Did you know accounting isn’t the boring ‘numbers job’ many people think it to be?
Because as podcast host, co-founder of Illumin8, and all-round legend Andrew Van De Beek FCA explained to Izzy during Year13’s Turning your passions into a career expo, accounting is so much more than that.
Let’s start with how Van De Beek’s obsession with the potential of the accounting industry began and a second lightbulb moment he had after several years working as an accountant.
“I was looking at potential careers in high school and thought I really enjoy problem-solving, I’m kinda good with numbers, I like business and I liked impact and those kind of things and I kind of looked at accounting as an avenue where I could develop those skill sets and work in an environment that would allow me to do that,” he said.
Eight years later, right before he started his first accounting business, Van De Beek had a second landmark moment.
“I was fed up with how I felt accounting was quite transactional,” he said.
“But then (I had this realisation that changed everything): that behind every business there’s a person that likely has a family, that has hopes and dreams and communities and things they want to do with their life, and I thought hold on a second, as an accountant, I can actually work with these people to help create change and help do good stuff.
“And that really sort of reinvigorated me to continue on my path as an accountant.”
Van De Beek explains it’s that future element of accounting that’s so often overlooked when people consider accounting as a career.
“(Because after all) there are two elements to accounting,” Van De Beek said. “Historical and future.”
“Historical accounting centres around how a business has performed, communicating that to the owner and letting them know from a tax perspective what they have to do to ensure they are compliant with relevant government organisations.”
Aka, tax returns etc.
“But what quite a lot of people don’t realise about accounting is the future element of accounting – or what we might refer to as advisory in the accounting space.”
That is, he explains, is the understanding of information, data and numbers and communicating that to clients – who can then make decisions about the future of their business.
“So what that means is that the client may then change the way they approach things,” he said.
“(For example), business owners might adopt a new marketing strategy because it’s going to get them a better result, or they might sell a different product, or sell it for more or less money, because of the information accountants are able to provide them.
“So really, accountants are creating a platform for decision-making for how to help individuals create a really great, sustainable business.”
Now that does sound pretty cool and a great way to get teenagers interested in accounting.