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Who are accountants, anyway? Barbara Clemenson, CPA, CFRE.

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Presentation on theme: "Who are accountants, anyway? Barbara Clemenson, CPA, CFRE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who are accountants, anyway? Barbara Clemenson, CPA, CFRE

2 Clemenson - Who are accountants?2 Who are accountants? zWho are accountants and CPAs? zWhat is the difference between accountants and auditors? zWhat should I remember when I’m dealing with accountants?

3 Clemenson - Who are accountants?3 Who are accountants? zAccountants are sometimes referred to in a derogative way as “bean counters.” Can anyone guess why?

4 Clemenson - Who are accountants?4 Who are accountants? zBeans were the first mobile form of currency. Hence, those who kept track of the “beans” (i.e. money) were “bean counters.” zSome businesses have even turned the term to their advantage:

5 Clemenson - Who are accountants?5

6 6 Who would want to become an accountant, anyway? These are generalizations and are NOT true of all accountants! zNumbers thinkers more than idea people zDetailed oriented people more than broad visionaries zPeople who like things to fit, work. More binary [“double-entry”] than creative. zTask-oriented more than people-oriented. zMore risk-adverse people than risk-taking people.

7 Clemenson - Who are accountants?7 Who are CPAs? CPA stands for “Certified Public Accountant.” z“Certified” means that we are licensed by the state in which we work. Each state has slightly different qualifications for CPAs. z“Public” means that although we might work for an accounting firm or for a company, our primary responsibility is to the public – to make sure the public has good financial information. z“Accountant” is who we are and what we do.

8 Clemenson - Who are accountants?8 Who are CPAs? zIn the State of Ohio, only CPAs can call themselves accountants or hold themselves out to the public as providing accounting services. zNon CPAs cannot legally use those terms.

9 Clemenson - Who are accountants?9 Who are CPAs? How do you become a CPA? In Ohio CPAs need: zTraining in Accounting z150 credit hours of college zA degree zTo pass the CPA Exam zAnd to have two years of experience zTo pass the ethics exam. zEvery 3 years they need 120 hours of CPE / Continuing Professional Education in order to be recertified and keep their license active.

10 Clemenson - Who are accountants?10 What is the difference between an accountant and an auditor? zAn auditor works for a CPA firm and conducts independent audits of other organizations. zA “CPA in Industry” works for a company and does not audit other organizations.

11 Clemenson - Who are accountants?11 What should I remember when dealing with an accountant? zCEO and Accountants/CFOs are different: yIn Personality yIn Perspective yIn Training yIn Language and Communication

12 Clemenson - Who are accountants?12 Personalities of Administration

13 Clemenson - Who are accountants?13 Learning to Communicate CEOs We are both responsible to learn each other’s language, understand each other’s perspective, and anticipate each other’s information needs Accountant zForget GAAP and organize your financial information in whatever way it makes sense to your Executive Director zListen to your Executive Director’s ideas and help him/her quantify and codify them so they are easy to understand and communicate zAnticipate your Executive Director’s needs and point out potential risks zTell your Accountant what information you need zTell your Accountant what is happening so he/she can anticipate needs of which you are not aware

14 Clemenson - Who are accountants?14 What CEOs want in CFOs CFO Magazine, July 1999 Most Important Skills & Qualities Multitasking Required-- CFO Important in: zFinancial expertise zPersonal integrity zCommunication skills zStrategic vision zIndustry expertise zBusiness development zHuman resources zInformation tech. zReengineering zMarketing/Sales Integrity, Objectivity, Confidentiality: CFOs are most CEOs’ main professional confidant and often influence their thinking

15 Clemenson - Who are accountants?15 What should I remember when dealing with an accountant? zBe patient zBe gentle zBe encouraging zGive them time to think things through and make up their mind

16 Clemenson - Who are accountants?16 Why wouldn’t anyone want to become an accountant?


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