Popular opinion often assumes that being an accountant is dull – but the impact that a good accountant can have on a business is immeasurable. Not only that, but accountancy has had a huge effect on the world in general.
Below are just a few of the contributions that accountants have made in shaping the modern world – pursuing a career in accountancy may well be more exciting than you thought.
1. Essential for researchers
A lot of historical research involves physically reading a myriad of old documents in libraries, museums, or other collections of records.
However, for most of history, only a few select groups of people knew how to write, such as priests, the nobility, and accountants.
Keeping track of tax and spending records has always been a major priority for anyone operating in a society based on currency – and so, in many cases, accountants have singlehandedly provided us with all the information we know about certain eras of human history.
2. Upholding justice
The reason that accounting is such an important profession is that a large part of the job is preventing crime and improving bad practice.
In many ways, accountants are crime fighters, detecting money laundering, fraud, and embezzlement (many of which may relate to other serious crimes).
That is how Al Capone was caught: accountants detected that he was taking part in tax evasion, as well as being a gangster.
3. Creating today’s financial society
As the capitalist system was first emerging in Europe, accountants in Italy developed double entry bookkeeping: a new way of money management that is still in use today.
The middle classes were growing and becoming more prosperous – and with more money, they needed more ways to accurately track it.
Without this method, the rise of merchants and other self-made businessmen would not have happened in the same way, and the modern world might have ended up looking completely different.
4. Improving businesses
This is the reason that accountancy is such a lucrative profession: they are essential for businesses to be successful.
Accountants can look at areas of a business and identify where efficiencies can be made, how different strategies can be used to increase productivity, and where the business could grow.
By helping businesses to grow and expand, accountants increase the number of jobs and help the economy grow as a whole.