Why accountants are the heroes of the office
Accountancy is all about numbers and spreadsheets, right? Accountants aren’t the most exciting position in an office environment, yes? Wrong!
Accountants hold a vital position in the office landscape, and without them there would be utter chaos. So while a course in Accountancy may not have the same "wow" factor as a course in Film-Making or Animation, a degree of this kind from a reputable university is the kind of qualification you want in the 21st century graduate job market. Here are a few reasons why accountants are the heroes of the office:
Not sure how to merge data from two cells into one without leaving that infuriating double-space? Not sure how to move data without an error message appearing in the cell? The accountant should be the first person you ask. They work with spreadsheets all day long, while you may rarely deviate from the usual MS Word or Powerpoint (they’re usually experts with all MS Office components anyway). Watch their fingers work the keyboard, turning a complex process which would take you minutes, into one which takes seconds.
Stuck on your taxes?
The accountant is a handy person to know come tax return time, or when you receive a letter from your bank or your government’s department for taxation, which features a lot of mind-numbing jargon. While they aren’t your personal accountant (so don’t dump your tax return documents on their desk!), they can offer a quick bit of advice. For all you know, the query you’re losing sleep over has a simple solution, which you can find out about at the water-cooler or over a drink after work.
The inside scoop
Accountants know all about the company’s comings and goings when it comes to finances, which amounts to a lot of sensitive information; all of which concerns the lives of those who work in the company. They are possessors of great knowledge (like how much you earn), but are the most tight-lipped and trustworthy gatekeepers of this.
If it weren’t for the efficient work of accountants, you wouldn’t receive your pay cheque on time at the end of every month. A lazy, disgruntled or unorganised accountant in your workplace may result in your rent not being paid on time or having to spend a Friday night indoors, which can be a massive nuisance for you.
The inner circle
Accountants are regarded highly in the hierarchy of a company, especially those who are the head of the department. If a company is sold, has new investors or goes through any major structural changes, an accountant will most likely be involved in this process, acting as a consultant on what is the best course of nature. This may even include accompanying higher management on business trips (abroad). Accountants may play a key role in the future of your employer, which you should be concerned with.
Interact with everyone
There’s a common misconception that accountants are stuck in dark room alone, suffocating under a never-ending roll of tickertape. In reality, they get to interact with a lot of different departments as they handle finances for the whole company. If you retain a freelancer to help with your work, you’ll speak to the finance department about paying them; if you need to use company funds for a project, you’ll speak to them about securing these in time; if you need to transfer money internationally which is quite common, again they’ll be the best person to ask. Companies don’t just give you a chequebook so you can give out money at any instance, so accountants ensure any process like this goes smoothly so you can carry out your job.
The other benefit of being in accounts is that you can move across many companies, fields, company sizes and even countries; simply put, every organisation needs someone to handle their finances! As an essential position in any major company, this allows a lot of flexibility as to where you can work, which is something most individuals cannot rely on in their field.
Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.