An often overlooked profession, accounting is a necessary one — nearly all people, organizations and businesses need accountants (certainly when Tax Day rolls around but for plenty of other purposes, too). It’s a stressful yet rewarding job, with a median annual salary of $70,500 in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And it deserves our recognition.
International Accounting Day, also known as International Accountant’s Day, exists for this reason — to celebrate these behind-the-scenes professions who keep the wheels spinning and keep our finances in order all over the world.
When is International Accounting Day?
International Accounting Day is always observed on November 10. This year (2019), that falls on a Sunday.
Some countries and communities celebrate local Accounting Days on other dates in addition to or instead of the worldwide holiday. The United States, for example, has an Accounting Day celebration that is observed on May 16 each year.
History of the holiday.
Most likely, the first Accounting Day event, originally called Accounting Career Day, was held in San Diego in 1972. It may have been organized by either the San Diego Chapter of the California Society of CPAs or the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) to encourage young people to pursue careers in accounting.
The November 10th date was chosen for the annual holiday because it is the anniversary of the publication of the first book that described double-entry bookkeeping in detail in 1494. Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan friar and mathematician, explained the Venetian system in Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita, which translates to Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportion. Today, he is known as the father of modern accounting; although he did not create the system, he is thought to be the first person to record its usage in print.
5 ways to celebrate and recognize International Accounting Day.
1. Share some fast facts about accounting with your friends.
Did you know that record-keeping was used in ancient times? Ancient Romans, Egyptians, and Grecians all used forms of the system to create the iconic buildings and monuments we know and love today, develop their empires and more. How about that probably the first person's name we know, found on a tablet in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), is likely that of an accountant, according to National Geographic? In Sumerian, it reads, "A total of 29,086 measures of barley were received over the course of 37 months. Signed, Kushim." This record
These are just a few interesting facts about the profession. Share your knowledge of the profession, educate and impress your friends with the trivia in your arsenal. Some other facts include:
• Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are responsible for tabulating the Academy Award winner votes (although you may not want to bring up the mishap from the 2017 Academy Awards).
• The BLS reports that there were 1,424,000 accounting and auditing jobs in the U.S. in 2018.
• Celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson, Bob Newhart, Kenny G, John Grisham and John D. Rockefeller all studied accounting — and some even started out their professional lives in the career.
2. Spread the word on social media.
Many of your connections and friends probably don’t know that November 10th is International Accounting Day. Help spread the world by posting about it on social media, sharing some of the quick facts above or acknowledging the accountants you know — your own, for example! Even just a “Happy International Accounting Day!” will make people in the profession feel appreciated. There doesn’t seem to be an official hashtag for the day, but #internationalaccountingday, #internationalaccountantsday or just #accountingday will do the trick.
3. Thank your accountant.
Sure, when tax season rolls around you utter a quick “thanks” to your accountant when she finds you that terrific tax break, but have you ever really acknowledged her work and how much she does for you? November 10 is the perfect time to let her know your appreciation.
4. Give your accountants gifts (if you’re a manager).
If you manage accounts, use International Accounting Day as a time to acknowledge your employees. You might give them a gift — flowers, a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant, a bonus — and write them a meaningful note letting them know how much you appreciate them. If it’s within your purview, you could also give them the benefits they really want, such as vacation time and other perks. It doesn’t hurt to take them out for a celebratory lunch, either.
5. Register for the CPA exam.
Are you an accountant who is thinking about taking the next step in your career? Or, perhaps you’re studying the discipline in school and are looking toward your future job? A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a licensed professional who has passed the CPA exam and met certain work experience and educational requirements. Earning this designation can open many doors for you, enabling you to advise businesses and individuals on how to achieve their financial goals and more.
First offered in New Hampshire, Oregon and Kansas in 1917, the CPA Exam was used in all states in the U.S. in 1952 and expanded to other countries in 2011, with 10 countries aside from the U.S. offering the exam currently, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), which regulates the accountancy practice in the U.S.
If your goal is to become a CPA, use International Accounting Day as a push to make it a reality and register for the Uniform CPA Examination. Note that there are specific times you can take it during four windows: January 1 – March 10, April 1 – June 10, July 1 – September 10 and October 1 – December 10 (these date ranges include some blackout days). The first step for registering is to submit your CPA application to your state board of accountancy, which, upon approving your request, will allow you to choose the sections to sit for. Also, note the educational requirements for taking the exam, which differ according to your state.
Happy International Accounting Day from all of us at Fairygodboss!