Thursday, February 28, 2013

Corporate Chronicles: What accountants really do

I’m an accountant by day. Yes, geeky and lowly as many imagined accountants look like. I’m telling you now, accountants don’t look like that (as least not all of us haha). A lot of movies featured doctors, lawyers, engineers, and even George Clooney’s Up movie character – retrenchment specialist. But I don’t recall a lot of movies featuring accountants. I wonder why... Are we that boring? Perhaps a lot of people have the impression that all we do is crunch numbers all day long. Hell no! We do way beyond figuring out numbers. In fact, accountants are everywhere. We can be a noble teacher/professor if we’re in academe. Yeah, we need to continually produce and spread our breed. We can be crunching numbers, yes. We can be finance and management consultants if our experience and credentials qualify us.

Licensed accountants (those who passed the government licensure examinations) can do audit. Yup, we can be dreaded auditors if we are qualified to be. They can also do freelance statement preparers and auditors, and finance advisers. My former boss now owns her own consulting firm.

This picture shows you the dreaded columnar journal where accountants supposedly book the entries detailing all business transactions. Actually, that’s a bookkeeper’s job. A bookkeeper doesn't have to be an accounting graduate. He/she simply needs to understand “accounting.” Mind you those financial statements you see came from these books, at least for companies that do not have sophisticated financial systems. I am working for a multinational company but our system has not been registered yet with the regulatory body hence; I am literally writing on these books currently. You might say “what the heck?” That’s my initial reaction too. I haven’t touched a manual journal like this after first year college. But you can imagine the wonders we do – transforming these filthy books to financial statements that industry moguls and investors rely on for their valuable business decisions.

With the proliferation of business process outsourcing in recent years, Filipino accountants turned into jetsetters. They travel the world to bring processes to the Philippines, make them their own and enhance such processes. How long does the cycle take? - As brief as 6 months! So if you think that accountants sit in their office corners glued to the monitors, think again. We do more.

Going back to the idea of geeky and lowly accountants… We are fashionable too (well, not all). A lot of us don’t go by nerdy glasses (except me, I dig that look) and dull long skirts. We wear stilettos, accessories, scarves and whatever fashion statement items you can think of. My former and current bosses own a good collection of luxury bags! Yes, we also do fashion.

Accountants also are capable of starting up own businesses. We can manage by ourselves. Why? We know the numbers, we can’t be fooled. This is my dream actually – to be a freelance finance and management consultant and entrepreneur. As of the moment, I still need to be a corporate slave to widen my network, enhance my business experience, and of course save something for capital in the future.

We are also talented. We can sing, dance, write, play an instrument, etc. Yup both of our left and right brains work. Most of us are really logical but some of us especially the younger generation, are also creative. We come up with creative corporate activities and yes, Christmas party presentations! This is unsolicited but if my sources are correct, Nina, the multi-platinum recording star in the Philippines used to be an accountant. I told you we can sing! Haha

To be really honest, I never dreamt of being an accountant. Back in high school my mom asked me what I’d like to take up in college. Of course I told her I want music! That’s all I want anyway. But she told me I won’t make money out of music so she insinuated, and well I was dragged, to take up accountancy. When I was already working, I almost cursed her for dragging me to this profession because I didn’t get to sleep anymore while I was on my first job. I still wonder why I am an accountant but you know I feel blessed that I am because there are always job opportunities for us. I can do what I want with my free time and I can be myself. So if you don’t have any idea what accountants do, we don’t just do numbers. We do a whole lot more!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I don't know if anyone already invented the word "alcotherapy" but I thought about this more than a year ago so if someone "invented" the word before me then sorry, I'm not here to claim anything. It's not rocket science anyway haha. Alcotherapy is a portmanteau of "alcohol" and "therapy," and generally defined as "healing with the use of alcohol."

I grew up with male family members and kins that love alcohol. My cousins and relatives in the province make alcohol their breakfast coffee. Compared to others, I think I started drinking late. My first bottle of beer was during my college friend's birthday right before our graduation. And the rest - you can say - is history.

I personally love my good old margarita, vodka, and some really ice cold beer. Tequila? When I was younger perhaps. I feel like I'm too old to smell like tequila as it leaves a pretty strong smell. I remember when I got one too many shots of it back in the days. I was crawling... but the feeling was oh so light. The next morning, I felt like a cartoon character with stars circling my really bloated head. It's great to experience once in a while and if you are in the company of people with the same smell. Otherwise, you will curse yourself and clean your immaculately white bed sheets and pillows... I've a few friends who are allergic to alcoholic beverages and I've got nothing but pity on them. They can't share the feeling of being trashed. This is why I always have extra bottles because I'm drinking for my allergic friends haha.

So now, I'm more mature. I'm drinking but I'm not trashed. I'm drinking but I'm not alcoholic (and I'm not trying to be defensive). In fact, there are lots of benefits to alcohol drinking, moderate that is.

