I read somewhere where they say, “Accounting: The One degree with 360 degrees of possibilities.” How true is this, considering the versatility this qualification offers you including a wide variety of choices for future career opportunities? Whilst you spend a great deal of time working with numbers, communication and people skills play a great role within this job and this is just the operational aspect. The Director role is both strategic and proactive as you spend time examining financial records, the market and making sure that the company is competitive and compliant with their policies and the law as well as good governance and which direction the business should navigate towards.
On the other hand compliance, risk and good business practice is almost inevitable as a business grows and who else is equipped to ensure that? The cost of not having a good accountant is a recipe to fail in your business and South Africa does not need failing businesses with our high unemployment rate. There is no organisation that runs efficiently without a good accountant. This is why skilled accountants have the tools to become entrepreneurs as they are trained to understand businesses in totality. On the other hand all entrepreneurs will need accountants if they do not have the skills themselves.
Here is a reality, a business can’t go anywhere without a good accountant, not even an individual. I once heard Khanyi Dlhomo give advice to entrepreneurs about business. She said “as soon as you start a business, invest in a good accountant and a good lawyer” I couldn’t agree with her more because this profession has become more than just a reactive role in this ever changing market, it has become a needed proactive role.
The skill in this profession is decreasing, but more and more businesses need good accountants as stakeholders need someone they can rely on. This means that there is no supply, but there is a high demand. It’s all good and well to tell me that you have the best product that can change the world and make you successful, the question is how does that transform into something we can call a business and present to funders and investors? Who else can answer that question other than the person you hold accountable to inform you of results, performance and sustainability of your products performance in the market? A good accountant in demand is who.
The reality is that some businesses may go down because of bad accounting, but all businesses will go down if they have no accounting.
By Guest Blogger: Thabiso Hermanus, Head of Finance, Power FM