When you think of the finance industry you think of straight-laced, suit-sporting, serious-faced fellas looking to shake their finger at you for spending £50 on takeaways at the weekend. But believe it or not, we aren’t all stiff-lipped bean counters who just want to suck the fun from your existence. The face of accounting is shifting into something much more modern and eclectic so it’s time to park your preconceptions and get down to business.
Preconceived ideas about who somebody is or what they do formed through social stereotypes can be useful in some situations. If you have a ‘massage therapist’ approaching you down a dark alley, wearing stilettos and claiming to be able to “relieve all your tension”, then you would do well to listen to your judgement. However not all industries and their workforces can fit so neatly into rigid convention and in this modern age, it is essential that customers learn how to open their minds to new possibilities and innovation in many sectors, including finance and accounting. We’re here to highlight some of the most common misconceptions about accounting and accountants because there are some of us who break the mould.
Accounting is all about the numbers
The mere mention of accounting can strike fear in those of you who are totally mind-boggled by numbers and bring back sweaty-palmed memories of high school maths exams but let us tell you, there is much more to accounting than just difficult digits. Of course being a mathematical whizz and a dab hand with the calculator is part and parcel of the job description but there are other aspects of finance that divert away from pound signs, decimals points and percentages.
Before any accountant can get down to the digits, they first have to have an extensive knowledge about the various types of business structure, all existing legal policies and regulations, awareness of all important deadlines and impeccable analytical acumen. They also need to have sound knowledge of how to best advise you on maximising your revenue and moving your operations forward and the numbers are merely a reflection and yard stick for this.
Accountants are boring and socially stunted
That leads us nicely on to the common misconception that accountants and anybody who works in the finance industry are dull as dishwater and lack great communicative abilities. The nature of the industry might not be as exciting or glamorous as the creative or digital sectors but this certainly doesn’t mean that those working in it lack personality or people skills. When you think of accounting, you might imagine rows of staff immersed in their own to-do lists, typing away in pin-drop silence until the clock hits 5.30pm. In actual fact, we’re a pretty chatty lot who spend a huge proportion of the day on the phone to our clients or in meetings with confused customers looking for some expert support and guidance.
The main reason that clients enlist the help of an accounting professional in the first place is that they don’t have the financial knowledge or expertise to complete the process efficiently themselves. This means we must develop a bond with each client built on trust and communication in order to gain the necessary understanding and insight into their situation. Finances are hugely impacted by lifestyle and are extremely confidential so it’s crucial that all clients feel that they can confide in and approach their accountant at any time and this relationship can only exist through strong communication and customer service.
Hiring an accountant will break the bank
Just because accountants know pretty much everything there is to know about money doesn’t mean they’re out to diddle you out of cash. As with all industries, there are firms that offer an extremely pricey service and companies that don’t always do things above board but then there are those hidden gems that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. Of course, we’re biased but our growing client base is a testament to the fact that we definitely fit into the latter category. Good honest services such as our own, which employ only the most suitable and qualified accountants will do everything in their power to make your cash stretch as far as possible.
We’re here to help make your business a success so if you would like some more information on how we can save you money with our low-cost, online accountancy service, just click here and grab a free instant quotation.
Small businesses don’t need an accountant
Another of the main misconceptions and perhaps the most worrying delusions attached to accounting is that start ups, small businesses and micro-enterprises don’t need an accountant. This is particularly concerning because in actual fact, it is those firms in their initial infancy that are most in need of qualified guidance and support in stabilising their fragile finances. In the primary stages of a company’s life, you are most likely working with an extremely tight budget that doesn’t leave much room for negotiation. Every penny counts and it’s more vital than ever that every monetary move you make is for the benefit of the business and a skilled accountant can help you ensure this is the case.
So sometimes judging a book by it’s cover is a valid strategy that as humans, we have developed to help us make the best possible decisions in life and in business. If that book cover, for example, contains the words Fifty Shades of Grey, you can be pretty safe in the knowledge that it isn’t going to make a suitable stocking filler for grandma this Christmas. However when it comes to accounting and those operating in the long-standing industry, it doesn’t always pay to be so swayed by stereotypes.
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About The Author
We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!