All lawyers wear bowties, all doctors wear stethoscopes and all CPAs wear pocket protectors, right?  Certainly not, but these are generally things associated with the professions.  If you’re an accountant, you might recognize other myths commonly attributed to the industry.  Here’s three:

1. Accountants are boring. To prove, once and for all, that nothing could be further from the truth, here is a list of some people you might recognize who were accountants or studied accounting:

Chuck Liddell, Ultimate Fighting Champion

Eddie Izzard, British standup comedian

Bob Newhart, Comedian

John Grisham, Author

Robert Plant, Former lead singer of Led Zeppelin

Mick Jagger, Lead singer of the Rolling Stones

Kenny G, Saxophonist

2. QuickBooks and accountants are interchangeable. Sorry, but….no.  QuickBooks is a great program and can be very useful.  However, it is not a substitute for an accountant.  QuickBooks allows you to capture data, but you need to know where to put it so that it makes sense.

Accountants have the education and background to look at a situation and determine the best way to address accounting issues which affect you now – and well into the future. Let’s put it this way. Anyone with a bag full of tools can attempt to fix your car. However, a certified auto mechanic is far less likely to install a carburetor on your roof.

3. CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers – they’re all the same. This is a myth which never seems to go away. While all are worthy professions, each is very distinct:

  • Bookkeepers. Bookkeepers simply “keep the books.”  No formal education or training is involved.
  • Accountants. Accountants have a degree in accounting. However, without more, they can only hold themselves out as such – and not as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
  • CPAs. CPAs are accountants who have taken their education and experience a step further.  CPAs must pass the Uniform CPA Examination and meet state education and experience requirements before they can sit for the exam.  In many states, they also have to take continuing professional education courses to maintain their license.

So, put aside these accounting myths once and for all (and please do get rid of that pocket protector if you just happen to have one). Let’s focus on something that is fact:  The accounting profession is one of the fasted growing industries in the United States. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industry is projected to grow 11% by 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. And that – is not a myth.

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