Accountant vs actuary


P

Pete Schult

I'm in a career transition right now and am deciding among a variety of
fields, but 2 options are either accountant/auditor or actuary. I've
gotten some feedback on comparing the 2 fields from actuaries, but I'm
interested on what accountants who are familiar with what actuaries do
think of the 2 professions, especially if you made the choice to become
an accountant even though you knew you could have pursued becoming an
actuary.

--Pete Schult
 
J

John

From: Pete Schult said:
> I'm in a career transition right now and am deciding among a variety of
fields, but 2 options are either accountant/auditor or actuary. I've
gotten some feedback on comparing the 2 fields from actuaries, but I'm
interested on what accountants who are familiar with what actuaries do
think of the 2 professions, especially if you made the choice to become
an accountant even though you knew you could have pursued becoming an actuary.
--Pete Schult

Accountants and actuaries both work with pension plans but the trend is
to discontinue pensions and just have 401k's or "defined contribution"
type
plans so I'm not sure of the employment outlook for that type of
actuarial
work.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

actuaries work with statistics and computer simulations, and must pass
exams that involve solving lots of advance statistics and probability
problems.

CPA accountants usually cannot solve a statistics or math problem if
their life depends on it. the cpa exam involves memorizing an inane
collection of esoteria accounting rules and standards.

in my experience, actuaries tend to be above average IQ people (e.g.,
IQ = 115-125 range), whereas CPA accountants tend to be average to
below average IQ people (93-103 range IQ) with an ability to do very
dull, mundane, detail-oriented work.

you can identify actuaries and accountants at parties, because both are
standing in the corner (the opposite corner) staring down at their
shoes and sucking on a domestic beer.
 
B

Bill Lentz

I'm in a career transition right now and am deciding among a variety of
fields, but 2 options are either accountant/auditor or actuary. I've
gotten some feedback on comparing the 2 fields from actuaries, but I'm
interested on what accountants who are familiar with what actuaries do
think of the 2 professions, especially if you made the choice to become
an accountant even though you knew you could have pursued becoming an
actuary.

--Pete Schult

When I used to audit life insurance companies, I was told that the
only difference was that an actuary was an accountant with his
personality removed...


Bill
 
R

Ron Todd

I'm in a career transition right now and am deciding among a variety of
fields, but 2 options are either accountant/auditor or actuary. I've
gotten some feedback on comparing the 2 fields from actuaries, but I'm
interested on what accountants who are familiar with what actuaries do
think of the 2 professions, especially if you made the choice to become
an accountant even though you knew you could have pursued becoming an
actuary.

--Pete Schult
Becoming an accountant is a cake walk compared to becoming an actuary.
Do a little research and look at the requirements to be an actuary.
 
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

actuaries are paid 2 to 3 times as much as accountants/auditors.

after 5 years experience, an actuary could make $200,000 while
an accountant makes only $75,000.
 
R

Ron Todd

actuaries are paid 2 to 3 times as much as accountants/auditors.
That is because it takes a very high I.Q. to become an actuary, I
would guess that you would have to be in the top 1%.
after 5 years experience, an actuary could make $200,000 while
an accountant makes only $75,000.
Lower I.Q. requirement, more people can pass the classes, more bodies,
positions filled, mechanization reduced demand, etc....
 
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

That is because it takes a very high I.Q. to become an actuary, I would guess that you would have to be in the top 1%.

top 1%?? your perspective is astounding, ha ha ha...

First, I-bankers, successful lawyers and doctors, successful small and
large business entrepreneurs.. they all make 10X that of an actuary.

Second, compared to the artistic (e.g., music, writing) professions,
and the
academic and scientific professions, being an actuary is quite dull and
un-creative.

So, why would a person in the top 1% of IQ choose to be an actuary and
make only $150-200K,
when he would make much more, or have a job that he enjoys more?
 
R

Reykjavik

Because you're falsely assuming that if someone is in the top 1% of an
IQ bell curve, that means they must be creative, interesting or even
sophisticated and thus demand more out of life then a boring 9-5 desk
job. I have found that the exact opposite seems to be true. The
smarter the people I come in contact with, the more boring and dull
they seem to be.

I just finished law school and was surrounded by extremely bright
people who had absolutely no desire to do anything more then be
someones bitch for the rest of their lives. With all the work and 90
hour weeks they intend to put into making $1250,000 a year, they could
have become millionaires on their own. Or at least thats what I
thought. But the more I spoke to them the more I realized that
specific thought had never even entered their heads. They never once
stopped to ask themselves just why they were putting in all this effort
just to make someone besides themselves rich.

The moral of the story is, you can be very bright and very
smart.....but that doesn't mean you can't be boring as sh*t.

I agree with you, there is no way I will devote 2/3rds of my life to
making someone else wealthy. I'd rather die a failure who tried to be
his own boss, then live on my knees.
 
R

Ron Todd

Because you're falsely assuming that if someone is in the top 1% of an
IQ bell curve ....
I.Q. is only one facet of the total person. It is predictive of
certain things of a specific nature and is of little use for most
others.
 
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

Reykja wrote: I just finished law school and was surrounded by extremely bright people who had absolutely no desire to do anything more then be someones bitch for the rest of their lives.

Very few people in law school, even in the top schools like Stanford or
Harvard, are in the top 1%
IQ. Law school (professional schools generally) attract the "upper
middle class" bright; people who
are smarter than the random joe you meet on the subway, but not the
super smart geniuses.
So, the premise of your who argument is wrong!

