Accountancy is more than just numbers

October 25, 2019 Categories: Career Articles by No comments yet

When she wasn’t riding her horse, being all enlightened or (allegedly) locking her hairdresser in a cage to keep her wig a secret, Russia’s Catherine the Great, born to an insolvent father, was being bat-shit generous towards her lovers once she’d conspired with one of them to throw her no-good husband Peter in the slammer so that she could place the crown atop that wig.

Titles, lands, palaces, people – was there no end to CTG’s generosity to keep her lovers sweet?

Sounds like her accountant knew their onions.

Wannabe accountants need to have a head for a whole lot more than numbers though. They need to know how the law works. They must be the one to demystify, provide counsel, and dole out tough love.

Then there’s the skills needed to handle those whose financial fortunes may be in danger of a downturn as well as dealing with life’s success stories – and all in a profession where discretion is key. 

Or you might find yourself caged like that Barber of Blabbermouth.

Accountancy is fun

Despite connotations to the contrary, working in accountancy is varied, fun and a hive of new learning.

It’s likewise a great leveller.

From MDs and CEOs to those just starting out in business with about as much financial acumen as a hedgehog, you need to be a people person that can deal with prickly situations and people from all stations in life.

The corporate world often entails a whirl of social events and if you start out at a large practice, like working for one of the big six – BDO International, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young Global, Grant Thornton International, KPMG International Cooperative and PricewaterhouseCoopers International – you’ll learn your craft, and then either remain or leave to work for other outfits, depending on your developing interests and talents.

You might become a Chief Financial Officer, or perhaps your prospects will bloom elsewhere, like branching out on your own to service self-employed clients.

Accountancy is a gateway

Another accountancy selling point is its flexibility. You can choose to join any number of businesses and then really get to know how they work from the inside out  – so you couldn’t really ask for a better springboard from which to start your own successful business in the future.

Accountancy is never having to say ‘Get your finger out’

Whether in a corporate setting or on your own, accountants must be unflappable and patient. You’re going to be dealing with the professionally secretive, weekend millionaires with no regard for what Monday will bring, as well as the eternally frugal. But it’s not up to you to pass judgement or to lose it, and the more impartial you seem, the more successful you’ll be.

Accountancy to the death

Taxes and death are the only certainties in this life. That’s why a career in accountancy is up there with funeral director in the Rock-Steady Professions Club.  Ironically you might be a bit strapped for cash when you’re training, but the eventual financial rewards mixed with job satisfaction make this one potential career gold.

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