Will Real Accountants See ‘The Accountant’?: An Investigation

10.12.16 2 weeks ago • 4 Comments

Warner Bros.

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.”

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