From Chinese to Accounting

I distinctly remember the sixth grade when my teacher told my parents I would make a great engineer someday.  I envisioned trains.  Umm… thanks, but no thanks.

If you had asked *me*, on the other hand, I would’ve told you I either wanted to be a CPA or a psychologist.

Naturally, when it was time for college, I chose to get degrees in Chinese and Spanish.

After I graduated from college, like many new graduates, I found myself a bit lost.  I knew I didn’t want to become an interpreter or a translator despite all the years I spent acquiring the languages.  I was thankful for the experiences I had had to date, but I didn’t really want to pursue that as a lifelong career.  It just didn’t feel right.

Soon after, I got an office job as a receptionist and found myself gravitating more and more toward the accounting side of the business.  Call me crazy, but the more I learned, the more it made sense to me and the more I felt “at home.”  One day I went out in the field (literally, in this case) with my boss to take inventory of the cattle on one of the company’s ranches, and my parents later asked me, “So, did you count those cows in Chinese or Spanish?”

Ha, ha… very funny.

It wasn’t until many years and a couple more degrees later that I finally understood what connected all of these seemingly unconnected passions:  languages, accounting, and psychology.

Understanding leads to connection.

Languages can be a barrier to understanding people (as can culture), so I loved learning them.  Eventually I found myself in the world of business, and there is nothing that gives you a more immediate and deep understanding of a business than a solid understanding of accounting.  Numbers talk.

After all, it’s the language of business.

And any CPA who has spent time deciphering a tax return for someone who has broken out into tears over an amount due… let me just say that there is a hidden psychologist in every good CPA.

Now I spend most of my days talking to customers who have a big pile of documents on their desk or a jumbled up QuickBooks file on their desktop.  Or maybe they want to move to the cloud, but there are so many options, they have no idea where to even begin looking.  Or they are holding a set of financial statements with a bewildered look on their face.  And do you know what I hear constantly?

“It all just feels like Chinese to me.”

Well, guess what?

I totally understand, and I’d love to help you with that.