1. it improves blood circulation (and I'm not making this up - you can search. This is backed by a lot of more recent studies).
2. boost confidence (yes, it does - people say drunk people tells the truth and says things they won't normally say)
3. stress buster (whenever I feel stressed and stretched, i historically counted on alcoholic beverages and it really gave me relief)
4. deal saver (instead of a fist fight, you can just drink beer if you have an 'enemy' or you have an overrated 'love quarrel')

I'm sure a lot of alcohol drinkers can name a few more and I don't even have really expound on anything. This picture below greeted me last Monday on our new office building pantry. WOW! I was perked up all day. I thought it was a regular pantry item haha. When I have my own company perhaps it would. In fact, I've always thought that pantries have water dispensers with hot and cold water. Why not have a third one - dispensing beer? I'm sure every second employee will increase productivity! Anyway, this post is just to celebrate those who can drink, are drinking moderately, and drinking for therapy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things...

1. Listening to the radio and Fridays - With a lot of music players these days, I don't see a lot of people listening to the radio anymore. Not me.  I love listening to the radio. It excites me not to know what song will play next and it exhilarates me that one of my favorite songs was on. I love music so much but lately, not a lot of quality songs are coming out. Most would play repetitive non-sense lyrics like "na na na na" or "baby baby baby" so I am stuck listening to good old music. Good thing there's Magic 89.9's Friday madness and Jam 88.3's Slide, both of which happen all day every Fridays. You may listen to live streaming in the web links below. Both stations play non current music bringing nostalgia to everyone and delight to me! Fridays and radio = perfect combination

2. Vintage shirts - One of my officemates told me that I'm stuck with the past (he saw me playing tetris on my phone, intensely!). Perhaps, I am. I'm stuck with the old stuffs that rock. Vintage shirts? You can never go wrong with vintage shirts. Firstly, they're very comfy. Secondly, they usually come in very cool designs. What I love most are vintage rock band shirts. Pink Floyd is a classic rock band and it brings me pride to wear a shirt. I'm not very fond of girls wearing a rockstar ensemble when they're not really into rock music. But well, I'm still proud that they try to dig the style. The rock style I would say is comfortable and classic... you can wear vintage shirts, jeans and chucks any day! =)

3. Fireworks! - When there's fireworks, it must be a happy occasion. In the Philippines, New Year's celebration is nothing without fireworks. The sky is always luminous and it always feels like nothing can go wrong. Last night, we watched the 4th annual Philippine pyromusical competition. It was Japan versus Finland. Both entries showcased modern firework techniques. My favorite was the dramatic waterfall effect that Finland displayed. I'm a black kind of girl but the colors that lit up the Manila skyline last night were nothing but wonderful. I've been watching the pyromusical for two years now but the amusement is never short in supply... I was also inspired with the number between the gap. There were sexy fire dancers. Honestly, I was scared because we were so close to the performers that I felt some gas splattered on my arms but the show was good and their abs... I think I need to do some fire dancing myself haha. Anyway, you can catch two countries go against each other next week again. It's every saturday at the Mall of Asia...

Well those are some of my favorite things... I love the Sound of Music and yup, I thank the movie for great music and for the "favorite things" concept...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Corporate Chronicles: Are you the boss?

While everyone is busy thinking of how they'll be spending their Valentine's day, let me bore you with the first Corporate Chronicles (it's not too serious by the way. it's just for kicks). So, I've been working in the corporate world for years now and I've had both unique and common experiences at work. I also met various characters at work. However, the most notable celebrated, or better yet, the most talked about person in the company is the boss. So who's the boss? Are you?

Well, my experiences tell me that you're the boss if employees stop talking and fixate their eyes on their desktop monitors when you are about to pass by... You're a regular employee if you've mastered the art of alt+tab-ing between excel spreadsheets and facebook...

You are the boss if you have a room dedicated to yourself and applicants with ties and heels carefully enters your room. You are a regular employee if you eagerly await for the receptionist or the secretary to usher you towards the boss' room...

You are the boss if you disseminate Senior or Executive Leadership's plans, or implement your own strategies, and you receive bad feedback. You are a regular employee if you complain about policies and management mandates that you don't understand...

You know you're the boss if you only review powerpoint presentations or approve outgoing checks. You are a regular employee if you don't have a stamp with your name because you're not signing anywhere so what do you need stamps for?

You are the boss if you don't have a long email "signature." Heck you don't even put your name as a closing to your email! You are a regular employee if you even have telephone numbers and work title in your email "signature." Why? Because you want the "boss" to know who you are haha...

You are a regular employee if you are part of the "grapevine" where informal "news," mostly office gossips, are coming from. You are the boss if you're the last to know of what's hot in the "grapevine." Why? Because the most talked about person in the grapevine is the boss! And the boss is called differently - under a complex/undecode-able codename...

But through all these, you know you're a bum if you don't even understand what I've been talking about in this post. Hooray to the bums - the true bosses of their time and lives =)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dream Celebrity Death Match

I am not sure whether MTV still airs Celebrity Death Match but back in college, I will not miss a single episode of this show. It's crazy. It's hilarious. So I thought of my dream celebrity death matches.

