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Add accountants to a conversation and it equals boring - research

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  • Add accountants to a conversation and it equals boring - research

    Hi all,

    25 August 2005
    By LOUISE BLEAKLEY

    Three accountants gathering for a beer at a Christchurch pub are bound to be dull company, a new study suggests.

    Researchers at the City University of Hong Kong have shown that accountants are boring conversationalists.

    Researcher John Flowerdew said accountants used "dull and uninspired, jargon-heavy language".

    Flowerdew's study was based on observations of accountants carrying out daily tasks.

    So when Christchurch accountants Chris Connors, 23, Fraser Grieve, 24, and Nick France, 25, invited The Press to the pub last night, hopes for scintillating banter were not high.

    Asked what accountants talk about in their spare time, Connors said, "What all males talk about", as he sipped his beer.

    Contrary to popular belief, they do not talk about the square root of numbers, Grieve said.

    Flowerdew wrote in the Writing in English for Specific Purposes journal that "the accountants started their morning by checking email and quietly eating breakfast at their desk".

    "For the first hour that the observer was there, the accountants worked quietly at their desks, seemingly unaware of each other, busy computing through tax computation schedules, fidgeting with calculators and putting data into their computers," he wrote.

    The scene Flowerdew described was not unlike France's typical start to the day. "That's pretty negative sounding but ... you have got to do the computational stuff. You can't get around it. That's what we do." Excitement levels increased as the day wore on and they liaised with business clients and colleagues, he said.

    France said that while many accountants were "the quieter type of person", there were plenty of exceptions, himself included. His workplace was often a hive of gossip, with plenty of titillating activity, he said.

    Grieve said accountants were a pretty serious bunch of people. "Accountants aren't boring," he said.

    "We work hard and we play hard," France added.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants spokesman Geordie Cassin enthusiastically contested the researcher's findings. "It's totally untrue. They are really exciting and interesting and do all sorts of cool things."

    Such beliefs were exactly the thing the institute was trying to discourage, he said. "We think chartered accountants are very interesting."

    Armed with ledgers and calculators, accountants have struggled to fight free of the callous jibes that plague their reportedly boring profession. One of the most enduring, from Monty Python's Flying Circus comedians John Cleese and Michael Palin, described them as "desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly dull".

    Canterbury University senior accountancy lecturer Alan Robb said a better description of accountants would be "conservative" or "prudent", mixed with an element of entrepreneurial activity. Accountanct students, like law students, tended to study harder at university because of the complexity of the topic, he said.
    News Source

    Cheers

    Marc
    Free business resources - www.BusinessBlogsHub.com
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