Does the sight of a ledger book make your head spin? That’s why we have accountants to figure it all out. They keep our finances in perfect order (we hope!) Plus, your job, school, bank, religious institution, and government wouldn’t survive without those dedicated number crunchers. That’s why we “earmarked” a day out of the year just to celebrate them! Thoughtful of us, considering tax season’s another five months away. Let’s hope we won’t need to make an appointment until then.
International Accounting Day - History
The Enron scandal
Enron's bankruptcy proved to be both the audit failure in American history, bringing new scrutiny and regulations to the accounting profession.
First professional accountants' organization
The Institution of Accountants in Glasgow petitioned Queen Victoria for a royal charter, making them the first official organization representing and regulating the accounting profession.
Adding machine invented
Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar invented the arithometer, the first mechanical calculator small and durable enough to be used daily in an office. It would dominate the adding machine market for 40 years.
The birth of accounting
Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli popularized the double-entry bookkeeping system in Europe, establishing the modern field of accounting.
International Accounting Day Activities
1. Take a spin on an old adding machine
Once considered an indispensable tool of the accountant's trade, it's likely been a few years since you've seen one of these. Haul one out of the closet and clack some keys — it's an oddly satisfying tactile experience.
2. Buy an accountant a coffee
Besides being a recognized gesture of appreciation, a piping hot caffeinated drink is a great way to make sure the accountant in your life is alert and focused while combing through all those numbers.
3. Make an accountant's job easier
Take extra care today to format all your spreadsheets the way your accounting department asks you to. It's only one day out of the year. They're worth it.
5 Wild Things Accountants Accomplished
1. Accountants brought down Al Capone
After escaping so many other charges, Big Al finally went to jail for tax evasion, thanks to tireless FBI accountants.
2. An accountant wrote history's first words
The oldest surviving example of written language anywhere dates from around 5,000 years ago. It is written in Sumerian cuneiform and reads: "A total of 29,086 measures of barley were received over the course of 37 months. Signed, Kushim."
3. Accountants helped write the Bible
Before writing the Gospel that bears his name, St. Matthew worked as a tax collector. Another tax collector was Saul, who took the name Paul after his conversion and wrote several books of the New Testament.
4. An accountant invented bubble gum
Accountant Walter Diemer worked for the Fleer chewing gum factory and experimented with gum recipes in his spare time. He invented the modern formula for bubble gum in 1926 and was the first to market it commercially. The gum was pink because that was the only food coloring the factory had available.
5. Accountants handle the annual Oscar vote
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences employs certified public accountants to tabulate all the Oscar ballots and declare winners. The Academy says that accountants are ideally suited for this task because of their reputation for objectivity and attention to detail.
Why We Love International Accounting Day
A. Accountants do important work
Accountants are people who can read and write the language of business. It's tremendously involved, brainy work that our society just couldn't do without.
B. Accountants are unfairly teased
How many accountant jokes do you know? The popular conception of accountants is of nerdy, boring-detail-obsessed bean counters. Putting aside a day to celebrate accountants gives them the opportunity to prove that they can cut loose and have a little fun, just like everyone else!
C. We rely on accountants
Accountants know the most intimate details of your firm (and your life). They have access to facts and figures you could never understand and could spell serious trouble if mishandled. It's best to keep them happy!