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Are Accountants Number Crunchers Only?

Introduction:

In the UK today, only 15% of the labour force are in manufacturing; this will go down to about 10% by the year 2010.
In Pakistan, approximately 15% to 25% accounting students are increasing every year. The number of professional commerce institutions has increased from 36 to 100 since 1992. (Source: Central bureau of education, Pakistan)

What does this means?
More and more people are directing towards non-manufacturing environments which makes them more conscious about social and environmental factors than those technical. The decline of manufacturing has been changing the skills and competencies that accountants need in the 21st century to satisfy the needs and requirements of stakeholders.
Result is the division of accountants into those who can coop up with changing world and those who can’t i.e. entrepreneurs and number crunchers.

Because of the unawareness of the subject matter in general public, little use of available information technology by accountants and ignoring social & environmental factors to report with mere numbers, a common perception is developed that accountants are dull, conservative and preoccupied with numbers. Yet all is not lost. Change is afoot!

Do accountants have strength just in numbers?

Undoubtedly, accountants are more —much more than number crunchers. Accountants are concerned about how the collected data should be used whereas number crunchers are busy thinking how data should be collected. If number crunching was what was required, then artificial intelligence of computers was sufficient; employers won’t look for accountants who are ‘Emotionally intelligent’ ‘Team worker’ and a lot. In fact, accountants are key strategists who help both individuals and organisations to improve their financial practices and systems. They have an ability to anticipate the client’s needs and position organisation’s capabilities to the best advantage. Depending on their chosen area of specialisation, there is a wide range of duties that accountants perform. Accountants, for instance, help businesses with problems like:
• Audit the business for compliance with legislation
• How to start a business and when to expand
• How much the business is worth
• How to make the most out of the corporate wealth
• Developing a tax & legal strategy
• Managing insolvency, bankruptcy and receivership

Forensic accounting, an emerging branch of accountancy, has helped in investigating and detecting frauds but above all, ‘using’ numbers instead of ‘crunching’ had added to the decision making capability of modern accountants. Would that accountants are number crunchers, who would find the right numbers at right times to make use of, for the critics? One who draws a map...

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Category:   Accounting

Length:   7 pages (1,571 words)

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