Can You Do My Taxes?
Since the beginning of the accounting profession, everyone seems to view accountants as someone who sits in their office all day preparing tax returns. I have been working at hb&k for 3 years as an accountant. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me to do their taxes, or even just asked a simple tax question. Every time I have to say, “oh no, I don’t do taxes”.
More Than Taxes
Because there is a strong association of accountant to taxes, my response is usually confusing for people. While preparing tax returns is a major part of the industry, there are many opportunities in this profession. For example, I work mainly in auditing. Auditing is the examination of an organization’s financial records. Additionally, there is client accounting where you work with business owners every day to help them with their finances. And this is just in public accounting! There are many accountants at private companies who work at a higher level than preparing tax returns. A major opportunity that I recently have learned is being a consultant.
But don’t worry, if you’ve assumed all accountants do taxes, you are not alone!
Becoming a Non-Tax Accountant
During college, a question I would always get asked was whether I wanted to be in tax or audit. At the time, I thought I wanted to work in tax. Like everyone else, I thought accountants are most known for preparing tax returns. Yes, I had audit class, but it wasn’t until I got my first internship that I really understood more about audits.
And it wasn’t until I saw how all of the different departments at hb&k work together that I began to realize options beyond tax and audit. As we grow into the consulting side of the profession, I am learning how much more accountants have to offer. We help our clients grow by making better financial decisions while also helping them develop better teams, processes, and strategies. hb&k’s approach is to offer growth for a business as a whole – not just file tax returns.
I am an accountant who does audits, and in time, will grow to be an accountant who offers consulting services. But I am not an accountant who does taxes.
Changing the Perception
As this industry grows and continuously improves, now is the time to change the way accountants are perceived and show everyone that “we are more than just taxes”. And while we’re doing that, it’s also time to change the perception of accounting being exhausting and boring.
Yes, we work hard, but we still know how to have fun. Accountants are not boring introverts as people think. In our firm, we love to have fun in all different kind of ways. There are margarita days when times get stressful and celebrations for personal and professional milestones. We have a work-life balance, which includes flexible schedules and limited overtime – if you become a shareholder, you can even take a sabbatical. We go to community events to network, and we enjoy firm sponsored events to hang out with each other.
Next time you meet an accountant, don’t assume we’re numbers-people who are tired from working a ton of overtime. We’re part of a great profession that is growing every day and we can do a lot more than just taxes.
Carly Corte is the author of this blog. She is very involved in our audit department performing internal control analysis, audits, compilations and reviews for small companies, government agencies, 401k’s and not for profit organizations.