4. China vs Philippines vs Vietnam vs Taiwan vs.... Oh dear! The list goes on...

I seriously don't know how to put it but everyone who wants Scarborough shoal or whatever name it has in various territories... It's just on for a long time and I don't know why international governing bodies do not go between and settle this issue since these nations would not give up their rights over the territory... The leaders could all jump there and have some booze!

3. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Well, their dream match has not been set for years. I am a boxing fan but I really lost my appetite on waiting for their match. At first I thought the promoters were just building hype on their bout but it has gone for ages and still it isn't finalized so perhaps their anime version could do the trick and give us fans one hell of a fight... If it's celebrity death match, it would be different. It could be like a simple street brawl - no gloves. Southpaw fists flying to pretty boy's face but Floyd may not be there in time for their bout so Manny will end up singing to entertain the crowd...

2. Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Aniston

I don't even have to explain why these two need to have a death match. Yes, it was all history but extreme fans would still want Jennifer to have a little "revenge" but Jolie fans would never back down either. Imagine Angelina unleashing her Lara Croft abilities? Or Angelina's mouth sucking Jennifer while Jennifer flashes her smile to have a laser effect on tomb raider... There will be guns, lips and a lot of witty girl word war. How would it end? Hmmm... Brad Pitt getting in the way?

1. Slash vs. Axl Rose

Until I'm old and grey, I would still hope that Guns n' Roses get back together (the old members I mean) but I know that the feud between these two will never be fixed so even an animated version of their physical clash would bring audiences together. Fan like me would love them to reconcile but reality bites and a "death match" would be a fun way to see them together. I'm imagining their animated versions in leather pants and bandana. Axl would be belting out in screeching high tone to deafen Slash while Slash would be wrecking guitars at Axl. Who would win? I don't even want to imagine hehe...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Love like a...

It's the love month! For a hundred years (exaggerated) I wouldn't have even said the "love month." It's icky, overrated and overall cheesy. But I give in and besides this post isn't about cheesy love songs (eewww). I've been notoriously single until early last year so technically, I am nouveau in the relationship realm. So for people who are or wanting a fresh start in a relationship, here are some of my learnings/advice...

1. When you "love" love like a fan. Fans know the celebrities' favorites, life story, and even whereabouts without even asking the celebrity. How? Research and analysis. Yup, sometimes it's bordering stalking but do it in moderation. I think it's sweet to give your special someone a gift that he/she wouldn't know you knew he/she likes. Trust me they'll appreciate it better than the standard gifts. It's also great to make sure that he/she is safe without being nosy about his/her activities. Fans also run in defense when the celebrity is being attacked specially, if the attack is on their real-life characters. Defend your man/woman especially if you know he/she didn't do anything wrong. Trust is essential in any relationship. You don't listen to hearsay or gossip. The fact that you said you love a person, you've got to trust him/her. However, if the evidences are right in front of your faces, don't play stupid either.

2. When in arguments, don't be a lawyer for your arguments will never end. Be a priest. A priest listens to confessions, forgives the "sinner" and after the penance is served, the "sinner" has a clean slate. Humans have the habit of compiling errors and misses but forget birthdays or anniversaries. After you discuss what happened and forgives the other, then that should be the end of the discussion. It should not resurface after 3 months. If you can't forget what has happened and finds it hard to forgive what your boyfriend/girlfriend has done then trust is broken, get out of the relationship for what is a relationship without trust?

3. Take occasional trips to an alter universe which you and  your boyfriend/girlfriend only know. Sometimes, you have your own language, style, special places. The classic movie Casablanca was famous for Humphrey Bogart's "we will always have Paris." Don't share those special moments with other people. Have something for yourselves alone. However, you can't leave earth that long and you can't live in your alter universe either. Why? Because if things don't work out between you two, you won't have earth to return to. Don't live a life too separate from other people. Have time off from your togetherness. Spend time with friends and meet new people because it would make you grow. You will also bring in new things in the relationship, thus helping you to nurture your relationship more and prevents boredom.

4. Love like a pauper. A pauper has little, if none at all, means. If you act like a pauper then you don't have material things to give hence; you will express your feelings through more efforts which are priceless. As the song says "forget about the price tag." When you've got nothing material to give, you'll give your soul. Love like you have nothing to lose.

5. Love like an infant who doesn't know how to count. Do not calculate what he/she has given you then match it. If you have more then give more. If you have less then it's fine - do not compete with your special someone as to who gives who more. Like an infant, don't be afraid to crawl, stumble for time will come when you'd learn how to walk without tripping. And when you do, you'll enjoy recollecting the hard times and feel better that you are more mature and you've enjoy the journey together.

6. (The best advice) - Don't take your relationship and yourselves seriously. Goof around - TOGETHER.

You might say I'm too idealistic and not jaded since I'm new to the relationship realm. But I've been jaded before. And of course, the best advice I can give you is to not over think. The good thing about me being notoriously single is that I never lived with the mind games and rules of dating. I don't like dating. I like real relationships and so thankful that I am in one. So I wish everyone the same... Lots of love people...