Accounting Careers: Expectation vs. Reality

The word “accountant” has become synonymous in some circles with boredom, drudgery, and soulless number-crunching.

While those of us who work with accountants on a daily basis and understand the trade can see the faultiness of these myths, the outside world only has their stereotypes to work with. If you are considering pursuing an accounting career or simply have questions about what accountants do all day, know this: it is not a boring or thankless job. Accountants must be communicative and creative. Of course, detail-oriented in order to succeed. 

As one of the premier recruiting agencies in Dallas, the team at Unity has an inside look into the lives and careers of these vital professionals. Here are the top myths about accounting careers, as well as the realities.

Myth: Accounting Is Boring

In reality, there are very few careers on planet earth that don’t entail at least some boring tasks. Accounting jobs are no different. But the idea that the entire accounting profession is a long stream of horribly sleepy tasks is simply false.

Whether helping business leaders trend towards financial success by developing a strategic plan, or working with authorities to prove the guilt of a financial criminal, accounting can be incredibly rewarding and stimulating. Accountants are a valued member of every team they are involved with.

Myth: All Accountants Do the Same Things

Forensic accountants work to uncover lost financial data to help law enforcement in fraud or financial impropriety cases. Corporate accountants process and develop the financial statements and projections for a business. Public accountants help ensure the accuracy of financial data for their individual clients. Government accountants help balance the books of municipalities and the executive branch. Do all these roles sound the same? Didn’t think so.

The reality is that every accounting position is unique, with the job description being expressly tailored to the company and the individual. Depending on the skill set, industry, and experience of the accountant, the duties of every accounting job vary widely.

Myth: All Accountants Are Geniuses at Math

The days are long gone when people carry around an abacus and must have thousands of mathematical operations memorized. The capabilities of Excel can not be completely utilized by the majority of working professionals simply because they are so vast and advanced. Today’s accounting jobs obviously involve some familiarity with and affinity for working with numbers, but rest assured that if you are considering an accounting career in Dallas, you don’t need to be a math whiz. The software available to today’s professionals makes the math portion of the job seamless.

Myth: All Accountants Give Tax Advice

Do your accountant friends a favor and avoid asking them for financial or tax advice on their personal time. While some accountants are well-versed in the tax arena, many have specialties outside of tax, or may not have any involvement in tax accounting. Also, in many cases, unless certified to do so, financial professionals including accountants are not permitted to give tax advice.

If tax is not your thing, there are still a host of other focal points in the accounting sphere that help move businesses forward. The right executive search firm can help identify your strengths so your potential is maximized.

Myth: Accountants Are Dull

This is the most incorrect myth of them all. Accountants are vibrant people who contribute immensely to the health of their business and the personal dynamic of their teams. They are versatile professionals with varied and rich lives. If you are hesitant about working with a staffing agency to find you an accounting job because you think you need to be a boring person to be an accountant, then you are dead wrong.

Accounting careers are extremely stable and high-demand, even during economic downturns. Accountants are responsible for advising leaders and solving complex problems that can help establish the future of a business. And that’s not boring – it’s pretty darn cool.

Discover Accounting Insights with Unity Search

The Dallas-based recruiting agency Unity Search is chock full of trained recruiting specialists who can help you begin or amplify your accounting career. Our team focuses on forming long-term partnerships with our clients and candidates. We help them to navigate the entire process from initial search to final offer. In a dramatically changing economy and financial landscape, we help you cut through the noise and craft the solution that drives your career forward. Connect with a search partner at Unity today to learn more.

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