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Weekend Discussion: Accounting Doesn’t Need to Be Sexy

Ladies man breaking the ice at a nightclub

If you didn’t catch it, The Economist published this the other day:


They weren’t taking liberties with the word “sexy” either. The intro paragraph reads:

In tiktok parlance, “accountant” is code for a sex worker. Now proper beancounters want to reclaim the title and make it appealing to prospective recruits, on the popular short-video app and elsewhere. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (aicpa), the profession’s main trade group in America, has a TikTok feed laden with career tips and young accountants (the real sort) living their best professional lives. It has 27,000 followers—and its work cut out.

How about instead of trying to wrestle the title of “accountant” from people who sell pictures of their feet on the internet the profession focuses on improving the two key issues that conspired to scare young people away: low starting salaries and poor work-life balance. No? “Sexy” TikToks is what we’re doing? OK.

There’s nothing sexier than money and every weekend off, change my mind.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Discussion: Accounting Doesn’t Need to Be Sexy

  1. Uh yaaah, how about make it a profession of sound ethics and attract those who won’t do things like steal government money? 💡💡💡

  2. “There’s nothing sexier than money and every weekend off, change my mind.”

    Cute article. Agreed with the above, at least one or the other, higher pay or better work-life balance would make it more appealing. The firms that have the happiest employees found a way to do some sort of combination of a little of both. Sadly there are plenty, probably a majority, of firms out there that are doing neither, and that’s where a large part of the unhappiness comes from.

    But the AICPA cannot do anything about that. Its each firm’s prerogative to operate how they want, and down the line somewhere, face the consequences of difficulty getting people to join and stay. The AICPA can just focus on the stories about the “happy accountants”, which do exist in a significant proportion, whether they found a good firm home or just have the perfect personality for the work.

    And apparently getting all the state boards and state legislators to simply reduce the 150 hour rule is made too complicated by the politics involved?

    So, it is what it is. It’s going to have to get worse before it gets better.

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