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HUMAN RESOURCES

Taking Account: Accountants becoming key players

A man was walking through the forest one day when he heard a small voice. He listened carefully and the voice called out "Please help me. I'm a frog, kiss me and I will turn into a beautiful princess and make you happy for the rest of your life." The man looked around and sure enough he found the frog. He picked it up, put it into his pocket and walked on. After a while the frog said to him: "Why won't you help me? I can really make you happy if you will just kiss me and break the magic spell." The man replied: "I'm afraid I don't believe in fairy tales." The frog then asked why, in that case, the man had not released it. "I haven't got time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog... well that's really trendy!" was the answer.
This man, with his skepticism and sense of fun, could have been an accountant geared up for modern business. Understanding the complex relationships between resources that contribute to a successful company is a highly exciting business, and one in which the modern accounting/finance function plays a major role, because, let's face it, a successful company is a profitable one.


Erica Gibbon

A man was walking through the forest one day when he heard a small voice. He listened carefully and the voice called out "Please help me. I'm a frog, kiss me and I will turn into a beautiful princess and make you happy for the rest of your life." The man looked around and sure enough he found the frog. He picked it up, put it into his pocket and walked on. After a while the frog said to him: "Why won't you help me? I can really make you happy if you will just kiss me and break the magic spell." The man replied: "I'm afraid I don't believe in fairy tales." The frog then asked why, in that case, the man had not released it. "I haven't got time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog... well that's really trendy!" was the answer.

This man, with his skepticism and sense of fun, could have been an accountant geared up for modern business. Understanding the complex relationships between resources that contribute to a successful company is a highly exciting business, and one in which the modern accounting/finance function plays a major role, because, let's face it, a successful company is a profitable one.

Accountants are not particularly renowned for excitement, however. If you dare to introduce yourself as an accountant you can almost see people thinking 'routine procedures, studious, analytical... let me out of here!'. The fact of the matter in the 21st century, though, is that accountancy has huge potential for excitement. An accountant is much more than the person who keeps accounting records and calculates your tax dues.

Serious companies realise that business is not merely about reducing costs or increasing revenues, but more about recognising the value of available resources and finding the most efficient and complementary mix to give an organisation competitive advantage.

A modern accountant can therefore be expected to understand and analyse a huge amount of internal, external, financial, quantitative and qualitative information that affects the performance of a company. Given the increase in information available from the Internet, new global-type business relationships, higher expectations and shareholder demands, having to work so much with customers and regulatory authorities, understanding such information can be an awesome task in itself. And that is even before you can put the information to good use in business! Add to that the fact that today's accountant is tomorrow's financial director, he/she needs to acquire a huge range of knowledge (market trends, investment opportunities, financing strategies) and a wealth of skills (inter-personal, IT, risk management, systems implementation, time management and project management) in order to put that knowledge to practical use.

Investigating the facts and fairytales of business is an adventure in itself. So spare a minute for the next accountant you meet, and when you have finished discussing life, the universe and profit, he or she may introduce you to a magical business remedy.

Erica Gibbon is an Accounting and Finance Tutor at BPP International in Bratislava. For questions or enquiries phone: 07/59 276 205 or e-mail: bratislava@bpp.com

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