From The Internet Archives: Can I Be a Tattooed Accountant?
I passed the "cover it up" point about 20 tattoos ago...
First of all, I may have tattoos but let's get it straight for those of you who don't know: I am not an accountant. I know, WTF with the Jr Deputy Accountant then, right? Whatever, the "Jr" means I never quite made it to actual accountant and honestly have no desire to do so. Anyway, I've been standing here on the fringes of the industry long enough to get a sense of how things work and hob-nobbing with industry heavyweights like MACPA's Tom Hood and Duff and Phelps' David Larsen pretty much makes me legit. I think.
That being said, I'm pretty sure I am in a position to comment on this since I somehow stay employed (is that employable?) even with a giant Illuminati pyramid forever inked on the back on my neck.
From the always fascinating Yahoo! Answers:
Employers on tattoo (specifically the accounting line of business)?Listen, I'm dying (literally squirming in my fucking seat over here, people!) to roll up to a PCAOB event in a business suit with my 11-K Jr Deputy star peeking out from underneath my sleeve once I move closer to PCAOB HQ later this year but shit disturbing and trying to stay employed are two completely different things. I'm the media and let's face it, my brand is what makes it work for me, killer bunny brandishing a knife on my inner arm and all. The accountants - once they got over their initial feelings of WTF is this and Where TF did she come from?! - have embraced my wacky hipster ways and would likely forgive me were I to show up to my next accounting event wearing my nasty hollowed-out plugs that accentuate the thumb-sized hole I've stretched in each of my ears. But that's because I'm covering the event and providing the entertainment, not bringing in the clients and trying to appease partners. Partners don't dig giant holes in your ears, just FYI.
Lets say hypothetically I work at an accounting firm-or something similar, and I keep all of my tattoos completely covered. They cause no problems at all in my workplace. Most don't even know I have them. Then my firm decides to have a work function, say at a theme park or water park, and I wear a tank top and show a shoulder blade tattoo. Nothing scary, just a pegasus. Would that cause problems for me with management or upper level executives, even though that isn't in the work place and it's technically on my own time.
I haven't yet graduated college, or gotten the tattoo, or any for that matter. I'm just doing my research right now. And if it came down to it I just wouldn't wear a tank top, I'm just assuming that my co-workers would be dressed similarly in this situation.
I would really like some answers from some of those upper level people if any of them read this question. But thank you for all that give me a serious answer.
My advice is this: cover it up. Don't end up with rubber ducks on your collarbones like I did unless you are prepared to live a fabulous life as a finance blogger whereupon you set your own hours and chase your own income. In this day and age, accounting is gripped by the Boomer/Gen Y dichotomy and the Gen Y mentality is offensive enough to Boomer partners, there's no reason to throw tattoos in the mix just to piss them off further.
You'd have better luck being a tattooed police officer than you would an accountant, that just doesn't go with the scenery, my dear.
Unless you have an exceptional talent or resume that will make up for the negativity surrounding whatever stupid crap you get tattooed on you (a pegasus? Really? That was the best you could come up with? Way to be original there, killer), keep your shirt on and ink covered. Even a misplaced fairy on your ankle can piss off the wrong partner and cost you that illustrious career in public accounting that you have always dreamed about depending on where you live and who you're working for. Sure some offices and locales are more lenient than others (hello San Francisco!) and you might just luck out and be surrounded by management who actually "get it" but why risk it for a stupid fairy on your shoulder blade?
Here's my advice: hold off on any more AND flaunting the ones you already have, play the game, get your CPA, get your 2 years of experience, get the hell out, start your own small firm and get all the fucking ink you like. Maybe your clients will find the giant Illuminati pyramid on the back of your neck to be cute, intriguing and oh-so-hard to resist like mine. Or hey, there's always a writing career if that doesn't work out for you.
Keep 'em covered!