Common Misconceptions About Accounting
Accounting can be a great career choice for many people but it does suffer from one huge setback — a poor image. Like many professions, certain stereotypes and misconceptions exist regarding accountants. Most people wouldn’t even consider a career in accounting because they think they will die of boredom after spending their days hunched over a calculator, preparing people’s taxes.
And the reality is, this is not the only accounting myth that exists. Listed below are the top five misconceptions about accounting:
#1. All accountants are math nerds
Being an accountant does not require you to be a math genius or solve complex mathematical equations in your head. Accountants do work with numbers by helping businesses manage their budgets and making sure they are complying with government regulations.
Basic algebra such as addition and subtraction is definitely a necessity for accountants but past that, not all accountants are exceptional at math. Accounting actually requires a number of skills, such as good communication, critical thinking, and customer service.
#2. Every accountant knows how to do your taxes
This is perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about accounting. It is fair to say that most accountants have had a friend or family member ask them to do their taxes at some point.
If you think being an accountant means that you will spend the rest of your life doing someone’s taxes, you are mistaken. Yes, some accountants specialize in taxes but this is just one aspect of accounting. There are many different fields that use accountants in various ways.
#3. Accountants are almost always men
Traditionally, accounting has been a male-dominated industry but that is no longer the case. Women now actually make up the majority of the accounting field. They make up 60 percent of all the accountants in the United States and 50 percent of the accountants in Canada.
#4. Being an accountant is boring
When most people imagine accountants, they picture someone who gets excited over invoices and spreadsheets. The truth is, businesses are increasingly recognizing the valuable role accountants play in generating new and unique ideas. And many accountants go on to start their own businesses with tremendous success.
And as an accountant, you have the ability to pursue a career in almost any industry. The four main branches of accounting are management, financial, taxes, and auditing. This means you can get a job working for the government, for a large corporation, or you can choose to open up your own accounting firm. The opportunities accounting provides really are endless.
#5. You won’t make very much money as an accountant
The reality is, accounting can be an amazing career choice for most people and the average starting income for accountants has been steadily rising over the years. Accountants tend to be well paid and have incredible job security, even when the economy isn’t that great. The median income for accountants was $67,190 in 2015 with over ten percent of accounts earn over $118,000.