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Some Things an Accountant Cannot Do Without
Essential Things for an Accountant
Thanks to dohn121’s hub on the things a writer (specifically him) can’t do without, I was inspired to write a hub on the things an Accountant can do without. For those who have read my profile, I am a practicing accountant and I have been one for more than 12 years now (how time flies by). And this stuff that I’m going to describe are those that are really, really a part of my life. When I’m without them, it’s like I don’t have clothes on, they’re that important to me.
So here are those things I can’t do without in my profession as an accountant:
The Ever-Present Calculator
This one I’m never too far from. The only time I don’t have my trustworthy calculator with me is when I go on the road or when I go out and eat in a restaurant (because, heck, I can still calculate the total bill with my mind LOL). No wonder we, accountants, are thought to be good when it comes to numbers. We are knee deep in all those numbers all right. Mind you, it’s not that we’re good; it’s just that we know how to calculate numbers and how to calculate them fast. I know of people who use calculators like they use the keyboards in a computer, proper finger positioning and all. Some even use a printer calculator so that they can print the numbers they added up for checking purposes. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. But I’m one of those auditors who love the same calculator I’ve been using for the past 5 years. It’s a 14-digit calculator, a big one that was given to me when I worked in California for 3 months. It’s so big, it’s almost the size of a notebook but I’m really proud of it and up until now, I haven’t seen anything like it in any of the stores I went to so I’ll definitely stick to it.
The Tools for Writing
Despite the computer, laptops, netbooks, etc., etc., we still have the good ol’ fashion pencil and ball pen for use in our writing. Sure, we can always type and print our memos, our reports, etc., but there are really some instances when manual writing needs to be done. When the client gives us hard copies or manually printed documents, we need to write notations on it and we do so through our sturdy pencils (mechanical or the wooden ones that need to be sharpened once in a while). Or when we need to manually sign off a document, then the ball pen is the stuff to use. Same with the calculator, these two are never far from our side.
Prior to having the computers or laptops, we use to have these really long spreadsheets (columnar pads) with columns ranging from 2 to 24! All our calculations, reconciliations, balances, etc. are done through these spreadsheets. Can you imagine the lives we lead then? With the arrival of the computer (first the desktop then the laptop), our lives became somewhat easier (but no less busy). Now we can generate reports through Microsoft Word and the spreadsheets through Excel (or accounting software or an internally-prepared software exclusive to the firm only). We can do our work within a limited space only, unlike before when we need the whole table to ourselves because of the length of the spreadsheet. We can bring our work anywhere (courtesy of the laptop). Unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it), it also means we can bring our work at home.
The Standards, Anyone?
Like lawyers, engineers, and other professionals, we also have our standards too. Actually, there are two sets: the accounting standards and the auditing standards. Both of these standards come with very thick books and my hats are off to whoever has read these books from cover to cover. So, since I’m not an expert on these standards, I need to have a copy of these standards always around me. They can be in manual form or through online references, which also made me thankful that the Internet is what it is now, otherwise, I’ll be knocking my brains off trying to find the related standard in the (manual) book.
Communication is a Must
The wide usage of cellular phones had created a 24/7 communication line between the client and the auditor and between the partner and his staff (woe to us!). Now our clients or our boss can call us whenever they want to and if we don’t answer them? Too bad. That’s the negative side, now for the positive. Having cell phones increased our chances of addressing issues and problems on the spot, because we can just call or text our staff when we want them to do something or research something (poor staff). No need to wait until you’re in front of the nearest pay phone to call your staff. Plus, for our parents or family who worries when we work late, having a cell phone means they can check on us and see if we’re okay. Definitely a life saver.
Other than cell phones, we also have e-mails now. Can you imagine how we communicated when there were no cell phones or e-mails around? I can’t (because fortunately I was still studying then LOL). With the Internet and the e-mail, communication is on the tip of our fingers. And we’re not even talking about the social networking sites which are now a boon for the staff and a bane for the boss (LOL).
So those are just some of the things I really can’t do without. They’re really a must for me and, honestly speaking, I can’t do any real work without them. They have become part and parcel of my every day life. Not having them may mean a not-so-good work for me. So for these things I can’t do without, I salute you.
How about you? What are the things that you can’t do without?