Accountants put the ‘fun’ in function

This time of year is full of Christmas parties, and the usual levels of mingling. After a while, small talk inevitably reaches the question ‘What do you do for a living?’, at which point not very many people are too excited to hear the answer accountant!

Very rarely do I get a ‘Wow that must be so interesting’ or a ‘You must have some great stories!’, which seems a little unfair to me, and got me thinking. I ended up asking my friends what came to mind when they heard the word ‘accountant’ and the answers were all on the same lines: boring, grey, old and suit.

Personally, I find this view of accountants quite outdated. True, a few years ago we might have been seen as a distant department in the company, only contactable by email and occasionally viewed at office functions. But now, we’ve evolved.

I argue that the archaic ‘boring’ accountants have now grow and developed into the Finance Function – a business partner.  Involved in most if not all key business decisions, and one of the larger departments in a company.

Accounting qualifications have evolved with us too – these now focus on management accounting and decision making as much as recording payroll or ledger. Most have particularly important examinable areas on the Finance Function as a business control. (The key to this is the OPPIC pneumonic for ethics you’ll have come across in your studies!)

I’d say the change in the nature of the role has in turn changed those who become accountants. For example I would describe some of my colleagues (who will remain unnamed) as wild haired, wild eyed, innovative individuals who in no way fit any stereotypes.  My accountant colleagues are bikers, fitness instructors, marathon runners, musicians, travellers and a myriad of other interesting people.  We have personality, who knew?

So come on fellow accountants, let’s all do our bit to remove the ‘old’ ‘boring’ and ‘grey’ stereotype. When you’re next ask what you do say it loud and proud – I’m an accountant and I love what I do!



Observations by Jamie Bacon ACMA.  Jamie is a Tutor and CIMA Course Manager for our Manchester Centre.  Having been with BPP for 8 years he specialises in Strategy and Finance Papers both Classroom and Online learning.

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