Pursuits | Trends

Take a break with these top games for accountants

Mastered creating spreadsheets? Now try to ace these video, app and board games.

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Group of young adults sitting at wooden table, playing a board gameCPAs have excellent deductive reasoning and problem-solving skills, so you’ll want them on your team for the next games night (Shutterstock/Standret)

Accountants often work long hours. So if anybody deserves the distraction of a good game, it’s the overworked CPA. Luckily, accountants have many of the necessary skills to master the gaming world.

“The next time you get together with your friends for a games night, you definitely want to be dragging the CPA in the room onto your team,” says Adam Bercovici, co-founder and chief revenue officer at Luminari, an online community that helps connect CPAs with jobs and volunteer opportunities, education, mentorship, and more.

“They’ve got great deductive reasoning for word-based games, excellent problem-solving skills for games that are team based, superb risk management capabilities and they’re stellar at asking probing questions to get to the bottom of a problem for a game like Charades,” he adds.

These game choices include all the numbers and strategy an accountant can handle.

BOARD GAMES

Acquire
Monopoly, but with much more control over your fate. In Acquire, players invest in businesses, gain a majority of shares, merge them, acquire wealth and reinvest into other chains. It’s a race to outearn your opponents. The game has retained its popularity since its release in the 1960s. It can be played by two players—but is best with three to six people. 

Cashflow 101
Perhaps skewing more towards educational than entertaining, Cashflow 101 is designed to teach players how to take charge of their personal finances, understand cash flow principles and develop the confidence to make investment decisions. The game is suited for players ages 14 and up—with a Cashflow for Kids game for younger players. The game is a unique tool for teaching financial literacy, including the difference between assets and liabilities, understanding a financial statement and even basic personal accounting. The skills aren’t new to seasoned CPAs, but could be helpful for friends and family that are badgering you with accounting questions. 

Diplomacy
While similar to the board game Risk, Diplomacy uses negotiation instead of dice. Players control armies and resources and you gain territory and overcome other players’ forces based on your ability to form alliances. Each turn consists of 30 to 45 minutes of negotiating with other players, until everyone reveals their moves at the same time. If you’re an expert in risk management, you should excel at Diplomacy.   

VIDEO GAMES

Football Manager 2019
The perfect game for the CPA who also happens to be crazy about football (soccer)—available on Windows, macOS and Nintendo Switch. The football management simulation game is full of numbers, charts and statistics, and allows you to take control of a professional association football team as the manager. Sign players to contracts, manage finances and get a taste of real-world management.

Zombie Accountant 
Your CPAs skills are of no use to you in Zombie Accountant, available on Xbox 360 and select Windows phones. The game takes place after the—now overused trope—zombie apocalypse. But in this case, the protagonist has fallen victim to the undead curse. The twist—it’s tax season and there’s still work to do. The simple gameplay involves catching the tax returns without feasting on your human coworkers, which only mildly resembles real life. But like a real office, work hard enough and your zombie avatar might even be promoted. 

Arena.Xlsm
Canadian CPA Cary Walkin completed the impressive task of combining his accounting knowledge with game design. The result was a role-playing, turn-based game existing solely within one Excel workbook, called Arena.Xlsm. There are more than 2,000 possible enemies, an assortment of spells and unique items to be used as desired and even four different endings depending on how the game is played. 

APP GAMES

Numtris
An iOS game based on the simple idea of creating Tetris for those who prefer numbers. In Numtris, the number pieces begin to fall, and you must eliminate them by joining as many similar numbers together. Do so, and the number will disappear; but join different pieces together, and the number will be added up to create a new piece. The objective is to complete the level before the board fills up. It might sound tricky but thinking quickly with numbers is nothing new for accountants. 

Royal 3D Chess
Chess is known as a great exercise for the brain. And for accountants—an already analytical minded group—chess is perfect to show off your problem solving, creativity and planning skills. Available on both Android and iOS, Royal 3D chess is one of the best chess apps that can be played by two players at a time. Don’t have a chess partner? The AI opponent will give you a run for your money. 

Big Bad Sudoku Book
A vital download for all Sudoku lovers with an iOS device, Big Bad Sudoku Book is the only sudoku app to reach the top of the app store charts. It does differ from other apps, including providing helpful hints without giving up the answer, new downloadable themes and challenging new puzzle book campaigns. Sudoku Book uses a method of scoring games based on the difficulty of each answer—not based on time. 

MORE OPTIONS FOR YOUR DOWNTIME

Had enough games? Enjoy our picks of the top business books, interesting podcasts on money and business and catchy songs for your accountant playlist.