‘You’re an accountant??? I would have never guessed that’ and so goes the typical shocked comment when discussing my profession. This is usually followed up by ‘Wow, you must really like math’ and/or ‘Can you do my taxes?’… that and jokes about the counting of beans…
Alas, a “typical” or “stereotypical” accountant I am not. Accounting “math” never goes further than the simple addition or subtraction, maybe a little multiplication or division… however, that is always performed in a spreadsheet! I can barely add without my cell phone calculator, honestly. I don’t do my own taxes and I certainly do not count beans. Shoes or scarves maybe, but definitely not beans.
I never set out to be an accountant, I actually never set out to be anything in particular really. I was never the child that had the dream job in mind from a young age – firefighter, doctor etc. I think my dream job would be a travel blogger, actress or fashion designer – perhaps one day, right? Martha Stewart didn’t start her business till she was like 50 or something! I have time.
My first few years of University were spent discovering philosophy, anthropology, religious studies and pretty much every other elective I could prior to moving to Amsterdam where I studied International Finance and Economics.
I didn’t finish the program in Amsterdam, as soon as we hit “econometrics” I tapped out -if you don’t know what that is, I am jealous, if you do, I am sorry.
When I returned to Canada it really was time to decide on something (as I was already on year 4 of post secondary school!) I didn’t mind my accounting classes and had done some work under a controller at the trucking company so I decided, why not! I was able to land a job as a summer student at Deloitte and have been faking it ever since !! Fake it till you make it, right? No, but seriously.
I have had very good fortune with my career and have been able to hold increasingly senior and complex positions. I love it, the challenge, the hours, the pressure and stress, the team of people I am privileged to lead….
The great big secret is though, that accounting is absolutely not about counting beans, at least not the accounting I am doing, it’s about strategy, business and most importantly, it’s about people. Understanding them, relating to them and motivating them. I love leading a team to a goal, I love working with individuals and watching them learn and grow.
I also love taking the stereotype and completely shattering it, with emotional intelligence, good fashion, alakaline water, tattoos, cleanses and my various other ‘bohemian’ ways.
At the end of the day, my accreditation is in accounting, but what I am doing with it is so much more than bean counting.
Stay tuned for more adventures,
Love and light,