I’ve worked in accounting for three years. I’ve studied accounting in University for nine years. And I’ve taught accounting for fifteen years:
And I have a question. Why do accountants use so few infographics? Here’s a Venn Diagram to explain the problem:
How Accounting relates to Infographics
is the language of business. It accumulates, classifies and reports financial information. Infographics
is “graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education” (Wikipedia
retrieved April 23, 2012). It seems to me that accounting and infographics should complement each other: Accounting provides financial information and data, and infographics present it in a graphically revealing way. But this almost never happens. Why not?
This is not to say that some companies’ financial statements don’t include basic infographics. The best example I know of is Pepsico‘s notes to financial statements. Here are a few charts from Pepsico’s Financial Highlights:
And yet, when compared to how beautifully infographic artists can portray such mundane information as subway maps and the European debt crisis, Pepsico’s accounting bar graphs and pie charts seem pathetically gratuitious.
How much I like their graphical presentations
So, for all we accountants love to trash the subways and the New York Times, why do we fail so miserably at presenting our information better than they do?
Ladies and gentlemen of the accounting profession: How can we do better?