Thursday, October 19th, 2017

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Bean Counter, Schmean Counter: Five reasons the CPA Stereotype is Ridiculous

The world sometimes talks about CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) like we’re a bunch of math freaks who love taxes and spend Saturday nights playing calculator bingo. Obviously, they have no idea what they’re talking about. So let’s take this opportunity to dispel the myths of the CPA stereotype once and for all.

PREPOSTEROUS MYTH #1: CPAs are math nerds.

Ok, so most of us are pretty good with numbers. Besides, these days, computers do the math for us. But by no means are most of us mathematical geniuses who crack impossible equations in our spare time. Some of us didn’t take calculus and all of us have interests outside of numbers, including but not limited to race car driving, filmmaking and Fashion Week. We also have to be good at communicating, making ethical decisions and thinking creatively.

PREPOSTEROUS MYTH #2: CPAs are boring.

CPAs are people. The same kind of wonderful, smart, interesting people you’ll find in any other profession. We range from quiet to loud, serious to hilarious, American to Taiwanese. Don’t hate, just because we have analytical minds capable of solving really hard problems.

PREPOSTEROUS MYTH #3: CPAs are for doing taxes.

Wow. Taxes are just a fraction of the accounting industry, and many CPAs have nothing to do with them. CPAs are out there fighting white-collar crime, making businesses successful, helping the world become financially literate, keeping cities and states afloat, managing really important people’s finances…and on, and on…

PREPOSTEROUS MYTH #4: CPAs are hermits.

Listen up: that image people have of a CPA alone in a cubicle with a spreadsheet is a scam. CPAs lead businesses and organizations all over the world—and we don’t do it in a vacuum. Once you get your first job, you’ll see that not only do you have a team to work with all day, you’ll likely go out as a team at night.

PREPOSTEROUS MYTH #5: CPAs are tightwads.

Contrary to popular belief, CPAs do not live to pinch pennies. CPAs love to spend money, if that happens to be the smart decision at the time. That’s what it all comes down to: smart choices. And if some big spender in the company is about to make a stupid one, well, there should be a wise CPA nearby to stop him.

The fastest way to shatter a stereotype? Meet the person behind it. Get familiar with real-life CPAs at ThisWayToCPA.com , the American Institute of CPAs’ virtual vault of accounting wisdom. It contains helpful career advice, exam study tips and a Salary Calculator that shows you how lucrative your future in accounting could really be.

This article is sponsored by AICPA.

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