If you’re not great at math, conceptualize accounting as a language. This makes it easier to learn, and streamlines communication with businesspeople.
So, I sat through my first Financial Accounting class last week. I went in feeling pretty intimidated. I’m generally untalented at math (except stats and geo,) and I understood accounting as being entirely mathematical — tediously, soul crushingly, mathematical.
During a single class period, my understanding of an entire field wrenched backward. Granted, accounting requires some basic algebra, but as a form of recordkeeping and communication, accounting shares more with language than mathematics. In fact, some accountants describe their field as “the language of business.”
Of course, anthropologists have long understood that “the field study of a group usually requires that the observer learn the group’s language. If the group be a work group, the language includes a technical vocabulary (jargon), and those words that substitute for everyday words (argot). … Argot and jargon are important for accurate communication among workers, and a command of these vocabularies is a mark of full membership in the group.” (Graves, 1974)
Thus, as a business anthropologist, learning the “language of business” comes pretty natural. At present, I’m actually running ahead in my coursework!
In conclusion: if you’re not great at math, conceptualize accounting as a language. This makes it easier to learn, and streamlines communication with businesspeople.
Question for the discussion thread: can you think of any other fields of study, that have their own language? Of course, any other comments are welcome, too. Even short and stupid ones. So be awesome and say something below! No registration required. Yay, anonymity!