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Are you just an Accountant or a Unibull?

 Changes in the field are giving rise to a unique new breed of Accountant

Picture yesterday’s junior accountants, hunched over spreadsheets and a mechanical calculator, within reach of a stack of No. 2 pencils sprouting from an old mason jar. There they sit in the cramped back room, wearing green eyeshades to dim the harsh overhead light, crunching numbers, breaking pencil tips, and cranking the calculator.

This mind-numbing work of manually consolidating and verifying financial information is vital to any organization’s understanding of its business success. But it is no longer enough.

Accountants of today, who want to succeed as business leaders of tomorrow need to learn how to advise on operations, drive strategic opportunities, provide forecasts, and appreciate wider consequences of business decisions.

The profession is in transition for powerful reasons—the blistering pace of global business in a time of revolutionary technological innovation. Accountants must still crunch the numbers, but they also must make sense of them. These tasks are distinct and separate ideologies, requiring tools to attend to the former more efficiently to liberate time for the latter. Both ideologies converge into a hybrid of a new breed of accountant—a Unibull.

What is a Unibull?

Since the installation of the Charging Bull on Wall Street in 1989, a sculpture conceived after the stock market crash of 1987, the bull has become the dominant symbol of finance. It represents both strength and moving forward with confidence.  Its association with the bull market also makes it a symbol of growth and progress.

Unicorns, on the other hand, are more fanciful creatures. They frolic in enchanted utopian forests that their magic helps create and protect. Because of their commitment to doing what’s right, their spreading of joy and happiness, and their ability to use magic to get things done, their friendship and assistance is highly valued.

So what is a Unibull? Simply put, it is the offspring of these two powerful creatures.  While a bull and a unicorn might seem very different, they each possess unique traits that, when combined properly, can produce amazing results.  The Unibull embodies the strength and charge of the bull together with the magic and happiness of the unicorn, making it the ideal mascot for the new breed of accountant emerging in the new world of Modern Finance.

Why a Unibull?

The Unibull represents the combination of skills that the modern accountant must possess to succeed in today’s world. From its bull lineage, the Unibull embodies the “get it done” attitude necessary to close the books each period and produce financial statements, charging forward in collaboration with colleagues across the enterprise to a fast and assured financial close. From its unicorn lineage, the Unibull embodies the concept of working smarter and using technology to “magically” make things more efficient and accurate. The unicorn’s magical horn pierces through waste and inefficiency, ensuring unimpeded access to accurate transactional and other business information for decision-making purposes.

Because of this unique lineage, the Unibull is a creature that it is not mired in the competing priorities of speed and accuracy.  It isn’t faced with a tradeoff between strength and agility. A Unibull is able to do it all, to do it quickly, and to do it accurately. As such, its powers in the area of finance and accounting are unmatched:

  • A Unibull does not tally financial figures via rote manual processes—because the Unibull uses automation that simultaneously verifies this data.
  • A Unibull does not fear non-compliance and accounting irregularities—because the Unibull relies on automated controls.
  • A Unibull no longer is confined to the back office—because the Unibull can apply his or her analytical and technical brains to the strategic needs of business forecasting and continuous improvement.

Think about it this way: does manually processing transactions that don’t require much in the way of thought make sense in this age of global business transformation, when these finance and accounting tasks can be automated to provide greater efficiency, accuracy, and control? Wouldn’t you rather be freed from the slow-moving herd mentality and empowered to embrace the modern age of finance?

Hamsters and Sheep were fine in the age of mechanical calculators, No. 2 pencils and spreadsheets. Welcome to a new age of homo sapien unibullus. Don’t just be an Accountant, be a Unibull. And join the stampede.

Quiz

Are you just an Accountant, or a Unibull? Take the Quiz to find out.

Written by

Bob Davenport has over 20 years of accounting and ERP experience and is the Director of Finance Transformation and Product Expert at BlackLine.