Tag Archive for 'accounting'

so this is the most prominent career?

I was study­ing for the account­ing exam tomor­row and got too bored so I did some Inter­net surf­ing. A random search revealed the fact in the US, the aver­age accoun­tant makes about $40,000 a year and the aver­age pro­gram­mer makes about $50,000 a year, which is as much as 25% more than that of accoun­tant (data from salary.com). At the same time, Hong Kong stu­dents are com­pet­ing so hard for the busi­ness degrees or pro­fes­sional account­ing degrees. I can only say it is a living proof that people will always follow the hype no matter what his­tory has taught us. People seem to have for­got­ten all about the IT bubble when almost every new born mil­lion­aire was doing IT businesses.

OK so people have free­dom of choices and maybe the folks at ACCA and friends aren’t talk­ing their asses off when making state­ments such as “accounting will be the most promi­nent and in-​demand indus­try for years to come”. Let’s talk about the real con­tents involved. In my entire text­book Hos­pi­tal­ity Finan­cial Account­ing, the typ­i­cal day-to-day job of an accoun­tant seems to be draw­ing tables (jour­nals as the call them) like this:

Date Account title and Expla­na­tion Ref. Debit Credit
Sept. 5 Mer­chan­dise Inven­tory   1,500  
  Accounts Payable     1,500
8 Accounts Payable   200  
  Mer­chan­dise Inven­tory     200

I have noth­ing against this kind of tables really, but what bugs me is that this is the gist of an Uni­ver­sity course. Frankly, a 10 year old can learn to do these kinds of tables given proper edu­ca­tion and some time to learn. Why do ter­tiary edu­ca­tion stu­dents bother with these labor paper work? What’s more, I don’t see a single reason why this kinds of things are not done by com­puter, but paid employees.

With that said, let’s com­pare the ordi­nary “output” of the ordi­nary pro­gram­mer: public void mirror() { mirror(root); } private void mirror(Node node) { if (node != null) { // do the sub-trees mirror(node.left); mirror(node.right);

    // swap the left/right pointers
    Node temp = node.left;
    node.left = node.right;
    node.right = temp;


Alright this is not a pro­gram­mer vs accoun­tant topic but the mere fact that a 10 year old kid is not likely to be able to com­pre­hend the above code right away makes pro­gram­ming imme­di­ately looks more “professional” than “professional accounting”. And for your infor­ma­tion, the smartest com­puter pro­gram in the world prob­a­bly cannot pro­duce any code like the above level (which is already not very complicated).

All that aside, as of writ­ing of this post, I am a busi­ness stu­dent who is likely to be doing the table stuff in the future. But this has got me think­ing, how can some­one pos­si­bly love this kind of works? If not, then I’m going into deep trou­ble: spend­ing life doing things I don’t like.

In my opin­ions, why have people grown to pursue boring jobs like account­ing instead of more fun work like design and sci­ence? This is soci­ety at work guys. The soci­ety, either your family, tele­vi­sion adver­tise­ments have made us not want to adven­ture. Now that seem rea­son­able that most people will want to pursue the safest career out there, “the career that is to stay in-​demand for the years to com”. Think about it, is the very same reason you are pur­su­ing your “career” (if you have any def­i­nite one), or are you really pur­su­ing your dream?

Enough com­plaint, time to go back to my study for the account­ing exam tomorrow…