Spotting Accountants From Twenty Paces

I spend a lot of time around financial people and have mentioned previously the profileration of a certain sort of spreadsheet software. By default anyone who works with numbers in my line of work is referred to as an accountant. They don't need to have letters after their name, there are just certain things that accountants do. Sometimes the behaviours can start to rub off on those who work with them, especially impressionable young IT professionals, causing us to lose the odd promising programmer to the dark side.

It can be hard to work out if people I work with (implementing ERP systems) are technologists or accountants. Now, there is a way. With suitable apologies to JWZ here is Andrew's first law of career tendency spotting;

Accountants are people who, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use Excel". Now they have two problems.

There is already a complement to this law, known as Kenway's qualification, which states that;

Excel is a great prototyping tool, just don't let it anywhere near your production systems.