Working at ATKG, as everyone will tell you, is a lot of fun. Part of my job is to mentor staff and interns. I am often asked during these sessions – why have you made public accounting a career?
The great thing about an accounting degree is the wide variety of career options you have when you graduate. You can, as many do, begin a career in public accounting by setting off on an audit or tax track. Alternatively, you can begin a career in a wide variety of industries as every business needs 2 things: great sales people and great accountants. I always counsel there is no one right path for anyone and anybody can be successful through hard work no matter where they go, but there are definitely a few reasons why I’ve chosen to make public accounting a career:
1. Every day can be a new day – One day recently I spent time working on projects for several different clients including compiled financial statements, an IRS audit issue, a projected estate estimate, and a retirement plan issue. Although there is certainly the cyclical work of tax return compliance that is the bread and butter of the business and fun in its own way (yes, I said fun), the challenges and variety of the consulting/ advisory part of the business are what keep me coming back.
2. I like to help people – Why do people hire a CPA? Because we have expertise in a field that they do not. I work in the tax advisory and compliance field and the IRS Code is about a “billion” pages long . I’ve learned through the years how to “speak tax”, both to the IRS agents and to clients when explaining an issue. No one likes to get a letter from the IRS, but I can often look at the notice, make a quick call to the IRS, and the issue is easily straightened out for the client. This is a small example, but when you can ease a client’s stress in a matter of minutes it makes you feel good.
3. Working with like-minded team members – When you work in public accounting, you will find that there are certain employee character traits that are common in the field, such as: self-responsible, honest, team-oriented. Those traits make for great co-workers who are fun to work with and help you strive to be the best you can be.
4. Flexibility in time management – although I won’t say this is available at all firms, in the 2 firms I’ve worked for in the course of my career there has been a great deal of flexibility afforded to me in how I accomplish my tasks. The emphasis is on successful completion of the project, not on being there certain set core hours. I’ve been able to volunteer at my kids’ schools through the years and have a rich personal family life, while working on challenging work – a win-win for sure!
Carrie LoBasso, Senior Managerby