With new regulations, compliance requirements, and economic shifts surfacing at regular intervals, accounting is a serious discipline where working under pressure is pretty common. Here’s some of the best advice and accounting knowledge shared by industry experts, business leaders, and celebrities.

Business Leaders Talk Accounting

“Don’t ever let your business get ahead of the financial side of your business. Accounting, accounting, accounting. Know your numbers.”

—Tilman J. Fertitta, Chairman and CEO, Landry’s Inc.

“Accounting does not make corporate earnings or balance sheets more volatile. Accounting just increases the transparency of volatility in earnings.”

—Diane Garnick, Chief Income Strategist, TIAA

“Never take your eyes off the cash flow because it’s the lifeblood of business.”

—Sir. Richard Branson

“Proper accounting is like engineering. You need a margin of safety. Thank God we don’t design bridges and airplanes the way we do accounting.”

—Charlie Munger

“Life is like accounting, everything must be balanced.”


“Accounting for the most part, remains a legalistic and traditional practice, almost immune to self-criticism by scientific methods.”

—Kenneth E. Boulding

“It sounds extraordinary, but it’s a fact that balance sheets can make fascinating reading.”

—Mary Archer

Financial Experts Share Their Thoughts on Accounting

“You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It’s the language of business and it’s an imperfect language, but unless you are willing to put in the effort to learn accounting—how to read and interpret financial statements—you really shouldn't select stocks yourself.”

—Warren Buffett

“The word accounting comes from the word accountability. If you are going to be rich, you need to be accountable for your money.”

—Robert T. Kiyosaki, Author, Rich Dad Poor Dad

“It has been my experience that competency in mathematics, both in numerical manipulations and in understanding its conceptual foundations (accounting), enhances a person’s ability to handle the more ambiguous and qualitative relationships that dominate our day-to-day financial decision-making.”

—Alan Greenspan

“Accounting does not make corporate earnings or balance sheets more volatile. Accounting just increases the transparency of volatility in earnings.”

—Diane Garnick

“Cost accounting is enemy number one of productivity.”

—Eliyahu M. Goldratt

“Companies run by engineers don’t make money, but companies run by accountants don’t make anything at all.”

—Peter Krueger

Here’s What Book Authors & Journalists Have to Say About Accounting

“There is no business like show business. There is also no business like certified public accounting, but that doesn’t rhyme as well.”

—Craig Shaw Gardner, Author, A Changeling Star

“The U.S. tax code was written by A students. Every April 15 we have to pay somebody who got an A in accounting to keep ourselves from being sent to jail.”

—P. J. O'Rourke, Author, Holidays in Hell

“People are accustomed to thinking of accounting as dry and boring, a necessary evil used primarily to prepare financial reports and survive audits, but that is because accounting is something that has become taken for granted.”

—Eric Ries, Author, The Startup Way

“Capital isn’t this pile of money sitting somewhere; it’s an accounting construct.”

—Bethany McLean, American journalist

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Celebrities & Public Figures Offer their Take on Accounting

“Did you hear about the accountant who became an embezzler? He ran away with the accounts payable!”

—Jackie Mason

"I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants."

—Elvis Presley

“I was never a certified public accountant... I just had a degree in accounting. The reason I was never a certified public accountant was because it would require passing a test, which I would not have been able to do.

—Bob Newhart

“I took some classes in accounting, but I don’t know anything about accounting. You know, when my accountant tells me all the things he does, it’s a foreign language to me.”

—Ray Romano

“There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.”

—David Letterman

“People always ask me, ‘Were you funny as a child?’ Well, no, I was an accountant.”

—Ellen DeGeneres

“In the corporate world, sometimes things aren’t exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures.”

—George W. Bush