Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?

rose“A profession by any other name…” (With apologies to William Shakespeare).

By Steven E. Sacks
Solutions 2 Results

Profession: n. Calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.

Maybe I am just cranky, or maybe I have a valid point. Far too often I hear accounting being referred to as an industry rather than a profession. Let us be honest. Accounting is a profession that requires years of study and experience, culminating–if one desires–in a CPA credential after successfully passing an arduous two-day, four-part online exam. This does not even include the yearly continuing professional education requirements of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and state boards of accountancy to maintain a license to practice as a CPA.

How often do we read or hear accounting referred to as an industry? In my opinion, too often: and, it is always an incorrect reference. Accounting, is, in fact, a profession, and like any other profession (e.g. legal, medical, or education), requires specialized knowledge and training.

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