Accountants: Unexpected Heroes of the World

As the semester has gotten harder, a good number of my peers have considered if all of this work is truly worth it. Some of the people I’ve spoken to are thinking of trying to find a more rewarding profession, such as nonprofit work, or helping people in some way or another.  As much as they love accounting, sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture of why accounting is such rewarding work and how it can change people’s life. I took these sentiments personally because I feel accounting can be one of the most rewarding professions in helping others, and decided to do some research.

 

The first article I found was by Brenda Lee Tang of the Trinidad Express from November of last year called “Why accountants are the new heroes”.  In this article she says that accounting is “important work to be done on an ethical level.” Accountants are committed to the public good and are taught in ethical practices. We are an independent voice that stakeholders can trust. My personal favorite part of the article was the following paragraph:

“The impact of accountants’ professionalism will be most keenly felt in developing economies. Aided by their integrity and commitment to sustainability, accountants will be able to help create sustainable economic infrastructure, regulatory mechanisms, and codes of governance in places where there were none before. Most importantly of all, they will be vital to the development of the educational infrastructure that will equip the next generation of accountants.” – Brenda Lee Tang

Some people might think that accountants as “heroes” might be too strong a statement. However, I personally use Christopher Reeve’s definition of a hero:
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
I think it’s interesting that it is so hard to find articles that praise the work accountants and auditors do. Especially recently, it seems like every article about accountants is describing audit failures. There are hundreds of front page articles about alleged auditing mistakes, but none about  all the audits that are completed every year without any issues. Continue reading Accountants: Unexpected Heroes of the World

Where to study?

It's finals time!

Now that finals are upon us, I find myself looking for some good study spots.  I have to admit, I usually study in my room, but finding that to be unproductive, here are some other study locations I have tried out throughout the semester:

MPA Lounge: So far, this seems to be the best.  There are tables and chairs when you need a hard surface or want to spread out.  There are also comfy chairs and couches for those times you just need to stretch out.  It is also nice seeing familiar faces, as well as other students in your class that you can study with!  It is conveniently located in McCombs and seems to not have too many other distractions (that I have found yet, although while studying today, the walls seemed so much more interesting than they usually do). You can read another description of the lounge in Karen’s post a few days ago.

PCL: This is basically the main library on campus and is located across the street from McCombs.  It has a plethora of nooks and crannies on its upper floors if you are a hibernating studier.  There is the computer lab on the main floor that has more hustle and bustle for those who need some white noise.  If you like a mixture, you can find a cubby in a row among the stacks where there are people around, but enough isolation so you can concentrate.

My room: This seems like a bad idea, but I honestly do get some good studying done here.  I have my food and the comfort of my own space to spread out.  I would suggest not studying on your bed or with the tv on (which I usually do anyway), but if you are good at concentrating for a periods of time, you might as well stay comfy! Continue reading Where to study?

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.


Visiting Abbey Road in England

This week marks the 31st anniversary of the unspeakable tragedy when John Lennon was killed in New York City.  John Lennon was an integral member of the popular musical group, The Beatles. How does this relate to MPA, you might ask? Regardless of one’s personal opinion of John Lennon, there is a lot we can learn from him and the Beatles.

1. Teamwork. Steve Jobs said this about the Beatles and teamwork: “My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each others’ negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of its parts. And that’s how I see business. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.” Continue reading You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Thankful for Home

Thanksgiving brought a busy half week of engaging with family and avoiding anything explicitly school related. I returned to Austin late Saturday night, woke up Sunday and went to Starbucks to begin my last tax research memo!! As I turned on my computer and logged onto the Starbucks page, I found a fascinating video entitled Ripe for Change.

Since I am an expert procrastinator, the topic of anything but tax research caught my eye. Since I am from California, this topic of food production hits close to home. And as we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, food seemed to be an appropriate topic. Watching the video, I found that the issues it addresses within the food industry are highly relevant to us as accountants.

One such issue is regulation. The tensions between the need for regulation and its burden have been prevalent recently, and are particularly relevant in the financial industry that many of us will enter from the MPA program.

In the documentary as multiple farmers comment on the same trend, for example mechanical picking, we see that there is not always a clear cut way to respond to the availability of new technology or situations; we even see that sometimes the alleged problem is not as obvious as it seems. Continue reading Thankful for Home

Run Austin!

My dog Rosie and I at the Dallas Turkey Trot sporting our rivalry day spirit!

Whenever I go home to Dallas for Thanksgiving, I love to run the YMCA Turkey Trot. The Dallas Turkey Trot hosts about 35,000 energetic runners, joggers and walkers alike. This particular year, the Turkey Trot made an attempt for a world record for the most people in turkey costumes in one place.

I love this race because it’s the perfect thanksgiving tradition: burning calories before you eat your weight in delicious thanksgiving cuisine.  It’s also a lot of fun because of all the college rivalries. Those who didn’t come in turkey outfits came in all of their collegiate paraphernalia. There are fight songs from all sorts of schools going around the crowd, but non louder than our very own “Texas Fight!” fight song.

I have been running since my junior year of high school, when I joined my school’s track and field team. I was atrocious, but I loved the freedom I felt while running. I continued to run throughout high school, and love to run recreationally in college. Continue reading Run Austin!

MPA Student Life Blog