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7 Celebrities Who Quit Accounting to Pursue Their Passion

By December 21, 2015No Comments

By Michael Luchies

We all have our own gifts and talents, and very few of us are cut out to be excellent accountants. Luckily for us here Kahuna Accounting, we have found a group of accounting all-stars, but many hopeful accountants have given up this path to focus on their true calling.

I have all of the respect in the world for accountants, which is why I’m no longer doing my own. Believe it or not, I majored in accounting before changing majors and pursuing an entrepreneurial career path. As a business owner, having someone else handle your accounting or bookkeeping may sound expensive, but it’s not nearly as expensive as giving up what you’re good at, and cloud accounting options have made it more affordable than ever.

While not nearly as talented as the people on this list, I am far from the only person to give up a career in accounting to pursue other interests that better fit my skillset. Here are seven celebrities that probably wouldn’t have reached their level of stardom or success if they would’ve stayed with accounting.

  • John Grisham earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Mississippi State University. Although his accounting background surely helped him craft some of the greatest novels ever written, we’d be without A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Runaway Jury, and many other classics if he would’ve stayed with bookkeeping over book writing.


  • Bob Newhart: A winner of an Emmy, Grammy, and Golden Globe, actor and comedian Bob Newhart worked as an accountant after being drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War.


“Interestingly, Newhart describes himself as being not very adept when it comes to taking care of financial matters. He had a habit of balancing the books from his own pocket, and his philosophy was that getting “close enough” was good enough.

Newhart has said of his career: “I didn’t say to myself, ‘Oh, here’s a great void to fill – I’ll be a balding ex-accountant who specializes in low-key humor.’ That’s simply what I was and that’s the direction my mind always went in, so it was natural for me to be that way.””

He may not have had a lot of fun as an accountant, but he made plenty of people laugh on-stage and on television.


  • Mick Jagger: You may have the moves like Jagger, but can you balance books like him? The co-founder of The Rolling Stones was knighted for his services to popular music. If you’re wondering if any other accountants have been knighted, the answer is yes. Accountant and former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) Fred Goodwin was knighted, but his knighthood was then annulled in 2012 due to criticism and the collapse of RBS. Maybe he should’ve started a rock band as well.


  • Chuck Liddell: Who said accountants aren’t tough? The former Ultimate Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight Champion traded in his calculator for a pair of gloves and an awesome Mohawk after graduating from California Polytechnic University a BA in Business and Accounting in 1995. Imagine trying to question his trial balance! No thank you.


  • Kenneth Bruce Gorelick: The world would be without 75 million albums if Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, better known as Kenny G, would’ve pursued a career in accounting after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in the field instead of swooning millions with his saxophone skills.


  • Eddie Izzard: I understand British comedy about as well as I understand accounting, but celebrity comedian Eddie Izzard knows the former as well as anyone. Fortunately for his comedy career, Izzard failed out of the University of Sheffield’s accounting program and was not given a chance to retake his exams. He’s now one of the most respected stand-up comedians in the world.


  • Robert Plant: The Led Zeppelin lead singer Plant was pressured to become a chartered accountant by his father. Drawing inspiration from Elvis at an early age, Plant gave up on accounting at 16 and went to college for music. Now regarded as one of the best lead rock band singers of all-time and worth over $150 million, it’s clear that pursuing his passion for music was the right decision.

Looking for experts to handle your bookkeeping or accounting to achieve your goals and dreams? Contact Kahuna Accounting today to see how our virtual accounting team can help you reach new heights by taking your business’ bookkeeping and putting it in the hands of trusted accountants whose passion is helping your business. Kahuna Accounting: The Entrepreneur’s Virtual Accounting Team

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