I regret that there is some stigma surrounding my profession in that is thought by some people to be boring. I’m here to tell you that is far from the truth and I have some fun facts to help prove my case:
- The word ‘accounting’ comes from the French ‘compter’ meaning to count. Other accountancy terms are of Latin derivation, such as ‘debit’, meaning he owes, and ‘credit’ meaning he trusts.
- Accounting has been around for a very long time indeed! Tokens dating back 7,000 years have been discovered in ancient Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, Turkey and Syria. They are believed to be the earliest records of goods received and traded.
- St Matthew the Evangelist is the patron saint of accountants. He has the same role for bookkeepers, tax collectors, stockbrokers and bankers.
- Bookkeeper and words deriving from it are the only words in English with three consecutive double letters.
- Luca Pacioli, an Italian mathematician, is recognised as the father of accounting. He published the first book on double entry accounting in 1494 and Leonardo da Vinci was one of his students.
- Chicago crime boss, Al Capone, was brought down thanks to accountants. He was suspected of many crimes, including bootlegging and murder, but was eventually convicted for tax evasion.
- Bubble gum was invented in 1928 by an accountant. Walter Diemar was the man responsible. The reason it is pink is that this was the only colour dye he had available at the time.
- Rock singers Mick Jagger and Robert Plant, together with comedian Eddie Izzard, all worked in accounting before their show business careers took off.
- Accountants play an important part at the Oscar ceremonies. Ever since 1935, a team of accountants has spent an average total of 1,700 hours the night before the ceremony counting the Academy Award ballots by hand.
- Monty Python often ridiculed members of the profession and this may be because John Cleese’s father wanted him to join a firm of accountants in Bristol.
So, not boring at all!