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We are more than “bean counters”! Celebrate International Accounting Day with OFWF!

On this day, notables like Martin Luther and Neil Gaiman were born. The Nazis invaded Vichy France (1942). Bill Gates introduced the very first Windows for the original Mac (1983). And it was the start of the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). November 10 also marks International Accounting Day … for good reason! The date reportedly represents the anniversary of the “Father of Modern Accounting,” Luca Pacioli, publishing his “Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry, and Proportion” in 1494.

Of course, the roots of accounting run far deeper than the Renaissance era. In fact, the oldest recorded name that we have comes courtesy of a bookkeeping tablet. The tablet dates to around 3200 BC. Found in modern-day Iraq (ancient Sumeria), it features the name “Kushim,” an early “recordkeeper” (or “accountant”!). The tablet tracks a shipment of barley. Obviously, we’ve come a long way from etching transactions on clay tablets.

Celebrate accounting: A “force” to be reckoned with!

Today, accounting and auditing professionals account for almost 1.4 million people in the United States alone. Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, there are around 135,000 openings for accountants and auditors. Over the next nine years, it’s anticipated that the workforce will grow by 7%. Reportedly, growth is being driven by the number of retirees slated to exit their respective firms, as well as other big ol’ societal shifts – “globalization,” the catch-all for keen industrywide growth, and tax and regulatory “complexities.”

While we might be a little biased, your friends at O’Donnell, Ficenec, Wills & Ferdig appreciate that accounting is a meaningful and rewarding career choice. We are privileged that organizations trust their intimate financial and business details to us. We are also proud to play a vital role in growing client-organizations, identifying and addressing weaknesses, and strategically building upon areas that represent momentum. The “big picture” functions and goals are “all in a day’s work” for us. But, did you know that our predecessors have had the distinction of? …

  • Bringing down a number of legendary (notorious) figures, and we’re not just talking about that Chicagoland gangster Capone. It was forensic accountants’ financial prowess that ultimately led to the arrest of the Lindbergh baby kidnappers. One of New York City’s last crime bosses, Joseph Massino, was convicted due to evidence collected by two forensic accountants.

  • No other white-collar case, however, comes close in its scope and size than the almost $65 billion stolen by Bernie Madoff. Led by an accountant-turned-special agent, Patrick J. Duffy, the FBI, forensic accountants and financial analysts pored over 10,000-plus boxes of documents at Madoff’s offices and warehouse. Some $15 billion of the $20 billion (net cash lost) was recovered, and the late godfather of financial sleaze was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

  • On a lighter note, an army of accountants are enlisted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to tabulate the Oscar votes each year. If not for such objective insights, you can imagine how contested this vaunted tradition would become. Speaking of entertainers, a number of familiar names reportedly studied accounting – from Mick Jagger and Janet Jackson, to Bob Newhart and Kenny G.

As evidenced, there are plenty of personalities that are attracted to the profession, and defy the notion of “boring bean counter”! With that being said, accounting professionals tend to skew toward two of 16 different personality types as identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). A quarter of those surveyed were characterized as “ESTJ,” which stands for “Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging.” Seventeen-percent fall into pretty much the same category, only they are Introverted, as well as Sensing, Thinking and Judging (ISTJ). Our bunch tends to all trust what is perceived with our sense (rather than “gut feelings”), rely on logic (naturally!), and make judgments based on experiences. What type of accountant might you be? The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has the answer! This fun quiz probably sounds an awful lot like people you know, if not yourself.

We at OFWF value diverse and varied perspectives and personalities. We know an array of insights only adds to our ability to serve clients, and also reflects our diverse client base. And we love how International Accounting Day presents an opportunity to step back, thank our team and celebrate with our valued client-partners. We look forward to hearing from you, forging new relationships or reconnecting to build anew. Contact us at 402-592-3800 today!

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