Accountants still stereo-typed along with other careers?

I am an accountant because I have always been comfortable and confident with numbers, enjoy problem solving and breaking down issues. In particularly I found the career prospects very enticing when I was 18 years old especially through AAT study.

I then found it very interesting in gaining an insight into the small business world and enjoyed working in an open office where there was a lot of interaction including open client meetings with the partner.

What am I getting at? Well people often see accountants as white collar (I don't wear ties now though!) pen pushers who are maybe a little geeky (I can be in all fairness when it comes to gaming) and have a certain personality, perhaps one that is not very people friendly.

Having now worked in accounts for around 13 years I have to say that to thrive in practice you need good people skills and this can be just as important if not more important than the technical skills to help you get on in senior roles. Yes you need to prove yourself technically but 'E-Q' IE emotional intelligence is very important to help you deal with people.

A close family member recently read a poem that I've written for my Wife and was wax lyrical about how good it was. Whether she is a good judge of this is another matter but she did not expect me to have such a creative side. I enjoy writing fictional material (kids stories for my little ones mainly, the latest of witch is 'The Giant and the Tree Witch') as it is a kind of release for me, breaking away from the systems and general conformism that accounting can offer.

I think that perceptions can be so wrong...


  • Buhir_the_Bookkeeper
    Buhir_the_Bookkeeper Registered Posts: 36 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face

    I am definetley an accountant -

    and a Father
    and a Husband
    and a agony aunt to my clients
    and a friend to a few friends
    and at times a helper to those in need
    and well damn i get angry too.

    its nice to hear your normal too Steve.

    Its funny for straight geeks we get trusted with an awful lot of personal and private information from our clients.
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    I think that our profession is always going to be stereo-typed as pen pushers!
    I find that the longer your in the profession the more you want to break out, years ago I was all for the suit and tie image.
    Now I'm wiser that's right out of the window, just finished my first book and looking at another one shortly. Told my mates to which half just laughed at the thought as this didn't fit my psychological profile as a numbers person.
    I've sent it out for some sense checking and now they want to be in the sequel.

    Friends and family can change their view of us quite quickly but I think the world at large are going to take that little bit longer!
  • stevo5678
    stevo5678 Registered Posts: 325
    Accounting ;) ?
  • StuartW
    StuartW Registered Posts: 472 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
  • Neillaw
    Neillaw MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 307 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    The books about two guys who do a botched drugs run, their debt is then sold onto the accountant who increases the debt marker to £50k which is repayable in a month.
    Typical accountant - Drives an Aston Martin, large house, bored wife! (Totally not me by the way)
    They settle on a poker game to pay off the debt but have a few issues to deal with along the way.
    Director - due to the violence I would have given it to Quintin Taranteno.
  • Melody87
    Melody87 Registered Posts: 44 ? ? ?
    I can't write but I love nothing more than being elbow deep in an engine bay. Or tearing round some country lanes after repairing it :) I love knowing how things work and I can't stop taking them apart. I dont think I'm a geek...
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    I am totally a geek. I can't resist a spreadsheet :) in fact I've just received a telephone call from our IFA telling me that the spreadsheet I have sent him is 'pension p*rn'.

    But I also Captain a ladies netball team and as such I can't afford to be devoid of people skills, I have to be confident and able to stand my ground (literally at times in netball) as well as supportive and motivating.

    So I don't think I am a 'typical accountant', but I will always be a bit geeky!
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