Ololade Alli is the Head of Accounting at PiggyTech. For this month’s Lead Talks, she talks about her career and how exciting being an accountant is.
What’s it like being an accountant?
Let me start by saying accounting is a broad field. Accountants prepare the financials for a business, handle taxation, manage cash flow, budget and forecast, reconcile transactions, make payments, handle advisory, as well as strategise and look at the business from a numbers point of view. So being an accountant is having a handle on all of these things.
I have been working as an accountant for 10 years. I love the job.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love being an accountant?
I would say nine.
I’m leaving one for the days the work choke. [Laughs] I’ve always loved dealing with numbers for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I used to say that I would be an accountant because I thought it was just about counting money. [Laughs] I know better now, but my love for the profession hasn’t dwindled.
Is working as an accountant in tech different from working as an accountant elsewhere?
Generally, the same principles apply in accounting irrespective of the business. However, there are some peculiarities with each business environment and the test of a good accountant is being able to tailor these principles to the environment in which one functions.
In the end, you just have to make sure that whatever financial report you are sharing can be understood by the target audience.
What’s the most challenging part of your job at PiggyTech?
Well, we have three products and each of these products are unique. These products are different but are very much interconnected. So the most challenging part for me is having to mentally switch while analysing activities across these products. It requires one to be on top of their game practically all the time.
So, which of our products is the trickiest to handle?
Hmm. Frankly, I can’t pick one. The peculiarity of each of the products is what makes the job exciting.
I can only imagine. What are the pros and cons of being an accountant?
For con, an accountant always has to be meticulous. We have to always refer to historical data when trying to draw conclusions and make decisions. An error or an improper documentation that you made yesterday can set a trap for you in the future, so there’s little or no room for mistakes.
For pro, an accountant is able to tell a story with numbers and use these numbers to guide the business in making decisions. It’s nice to be able to interpret the numbers and say, “Oh, this is what we should do” or “We shouldn’t take that decision now.”
Can you tell me an accounting joke?
Sure! Why did the accountant fall off his bed?
Because they didn’t have a balance sheet. [Laughs]