Ben Affleck’s movie about a super-buff bookkeeper raises the question: How often does an accountant use a high-powered rifle? So we asked a real one.

You are watching: Everything wrong with the accountant


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Tright here have been a variety of remarkable accountants in cinema over the years: The Duke in Midnight Run, Loretta in Moonstruck, Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, Henry in The Royal Tenenbaums — I might go on. But while all of those accountants played pivotal roles in their corresponding films, namong those movies were referred to as The Accountant. And as a result of the dominion that, if you are making the definitive movie about something, you need to speak to it The <Something> — those movie accountants cannot be the definitive movie portrayals of what it’s prefer to be an accountant.

As a result, the gap in between “what we recognize about being an accountant” and also “what we want to recognize around being an accountant” has actually stayed agonizingly big. Who are these people? What makes them tick? What renders them … them? Either no one knew, or no one was talking.

But through Friday’s release of The Accountant, starring Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick and also Jeffrey Tambor a tiny and Jon Bernthal Is A STAR™, whatever is poised to readjust.


I saw Gavin O’Connor’s film last week, and was enthralled. On one level, it was a movie around Ben Affleck being smart after all and understanding about math and also approach and also owning an original Renoir and post-investing in gold bricks and also Gus Van Sant didn’t compose a word of Good Will Hunting not one word that’s a bullshit rumor go fuck yourself.

But on another level, I swear to god, it kind of was a movie around accounting.

Every minute of the film felt like a genuine “moment” — a peeling-back of the accounting curtain that had been pulled over my eyes for so long. Oh, I believed, when Affleck’s accountant hit the smiley-confronted micropumpkin between the eyes via a long-distance sniper rifle from over a mile out. That’s what happens. Ahhh, I said to myself, after Affleck’s accountant took out an elite hit squad via the ago part of a casual acquaintance’s toilet. Now I acquire it. OK — of course. That’s just how that works. It was dense, sure, but it was likewise edifying and fun. After seeing The Accountant, I realized that I was now among the first world in the whole world to understand what being an accountant was like. And that felt remarkable.

But then the strangest thing taken place. I began to hear rumors. I started to hear that some of what was shown in The Accountant … well: It might not have actually been strictly accurate. The possibility hit me choose a ton of bricks. After all of the waiting and also every one of the excitement: I realized that I still could not understand what being an accountant is like.

Lost, I went in search of answers, and also where I should have actually gone years ago: directly to the resource. I spoke to a real-life accountant — one that has actually operated for a Big Four audit firm, and that agreed to talk via us under the problem of anonymity. I asked him to sepaprice truth from fiction. What does The Accountant gain wrong around accounting? And what does it get right?

Here is whatever he told me:

FACT: Accountants remain in great shape.

One of the biggest stretches of The Accountant, best off the bat, appears to be that Ben Affleck is so … buff. I mean, so buff. I intend, let’s simply say it: He finished Batguy, and also he chosen exactly how he looked, and he shelp, “This is me currently.” And excellent for him.

But look at him:

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Warner Bros. Pictures That’s not an accountant.

Or is it? Our accountant assured me that Affleck’s body actually checks out — and also that he himself additionally continues to be in form.

“A normal biceps day for me, I’d say, is 3 sets of 20-pound curls,” our accountant told me, without hesitation. “And I’m doing that twice a week. Sorry, my fiancée is looking at me and she’s saying, ‘That’s an excellent week.’ <Asks fiancée> Do I ever before do any kind of ago and shoulder exercises? … Oh, yeah, so, for shoulders, I’ll carry out three sets of shoulder presses with, prefer, a 15-pound weight. For chest, typical day, most likely 40 push-ups. Two sets of 20.”

FACT: An accountant would certainly say hi to Anna Kendrick if he were sitting on a bench external beside her on a lunch break.

In among the film’s pivotal scenes, Affleck and Kendrick bond on an outdoor bench over lunch after they strike up a conversation.

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Warner Bros. Pictures I asked our accountant if this was also remotely realistic.

“I’m trying to imagine this scenario,” he shelp. “If we’re sitting on a bench … I think I would . I’ve viewed celebrities prior to, and also I don’t try to bother them. But if she was simply sitting on a bench and not via someone? Yeah, I would certainly say hi … or whatever before.”

And yet our accountant does have actually a bone to pick via the film’s BYO-lunch vibes. “Lunch would certainly be Seamless,” he says with confidence.

FACT: Accountants have a soft spot for Anna Kendrick.

But it isn’t simply lunch. Anvarious other implausibility in The Accountant seems to be its attempt at conjuring romantic chemisattempt between Ben Affleck and also Anna Kendrick.

