On Wednesday morning, I tweeted an innocuous observation about Ben Affleck’s new movie, The Accountant – in which Affleck plays an accountant who is an assassin on the side (it’s a little more complicated than that, but there’s the gist) – that there’s a montage of Ben Affleck doing accounting in the movie. It’s at this point that I started receiving tweets from actual accountants telling me that they couldn’t wait to see this movie. I hadn’t even thought of this before, but it makes sense because Hollywood certainly doesn’t make a lot of action movies about accountants.
This got me to thinking: are real life accountants looking forward to seeing The Accountant?
On Wednesday morning, I started cold calling accountants around the New York City area to ask this question. While doing this, I learned a couple of things. First, right now, it’s tax season. I was told this multiple times with annoyed huffs from very busy people. (I honestly just assumed this was a slow time for accountants, but apparently the tax deadline for people who filed extensions back in April is this week.) The second thing is kind of related: most normal people aren’t super into the idea of answering questions about a new Ben Affleck movie from a stranger on the telephone. (But, as it turns out, some are.)
Anyway, here’s how all this went:
The first company I called was Steinberg Shebairo LLP. A woman answered and I replied, “Hello, I’d like to speak to an accountant.” She asked what this was concerning. I answered truthfully and she laughed and quickly hung up on me.
Next was C York CPA. It yielded a similar result. When I explained what I was doing, the response from the receptionist was, “They’re not really taking calls… like this.” (I do like to think there was a specific warning against people calling about Ben Affleck or The Accountant.)
I then called Herman Yiu CPA. The conversation went like this:
“I’d like to speak to an accountant, please.”
“What is this regarding?”
“I’m doing a story on if real accountants want to see the new Ben Affleck movie, The Accountant.”
“I can ask someone.”
[30 seconds pass.]
“Thank you for holding, sir. Yes, he has heard of it and is interested.”
“Oh, great. What’s his name?”
[Long pause] “John? John would be fine. We will just keep it very simple and ambiguous.”