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The Point Of Being A Chartered Accountant.

Making a World of Difference

Are you, dear reader, living your life as a ‘human doing’ or as a ‘human being’? Odds
are you are a chartered accountant, in a good job, building your career, leading a busy
life, keeping lots of balls in the air, all at the same time, and running fast just to
standstill. Sounds terrific, in fact a typical example of todays executive! A real ‘human
doing’. A wha Gay? If someone were to suggest that you may actually be dead, you
might get offended and understandably so, seeing as how you are running around like a
blue arsed fly trying to catch up with yourself. But if you are not dead then you must be

And to be alive is to be free. Free to have feelings, free to ‘be’. Free, so that instead of
having to strive so hard to control all the various aspects of your life-your career, your
job, your relationships, your family, your money-to really allow yourself to know what
its like to let life flow through you.

The trouble with accountants is ....that they become, well! But there are
no such things as accountants or doctors or lawyers...there are only people who practice
accountancy and people who practice medicine and people who practice law. However
people who practice accountancy-whether within the profession or outside it-somehow
tend to confuse the person with the job and become “independent” and “true and fair”
and isolated. Accountancy is a strong and noble practice but it doesn’t need it’s
practitioners to subsume their persona to the profession.

For many years now I have heard the Institute cogitate on how to improve the image of
“chartered accountants” and at the same time propound the view that “chartered
accountants” make the best leaders. But this misses the point entirely. The Institute does
a fine job in providing a sound technical qualification in the art and practice of
accountancy but does little or nothing in the area of personal development. You may well
say that this is not the responsibility of the Institute and maybe it’s not. Maybe this is the
responsibility of our schools-both primary and secondary-and parents. But it seems to me
that an individual who really knows where ‘he is at’ and knows who he is, and who
knows what his values and principles are, will make a better practitioner of the art of
accountancy and be of far more benefit to his company, than one not so empowered. A
membership comprised of such individuals would also, I suspect, render the Institute’s
image concerns redundant and give added credibility to the claim to providing good

Quantum physics has now been around for quite a while, starting perhaps with Einstein
in the nineteen twenties. Quantum physics recognises the relatedness of everything in the
universe to everything else. But the world still sees the universe as operating according to
the laws of Newtonian physics expounded three hundred years ago whereby everything is
separate and distinct and ‘out there’! And what is the relevance of this profound
observation to the practitioner of accountancy, you may ask.
Well the point is that it is only when we realise just how we, as people, are connected to
everything else in the universe, just who we really are, that we can truly appreciate our
power and capabilities. Only then can we fully understand the significance of Ralf Waldo
Emerson’s words “There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an
inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is
made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint
has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who
hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the
only and sovereign agent”.

Hundreds of years of Newtonian physics, compounded with religiously inspired

overtones, have led us to see ourselves as separate and alone and we as practitioners of
the art of accountancy possibly feel this more so than most. Our deepest need as human
beings is to overcome our aloneness and our separateness. It is in the letting go of this
unreality through personal development and understanding that our true capabilities as
human beings rather than human doings can be attained. For it is when we are open to
life and are really aware of our surroundings and ourselves, this is when our true
creativity finds expression.

We all, if we attend to our own needs, come to our learning in our own time. Perhaps
however by writing this article I have prompted some of you out there to listen to your
inner voice and have the courage to look at your fears. Be assured that the world looks a
very different place when you can come to the realisation that everything is possible and
that you can and do create everything in your life. Allow yourself to imagine what this
could mean in terms of your career ambitions, your work relationships, your home
relationships, your money concerns!

If we can make that fundamental shift in the way we experience life from one of
separateness and adversary into one of mutual benefit, harmony and inter-connectedness
of all things, then there is after all a point of being-a chartered accountant.

Pat Griffith is a chartered accountant and a trained Executive Coach. He is an

accredited practitioner in Emotional Intelligence assessment (EQi).