Most Accountants are numbers people. Like probably many others, Maths was the only school subject I was any good at. Even though there are many jobs these days that are non-numbers focused (and I have done a number of such roles myself, i.e. Change Management Consultant, Business Process Re-engineering Specialist, Systems Accountant, Tax Planning Strategist) it is fair to say that numbers are the bedrock of our world. Let me focus on one set of natural numbers (remember those from GCSE?) that we all come across – door numbers. Whether we’re talking about 10 Rillington Place, 221B Baker Street or 10086 Sunset Boulevard, these are numbers we all come into contact with on a daily basis.
This is a piece that is relevant to every Accountant… more specifically every Accountant who ever attends interviews or meetings in different locations… like people searching for opportunities on their favourite finance careers website GAAPweb.
I’ve actually had this piece in mind for the past several months, but each time I have been invited to write something there has been something else topical which took priority.
I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how difficult it can be to find company’s offices. A large cause of this is companies who don’t display a door number outside their property – this should be a law! About the worst example was when I went to visit a media company on Tottenham Court Road in London. The numbers were genuinely staggered in a fashion like 2, 6, 4, 8, 10.... and this becomes even more complicated when there are shops on the ground floor with offices above – complicated numbering patterns abound.
It is also not helped by differing forms of street numbering. Most streets in my home town of Leeds have odds one side, evens on the other. As a child living at number 11, I was continually puzzled that our neighbours were 15 – but that is something that seems to depend on the superstitions of the builder. A number of streets in London (for example Regent Street) have consecutive numbers, going along one side, then crossing over at the end and coming back up the other side.
LAC Solicitors in Birmingham is at 666 Washwood Heath Road. Their office has had one lady die at her desk, staff have gone bankrupt, and the office has its own ghost. They are on the web at http://www.lacsolicitors.co.uk.
So, GAAPwebbers, numbers do matter. In fact, I'm currently sat at home watching the tribute to Carol Vorderman, and her final episode of “Countdown”. As someone who was able to get an A* in GCSE Maths thanks to her videos, and as someone who was privileged to meet her when I went to see the programme live, she really is our Queen of Numbers. Hopefully the final episode and tribute programme will be available on the web at Channel 4 Catch Up.
James Fairchild's full collection of articles and blogs can be found at http://www.financecpd.co.uk/jamesfairchild – recruiters and clients can contact me by leaving a comment there.