5 Movies Every Accountant Must See

Movies are a major piece of the mainstream culture.  We can learn a lot from the movies, whether practical information or life lessons… even some accounting.  Let’s take a look at 5 movies where you can apply your accounting knowledge:

Office Space

 5 Movies Every Accountant Must See

Practically speaking, the fraud triangle is perhaps more apparent in this move than in any other.  From motive to execution, any auditor will recognize the lack of and potential for controls here.  The movie offers a fresh look at how things could actually play out, including the behind the scenes planning that has to take place, and you could just become a better auditor for having watched it.  Also, accountants know a thing or two about the boss needing you to come in on Saturday.


 5 Movies Every Accountant Must See

Rick Moranis an accountant? The part he was born to play!  His character may be just a bean counter, but he makes an excellent “keymaster.”  What lessons does the “Keymaster” hold for accountants?  Don’t be that guy.  Not everyone loves to talk about accounting, and even though he actually had people at his party, they were all clients.  Make friends outside of your clients, and find other things to talk about.  These basic social skills can easily fall by the wayside when you are spending 80 hours or more a week on taxes during the season.


Shawshank Redemption

 5 Movies Every Accountant Must See

Of course, if you kill someone you could go to prison, but there is a better lesson here for accountants.  Use your skills whatever situation you find yourself in.  Stay sharp.  Andy Dufresne used his accounting skills to avoid having to do manual labor, with tax refunds he got a library built.  Hopefully you will not be in prison, but if you find yourself a stay at home mom for a time, keep up some training and maybe find an Intro to Accounting class to teach at the local community college.  If you are on medical leave for a time, pick up a couple of tax returns to do if you feel like it.  If all else fails, consult.  Just don’t stop if you can help it.

Catch Me if You Can

 5 Movies Every Accountant Must See

This is more of an awareness lesson than anything.  It is a true story.  Bringing to life the knowledge that check fraud really does happen and is often difficult to catch can make any auditor much more diligent.  Auditors must practice professional skepticism because fraud can happen from the place you least expect it.

The Other Guys/Stranger Than Fiction

 5 Movies Every Accountant Must See

2 for 1! Will Ferrell playing an accountant in 2 movies? Probably not his most memorable roles but he did have a few gems:

“At age 11, I audited my parents. Believe me, there were some discrepancies, and I was grounded.” – Allen Gamble (The Other Guys)

Not many hard hitting life lessons here, just some solid movies… who would have thought Will Ferrell would have such an affinity for the accounting profession?

Not only are all of these movies great entertainment, but applied properly they really could make you better at what you do.  Did I forget any? Please add your favorite in the comment section!