Hate people? Be an Accountant!

An alum alerted me to this Yahoo post:

http://education.yahoo.net/articles/jobs_for_haters.htm

Here, Chris Kyle gives a brief career guide for people who hate working with others. Here’s what he has to say about us accountants:

While just about any position will require some amount of face-time with co-workers and clients, accountants find themselves diving into a spreadsheet more often than reaching for a cell phone. With plenty of financial data and tax information to digest, chit-chat time is at a minimum.

I wish this were true. If it weren’t for the large number of other people who I was forced to work with, and who were constantly interrupting my productive work on spreadsheets, I probably would have stayed in Big-6 public accounting, and I’d be making a lot more money right now. There were the audit teams – staff, seniors, managers, partners – a different audit team for every client. There were the clients, who I had to make nice with. The Happy Hours every Thursday night were quite tiresome.

For me, a Big-6 career (now Big-4), with all the socializing and drinking, was too much like fraternity life. I would have preferred to close the door to my office and be alone with my spreadsheets. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of an office with a door – but rather shared a cubicle with a good friend. Even if I wanted it, I could never get any alone time.

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About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

4 comments

  1. Really interesting to know more about accounting sector. Thanks for sharing. Job seekers can view latest accounting jobs available at Careerbuilder.Co.In

  2. Hi Dr. Holtzman, I really enjoyed reading this blog. As a future accountant getting ready to go work for one of the Big Four, I couldn’t agree with you more. I think people have this stereotype about accountants that just isn’t true. I think to be a successful accountant you need to be personable and be able to work with people.

  3. Hey very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will
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  4. People used to say this about investment analysts, which was equally untrue for them as it is for Big 4 accountants today. Turns out that the few somewhat antisocial analysts were the only ones not caught up in the irrational exuberance of the late ‘90s. Nobody listened to our warnings; they only heard the recommendations of the socially nimble about buying Enron shares. That’s analogous to believing today that people-oriented hotshot accountants in the Big 4 are providing sound audit results.

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