Raymond Doherty 23 Jan 2019 12:49pm

Petition launched to change definition of accountant

It is argued that the current definition is “archaic” and does not represent the modern accountant

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines an accountant as “a person whose job is to keep or inspect financial accounts”.

The petition, launched by software company Xero, calls for it to be changed to “a person whose job is to keep or inspect and advise on financial accounts”.

In an open letter the OED Xero’s MD Gary Turner writes, “Today, an accountant doesn’t just crunch the numbers and observe financial operations, but so much more. They advise business owners and aid and fuel business objectives such as business growth, improving efficiency, cost and productivity.

“Insight from well-respected industry bodies such as ICAEW and IFAC finds that time and time again, accountants are a business owner’s most trusted advisor. We also know that accountants and bookkeepers are vital to the UK’s stability. Nearly two in three (65%) accountants believe that their jobs are having a major impact on the economy.”

Details of the petition can be read here.