Post # 1
Bees, I am an accounting major and really want your opinions if you love/hate your job. I would love to know exactly what you do everyday and how many hours you work a week. I have read up on accounting and I think it is the degree for me. However, I love real life examples instead of pamplets you get out of the college. Any advice would be great (:
Post # 3
I place accountants and have worked with companies such as Deloitte and Touche, etc in the past. Taking an accounting degree is opening up to different areas of accounting. Typically in Canada, an employer will want to start off a candidate in an entry level role. Expect fully to be doing AP/AR for a little bit to gain experience if you don’t have any yet. Accountants tend to have a lot of responsibility and need to see the big picture. Accounting for different fields can be different..ie: construction accounting tends to be a lot more cost accounting and sales reports than doing accounting for a big firm,
Know yourself and your personality. While it is tempting to send your resume out everywhere as soon as you graduate, if you prefer to learn a lot and have more responsibility, a mid-sized company can sometimes offer this more than a large firm where everyone is in line, stepping over one another to get there.
Accountants typically don’t see as much age discrimination (it is still out there!) and I have seen companies happily employ mature accountants for their team over their younger counterparts.
If you get bored of being an accountant, you can always update your skills and become a full on controller of a company, or HR/Controller for a smaller company.
Post # 4
I’m an accounting major and I have one semester left. I worked at a small accounting firm for a year, and I have an internship right now. I would really recommend getting some kind of internship while you’re still in school. Learning accounting in college is completely different than real-world accounting.
Post # 5
@futuremrsmaxwell2209: FI is an accountant. He does internal accounting for a small marketing firm downtown. He loves his job and he is really on a good track there considering its size. He usually works a normal 40 hour work week, but sometimes will stay late if he feels he needs to. It doesnt happen often and no one ever tells him to. His office is pretty laid back tho. They play ping pong, get free lunch fridays, wears casual clothes, free health insurance and cell phone. I think its pretty unusual in the financial world. This is his second job post college, the first one was with GMAC before they declared bankruptcy. He was doing some mortgage work and hated it. While in school, he thought he wanted to work at a big company like deloitte or PWC. He discovered he hated cost accounting and didnt want to be a public accountant. He is in the process of sitting for his cpa because those three little letters will beneift him in the long run.
The good news is there will never be a shortage in jobs as far as you’ll be concerned
Post # 6
I’m an accountant for a very small company, which means that I am more of a glorified bookkeeper than accountant. My day to day is mostly a lot of AR/AP and Payroll. I spend a fair amount of time analyzing our P&L and BS to find any discrepancies and to report any major changes year-to-year to our CEO. Our Payroll is mostly outsourced so I don’t do anything with payroll taxes except to record them in our books, but I do all of our other taxes such as sales and use and quarterly income tax returns.
Post # 7
It really depends on what you want to do. My BS is business/finance and my MS is in accounting and I’m working towards a CPA certification (1 test passed, 3 to go, wooo!). I’ve been working in the private sector as the controller for a small engineering firm for years now, and I’ve learned it’s really the type of place I want to be. I’ve had friends work for the Big 4 public firms and they absolutely hated life. But I know some people think the payoff is worth it for putting in years of grunt work. For me, it’s the money/time trade off. The large company public accountants definitely make more money, but I’d rather have a little more time away from the office (except tax season of course) and make less money.
Post # 8
I graduated as an accounting major in 1992 (yikes) so I’ve got quite a bit experience! If your grades are good enough I definitely recommend trying to get a job with the Big 4. I worked for a Big 4 firm for 6 years after college, and yes the hours are long (expect 60-80 hour weeks during busy season) and the job is tough – but the experience is absolutely invaluable. You learn a ton, you are given a great deal of responsibility at a young age, the work is interesting, and the career path is clear. The firms hire a large starting class each year, so even though you are working harder than you ever have, you are working with a group of people that are your age and it can be really fun as well. The networking opportunities are countless, many end up leaving the Big 4 to work for one of their clients. I know a lot of Controllers & CFOs of top companies who I knew from my public accounting days that am still in touch with even after 14 years.
There are many employers out there that won’t even consider accounting applicants if they don’t have Big 4 experience. If you can get at least 2 years of Big 4 experience (or even a mid-size public accounting firm) on your resume you will have a far more career opportunities available to you than the accounting majors who take the corporate or internal audit route. Like PPs have said, there are some entry-level accounting positions are basically bookkeepers or AP/AR clerks at small companies. There are also opportunities in Internal Audit or staff accountants for mid- to large- corporates. Tax is an entirely different career path, I didn’t take that route but there are always opportunities in public accounting, corporations, and as individual tax preparers for those that choose it.
Know that for the most part all accountants will have a busy time which will require overtime. In public accounting it is usually from January – March, in corporate accounting it can be every month-end to a degree, with more emphasis on quarter-end and year-end. For individual tax accountants it is April and October, for corporate tax accountants it is March and September.
Honestly it is an excellent career choice, there will always be a need for accountants. A CPA certification is sometimes viewed to be as valuable as an MBA, but it doesn’t require additional school, which is a huge bonus. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions!