PracticeAccounting FirmsOn the money with Gavin Hinks

On the money with Gavin Hinks

Accountants can display some peculiar characteristics, as two apparently unrelated recent studies demonstrate

Gavin Hinks, AccountancyAge

First, a third of all accountants take their laptops on holiday with them.
Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Accountants are fastidious and
committed people. If they feel they have work they need to do, they will take it
anywhere with them. The job, after all, needs doing.

But the practice can be taken to extremes. I once telephoned a well-known tax
expert about a story. I quickly noticed the raucous background noise and asked
where he was. ‘I’m queueing for a roller coaster with my kids at Disneyland in
Florida.’ I was amazed he even bothered to answer his phone.

And it was by no means an isolated example. On another occasion I called a
top expert from one of the Big Four, only to find he was answering the phone
while frying bacon for his children’s breakfast on a campsite in France. Aside
from the obvious risks of frying and taking a call at the same time, I was
baffled as to why he would even bother to pick up the blower while enjoying a
well-earned break.

There’s more, and of a camping nature too. Katherine Lee, CFO at pollsters
YouGov, once confessed to Accountancy Age that she had ended up presenting
interim results from a field while on a camping trip to Cornwall.

So we’ve known all about accountants working above and beyond the call of
duty for some time now.

Now for that other piece of research. Accountancy degrees are apparently more
lucrative than any other. Why? Well, if the kind of people who study accountancy
are the same kind who end up taking work calls while queuing for fairground
rides in Florida, or speaking to analysts while sitting in a tent in Cornwall,
then you have your explanation right there.

Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age

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