And yet our source confirms the film’s position: The couple renders sense. Or at least: Accountants definitely have actually a point for Anna Kendrick.

“I’m exceptionally ‘for’ Anna Kendrick,” our accountant sassist. “I think she’s warm. She appears like she’s dvery own to earth. You don’t watch her in the tabloids. It appears prefer she tries to be an actress, and also then does her appearances. We don’t view her trying to be public out tright here, favor, an Angelina Jolie–form thing. She’s talented.”

FICTION: If an accountant is doing bookkeeping on a whiteboard in a windowed conference room, and also he runs out of room on the whiteboard, he’ll use the windows in the conference room, choose in ‘A Beautiful Mind.’

In an additional pivotal scene, we check out Affleck’s Christian Wolff pull an all-nighter while functioning on a huge situation at a customer site. But this isn’t simply your standard … cocaine-and-doughnuts, midtier accountant all-nighter. This is just one of those “go John Forbes Nash Jr.’s Ghost–level apeshit on your client’s probably benevolent yet on the various other hand also probably the nicest guy in the room has a murderous plan to cake up prior to taking the company public, I’ve watched it happen before, I’m telling you, decade-extending accountancy problem” all-nighters.

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Warner Bros. Pictures/Entertainment Weekly And the film knows just what’s up. This is their one possibility to make audit seem cool. And so they milk it for all it’s worth. Numbers flying everywhere … an overbearing soundtrack … whisper-speed-counting on whisper-speed-counting on <very whisper-speed-counting voice> whisper-speed-counting. It’s like the training scene in Creed yet if the children on the bikes were dry-erase markers and at the end of the workout he went up to Anna Kendrick and also sassist, “Look what I did.”

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Warner Bros. Pictures Anymethod, it’s a pretty gripping scene. But it additionally feels like a little of a stretch. On the windows — really?

“Wouldn’t take place,” our accountant told us. “I would certainly take a photo and wipe it off the board and reusage it.”

FACT: Accountants are good at puzzles.

Affleck’s accountant is tremendous at puzzles: He does them in minutes — and he does them upside down. Does this check out?

“I’m pretty excellent at puzzles, I would certainly say,” our accountant told us. “ doing them through my baby nieces and also nephews. It was a pair years ago. It was a photo of, prefer, a bench, or … not, it was choose a lion, or an pet or somepoint favor that.” Asked to rate himself at puzzles on a range of 1 to 10, our accountant was firm. “At that puzzle? I would price myself a 10.”

So it checks out.

FACT: Accountants trust John Lithgow.

One of the best tactical misactions that Affleck’s Wolff renders in the film is placing also much trust in Lamar Black, a robotics firm founder played by John Lithgow. For such a smart male, it’s a pretty rookie mistake: Lithgow is the many well known actor of the movie’s potential villains, by far — and also the just really viable alternative for its Big Bad. It becomes plainly noticeable the film is turning him heel around the half-hour note.

Is it believable that a genius like Wolff would certainly miss out on these warning indicators and also trust John Lithgow a prohibitive amount?

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Warner Bros. Pictures “Sure,” our accountant answered, as soon as asked if he trusts John Lithgow.

I pressed for more. Why the trust?

“He’s been approximately for a while, in the public spright here,” our accountant available. “And I’ve never heard anypoint negative about him. When I was at the JCC prospering up, 3rd Rock From the Sun was on the TV there.”

FICTION: Accounts have actually extensive combat training.

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But out of every one of The Accountant’s litany of implausibilities, the toughest one to negotiate is more than likely its decision to let Ben Affleck’s accountant go Full Jason Bourne. It’s just not necessary. Like: My dude is already a BUFF GENIUS MATH WIZARD via movie-star looks and a Midwestern displace. Did we really additionally have to offer him a combat fighter rating of “Deadshot x Wolverine”?

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Warner Bros. Pictures “No,” our accountant told me, point-blank, once asked if accountants are increased from childhood to be undefeatable, virtuoso killing machines. “Not true.” As far as real-life fighting suffer, our accountant tells me, “I gained into a couple of fights in middle school. I got right into a fight on the bus bereason this male was trying to hit on my girlfrifinish. I guess it wasn’t really a fight — I mean, I punched the child and also then our bus stop occurred.”

Did the child earlier off? “Yeah.”

Did he hit on our accountant’s girlfrifinish again? “You know what, I think he did.”

An previously version of this story erroneously contained a photo of Ben Affleck from The Town; it has actually been reput through a picture from The Accountant.