The accounting profession originated in 1494 when Luca Pacioli was the first to describe the system of debits, credits, journals and ledgers. The well known Leonardo da Vinci was one of Pacioli’s students. Fast forward to 2010—there were 1,216,900 employed accountants. The profession, which boasts an average annual salary of $61,690, is expected to grow 16 percent over the coming years.
Now, computers have changed the nature of accounting—turning it into a fast-paced and dynamic profession. VisiCalc (1978), Quickbooks (1998) and SaaS (software as a service) accounting have altered the profession. Before accounting computer programs, entries were done manually and mistakes could mean hours of recalculation and “missing money.” These programs have eliminated the need for calculators, paper ledgers and pencils—and mistakes are easier to identify and correct.
The stereotypical “task-oriented” accountant is as outdated as the “shoebox full of receipts.” Today’s accountant has become a business consultant rather than a mathematical tool. Interested in becoming an accountant? Check out this infographic presented by accounting-degree.org to learn more about changes in the profession due to technology.