A bespectacled businessman extracts a receipt from a pile of paperwork on an abandoned desk, and after a close inspection, dramatically proclaims: "It must be the Fourth of July --" (pause to take off glasses) " -- because this guy has certainly declared his dependents." And in screams the requisite Who song -- probably "The Real Me" -- driving home that rare peek under the green visor.
According to many of those I interviewed for this month's update on diversity in the profession, a hit TV show in the vein of CSI would go a long way in attracting a greater pool of under-represented minorities to the profession and away from its more glamorous and primetime-ready medical and legal cousins.
When Ernst & Young's Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting Ken Bouyer joked with me about the need for this kind of branding for a young audience, his pitch was along the lines of yet another Law & Order offshoot: something like Accounting Order. National Association of Black Accountants' national president and CEO Calvin Harris told me he originally aspired to be a doctor, lawyer or police officer growing up, based on his channel surfing habits alone.
When I recently tweeted a link to our Web story about a new comic book based on accounting, someone retweeted with a lament about the lack of bean counters on TV. This led to a quick brainstorm in our office. Last year, we featured an online slide show of accountants in the movies, including classics like Leo Bloom. But when we turned our attention to the small screen, the list we drummed up was far shorter. Other than Norm from Cheers, representation was scarce.
Can you think of any TV accountants outside of Boston or Andy Richter's short stint as a CPA-turned-P.I.? And would you watch David Caruso go after offshore tax havens? Give me your accountant TV show pitch: @ATomorrow.
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