As I wrap up my first year in the industry, here is what I’ve learned about accounting in the real world at JVTR.
1. Public accountants are passionate. Really. They love their jobs and many of them love their lives. Work hard, play hard. You thought that was for those more in the limelight, didn’t you? Yeah, I did, too. Not so. I know it’s hard to picture eyes lighting up and voices raising while describing tax laws or auditing procedures – but they do. Get a CPA talking about what they do all day and the stereotype of the bland accountant will go up in smoke before you know what’s going on.
2. They do something different every day. Yep. That mental picture of the accountant crunching numbers in the windowless room day after day? Let’s just say, sometimes real life is more interesting than fiction. Even the cubicles have windows! And they’re not cubes – more like ovals. With foyers. They’re actually quite nice places to live for 8+ hours a day.
3. Accountants may just have more fun than you. Yes, they work a lot, especially for the first third of the year, but when they’re not on the clock? You’d be hard-pressed to find a group more creative with their recreational pursuits. Don’t believe me? Go to an accounting firm on a Monday morning and ask the employees what they did over the weekend. (Really. Check out an accounting firm someday. They really are welcoming places.)
4. CPAs get to go behind the curtain. They get to see and know how different organizations – and industries – work, better than any profession that comes to mind. Auditors get to work in all manner of locations.
5. They love jokes. They tell jokes. All kinds of jokes. Sometimes they tell jokes in work meetings.
6. They enjoy pranks. They pull pranks. Sometimes they pull pranks at work. Sometimes there is a scream. At the CPA firm.
7. The laughter. Let me tell you about the laughter. There is almost always laughter, somewhere, somehow, in the office. Sometimes chuckles quietly erupt at the next desk. Occasionally, a guffaw slips out near the refrigerator covered in accounting cartoons and jokes. Once in a while, giggles float out of an office, ping into another office, then make their way down the hallway, picking up steam until everybody’s in on the fun.
8. They are spontaneous. How, you ask? Random at-work happy hours, mystery trips that end up in other towns, pick-up Ping-Pong in the basement… spontaneous lunches about town… picnics in the backyard in between assignments…
9. They’re networking zen masters. Have to go to a mixer for work? Some presentation at the local restaurant? It won’t be so bad if you get to meet some accountants. I’m very serious here – I left the laughter back at No. 7. CPAs are good conversationalists. It makes sense: They’re smart, they’re interested in lots of things, and they have a lot of knowledge. Now, go out and find an accountant to talk to. You can thank me later.
10. You came back! How is your new accountant friend? Now, this last observation wasn’t necessarily a surprise to me, but it might be to you: Accountants on the whole are a group of bitingly sarcastic yet warm-hearted and thoughtful people. And they’re lots of fun at parties. (Seriously. They bring parties to life. But that may be a secret; not sure yet. Shhh.)
And… the one thing that probably won’t surprise you about accountants:
1. They love golf. If you are around CPAs long enough, you WILL golf. Even if it’s just at the company outing. And you’re using the wrong clubs. And trying to tee off on the third hit. And hitting phantom balls. They won’t care. You will golf, and you will have fun. Because CPAs love golf. And they love to have fun.
Okay, now I think it’s time for you to get to know an accountant and see what surprises are in store. Why don’t you let us know what you find? Or, better yet, come say hi. We’d love to meet you!
Want to know more?
Meet Jennifer Carlson, a journalist turned accountant, speaker of multiple languages and lover of Indian food. This Michigan native joined the JVTR team in early 2018 after working in journalism and as a freelance business writer for six years. She loves her role at JVTR because of the variety and challenges it presents. Find out more about Jen and #TeamJVTR below!