I almost chose some other title for this piece.
‘Why I hate Accountants’ would have come as a lacklustre way of glossing mediocrity with sensationalism. I almost hate them really, because they are the gas in the soft drink. I hate the gas down my throat but it makes drinking refreshing. To treat the gas as if it’s a poison is to say we should kill all accountants. Though I still think our problems may be solved if we kill all lawyers.
Why should we continue to have the accountants around us? They place people in their books as asset (that would sooner or later depreciate), while people are more than that – the people are the organisation. They value more than the machines, and combine all intelligences – emotional, spiritual, and intellectual – to give their own output. They should better go under capital – or investment. Accountants are so traditional and won’t see this differently.
My anger against Accountants is not on the machine-value they place on humans, it is how they use their books to stifle creativity, mutilate innovations and murder initiatives (don’t be annoyed). Accountants kill the marketing guys! They kill us, man. They see branding and advertising as investment. They’d ask: ‘’How many people would see the advert in the magazine and would wanna buy from us?’’. I feel like screaming to them that advert is not only a sales-increase initiative; it is a competition initiative – to guard our share of the market. Adverts are market-share protectors for the marketing guys, like the Operation guys could have some cable as surge-protector. These accountants would not see it this way. They seek for the cost benefit of the advert. Well, we shall give it to them.
‘’Leaders should not look on their advertising budgets as investments that will pay dividends. Instead leaders should look on advertising budgets as insurance that will protect them against losses caused by competitive attacks.’’
Al Ries, a celebrated marketing strategist.
If company A sells telecom and has 100 subscribers with 1000 people that know about the brand (top of the mind), and company B in the same telecom industry has 50 subscribers with 500 people knowing about the brand, then it is necessary for company A to put up a defensive marketing initiative, while company B will take up an offensive approach. Company A has an empire of 100 customers and 1000 fans – advertising would keep this, sustained, preventing the intruder Company B from taking any slice of the pie. It does not necessarily increase sales, but it sustains sales’ potentials. It’s like a juju to ward off evil – different from a juju to get good luck. Accounting guuyyysss, plsss take note.
Finally I want to prove that the Accountants are outdated. They are supposed to develop as the scope of business expands. Let’s take the 90s cliché – Branding. Where is Brand Equity in their books? They have placed ‘branding’ as expenditure, imagine such..! So if there’s a cost there must be an income. Ask them, where is the income? For every investment, there’s ROI. Of course when you do branding, what you get is Brand Equity. Every brand (including Alomo bitters) has brand equity. For cocacola, how much would people buy a bottle of coke if it’s in a plain bottle with no ‘coca-cola’ logo inscription on it? Probably N20… The branded bottle sells for N70, means the value of that brand is N50 for every bottle gulped by a consumer. The Year-End Financial statement should show this. The brand accounts for most part of the income. You wanna argue? Take off Rolex inscription from that watch and let’s see how much it will sell for.
finally, ask why some organisations seem old, outmoded and shamefully aboriginal (am laughing) – it’s because more of accounting principle is piloting the coy and less of marketing principle. It’s all about cost, cost benefit, cost analysis, ROI …and ideas are sunk into the abysmal cliché of ‘’there is no financial justification’’ or drilled by the heat of financial priorities – until those ideas are grilled and lost. Little organisations take up such ideas, implement it without much ado about financial management – and they make books on their success story, those books are bought by most of the accountants to alleviate their peculiar boredom. And those big companies that reject ideas because of financial justification live like dinosaur. Someone tell me if GTB has better accountants than
Classic Bank – I sure know GTB is ruled by ideas and innovations.
Innovation thrives only where there are no walls but bridges, where there are no boundaries but horizons, where there are no rules but freedom, where tradition is a sin, and counter-culture is righteousness. Innovation thrives where Accountants and Marketing peeps collaborate to initiate creative change in an organisation. For real I cannot hate Accountants – they are our friends and their expertise is invaluable. Stop abusing me. Enjoy!
By Babalogbon Olufemi O. (@Babalowise)
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only. It does not (in any way) reflect or represent the opinions of the blog.
________________________________________Babalogbon Olufemi (popularly called Babalowise) is a Business Strategist, Writer, and Addict of International Politics.