Accountant Definition and Meaning:
- What is an Accountant?

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On this page you'll find a variety of definitions of an accountant - conventional, alternative and extreme!

1. Literal meaning of 'Accountant'

As a noun:  one who "renders accounts"  (Old French C15th)

As an adjective: a person who is "accountable; liable to render accounts.." (Middle English)

2. A business definition of 'Accountant'

" An accountant is a Qualified person trained in bookkeeping and in the preparation, auditing and analysis of accounts" (The Business Dictionary)

'Qualified' means someone who has passed the relevant Professional Exams and is entitled (through their particular Institute or Body) to place identifying letters after their name (eg. ACA, ACCA, CPA). Note: 'accountant' is also used informally to refer to someone who has reached a certain level of knowledge and ability based on experience.

So an accountant is an 'account-ant'(Joke: What do you call an accountant who can't count? - An acant.)

3. Definition of 'Accounts'

'Accounts' has 2 meanings:

  1. "records or statements of financial expenditure and receipts relating to a particular period or purpose", but also
  2. "reports or descriptions of an event or experience"

In other words,  financial accounts should tell the story - or the account - of what happened over a period of time. Clever!

4. Alternative definition of  Accountant as Storyteller

So an accountant could be defined as:

"An accountant is the person who is relied upon to tell the story of what has happened financially over a specific period of time, and the person entrusted to tell that story truthfully and objectively"    (the alternative accountant)

And the content of that story is captured through the practice of accounting and is told through financial analysis and reporting.


5. Alternative, Cruel-but-Funny, Extreme, Insider Definition of an Accountant!

what is an accountantFrom the Archives: 1996 - a tricky sum has an accountant struggling with his emotions.

An accountant is a person who:

  • displays deviant behaviour when it comes to numbers
  • can do tricky sums
  • experiences an inner peace in the knowledge that debits should always equal credits
  • knows the inner thrill of viewing a well structured Chart of Accounts
  • gasps at the majestic splendour of a Trial Balance
  • marvels at non-accounting colleagues who guiltlessly work from home or leave early on a Friday
  • always seems to miss a trick when it comes to claiming expenses or receiving above-inflation pay rises
  • has made a lifetime vow never to take a holiday at month end
  • spends more evenings with the office cleaner than with their partner
  • sorts out all the mess
  • reports to anybody who may be interested on where it all went so horribly wrong ...and...
  • solves a problem you didn't know you had, in a way you don't understand, at a price you can't afford!!!!



Accountant Humour Gift Idea - give them this 'defining' mug!

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