I’ve had the fortune of working with several different businesses in a wide variety of departments including accounting, data science, risk analysis, product management, marketing, project management, and even a bit of recruiting. This is the first in a series of posts about different jobs and what makes them fun (and important!)
Let’s start with accounting. Making money is a key goal in any business-for most, it’s their primary goal. But figuring out whether any individual strategy, marketing campaign, or product makes money is actually rather difficult. The big customer who drives most of your revenue may be massively unprofitable after you account for commissions, chargebacks, and special demands. On the other hand a previously overlooked niche might turn out to have extremely high margins.
The accountants are responsible for bringing this information together. They take all the data for different types of costs and revenues, put it all together, and figure out where the money is coming from and where its going. This means accountants have the best grasp of how profitable or costly any initiative has been. That in turn means that accountants can provide strong, data-driven recommendations what a business should change in order to make more money.
And that’s part of what makes accounting so fun. By slicing the data in a different way and getting a better view of what’s going on, you can easily identify opportunities that can make a huge impact on the business. In my first bookkeeping job I was able to help a business recover more than half a million dollars of cash, identify & renegotiate with unprofitable customers, and find some underserved markets that were providing huge margins. How cool is that?