The super geniuses (top 1%) do not bother with professional school,
which is by nature
anti-creative. You find the supergeniuses in phd programs, music,
writing novels, creating
directing movies, or starting wild
internet companies. They hire law school grads to be their worker-bee
slaves.
 
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

reykja wrote: agree with you, there is no way I will devote 2/3rds of my life to making someone else wealthy. I'd rather die a failure who tried to be his own boss, then live on my knees.

no you won't. by nature, a joe who goes to law school is a worker-bee
by personality.
You can never take the risk to go and do something like start your own
business. you just
don't have it in you. like 99% of your law school classmates, you are
a drone.
bahahahahaaah!
 
C

Christopher Browne

actuaries are paid 2 to 3 times as much as accountants/auditors.
after 5 years experience, an actuary could make $200,000 while
an accountant makes only $75,000.
Possibly, assuming you can actually become and get hired as a full
actuary.

My brother was heading down that path, at one point.

What he discovered was that most of the full actuary positions in
Canada were disappearing due to consolidation of life insurance
companies. The Mutual Group acquired numerous of its competitors;
when that happens, the subs no longer each need a full actuary. The
_one_ at the Mutual Group is all that is necessary to sign off on
things.

I doubt that things are all that different in the US...
--
(reverse (concatenate 'string "moc.liamg" "@" "enworbbc"))
http://linuxfinances.info/info/lisp.html
Rules of the Evil Overlord #192. "If I appoint someone as my consort,
I will not subsequently inform her that she is being replaced by a
younger, more attractive woman. <http://www.eviloverlord.com/>
 
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

so, all the 10s of thousands of people taking their series of actuary
exams will find there is not a great paying job at the end of 7 years
hard labor?? hahaha!
 
D

DW Simpson Webmaster

Christopher said:
I doubt that things are all that different in the US...
Things are different in the US versus Canada. Canadian universities
graduate an oversupply of actuarial science majors, while this hasn't
yet happened in the US. Also, the life insurance consolidation that
Canada saw has not been as severe in the US.
 
M

mrs. eliza humperdink

DW said:
Things are different in the US versus Canada. Canadian universities
graduate an oversupply of actuarial science majors, while this hasn't
yet happened in the US. Also, the life insurance consolidation that
Canada saw has not been as severe in the US.

this brings up a good point: why is majoring in accounting and
actuarial science
so much more popular in canada (and australia) than in the USA? In US,

business major generally prefer economics, finance, or general
business. Nobody
strives to be an accounting geek, except the clueless.
 
S

Stephen A. Lewis

I've been an accountant for over 20 years and spent most of my time in
public accounting but am very familiar with actuarial work. Actuarial work
tends to pay better than accounting although it is also less varied than
accounting work. If accountants aren't as smart as actuaries, I have to
wonder why accounting rules require that they review the actuaries basic
assumptions when they audit their work. I have worked with statistical
calculations in accounting to extrapolate error rates, determine sample
sizes, for review of actuarial reports etc. You have to determine which
area interests you more and move in that direction.

I have found most of the work that I've done over the years to be extremely
interesting and challenging. Accounting work can be very varied as it is
more than just adding etc. I believe that Elizabeth has confused
bookkeeping with accounting as she obviously doesn't have a good
understanding of accounting rules or what accountants actually do. Just go
to fasb.org and look at statements 123R, 133 etc. to see how complicated
accounting can be.

To say that an actuary is smarter than an accountant indicates that
someone's experience is severely limited. Just look at our president and
note his intelligence and wealth to see whether it takes a high IQ to be
rich. If you look at accountant's salaries some make over 7 figures a year
and a shareholder partner in a "big 4" firm averages in the range of
$500,000 or more a year.

Hopefully you will find this useful.

Stephen Lewis, CPA
 
S

Stephen A. Lewis

Why do you come to this newsgroup since you obviously are not an accountant
just someone who thinks they are smarter than they are. If you are such an
intelligent person I challenge you to read SFAS 123R and explain to this
newsgroup how to apply the rules. If you take my challenge, I'll then
provide an explanation from a dumb old accountant and we can see who
understands the rules better. Oh, just to make sure you understand, SFAS
stands for Statement of Financial Accounting Standards that are issued by
the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The statement can be found at
fasb.org.
 
R

Ron Todd

On Fri, 30 Dec 2005 17:23:50 -0500, "Stephen A. Lewis"

....
someone's experience is severely limited. Just look at our president and
note his intelligence and wealth to see whether it takes a high IQ to be
rich.
You obviously didn't do your home work on that one. G.W. Bush's, as
well as Kerry's scores on a couple of tests that correlate with the
WAIS are documented as well as the sources of the Bush family wealth.
If you look at accountant's salaries some make over 7 figures a year
and a shareholder partner in a "big 4" firm averages in the range of
$500,000 or more a year.
Your talking about a very steep pyramid and then your using a very
small sample to support a point which is insupportable.

And, on top of all that you were easily suckered in by a rather
unsophisticated troll.

Just because it took a higher than normal I.Q. for us to get through
accounting doesn't mean that we accountants are a group that has
consistently shown great intelligence or wisdom. I only thank God
that most people pay no attention to a great many of the more foolish
of the public pronouncements of my professional brethren.
 

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