2.1 million chartered accountants in the world

People working on a table with it equipment

The FBI hires over 2,000 accountants

arial shot of the marina

Accountants control the ballots for the Oscars

graphic image of the stock market

Bubble-gum was invented by an accountant

skyline shot

If we had a penny for every time someone asked us this…

We hear this question a lot. We’re not sure where this bad rep comes from, maybe it’s the Dickensian image of Scrooge, counting his pennies or an ingrained fear of maths from school. The reality is, accounting is actually pretty incredible and is a huge player in the business world.

Let’s take forensic accounting as an example, specifically, the cases of Al Capone and OJ Simpson.

In 1931, an accountant brought down Al Capone’s crime empire which was worth $1.3 billion; uncovering tax evasion of epic proportions. When OJ Simpson received a verdict of innocence, his victims sought financial compensation. OJ claimed he had no money, he claimed he was ‘broke’; however, forensic accountants revealed otherwise; resulting in his victims receiving a $33 million settlement.

But, it’s not all ‘hold-the-front-page’ news. Accounting is actually far bigger. Did you know that as an accountant, you can literally work for any type of business, in any sector, in any part of the world? You can work for virtually any employer when you have an accounting degree. It’s one of the fewest professions that offers this level of flexibility. The world is your oyster. You could work for a small, local business, an accounting firm or even one of the world’s biggest brands like Facebook, Coca-Cola or Microsoft.

However, it’s not just about big profits. There are so many opportunities within the third sector; working for charities, social enterprise and other not-for-profit organisations. You will become your organisation’s life-line and will guide them through what can be a challenging sector; but more importantly, you will play a vital role in supporting communities at a local level.

What we’ve noticed is that there’s an image of accountants that plagues the industry. The image of anti-social, number crunchers, locked away in a small office; eyes glued to computer screens. The reality is, this can be true of any office-based profession; it’s what you bring to the table, that’s important. You didn’t see this image hold back the likes of Mick Jagger, Venus Williams and Eddie Izzard when they opted to study the subject at Uni.

Let’s now look at Nike. When you see the word ‘Nike’, what comes to mind? I’m guessing, high tops, sporting excellence, MJ and Netflix’s Last Dance? It’s a globally-renowned brand with great appeal, strong ethics and is a multi-billion pound powerhouse. With over 70,000 employees worldwide, it can be pretty hard to believe that co-founder, Phil Knight, decided to surround himself with nothing but accountants and lawyers when the business first launched. He didn’t want creatives, designers or marketers. In his memoirs, Shoe Dog, he confessed that he wanted to hire people with "sharp minds." He said, “That was our priority, and accountants (and lawyers) had at least proved that they could master a difficult subject.”

Actually, we forgot to mention, Phil Knight worked as an accountant pre-Nike. So with an accounting degree, you won’t be pigeon-holed; it actually opens up a lot of doors for you.

Of course, there are a few other facts about accountants, but we’ll just briefly list these for you, can you tell we love accounting at the School of Management yet?

  • There are over 2.1 million chartered accountants in the world – huge job opportunities!

  • The FBI hires over 2,000 accountants

  • Accountants control the ballots for the Oscars; all ran by PricewaterhouseCoopers

  • Bubble-gum was actually invented by accountant, Walter Diemer

It sums it up really. Yes, you can have great business ideas with huge, exciting outcomes but you need accountants to get those ideas off the ground. Accountants shape the way for a business to succeed.

The Accounting pathways at the School of Management, are designed to build your skillset not just as an accountant but as a person with impeccable business acumen. You will not just be taught the fundamentals of accounting; you will also have the opportunity to learn about the full business-sphere- exploring subjects such as business development, marketing, and economics. We’re proud to be home to successful accounting and finance graduates who have gone on to do wonderful things locally and globally.

Want to talk to someone about studying with us? Contact our recruitment team and they will talk you through your options.

We hope to welcome you to Swansea soon!


Date published: 06/07/2020