Career Story: Accountant In A Financial Services Firm

Accountant In A Financial Services Firm

Job Title: Corporate Accountant

Type of Company: My company is a major financial services provider in North America. The company is primarily focused on personal and workplace investing.

Education: BA, Accounting, Bryant College •• MBA, Banking and Financial Services Management, Boston University

Previous Experience: I worked in public accounting for 4 years after I graduated then obtained my CPA's license and went to work in the private financial sector

Job Tasks: My job responsibilities include: Ensuring the company's financial statements are presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. This involves coordination with numerous employees and business units to first compile the financial statements. Then these financial statements are presented to executive management for their comments and review. Concurrently, these financial statements are audited by a public accounting firm. Several days are spent answering auditor questions and providing requested documentation.

On a quarterly basis, a similar process takes place that isn't as rigorous as the annual financial statement process. With the issues confronting the economy, there is a heightened focus on the integrity of the company's financial statements. We must ensure that each number reported is valid and, to the extent we identify issues or irregularities, we work with both internal and external sources to find resolution.

A typical day involves providing accounting guidance to either members of Corporate Accounting or to business unit support personal. Most of the focus is on preparing the financial statements for year end, but this is achieved, in part, by conducting monthly "closes.". The one thing about being a corporate accountant these days is that there is really no such thing as a typical day.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I am always learning something new. I enjoy being constantly challenged and forced to learn new accounting rules and regulations.

The worst part of my job is the long hours. Certain times of years are busier than normal and require 60+ hour weeks.

Job Tips: When I was in school, I wanted to challenge myself and accounting was definitely that. However, I wish I had also considered finance as accounting is a great field, which seems to be more desirable in the private sector. I would encourage any student who's considering either accounting or finance to spend a summer as an intern for each to see what it is really like on a day-to-day basis.

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