadsheets, and making payroll. However, accountants can wear different hats and specialize in various fields if they want to.
They can work in the field of education as teachers or university professors. Some accountants pursue a career in law to specialize in managing businesses. Sales and marketing are other fields where they can apply their skills as accountants.
Another exciting field is forensic accounting. Forensic accountants specialize in fraud, large-scale tax evaders, and insider trading. They usually work with law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to catch these fraudsters.
A career in accountancy goes beyond crunching numbers, wearing expensive suits, working within the four corners of an office, and being dull and linear. Before believing in fiction, check the facts first. Long-standing career myths shouldn’t sway your passion.