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What are 10 Facts Every Accountant Should Know?

Many people seem to think that accounting is boring. Well, think again! Here are 10 weird & wonderful facts about Accounting sector!

Accounting is often seen as a boring profession where you just crunch numbers and stare at spreadsheets. But there’s so much more to this important field than meets the eye! From its surprisingly old roots to its appearances in popular culture, accounting has a fascinating history. So if you’re an accountant looking to add some sparkle to your profession or you just want to learn more about this often misunderstood field then read on! Here are 10 weird and wonderful facts about accounting that will make you look at numbers in a whole new way.

  1. The Inventor of Bubblegum Was an Accountant! – Who knew the mind behind the pink bubblegum you loved as a kid was an accountant? Walter Diemer wasn’t happy with the chewing gum options in the 1920s so he decided to invent his own. The only problem was the base he used kept sticking to everything. In a flash of inspiration Diemer added latex to the mix and voila! Bubblegum was born. The first bubblegum was actually pink because that was the only dye he had at the time.
  2. FBI Accountants Helped Bring Down Al Capone – Al Capone, the infamous gangster who terrorised Chicago during the Prohibition Era, was a ruthless businessman who thought he was above the law. But his downfall didn’t come from a shootout or a daring raid, but from a team of accountant detectives from the FBI. Capone was meticulous about keeping records of his illegal activities but he underestimated the power of forensic accounting. The FBI’s team of accountants went through Capone’s financial records and documented his lavish spending habits which he couldn’t possibly have afforded with his legitimate businesses. In 1931 Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
  1. A Team of Accountants Hand-Count All the Ballots for the Oscars! – Every year millions of people watch the Oscars, the biggest night in Hollywood. But behind the glamour and glitz there’s a team of accountants working tirelessly to ensure the ceremony is fair. Believe it or not the votes for the Academy Awards are not counted electronically. Instead a team of nine accountants hand count all the ballots the night before the ceremony. This takes an estimated 1,700 hours to do and ensures the results are accurate.
  1. “Bookkeeping” Is the Only English Word to Contain Three Sets of Double Letters Back-to-Back-to-Back – Got a fact to wow your friends at your next trivia night? Then look no further than the word “bookkeeping”. It’s the only word in the English language to have three double letters in a row: “boo”, “kee” and “ping”.
  1. Rock and Roll Legends Mick Jagger and Robert Plant Once Worked in Accounting – Before they were rocking out and touring the world, Mick Jagger and Robert Plant, the lead singers of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin respectively, worked in accounting. Jagger was a trainee accountant at a London firm after school. Plant was a chartered accountant in his teens.
  1. Ancient Accountants Used Clay Tokens to Keep Track of Animals and Grain – Before spreadsheets and digital accounting software, ancient civilizations had their own ways of keeping track of their finances. In Mesopotamia, for example, accountants used clay tokens to represent different commodities like grain or animals. These tokens were stored in clay containers which was a primitive form of accounting record.
  1. The Co-founder of Nike Was an Accountant – Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, is a certified public accountant (CPA). In fact, Nike was born out of a project he did for one of his MBA classes at the University of Oregon.
  1. The First Recorded Name in History Belonged to an Accountant – Mesopotamia wasn’t just ahead of its time in using clay tokens for record-keeping; it also has the earliest recorded name in history. The name was “Kushim” and belonged to an accountant who managed the inventory of a temple around 3700 BC.
  1. The Winner of the Miss USA 2013 Pageant Was an Accountant – In 2013 Nana Meriweather became the first Miss USA contestant with an accounting background to win the crown. Meriweather, a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in accounting, proved that beauty and brains can totally go together.
  1. Hollywood Has a Long History of Accounting – Accounting might not be the most exciting profession for Hollywood but it has made a surprising number of appearances on the big screen. From the classic screwball comedy “My Man Godfrey” (1936) where a wacky family of socialites hire a down-on-his-luck accountant to clean up their financial mess to the legal thriller “The Accountant” (2016) where Ben Affleck plays a math savant who moonlights as an undercover forensic accountant for dangerous clients, Hollywood has found a way to make accounting exciting and suspenseful.

And there you have it! These 10 weird and wonderful facts show accounting is so much more than just a number cruncher. Accounting is the backbone of every business, organisation and even government. It’s a language that tells the story of an organisation’s financial health and accountants are the experts who can read that story and make decisions from it.

In today’s global economy accountants are in hot demand. They are the key to business financial stability, fraud prevention and valuable insights for growth. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to start your own business or a seasoned professional looking to take your career to the next level, a good understanding of accounting principles is a valuable asset. So next time you think about accounting, remember the interesting history, the importance of it in our world and the weird and wonderful connections to pop culture and everyday life. Accounting is a dynamic and ever changing field with plenty of opportunities for those who love numbers, analysis and making a real difference.

Accounting may not be the first career that comes to mind when you think of excitement or creativity. But as we’ve seen, accounting is full of surprises. From its ancient history to its weird and wonderful connections to pop culture and Hollywood, accounting has a lot to offer. Now if someone ever makes a joke about accountants being boring number crunchers, be ready to enlighten them with these facts. And if you’re looking for a career path, don’t discount accounting! It’s a field that offers a unique mix of challenge, mental stimulation and the opportunity to make a real difference in the world. After all, who knew the inventor of bubblegum or the accountant who brought down Al Capone could be in the same profession?

So, the next time someone refers to accountancy as unexciting, just reference Nike or Mick Jagger or the Oscars to steer the conversation in another direction! The world of accounting is full of possibilities, waiting to be explored. So, why not dive in and see what you can discover?


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