The stereotypical accountant is boring. That sounds rude to say, but are we wrong? The default image most people have of an accountant is grey suit, grey manner, and with a calculator in his hand at all times. It’s a bygone image from a bygone era, but unfortunately seems to have stuck around in public consciousness. Even the Oxford English Dictionary just lists an accountant as someone who “keeps or inspects financial accounts”!
Allow us to do our bit to dispel that, with the aid of some pertinent statistics. Whilst in the old days, accountants kept a businesses’ books and nothing else, modern accountants do so much more. Nowadays accountants provide businesses with everything from basic bookkeeping to administration advice and, in the case we’re talking about specifically, helping businesses think about who they want to approach for finance. Whilst an accountant isn’t a finance broker (and shouldn’t try to be – very different skill sets!), a recent study by MarketInvoice showed that 2/3 of accountants have helped their clients with advice on where to look for a loan for their business.
Whilst obviously not exactly out of a modern accountant’s comfort zone, it’s certainly more than your “standard”, stereotypical accountant might look at for a business. However, it’s a clear example of how over the years accountants have moved from a very specific, often quite singular role into a much more general role assisting businesses with overall financial issues. Accountants still specialise, of course – here at AIMS, we’re very much Tax accountants, for example, not auditors or forensics. However, the days of an accountant being the old “bean counter” in the corner are long past. The accountant is dead, long live the accountant.
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