What Happens to Creative Accountants?

gapp-jail.jpgThey go to jail – or at least that’s what Dr. O told me upon my third attempt at Managerial Accounting. Here’s how the conversation went:

Dr. O: This is the way you apply this to the balance sheet (scribbling on board)

Andrea: (hand raised, while others in class roll their eyes) Dr. O?

Dr. O: Yes, Andrea? (slight sigh of annoyance)

Andrea: If you swapped step 3 and 5 and deleted step 8 you would get the same answer in half the work. Why do you have to do all the extra steps?

Dr. O: Andrea – creative accountants go to jail. Just do it the way it’s written.

Andrea: (grumbling under her breath) I hate accounting.

While Dr. O had a very valid point (weeks later revealed the Enron and Arthur Andersen debacle), I disagree.

I think the world is in need of creative accountants. Not ones who will manipulate the rules like I tried to do, but accountants who can see the big picture, understand the tax implications and honestly, legally and ethically find ways to save me money on my tax liabilities. No one wants a bean counter – I can buy software for that. What I need is an accounting consultant (hard to find, by the way).

I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. I’m currently reading Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future (excellent read – you should check it out). Next on my list is Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class.

Basically, Pink states how we are leaving the Information Age and entering the Conceptual Age where the ability to create, see the big picture, make connections, etc. will be necessary for survival because bean counting type jobs will be either replaced by a computer or shipped overseas for a 16th of the cost of doing it domestically.

So, in this new Conceptual Age what happens to creative accountants? They get hired.

6 thoughts on “What Happens to Creative Accountants?

  1. Thanks for the book recommendation – I think I’ll be checking it out.

    I wonder if creative jobs are impossible for computers to replace. Yes, they can make connections, but they can’t make relationships happen.

  2. Pingback: My Humble Thoughts On Blogs, Social Networks, and other New Media Stuff « Andrea Morris

  3. I agree with you. I have been an accountant over 40 years, although I moved into Software Architecture in the early 80s as my main business.

    I believe it is time to automate the accounting function, I am working on a business plan on how to make that happen.

    We will still need Creative Accountants who can work with their clients or employers to find better ways to utilize the robot results. To assist management how to benefit from the wealth of information available to them.

    As an aside, one of the Accounting Societies in Canada is changing it’s name to http://www.creativeaccountants.org/

  4. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll see if it’s available at my local library. Don’t be too harsh on left-brainers. I’d much rather fly in an aircraft constructed by left-brainers than right-brainers any day 🙂

  5. I’m so chuffed you have highlighted this! what we have found @freelanceworld is that Creative People need accountants who speak human – not accountancy gobbledegook – and give them free advice and guidance rather than sending them an invoice everytime you sit down for a chat – we also try to take a ‘creative’ (in the legal sense 🙂 approach to teaching people about their books, and how they can better understand their figures – perhaps our TV Channel will help (http://www.facebook.com/#!/Freelanceworld?sk=app_190322544333196)

    Thanks for the ace topic!
    Mich 🙂
    Business Manager @ Freelance World

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