When it comes to subjects people tend to know little about, accounting ranks right around the same level as quantum physics or the deepest depths of the ocean. Due to its seeming impenetrability, and years of misleading portrayals on television and movies, there are still a number of misconceptions about accounting floating around. Let us set the record straight on a few of these.
It's all about number-crunching isn't it?
People often think carrying out tax planning requires the ability to do Stephen Hawking-like math equations. In fact, the most difficult math accountants do is your everyday addition, subtraction and the like, and there is software nowadays that can take care of that.
The real value of an accountant is not their skills on the calculator but in their unparalleled knowledge of tax laws and regulations. They also need analytical minds to look at the numbers, make sense of them and tell the client where to net.
Accountants are boring and lack inter-personal skills
Years of Monty Python sketches have helped drill the idea that accountants are duller than doorknobs into the public psyche. Like all generalisations (except this one of course), this is untrue.
Great customer service, friendliness, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively - all of these abilities are crucial to an accountant's job. And don't forget that accountants can be found in all manner of seemingly unlikely places - they're musicians (Kenny G), comedians (Bob Newhart, Eddie Izzard), novelists (John Grisham), even pro wrestlers (90s star D'Lo Brown)!
Small businesses don't need an accountant
Let's be clear: Every type of business could use the services of a professional accountant - perhaps a small business most of all. A good accountant can help your fledgling enterprise become the success you've always dreamed of.
An accountant will take out some of the stress involved in running a business, as well as creating financial forecasts, help you set targets and, of course, provide you with taxation advice. They're a business owner's right hand - and, for that matter, their left one too.