Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.
Well we would say that, wouldn’t we. There’s never a dull moment as we go beyond the numbers in our offices at Springfords, but don’t just take our word for it.
We read recently about a full-time former political activist who saw the light on the cusp of his sixth decade, and trained to be an accountant at the age of 49. The only question we had for Mr Quentin Livingston was: “what took you so long?” After all, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing the joy of a client’s face when we present them with the news that as a result of some tax planning advice they will be eligible for a tax rebate - except perhaps the joy on our faces come close of business on 31 January once all the personal tax returns are in!
The Daily Mail has rarely had cause to celebrate our profession, but the tabloid took notice of the one-time campaigner for the late Margaret Thatcher, when he successfully sat his Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Level 4 qualification in 2014, and has now found work as a finance assistant.
So, while there’s one grown up who has made a career change into the accountancy profession at a somewhat advanced stage of his career, is it too much to expect the younger generations to aspire to accounting an early age. It’s not likely you’ll poll many primary school students, usually heart-set on firemen, beauticians, YouTube stars and X-Factor hopefuls, and be greeted instead with a chorus of: “When I grow up I want to be a … management accountant with executive authority and a seat on the board!”
Well, actually, possibly yes.
Even more aspirational than joining the judging panel with Simon Cowell, there’s the perennial fascination with being a footballer, and it doesn’t get more fashionable than the FA Premiership. So, when Aston Villa FC no less offer places to young accountants, even the most august agenda-setters took notice. Well, the Birmingham Post anyway.
Surprisingly, Villa are, once again, not first on the ball with this one.
Their programme of accountancy training for disadvantaged youngsters may give them a foothold in the community, but they’ve been beaten to it by schemes already in place at several London football clubs. West Ham, Chelsea, and the less fashionable Leyton Orient are among the clubs that would gleefully see kids learn the intricacies of double entry , before they tackle the notional value of the offside rule.
Meanwhile, that quinto-genarian political campaigner turned AAT Alumni, Quentin Livingston has confounded his sceptical friends who, he says, think he is far too vibrant to do something regarded as dull as finance.
We don’t know if Quentin would have what it takes to rock the foundations at the whitewater raft ride that is the average day in Springfords, but we do know that, as Mr Livingston presumed, people are wrong about accountancy.
He thinks it’s all very vibrant and exciting, and we think we know why.
There’s a predicted shortfall in skilful new talent coming through. Some sources say as many as 700,000 new accountants will be needed in the UK in the next decade, putting the profession up there with tourism, the NHS and YouTube video-bloggers as the country’s top employment sectors. If your children (or grand parents) are still hankering after the traditions of train driver or hair dresser, tell them to think again. It’s not the firehouse they should hanker after, it’s the counting house for all the thrills they can account for.