Comments: Where does the accounting profession want to go, today?

Ian,

As an engineer who's father was an accountant I will give you three guesses as to what he told me not to do when I grew up...

Oddly it is the same for engineers, we tend to tell our children to do other things.

As I've said before if you want to get on in life you should learn to speak the language that the man who cuts your cheque at the end of the month does, or more correctly his boss ;)

So even if you are just a humble team leader get yourself three courses,

1, MBA,
2, Vocal training
3, Psychology or Method acting.

And no I'm not joking about 3.

If you have the time to watch and learn you will discover that most large businesses are not actually run by those at the top...

They hire consultants to tell them what to do...

And I have seen more sound companies get into trouble for buying into the latest "methodology" pedaled by the "business consultant" ilk than I have through any other form of mismanagement...

After all step sideways and ask yourself a question what does a business do?

In most cases it has a "value added" section that actual brings in the income from customers, every other part of the company is an outgoing.

These other parts have where ever possible followed the "Marketing lead" that is make a claim that they are "essential to the business process".

Well actually in most cases there is absolutely not a shred of testable evidence that their claims are remotely true...

The only purpose an accountant is actually qualified for is stages 1 and 2, the rest is all unsupported "opinion" or fluff.

As has been seen by the banking crisis there is absolutely no diversity in large business. Traders all took the same risks to get the same reward, it was not in their interest to do anything else.

Likewise large business executives do what other large business executives do. Just look at the US motor car industry "SUV's all round" and no customers for "gas guzzlers".

Essentially what large business execs who want to survive do is most definitely not take any risk their co-execs have not bought into, that's for the "chancers/wannabees".
And the safest option of all is to say XYZ (your leading competitor in your market place) has consulted Mega-firm A/CG.

The game for aspiring business professionals these days is "billable hours" for "death by overhead" presentation to big business execs...

As Maggie Thatcher once noted the real money is in the service industry.

But... that is a problem what is money?

Let's be honest here it is really an abstraction of energy over time, onto which we stick a moving target number. The trick is to use your money quicker faster and better than anybody else.

The downside is of course that although real value only increases by increasing an items utility (manufacturing etc). Monetary value increases by the speed it moves it does not increase utility in the slightest.

If you look at the "Accounting / Banking / Consulting" sector it's value added is not in increasing utility but in getting more "financial value" AKA Inflation...

Posted by Clive Robinson at September 18, 2009 06:14 PM

The business culture of the US is one that only tolerates a single leader within any organization, and the driving need for analysis rather than a deeper understanding of the data, i.e. understanding how they got there, is what is lacking. I'm sure that if the MBA were truly titled, it would be a degree that permits a higher level of entry into a corporate structure based on those granting access having similar degrees. Accountants are seen as a working class profession, thinly veiled in titled firms that pretend to be law firms, as is the case in the big six accounting firms along with their vulture cousins, the IT consulting crowd.

In essence those with degrees in areas that grant them permission to comment on corporate matters have a bad case of myopia and lack a real understanding of the events that drive a profit. This ignorance is reinforced by a single theory: pay less, charge more and replicate the success of competitors.

As result of this plantation methodology all businesses are reduced to commodity events whereby the market share, its capture and maintenance are the only goal. These structures only need one boss "Mister Type A" and accountants that do not support the cult are not welcomed. In addition the Type A cults require an over reaching centralized government to manipulate the monetary incentives changing the rules on an arbitrary basis to meet their needs, and in this environment accountants are of no need.

The next level above the MBA will be the designer of Public Relations campaigns, that sell on a mass scale the next notional construct that meets the need of the static elite. In fact we have them but they are smarter than this writer in that they know they only have to sell their snake oil to the elite. How much is sold and who gets to buy are a contrived event in modern capitalism.

Examine Walmart, a company that grew based on its logistical effort in moving products to locations that people where buying. Walmart's utilization of discrete sales information was in part done by accountants, but the rewards where only afforded to one family. The availability of the information to the management was made possible by the IT staff, but it was one man that determined to use this information not a committee. All entities and affiliations that do not worship at the Type A church are not welcomed and subjugation of the individual is the only goal proffered by the society that lived by this credo regardless of their professions to the contrary. It is the real world, the defacto sense of dissatisfaction that lurks in the recommendations of older accountants to potentially younger ones, when in essence the only fact that can be gleaned is that subjugation is not pleasant but inevitable. We are the Borg, resistance is useless, join the hive.

Posted by jimmy at September 19, 2009 11:31 AM

Well the other future for accountants is to collate the Stage 2/ 3 output and use that for making Stage 5 (trading/ investment) decisions outside the firm's walls..

But that, children, is called insider-trading and is frowned upon...

Posted by AC2 at September 22, 2009 01:29 AM
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