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Career Story: Self-Employed Business Consultant And Accountant

Self-Employed Business Consultant And Accountant

Job Title: MBA Specializing In Small Business Accounting And Management

Type of Company: I use my experience and skills as an MBA to assist small businesses in the fields of accounting, systems and office procedure.

Education: BA, Linguistics, Rutgers University •• AS, Accounting, Middlesex County Community College (Edison, NJ) •• MBA, Accounting, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Madison, NJ) •• certificate, Computer Programming, Anthem Institute •• certificate, Completion of SEA Program, Raritan Valley Community College (Branchburg, NJ)

Previous Experience: I started working for a CPA as a bookkeeper when I was in college. At first, I worked as an accountant for Bristol Myers Squibb and later moved to being a production planner to assist in a plant shutdown. Merrill Lynch hired me as production planner, promoted me to assistant vice-president and gave me a position as manager of the internal chargeback system. I was again promoted to Manager of Prospectus Operations to solve personnel issues and increase productivity. Next I took a position at corporate headquarters working with ESOP and ESPP plans. After working for awhile as a systems analyst, I left Merrill Lynch and started my own business working with small start-up companies, setting up office systems, consulting, hiring staff, and yes, preparing tax returns.

Job Tasks: I do not have a typical day. Monday through Thursday I go to client offices and deal with what I find there. My clients range from building developers to property managers to product salesmen. Sometimes I will answer phones to get a feel for the types of issues currently needing my input, or open the mail to see if bills have past-due balances or if there are legal issues to be addressed. This also allows me to gauge the effectiveness of any support staff. In some cases, I am the business manager. On the day I am in that office I must get the books and records up-to-date, print out financial reports, pay the bills and collect accounts receivable. On Friday, I work from my own office. I help people with their problems by giving advice over the phone. I prepare tax returns and monthly reports for some clients where I do not go to their office, accessing their computer remotely instead. I also write letters to resolve customer problems with outside agencies or credit card companies. I have a few clients who are senior citizens. These clients are special because I not only handle their finances, I also work with their banks and insurance agents to make sure they are taken care of. Indeed, in some cases I interact with social workers and doctors on their behalf.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that it's different from one day to the next. I love interacting with people, and problem-solving on the fly can be fun.

The worst part of my job is seeing a client in distress because of a letter that came in the mail or a misunderstanding which ended in an irate customer retaining an attorney.

Job Tips:
1. Study topics in school that you enjoy and will find interesting, especially finance, accounting, project management, and computers.

2.Learn how to write a good business letter. You will gain instant respect if you can spell and communicate effectively in writing.

3. Be willing to learn something new everywhere you go, in every situation. Something new to you today, will be the basis for your expert opinion 10 years from now!

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