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Is accounting boring? The truth about being an accountant

Posted by Laura Bell on 08/16/2023

Are you wondering if accounting is boring? You know that many people think that accounting is boring and maybe you’re not sure if it is the right fit for you? Or maybe you’re weighing up accounting apprenticeships or graduate accountant jobs and want to find out more.

We all know the stereotypes about accountants, that accounting is boring and that accountants lack in creativity and people skills; but that is way off the mark.

There is also a notion that accountants are only interested in making money, but their real focus is understanding their client’s ambitions so that they can deliver real value to organizations and their stakeholders. It’s not just about money, it’s about helping organizations to survive and thrive, in a way that aligns to their purpose and values. It is anything but boring!

Is accounting boring?

Is accounting boring? No. Contrary to popular belief, accounting can be an extremely interesting career. It has undergone huge changes in recent years, with new technologies, trends and strategies creating exciting possibilities.
We’re going to dive deeper into the world of accounting by breaking down some misunderstood elements and outlining what you can get out of an accounting career.

There is variety of work in accounting

One of the biggest misconceptions about accounting is that it’s all about crunching numbers and staring at spreadsheets all day, basically that accounting is incredibly boring. But that’s not the case.

Accounting is a varied profession that involves a range of skills. A good accountant needs business acumen, analytical skills and organisational skills. You need to be a team player with strong communication and interpersonal skills. This is because becoming a trusted advisor to your clients is key.

Still questioning is accounting boring? Worried it might get a bit repetitive?

Sure, there are basic tasks like data entry and reconciling accounts, but there are also more complex jobs like financial analysis and strategic planning. And happily accountants can now use technology to do the routine tasks, freeing us up to do the more interesting work as in the bits that rely on our professional judgement or problem solving skills.

And if you work in accountancy practice, that means for a firm like PKF Francis Clark which does the accounting for lots of other firms, then you’ll find that you’ll always be learning something new. No two days are the same because no two clients are the same.

There are numerous career options

The first thing you do as an accountant is to get some professional qualifications, such as the AAT or ACA accountancy qualifications. And from there the learning need never stop.

We asked Archie, a newly qualified Chartered Accountant, if accounting is boring. He said:

“The opportunities are very good here. They’re the exact opposite of boring because there is actually a lot of variety within accounting. For example you can get into audit, corporate finance or tax. Or you can specialise in working with clients in a certain sector like energy, health, property, sport or tech.

“You can move up or you can step sideways. I didn’t realise how much variety there is, I’ve got so many options in my future!

“It’s so rewarding when you help a client with a problem, talking them through it. You get to do more of that as you progress. Every client is different and brings a new challenge and that’s not boring. 

“Sure we work independently at times but there is lots of collaboration plus a fun social side too. Being a team player is one of the top attributes you need to be a good accountant. 

I sort of fell into it. I like numbers and I liked maths at school so I gave it a try. I wasn’t passionate about accounting then – I love it now!”

Accounting offers structured career progression opportunities. There is a clear path for career growth in accountancy practice firms. It typically goes something like assistant, senior, assistant manager, manager, senior manager, director then partner. At PKF Francis Clark we’ve mapped out our career paths and we support our people to progress upwards at whatever pace they set.

You can be an accountant in any sector. Love sports? Go be an accountant at a sports organisation. Passionate about protecting the planet? Become a finance manager at a nonprofit organization. Dream of running your own business? First, see up close how successful client businesses are run. So, there’s no shortage of opportunities to try different things.

You’ve got job security

Accounting is a highly in-demand profession that is essential for every business, regardless of size or industry. This means that there’s always a demand for accountants, which translates to job security. 

Accounting pays okay too, so many people choose accounting for the competitive salaries and a secure living.

The satisfaction of helping others

Finally, one of the most rewarding aspects of working in accounting is the ability to help others. Is accounting boring? Not if you are energised by helping others!

Whether you are helping a small business owner navigate tax law, assisting a multinational corporation with financial forecasting, or preparing a business for sale, you are making a difference.

We have a business recovery team, their job is to support struggling businesses. They are there to help business owners who face debt, cashflow problems, creditor pressure, county court judgements (CCJs), bailiffs, winding up petitions and potential insolvency of the business.

They will try and save the business and the jobs it provides, and ensure that the management fully understand the options available to them to help them navigate challenging times. Is accounting boring? No way!

We asked Bethan, a trainee accountant in the business recovery team, to tell us more:

“I used to think accountants were boring, that the work was repetitive just putting numbers into spreadsheets. But that’s very much not the case, there is a lot of brain power involved.

I’m an engineering graduate. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I graduated but I enjoy problem solving, logical thinking and maths. I was looking for a job that used those skills and accounting did just that. I asked some friends, who were accountants, for advice and they said it’s good, give it a go. 

I genuinely find what I do interesting. I get invested in the clients I work for and excited to find the best outcome for them. It’s way more than numbers, I’m actually helping people.

I’m always learning from my colleagues, it’s very collaborative. We’re always looking for new ways to be more effective You’re not left on your own to do things. You’ve got the support you need.

If someone told me now that accountants are boring? I’d ask them how many accountants they’ve actually spoken to. I don’t know any boring ones!”

Additionally, accountants are increasingly playing a key role in advancing social and environmental causes. Sustainable accounting is a rapidly growing field that integrates financial and non-financial information to measure and report on an organization’s impact on the environment and society. You can find out more about how accountants are helping to tackle urgent social challenges on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) website. By working in accounting, you have the power to create a positive change in the world.

Is accounting boring? You’ve probably gathered by now that our answer is a resounding no.

We’d even go so far to say that accounting can be fun! For one, accountants get to work on exciting projects like mergers and acquisitions, forensic accounting (which is investigating fraud), and we see inside innovative businesses and are constantly meeting new people. We also enjoy a fun social side within our firm as well as lots of events entertaining our clients.

We hope that this blog post has given you a better understanding of what accounting is about and why it is such a dynamic and exciting field.

Whether you are just starting your career or considering a change, we encourage you to take a closer look at accounting and the rewarding opportunities it has to offer. Give it a shot, one thing it won’t be is boring!