For centuries there have been books, movies and television shows dedicated to doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, waiters, comedians, writers and pilots. There’s even been a show about nothing. But we’ve yet to see a television show about accountants.
In my experience, on the rare occasions when accountants do pop up onscreen they tend to be stereotyped into the following categories:
a) The bald nerd accountant, who bores his hapless blind date to the brink of insanity
b) The extremely nervous mob accountant, who gets caught with sticky fingers and eventually meets with an untimely end
Female film accountants have fared no better. Most are portrayed as repressed, grey suited anal rententives, their bespectacled faces pinched from years of sporting overly tight up dos. They appear to be carrying the torch for the Marian the librarians of yesteryear.
As someone who has worked closely with accountants for over 30 years, I feel that this blatant stereotyping must come to an end. The accountants I’ve known are mothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends, sisters and friends. They run marathons and play musical instruments. They read great books, travel to exotic countries, adopt rescue animals, coach kid’s sports, support local charities and get involved in their communities. They are passionate, hard working, interesting individuals who bare no resemblance to the one-dimensional cookie cutter characters the entertainment industry continuously cranks out.
I wrote the fiction novel Love Ledgers because I wanted to break the mold and create an accountant heroine who was funny and entertaining. Jane is far from perfect, but she puts her whole heart into everything she does.
And so this January, as we head into yet another tax season, let us pause for a moment to thank those unsung heroes who’ll be crunching numbers through the long days and nights for many weeks to come. Like the postal service of yore, neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night will stay these courageous analysts from getting our tax returns filed on time.
We raise our glass to you my friends.