Five Accounting Myths Busted: What Being an Accountant Is Really Like

Posted by Tricia Hussung on May 28, 2014  /   Posted in Business News

Are you thinking about getting an online accounting degree? We know there are some stereotypes out there, but we want to make sure you know what being an accountant is really like. Here’s the good news: it’s not all math and number-crunching.

Myth #1: Accounting is all about math.

The truth is accountants do much more problem-solving than straight math. They don’t spend time working on mathematical equations—you’re thinking of mathematicians. Accounting really only involves addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and a few formulas. This means that most accounting work is focused on finding the right numbers to carry out calculations. Enjoying math and numbers can be helpful to accountants and accounting students, but analysis and investigation are the most important parts of the job. Accountants deal with rules, regulations and guidelines, knowing the ins and outs of financial laws are much more important than anything you will learn in algebra or calculus class. It’s more about applying math than simple computation.

Myth #2: All accountants do is taxes.

There are many aspects to accounting, and tax preparation is just one of them. In fact, many accountants do not keep records or file taxes for their clients at all. Some entry-level accountants may do this type of work, but it is much more common for accountants to keep track of a company’s money and identify the best ways for it to be used. Auditing is one responsibility of accountants that can sometimes get confused with tax preparation. When an accountant or auditor performs an audit of a business, they investigate financial records for accuracy and finds areas that could be improved. Auditing can also help prevent fraud or give companies the opportunity to consult with a financial specialist.

Myth #3: Accountants will soon be replaced by robots.

Technology is constantly developing new and improved ways for companies to handle their financial transactions, but this doesn’t mean that accounting is going to become automated. Job security is one of the main reasons why many students choose to pursue an accounting degree, and they are right to do so: accountants can expect to see a 13 percent increase in employment between 2012 and 2022. According to AICPA, more than 40,000 accounting graduates were hired by public firms in 2012, and 89 percent of those firms are expecting to hire the same or increased numbers this year. There continues to be a high demand for accountants in all areas of the business world, and this isn’t going to change any time soon.

Myth #4: Accounting is always the same.

You may think that accountants do the same work every single day but in fact, they play a key role in business innovation. The accounting department of most companies is constantly looking for new and better ways to use money, and this function is vital to turning a profit and growing a business. Accountants help executives and managers make sound financial decisions by analyzing the money that comes in and out and deciding how best to allocate it. Though you may find yourself doing the same equations and functions pretty often as an accountant, you’ll be applying them in very different ways.

Myth #5: Most accountants are men.

It’s a fact that women earn more accounting degrees at both the bachelor’s and master’s level every year than men do. More women are becoming accountants every year, with over 60 percent of all accountants and auditors in the U.S. being female. About 80 percent of all part-time workers in accounting firms are women. Assigning gender to any occupation is an outdated practice, but it is especially inaccurate when it comes to accounting.

It’s always a good idea to do your research before believing stereotypes about a career path. The only person who determines what your accounting career will be like, is you. Working as an accountant is a smart and beneficial way to earn a living, and now that we’ve busted some of the myths you should feel confident in your decision.

Accounting at Brescia

The accounting degree at Brescia University Online provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary in order to be successful in the accounting profession. It is designed to provide a broad educational base in business as well as accounting, and therefore prepare you to enter the business job market. And because Brescia’s accounting major is offered completely online, it has the flexibility you need.

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