5 Secrets of Workplace Humor in Accounting and Finance

By Robert Half on April 26, 2017 at 7:00pm

Amid all the work in our world of payroll, bookkeeping, finance, auditing, billing, budget analysis and accounting, it could be easy to miss something really important — workplace humor! 

We’ve put together a slideshow of accounting humor cartoons, below, so you can crack a smile, let out a belly laugh, and then go back to work!

Of course, there’s more to workplace humor than a few cartoons. An Accountemps survey suggests laughter is one of the keys to success at work, with 78 percent of the CFOs interviewed saying a sense of humor is at least somewhat important for fitting into the company's office culture.

You heard about the accountant who was having a hard time sleeping and went to see his doctor, didn’t you? "Doctor, I just can't get to sleep at night," he told him. "Have you tried counting sheep?" inquired the doctor. "That's the problem — I make a mistake and then spend six hours trying to find it."

There’s a time to process payroll and a time for play, so read on for our five secrets of workplace humor to learn more about the benefits of office fun and the appropriate forms it should take. Then slide through the accounting humor cartoons and see if there’s something you can relate to enough to chuckle and snort!

1. Find your funny bone

Have you ever presented a budget only to find that you’ve suddenly lost all command of your native language? The pressure and excitement of making a presentation you’ve worked hard on can cause your brain and tongue to fall out of sync. Don’t be self-conscious. Laugh at yourself. A little self-deprecating amusement can break the tension and give you a funny moment to recover your train of thought. 

2. Laugh with coworkers, not at them

Say you and your teammates are putting your heads together, reviewing financial data, and you notice an oversight on their part. Of course, you need to point it out. Comedy can help lighten the criticism. Relate a funny story about a similar mistake you made in the past, then laugh about it. You address the issue and relate to your colleagues by acknowledging that it happens to everyone.

No one likes to be the butt of a joke, so use humor to strengthen your bond with colleagues, not antagonize them. Levity is a skill you can learn, and one important lesson is to poke fun at events rather than at people.

Could you use more reading material that isn't found on a spreadsheet? 

3. Add some thunder to the brainstorming

Humor can help generate new ideas in the workplace and offer a key ingredient in creative thinking. Infuse your conference room with some something light, lower your internal critic and watch those synapses snap into problem-solving mode.

How about this joke? Two accountants are in a bank, when a group of armed robbers burst in. While several of the robbers take the money from the tellers, others have the customers, including the accountants, line up against a wall and proceed to take their wallets, watches and purses. While this is going on, one accountant jams something into the hand of the accountant next to him. “What is this?” the accountant asks, to which the other one replies, “It’s that $50 I owe you.”

4. Boost engagement, morale and productivity

When you engage with a team you enjoy, you’re bound to be more eager to satisfy. In turn, you’re more productive. Likewise, if you notice colleagues are distracted or down, you’re more apt to address the matter, rather than walk past it. A little humor at work can show coworkers you think of them as more than number-crunching robots. Just having someone cheer them up can boost morale and raise their productivity.

OK, one more joke: Tax season arrived, and a man was looking for a good accountant to do his complex tax return. He walked into a prospective accountant’s office, and the accountant went over the services he could provide to the prospective client. Before the man left, he wanted to test the accountant’s number skills, so he said, “If you can tell me what 10,472 times 7 is without using a calculator, I will hire you today.” The accountant’s reply? “I can make the number whatever you want it to be.”

Not enough office humor in your life right now? If you're looking for a change, send us your resume and prepare to smile widely. 

5. Remember to be office-appropriate.

While office humor can bring colleagues together, don’t forget you are at work and that etiquette matters. Skip the off-color jokes and keep it clean. A call from HR about inappropriateness in the workplace is no laughing matter.

Show the world that accountants and financial professionals have a good sense of humor!

Looking for more workplace humor?

Enjoy these 8 Accounting Jokes to Make You Laugh: (Warning: Accountanrt Humor!).

And now, at last — the cartoon slideshow we promised!

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