Have you ever wondered how an accountant spends their day? How does the routine change as they progress in their career? Do they get to lounge around, hit snooze a few times and stroll into the office past noon in shorts and flip-flops? You might think they do, somewhere in warm Florida. Surprisingly, however, they are more likely to be that one person walking to a meeting in a business suit while everyone else is drinking or splashing around on the beach.
An accountant is more likely to be the one to arrive 15 minutes early, especially a newbie, hoping to impress the boss who might leave the accountant one on one with a client on their first day at a new job.
A day can be spent in front of the computer from the early morning into the late evening. An accountant could be learning a new software, getting licensed in it, learning from a webinar or just simply working on your tax return for many hours. One call to the IRS for more information on how to properly fill out a form can keep an accountant on the phone for more than a few hours. The office music might be the waiting on the line message from the IRS for half of the day. This does not mean that an accountant has a boring work week, however. If the rush of figuring out the numbers is not enough to make the job itself interesting, there any many other perks such as working with companies or private clients from every walk of life that one might never have crossed paths with otherwise.
One great thing about being an accountant is that the profession has many different tracks. You can do so much with it. If you are not one to enjoy being stationary, you can become an auditor who travels to multiple job sites. If you like variety, such a setup might be much more suitable for you than the routine of a corporate accountant. You would need access to a car and would need to have a driver's license. Of course, it would also be helpful if you already like driving and are good at navigating around new locations. You would most likely travel with a portable computer. Last, but not least, you would have to be a very objective person who maintains professional skepticism at all times.
Now, being an accounting does not always revolve around just paperwork and numbers. Social skills come into play when you have to network and present yourself to other people to gain new insights into the work that you do. Conferences are common and are a very popular way to get your name known out there and connect with peers. As an accountant, you are required to keep up with new educational material even after graduating from college. You will have to maintain a certain number of credits every year. Whether it is a refresher on topics you already knew or a new tax law that comes into play, you have to be well versed in many aspects of the field. Networking is a great way to meet new clients. At the same time, it is not just about bringing in more business. It helps a lot to maintain a good rapport with peers or, at the least, a good professional communication style. An accountant has to rotate out of the job every few years. Sometimes an accountant has to leave a job but maintains some communication with a successor. Although the job may seem lonely and isolated at the first look, it is not so. There is a lot of support. There are many resources available.
At the end of the day, accounting is an exciting career that can help you grow as a person and help you see the world in a way that you may never have thought of.