Something I do not think they prepare you for in business school is just how hard it is to work in Accounting and Finance. I have been a CPA for six years, and I have worked in business a lot longer before that. So I wanted to share from my experience what makes accounting and finance jobs so difficult. WATCH NOW
From a practical standpoint, it is very hard just to get a CPA license. In business school, you have a bunch of different majors you can choose from and accounting is always one of the hardest. In most states, to get your CPA license you will probably want to get a Master’s degree in accounting. So we are talking about six years of college education in some of the hardest classes in business school. Then you have to pass the CPA exam. The CPA exam takes 1-2 years to pass, and it is designed to fail 50% of the people who take it. It is hard. Between the schooling and CPA exam, the training to become an accountant is hard.
One of the reasons why the training is so difficult, is because the job is so hard. Business school is preparing you to do the actual work. If you are in business school now and you feel like you are struggling, do not get discouraged. You want that preparation for what is ahead of you in the job market.
Here are a few reasons why Accounting and Finance jobs are difficult.
- High stress. You will be dealing with money. Whenever money is involved, that means high stakes, which means a lot of stress. A lot will be riding on your decisions and your actions.
- Health risk. This is something people do not tell you about. This is a job where you sit a lot with very high stress. That is horrible for your health. This is a job that you will have to be prepared to battle with health related risks.
- Underfunded. Accounting is often an area of the business that is underfunded, because it is not a revenue generating area. So you will have tight deadlines, and not enough staff to meet those deadlines. Often this results in long hours at the office to make sure the accounting is correct.
For all of these reasons, accounting and finance jobs are difficult to begin with. But these are actually not the biggest hurdles you will face. Your biggest challenge as an accountant is that people have negative beliefs about money.
If you are an accountant, you have spent years of your life thinking about how money works. Most people are not like that. Most people think about money as little as possible. That results in negative beliefs about money. Here is what happens. Most people go through life and experience money problems, especially when they are starting out. Maybe they bounced a check. Maybe they had to make painful cuts in their budget to make ends meet. People go through these painful and negative experiences with money, and that shapes their attitude. They do not want to think about money. Your business is probably full of people with negative attitudes about money.
As an accountant, you are in a job where you have to make people think about money. In any business there are money issues that need to be addressed. You will have to sit people down and show them in a positive way how to address those issues. That is an incredibly difficult task. It is hard to work in teams in general, but it is even more difficult when you are working with people with a bad attitude. What this takes is leadership. You need to be a leader to show people the positive role that money can play in your business. Money should be empowering, not a source of frustration.
So accounting and finance is hard. Why do we do it? You do it because the world needs people like you. The world needs people to watch the money. Think about what an accountant is doing on a bigger scale. Accountants are determining what is valuable and what is not. That job is not always going to make people happy. Sometimes it will require people to make changes in their lives. But what accountants are doing is showing society the actions to take that will make everyone’s lives better off.
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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.