Have you ever considered training or a career in accountancy? It can definitely be a daunting thing to think of, but accountancy can provide some of the most essential building blocks needed to create a successful business venture.

Many artists, musicians and entrepreneurs throughout the years actually started out studying accountancy. They then used their skills and expertise to build a lasting empire.

If you’re thinking of doing the same, there are various accounting certifications available nowadays, so it’s important to find something that appeals to you and you think could contribute to your long term career goals.

In the meantime, check out these 8 business leaders who surprisingly started out their inspirational careers training as accountants.

JP Morgan

J.P. Morgan
photo credit: Photography of XIX century / Wikimedia Commons

It goes without thinking that the likes of John Pierpoint Morgan should top this list, a major American financier and banker of the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Before the days of General Electric, JP Morgan Chase and the time he bailed out the US Banking system, he started his career as a humble accountant at a firm in New York.

Tony Fernandes

Tony Fernandes
photo credit: lastsham – airasia / Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a bit of a travel buff, then you’re sure to have heard of the founder of Air Asia, who has even been voted Asia’s Businessman of the year. What you may not know though is that prior to his success in the low-cost airline business, he was actually an auditor with Virgin Records. After completing his accounting degree at the London School of Economics, he became a member of ACCA and worked his way up at Virgin until he founded the famous Asian no frills airline.

Phil Knight

Phil Knight
photo credit: YouTube

The American billionaire made most of his fortune from being a co-founder of sports brand Nike. Worth over $30 billion today, he started as a CPA with a number of companies including, Price Waterhouse, Coopers & Lybrand and was even a professor at Portland State University where he taught… accounting!

Arthur Blank

Arthur Blank
photo credit: bsteve76 / Flickr

Known for founding the huge company, Home Depot. These days Arthur Blank manages the NFL the Atlanta Falcons and also has a keen interest in major league soccer, owning Atlanta United. Before his unprecedented success, his first graduate job was as an accountant for Arthur Young and Company.

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller
photo credit: The Rockefeller Archive Center

Considered one of the wealthiest Americans of all time, John Davidson Rockefeller mainly led business in the oil industry in his late career. However, prior to that he started out as a bookkeeper when he was just 16. His strong aptitude for numbers and more specifically transportation costs served him well later in life.

Kumar Mangalam Burla

Kumar Mangalam Burla
photo credit: ThePrint.in

Kumar completed an MBA at London Business School and then went on to become a Chartered Accountant from ICAI in India. At age 28 he took over the family business after his father passed and managed to increase profits 10-fold. Today he is worth upwards of $4 billion.

David Ross

David Ross
photo credit: DavidPeterJohnRoss.com

David Ross started his career as a Chartered Accountant for UK based company Arthur Anderson. He worked his way through the ranks and became the Director of Finance and then COO of the company. Following that he went on to found mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, with his school Buddy Charles Dunstone.

Bob Parsons

Bob Parsons
photo credit: YouTube

Billionaire Bob Parsons is more recognized nowadays for founding GoDaddy, the renowned web hosting company. But at the start of his career, back in 1975, he actually graduated from the University of Baltimore with an accounting degree. In 1984, he had a small business venture called Parsons Technology which primarily sold an accounting program called MoneyCounts. He went on to sell the tech company in 1994 for an impressive $64 million.