Accountants of YouTube – a click too far?
Richard Sergeant celebrates his guilty pleasure: the baffling world of accountants singing songs about accountancy.
I’m personally not a huge fan of videos on LinkedIn. It seems a step too far to know what people look like after years of giving them voices in my head. Like seeing the actors from the Archers for the first time. It’s never quite right.
But I have developed a guilty pleasure.
For years, I have either explored some of the strange subgenres of YouTube, such as AC/DC songs played on bizarre instruments or having them forced upon me by young children such as watching other people unbox toys (which generate literally millions of views each).
However, a chance meeting with a French accountant in a Paris Bistro recently brought my professional interest in the world of accountants headlong into this personal fascination. Yes, Bertrand introduced me to the quite baffling world of accountants singing songs about accountancy - and there are literally thousands of them.
And, of course, where quality defies all logic, quantity is happy to step in.
So in the spirit of the ‘what to read around the pool’ article, I present some of my top picks to kick the summer off in style.
Hot from the states
The undisputed champion of the high gloss end of the accountancy genre is, of course, Petty Ca$h who’s wonderful Public Accounting Anthem manages to merge East coast rhymes with surprisingly high-quality production values.
If you can last the course with Mr. Ca$h I can also recommend his duet with Meri Amber called Materiality a pean to the life of an auditor - and to which one commentator remarked that they had been “cooking this up in the audit kitchen for quite some time now”. Praise indeed.
An honorable mention also for The Accounting Song which does it’s best to both encourage students to embark on career within the profession, whilst berating the life as a cog within the wheels of the Big Four. Heavy stuff.
Blame it on the youth
It would seem that there are even specialisms within this subgenre; for example, those made by accounting students. The path to chartered status is a long and winding one, as Ernst & Young Lovers will no doubt share with you on the Lazy Accountant Song.
Although the baffling Extra Credit Accounting Rap asks more questions than it answers, including just why the very comfortable jumpers and riding mini-segways seemed liked a good idea for the video.
As these seem predominantly US in origin, it can only be time before the ICAEW insists on following suit.
But please don’t think this is a localised craze, with only a little research you can discover other hotbeds of action like the Philippines. Oh Accounting is a lo-fi classic, merging a clever narrative around trying to balance love, work/life, as well as the books.
And we British are able to hold our own, and none more so than Cassons (now of the Baldwins empire) who excelled here. My personal favourite is the wonder that is Cassons Number 5, from all the way back in 2015.
AI is the future, right?
While we are currently celebrating the power of technology and the thrust towards AI, let’s take stock of where we currently are with help from Maryland Association of CPAs who created a video using Second Life (ask your kids) to create If I were an auditor - a video which perhaps reassures us that the robots won’t be coming that quickly after all.
However, at the cutting edge of accounting technology themes we can do worse than the pithy Microsoft Dynamics Convergence and Journyx Project Accounting song, which deserves a much wider airing and will soon to be a campfire favourite with the Sergeant household.
I have to make a special mention also for the one and only Heather Smith, who’s The Accounting Christmas Song is a topical gem and a linguistic feat.
While US accountant Greg Kyte just about squeezes in with his version of I need a hero - although aficionados still fight over it’s right to be included.
It’s a rap, or a rock…
So there it is, my guilty pleasure laid bare. Accountants with talents beyond all imagination, bringing joy as well as compliance.
You have been inspired, as well as warned.