Accounting is the study of how businesses track their income and assets over time. Accountants engage in a wide variety of activities besides preparing financial statements and recording business transactions, including computing costs and efficiency gains from new technologies, participating in strategies for mergers and acquisitions, quality management, developing and using information systems to track financial performance, and tax strategy.
There is a lot to gain from a career in accounting. Perhaps, most importantly, people will learn how business works. It is no surprise that many successful people in business began their careers as accountants. It's also no surprise that most chief financial officers of large corporations have a background in accounting. An accountant is perfectly positioned to become a CFO because they have the best understanding of what drives business and profits in a company. .
The history of accounting is as old as civilization, key to important phases of history, and among the most important professions in economics and business. Accountants engaged in the development of cities, trade, and the theory of wealth and numbers. Accountants created writing, participated in the development of money and banking, invented double entry bookkeeping that fueled the Italian Renaissance, helped develop the confidence in capital markets necessary for western capitalism, and are the center of the information revolution that is transforming the global economy.
The role of accountants in the ancient world is becoming more clear with new archaeological discoveries and innovative interpretations of the artifacts. It is now evident that writing developed over at least five thousand years--by accountants. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of double entry bookkeeping. Industrial Revolution firms required accountants to provide the information necessary to avoid bankruptcy and their role developed into a profession.