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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