Wait… risks in accounting? Isn’t accounting supposed to be a fairly subdued job? Something free from danger? When people say risks in accounting, they often think about the business jargon. Inherent risk, audit risk, stuff like that. They don’t think about actual risks to their safety or wellbeing, or even to the profession as a whole.
Of course, people may not have been given much reason to think about these sorts of risks. The career of an accountant has always been portrayed as something calm and undangerous, if a little stressful sometimes. So here’s a quick guide to the problems that you may face in your (hopefully) long and healthy career as an accountant.
The sedentary lifestyle
Like many modern office jobs, accounting (or bookkeeping – however you want to refer to it) involves spending a lot of time sitting at a desk. You’re probably going to be hunched over a laptop, spending a lot of time with those numbers and records.
There are a number of problems inherent in this kind of lifestyle. One issue is that you’re spending a lot of time not moving very much. Even if you go to the gym after work, all those hours with the same heart rate can cause damage. Make sure you’re working somewhere that understands this. It’s actually recommended that you get up and move for at least a few minutes every hour.
When you work intimately with other people’s finances, you find out a lot about them. Sometimes, you find out more than you might have liked to have known. A good accountant who is looking at the records of a stealthy fraudster may find an anomaly that reveals the said fraudster’s crimes. But wait. How is this is a risk to the accountant? Isn’t that only a risk on the part of the person committing the crime?
Sadly, it’s not always that simple. What if the accountant is working on the books of the company they work for and find fraudulent activity? When you think of this situation, the risk on their part becomes obvious. It can turn into a very unpleasant legal case that many workers would want to avoid. They’d also be afraid of retaliation. But don’t worry – the law has your back. You can get protected by a Sarbanes Oxley Retaliation Attorney if you need to report corporate fraud.
Accounting is fast becoming a very popular job. Contrary to the popular notion about kids today, it seems that a lot of them really do like working with numbers. (Or maybe they’ve just heard about the great salaries an accountant can earn.)
The problem here is that competition is getting more and more fierce every year. All those online accounting courses you see advertised? Those are strong and legitimate entries into the field. So it’s become easier to get a foot in the door of this industry – it’s just that there are also a lot of other feet in the same door. (Pretend it’s a really big door.) This is why you need to make an extra effort to really stand out from all the competition.