I have attended a few networking events recently and one thing I have noticed is whenever anyone asks what I do and I tell them ‘I am an Accountant’ there is always a silence – maybe a nodding of the head but I generally hear crickets. This got me thinking – is being an Accountant or a Bookkeeper considered a boring profession?
Yes, I suppose with the explosion of social media with the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin you see many creative roles around and when your job is dealing with numbers, it doesn’t sound quite as exciting as designing the marketing collateral to promote a fashion shoot for example (although I admit – that does sound pretty cool). However I will tell you some of things I love about my job as an Accountant/Bookkeeper.
I build relationships with my clients. I get to know them and the better I understand them and how their business works, the better I can assist them. Having to do the books is essential for all businesses whether it is for tax purposes or to track how things are progressing in order to make important decisions. Life is already increasingly busy and if I am able to help those business owners so they can focus on other things, then that is my purpose. I love being able to help clients make sense of things and to help them understand what their figures are showing and to gently remind them when deadlines are coming up – it is true when they say sometimes it takes a village!
It’s not just about the money and getting the job done for me (although it certainly helps pay the bills!). I am genuinely interested in how my client’s businesses are performing. One example of this is a primary produce client I have had since the idea was a concept. They are about to harvest their first crop and it has been exciting to be on this journey with them and to see their vision grow and achieve what they had intended. I love seeing how passionate and excited they are about it and feel those things for them too.
I love being able to ease any concerns my clients have and to work through any issues or ‘problem solve’. Numbers and finances can be confusing and many people may not comprehend numbers, just as I don’t understand the mechanics of a car for example. Having had the opportunity to work in both public practice and commerce and being involved with numerous industries, I believe this experience helps me help my clients further.
Lastly, this may bring out the ‘geekiness’ in me but there is a satisfaction of being able to turn a box of receipts into financial reports and graphs. I do also (sadly) love a good excel spreadsheet – something with the numbers and formulas and creating awesome tables and graphs that tell a story … love it!