Musings of an Expat Accountant

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I’m not too sure what the world thinks about us Accountants; but from what I gathered from good friends and a few colleagues is that we are the nerds of the organisation, not to be messed with, and are placed right under the geeks – the engineers / scientists / other specialised professionals. We are also privileged with a 2 day weekend (yes I am grateful for that break really), and that we take the happiness out of everyone – customers and staff alike.

While I cannot stop people’s perceptions and their imaginations, perhaps I could voice my own opinion about what it feels like to sit on an accountant’s desk:

No we DONT LIKE to play the recovery agent

It is part of my responsibility to collect the receivables (ensuring all bills are paid; outstandings cleared, and long term bills to be followed up from time to time). It is so much more simple if you call up a client, present him with a statement (i give my clients a smile too), they acknowledge it, a few clarifications maybe and a reassurance that they will pay. However some people tend to suffer from bank-o-phobia and respond harshly when reminded of their bills, like as though I am going to send them the hand cuffs next. Its weird how some people will go to any extent to avoid a payment. A few examples are : sneaking out from the basement parking so as to avoid the reception desk at the lobby, ┬ámaking up deaths in the family to obtain sympathies, and ofcourse the classic dont-pick-the-cell. I am generally a pleasant girl, but thanks to such beauties I need to firmly resound their obligations which in the end, doesn’t sound much too pleasant.

WE’RE HUMAN

A fancy habit most colleagues around my office, and even relatives picked up – is to shoot a math question at an accountant in sight.

“Madam this customer would like to pay 25% of his total bill of 89,215.75, so how much can I make the receipt for?”

“My annual payment is 200K, how much would my monthly installments be?”

I get it…I’m the one doing the math and numbers all day, but this doesn’t turn my brain into an instant calculator. Neither did I ever say I’m the fastest calculating machine this world has ever seen, so quit with the math quiz every time I pass you. Also, if I do happen to make a mental calculation, chances are (with so much on my mind) that I may have missed a decimal or a fraction somewhere. Its safer to just throw me a calculator along with your question for accurate results!

We’re NEVER invited

OK….so we don’t wear make-up at work? This doesn’t mean we don’t look fashionable outside the office. Its true, there are days when I haven’t done my hair in front of the mirror before stepping into office, and its also true that I haven’t changed my shoes or my shirts for the past 2-3 years, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t heard of GUCCI or Prada. I never dress up at work, simply cos I don’t need to look pretty for my Excel sheets. Neither is any make-up gonna make any difference to my PC. Unfortunately, accountants are the last to be considered for a wild night out, or a weekend getaway. If I try to compliment a lady for her taste in shoes, she thanks me by saying its from the ‘mall’ simply cos I aint supposed to know any brand names. Lady, stop gaping at me if I listen to rap on my android!

I CAN’T be nice, sorry

Puppy-faced ladies, and ever-smiling gentlemen, so sorry, but your antics won’t work to get a discount, approval or any concession when it comes to your bills. Yes I understand your problems, and yes I have a heart to feel bad too, but I have no authority on my own to permit what you’re asking. Like all jobs, and like all employees I follow instructions from my higher ups, and ofcourse thank you for the lovely box of Lindt, but I can’t budge for you.

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Clearing Accounts

Its 12:30 am…

I think I’ve finally made it a habit to blog atleast once a day, since it feels good and makes my head feel a whole lot lighter! As usual Saturday nights I do not sleep too well due to an overdose siesta at afternoons. So while I was still tossing in my bed, I happened to realise a strange inter-relation with what I do and my life’s various question marks. I am an accountant, as I might have mentioned earlier, and right now in the process of closing all the accounts for the month end, so as to tally all the accounting books in the final balance sheet. Sometimes, this can be quite a cumbersome task, and we are almost tempted to skip the step for later, but out of fear of auditors, we keep a deadline check of 7 days. Ofcourse, not to mention the immense sense of achievement, one feels when all the work is complete in orderly fashion…ok enough nerd talk!

Life is very much the same…I’m not going to compare the above with the numerous people we may owe debts to or vice-versa, but its so important to close the accounts of several aspects of a person’s interaction with others. Simple english – always finish what you started, never keep them incomplete.

It had reached 3 am and still no sleep, so I forced myself to continue listing those whom I have hurt or deliberately never worked on reconciling due to my own laziness or perhaps pride?

  • My ex-boss who terminated me: I think I forgave him, he was just doing his job after all, and my performance was an all time low…besides I was in the wrong career anyways.
  • My ex: he never said anything, it was clearly one-sided and more of an infatuation that I failed to see and insisted that it was love. After all I was too immature to understand the difference. So I’ve forgiven myself and him for that.
  • My childhood best friend: Ahan! This is one person who was just left in limbo thanks to me. She and I studied as classmates together since 2nd grade all the way to college, and were almost inseparable. She knew everything about me, and vice versa and no secret was left unshared. I think this was the very start of the problem. We both took it upon ourselves to judge the other, therefore ending up mocking each other for almost every action or decision, especially when it came to relationships. Soon she migrated to a far away continent and though I promised to keep in touch, I never did. I simply closed the chapter and reminded myself that it was her fault all the way. Today, 10 years later I do miss her in a large way, but its too late to explain anyhow. We’ve both changed immensely.
  • My aunt: I remember being so fond of her when I was growing up as a kid, but after her marriage into the family, we didn’t get along too well. Let’s say she was too blunt with her opinions, and myself being a highly inferiority-complexed person, didn’t take it too well. Her encounters terrified me as I wasn’t too sure what would be said next. Gradually as I grew older, my sense of fashion or actions never changed, but I was bold enough to accept myself, and not be bullied. Unfortunately, much of my ’emergence’ involved not meeting my aunt often, giving her the cold shoulder on several occasions and treating her responses as unimportant. Finally, me turning down a job offer that she recommended was the final straw to her patience, and the feelings were mutual ever since. Meeting her at Church or in a common area would definitely be the most awkward of moments.

I got sound sleep after this but just for a few hours till my alarm clock rang and I had to rush to work. I decided to work on these 2 relationships all the same…and just then…..

A friend I barely knew told me that a guy in his office (who actually had introduced me to this friend), was spreading some rumors about me. Too bad I had trusted this guy a tad too much, for which he rewarded me with his apparent gossip. Lesson: Guys can be bitches too! Right now I’m a little hurt, not that angry cos it was afterall my fault, but very upset at how a guy can take advantage of a girl’s weakness. I told Jaan about it, who told me to simply to treat him with sweet revenge, but then I felt reacting would only make the gossip true. So I decided to leave it as it is, and perhaps in a few days (especially after the exciting upcoming weekend) I should be able to recover from it. What’s your opinion?