Your favorite accountants in pop culture

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    Have you ever wondered how the rest of the world views your work? Sometimes entertainment can give us a chance to look through that window. Usually, when we want to turn on TV or movies, it’s to escape from everyday life. But sometimes it can be fun to watch a show about our lives, especially our work lives! There are shows about doctors, lawyers, IT teams, journalists, government officials and many other professions. There aren’t many shows (if any?) about accountants. However, it turned out that there are quite a few accountant characters in popular movies and TV series. So many, in fact, that Canopy’s creative team decided to turn these characters into a pop culture deck of playing cards! Here’s a look at some of our favorite accounting characters in pop culture.

    ⚠️ Warning: Minor spoilers for TV shows and movies ahead ⚠️

    Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger of Parks and Recreation

    Parks and Recreation , the mockumentary-style sitcom that ran from 2009-2015, apparently loves accountants. If you watch the show, you’ll notice a few jokes about accounting. First on our list is Ben Wyatt, a likable nerd who ends up marrying the series’ main character, Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler). Ben, played by Adam Scott, is an accountant working for the state government when he is first introduced in the show. He and his boss, Chris Traeger (played by Rob Lowe), are sent to Pony, Indiana to audit the town’s finances and solve catastrophic budget problems. Chris is known for his upbeat attitude and positive outlook on life, while Ben is known for his bookkeeping jokes.

    Here are some of our favorite Ben Watt accounting jokes:

      • “He is a lawyer, I am an accountant. We speak the same language. I mean, obviously accountants are a bit more of a bad boy, but there’s respect here.’ πŸ˜‚
      • “They call me the accountant of the Swiss Army.”
      • “Hopefully it won’t be too taxing.”
      • “Don’t worry, you can count on us!”
      • “Sorry, I guess I’m just on the payroll.”
      • β€œJust call me Bond. Municipal bonds”.

    Ben Wyatt made the cut for Canopy Playing Card Accounting as the Jack of Hearts. Check it out here:

    Briefly in the show, Ben works at an accounting firm in town. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ and short-lived, one of the firm’s chief accountants keeps asking Ben to come back. Which brings us to the next accountant on our list…

    Parks and Recreation’s Barney Warmn

    Barney Warmn: Lover of numbers and puns! Accountant Barney, played by actor Jon Balma, first hires Ben Wyatt to work as an accountant for his accounting firm and loves all of Ben’s accounting jokes. He basically worships Ben and constantly offers him jobs. Barney laughs so hard at Ben’s jokes that it’s hard not to smile too!

    Here are some of Barney’s best accounting quotes:

        • β€œWhen it comes to tax preparation, the only thing that tax-ing decides which software to buy. And that’s it for a quick review of QuickBook…s Pro.” πŸ˜‚
        • “We don’t get much humor here, and when we do it’s great!”

    Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption.

    Andy Dufresne, the iconic character who was sentenced to prison for a murder he didn’t commit, made the most of his time in prison. He made friends, built a library, taught his fellow prisoners, and eventually took over the taxes and finances of the prison. It started when Andy started paying taxes to the prison guards, and things escalated from there. After serving 19 years of two consecutive life sentences, the soft-spoken accountant shocked everyone when he escaped from prison using a rock hammer.

    Christian Wolff in The Accountant (2016)

    In this film, Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a neurodivergent math genius and accountant. However, who he deals with is a bit unique. He uses the CPA firm as a cover for his real career: a freelance accountant for criminal organizations. With clients like him, things get interesting fast. To avoid being caught by a Treasury agent, Christian takes on a legitimate client. However, he discovers a discrepancy in the finances, and as he gets closer to solving the problem, more people start dying. Who would have thought that a movie about an accountant could be so exciting, dangerous and exciting!

    Skyler White from Breaking Bad

    Skyler White, an accountant who became an accomplice to her drug kingpin husband Walter White’s money laundering, is an iconic accountant. After she learns about her husband’s shady career, she uses her accounting skills to help the family launder money through a car wash the couple purchased.

    She is the Queen of Diamonds in the Canopy playing card deck.

    Norma from Cheers

    Norm Peterson, played by George Wendt, is one of the bar’s best customers in the hit television series Cheers. Known for his hilarious one-liners and hatred of his job, Norm is a staple of the show. Every time he walks into a bar, everyone greets him with shouts of “Norma!” In the first season, the character is an accountant, but is fired after standing up for Diane when his boss tries to use her for a date. He later becomes a painter in the series.

    Here’s a funny quote from Norm about accounting:

        • When Sam asks how Norm is doing, he says, β€œNot so good. Missed a figure in the debit column today. Now the boss is using my example as an ashtray.’

    Norm is the king of spades in the Canopy deck.

    Louis Tully in Ghostbusters.

    Louis Tully, played by Rick Maraniss, is an iconic character in the Ghostbusters universe. He lived down the hall from the first Ghostbusters client, Dana Barrett, played by Sigourney Weaver. Louis is throwing a party to celebrate his fourth anniversary as an accountant, when instead he becomes possessed by an ancient entity known as the “Teacher of Keys”. After being rescued by the Ghostbusters, Louis asks them, “Who pays your taxes?” and later he becomes a tax attorney. and ends up working for the Ghostbusters and winning the case for the team.

    Louis is the King of Spades in the Canopy deck.

    Angela, Kevin and Oscar from “The Office” (USA)

    Perhaps the most famous accountants in popular culture come from NBC’s The Office. Angela Martin, Oscar Martinez, and Kevin Malone are Dunder Mifflin’s accounting team and play major supporting roles in the main cast by the end of the show. The roles of this trio were performed by actress Angela Kinsey, actor Oscar Nunes and actor Kevin Baumgartner. Kevin’s character in the series is known for being bad at math, even though he is an accountant.

    One day he even invented a new number, which he called “Keleven”.

    Oscar and Angela are actually good at their jobs, but their personal lives become the subject of many storylines in the series. When their boss Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) finds himself in financial ruin, he mistakenly thinks he can just shout that he’s bankrupt to “announce” it. Fortunately, Oscar explained it by saying, “You can’t just say bankruptcy and expect something to happen.” Michael replies, β€œI didn’t say that. I stated it.”

    As the queen of accounting, Angela Martin is the queen of spades in the Canopy deck of cards.

    Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic A Christmas Carol tells the story of a greedy businessman who Ebenezer Scrooge, who is known to make his accountant, Bob Cratchit, work late for very little pay. Throughout the film, Scrooge is forced to confront his selfish behavior and changes for the better as a result. As an accountant, this story can hit you very close.

    Bob Cratchit is the Jack of Diamonds in the Canopy deck.

    It’s always interesting to see your work on the big or small screen – which image of accountants is most accurate? Let us know what you think of these accountant characters in the comments below!

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