10 Common Misconceptions About Accountants

Love them or hate them, everyone has an idea about who accountants are and what they do. Accountants make the world go round, well, they make sure that as the world goes round, it is balanced and properly reported! To give accountants a bit of a break, we’ve compiled our list of the 10 common misconceptions they suffer.

1. All accountants are boring – American Dancing with the Stars competitor and MMA Champion (that means he’s pretty tough), Chuck Liddell trained to be an accountant. Don’t mess with accountants.

2. Accountants are number nerds – the definition of a nerd: a single-minded expert in a particular technical field. Doesn’t every professional strive to be described so? Number nerds, we salute you.

3. An accountant’s best friend is an Excel spreadsheet – Excel is a spreadsheet tool, but it also aids with decision making, converts data, helps to interpret information, calculates…the list goes on. The only thing that makes Excel go wrong are humans. Who wouldn’t want such a reliable and trustworthy best friend?

4. Accountants bring no commercial acumen to a business – accountants lead companies. 58% of the FTSE 100 have a Chairman or CEO with an accounting/finance background. Commercial acumen? Accountants have it in abundance.

5. Accountants rigidly stick to the rules – accountants are limited by the rules they work within. Some may be more creative than others, but everyone has defined parameters within which they operate.

6. Accounting is only for men – 44% of all full-time accountants in the UK are women, 60.9% of all auditors and accountants in the USA are women, and 69% of all accountants in the Philippines are women – need we say more?

7. An accountant will solve all your money problems – accountants have very special skills; they help identify financial issues and propose strategies to overcome them, but they don’t perform magic!

8. Accounting is all about maths – accounting is about analysing and recording transactions. Yes, basic arithmetic is essential, but you don’t have to be a Maths Professor to succeed as an accountant.

9. Accountants aren’t innovators – the turbulent financial times we have just fought through had accountants at the heart; they defined strategies, measured progress, and steered companies into safe financial waters, innovating at every step.

10. Accountants are too expensive – ask yourself this question: does an accountant cost more or less than fine HMRC issues for late returns or poor financial management?

At Holden Jones our goal is to make accounting and finance professionals feel less like numbers and to be recognised for the vital roles they play. For an informal discussion about how we can help you, call any of our team who are happy to assist.

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