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Career Story: Accountant For A Local Newspaper

Accountant For A Local Newspaper

Job Title: Company Accountant

Type of Company: I work for a local newspaper.

Education: BA, Mathematics, University of Bridgeport

Previous Experience: I started as a bookkeeper and worked my way up to become an accountant.

Job Tasks: I take care of the cash in the company. I write checks for bills that need to be paid. I record deposits that are put into our bank account. At the end of the month, I have to balance the bank statement to make sure the amount, with adjustments, verifies our company balance. I put together a monthly financial statement, which is a snapshot of our fiscal situation on the last day of the month, showing what we owe, who owes us, and what we sold for the month. There are more accounting entries that must be made. For me, it's like putting together a puzzle. All the pieces have a place to go so I can check to make sure the numbers are correct. I am always working on something different, so my job is never boring. I love being able to work without supervision. Through work experience, I know what needs to be done without someone telling me.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The part I most enjoy is when things balance. If the balance is off, my experience will tell me the most probable place where I made the error. I have a great relationship with my superiors. I can tell them I disagree with something without worrying about repercussions. I make my own hours and no one looks over my shoulder. My chores are done on time and that's all they care about. I anticipate what needs to be done if I will not be in and take care of as much as I can. That way, if anything comes up unexpectedly, that is all my co-worker has to do.

There isn't anything I consider an unlikable part of my job.

Job Tips: Since most accounting is done on the computer, it's sometimes difficult to get acquainted with the basics because the computer glosses over them. I am very glad I had to begin my career writing entries and balancing things manually. That way, I use the computer as a tool to make my job easier and faster, not to do the work for me.

A good Accountant needs to be able to see the whole picture of the company -- not just one part -- and how the parts all fit together.

Being proficient in Math is a great help. We have calculators to do the arithmetic, but we need to know what to put together. Work on more than one Accounting software. The more systems you work on, the easier it is to understand how you can set up things you need to do.

Additional Thoughts: I thought all accountants wore suits and had a lousy sense of humor. When I tell people what I do, they are mostly surprised. You have to have a sense of humor because when there's a mistake, they isn't anyone to blame except yourself. So you need to laugh about it, not agonize.

My most important quality is having confidence through experience. If I were to have someone with me for a day, I know it would be a different experience than expected. I enjoy what I do, and that would be passed along.

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