Job Title: Certified Public Accountant
Type of Company: I work for an accounting firm in the Greater Boston area.
Education: BA, Business Administration, Merrimack College
Previous Experience: I worked in an accounting firm for five years out of college and then worked in accounting in private corporations for ten years. I then went back to work in a CPA firm and have been there for three years.
Job Tasks: As an audit manager in a mid-sized accounting firm, my primary responsibility is managing teams as they perform the audits of our clients' financial statements. Most companies have to report their financial results on an annual basis in the form of a financial statement that has been audited by a CPA. A CPA provides assurance that the financial information presented by the management of a company is fairly stated and reasonable.
We work as teams and most training is done on a day-to-day basis on the job. The majority of the time we work at the client's office, which means that we travel around. We work with clients in many different industries: manufacturing, software, bio-tech, etc, and we are forced to gain exposure to many different business models.
We work closely with our clients to guide us through complex accounting issues and questions that they have.
As a manager, part of my job is to generate new business. This means that I spend a portion of my time meeting new people and building new relationships in order to pitch our services. I do this by attending networking events and taking people to lunch. I enjoy this aspect of my job!
It is true that CPAs work a lot of hours during certain times of the year, but overall being an accountant is a very satisfying career!
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of being a CPA is the enormous amount of business knowledge that you amass in your career. Another benefit of the job is the relationships that you establish with your colleagues. The team structure breeds a mentoring, supportive environment.
Public accounting can be demanding and require a big commitment of time and effort. There are certain times of the year that require a lot of hours in order to meet deadlines.
Job Tips: While in college, do an internship at a mid-sized firm. This will give you a good idea whether the accounting profession interests you. At a mid-sized firm, you will be able to work on actual audits as an intern.
Get the best grades possible and pass the CPA exam as early as you can during your career.
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