Saturday, March 12, 2005

Why I Like Accounting (and don't like taxes)

Financial accounting is really not a bad profession, because it pays well and it really isn't that hard. I know I complain a lot, but the truth is that I like it. That's why I decided to get into it in the first place.

It's also a pretty well respected profession, aside from the general perception that people have of accountants (remember Rick Moranis' character from Ghostbusters.)

What I like about it is that it's like The Matrix. Everything about financial accounting is run by rules, and if the rules are applied properly, everything should work out correctly. Debits always have to equal credits. It's just math, and math should never be wrong. I like having that kind of confidence in what I'm doing.

So, in financial accounting, 1 + 1 always equals 2, but in tax accounting, if Congress decides that 1 + 1 now equals 3, and if you make X number of dollars, 1 + 1 will equal 0, then those are the new rules that you have to play by.

It's really frustrating to have to learn all of this stuff, take one of the hardest professional exams in existence on it, and then re-learn the rules every year because of changes to the tax code. Then again, if it were easy I guess there would be much need for my profession at all.