What do you picture when someone mentions the word “accountant?” If you’re like most people, you picture a man with slicked back hair, thick glasses and a pocket protector. This is just one of the many myths and misconceptions that people hold about accountants. Far more than bean counters that do the books, accountants aren’t all that we think they are. It’s time to dispel the myths.
1.Accountant Are Only Concerned with the Past
It’s true that much of an accountants work concentrates on the past business happenings within a company. Accountants are also concerned with the present and the future of the company that they work for. These professionals are able to help a company stay afloat, and they can help a company turn larger profits. Accountants are an integral part of business planning, system design, performance management and profit improvement.
2.Accountants Are Obsessed with Numbers
Accountants work with and for people much more than they work with numbers. According to accounting firm Moore & Smalley, one of the most important things that accountants do is build relationships with people. After all, you wouldn’t let a complete stranger handle your money, would you? Accountants must build report, and then relationships, with the businesses and people that they serve. In fact, many accountants receive continuing education in business and personal coaching to better enable themselves to help clients reach their goals.
3.Accountants Know Nothing About Running a Business
If there’s one myth that is easy to dispel it’s this one. Accountants are actually well-versed in the day-to-day operations of keeping a business running. While some accountants work for major companies, others are in business for themselves. No accountant could stay in operation if he didn’t know a thing or two about what it takes to run a business. Don’t assume that if an accountant works for someone else that he doesn’t know how to work for himself; consider the fact that he simply prefers working for someone else.
4.Accountants Are Stiff and Impersonable
Just because someone enjoys working with numbers doesn’t make him a boring, uninteresting person. Accountants come from all walks of life. Accountants are people with families, interests and hobbies, just like you. These people enjoy a good party, play sports and participate in leisure activities. When someone tells you that he is an accountant, don’t assume that he’s a stick in the mud; assume that he’s great with numbers.
5.Accountants Do Not Take Part in Innovation
It’s true that accountants are usually the practical o the bunch. What isn’t true, however, is that accountants aren’t creatures of innovation. When it comes to making sweeping changes or updates, accountants are integral cogs in the process. Even if accountants themselves are not the ones thinking outside of the box, their stability and sure-headedness are the reason that concepts are turned into reality. These professionals help the flighty stay grounded, and make sure that managers establish practices that deliver.
Hopefully, the next time you meet an accountant, you’ll have better insight to who he really is. Not all accountants are number-crunching nerds; some actually have exciting lives outside of the cubicle. It’s dangerous to make assumptions about anyone you don’t know; keep your mind open and you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Writer Brett Harris is a finance blogger. His most recent article on The top 10 online accounting degrees is right here.