Post # 1
I am currently in my mid 20’s and a junior in college for accounting. I started college late. For 4 years, I’ve worked full time in 2 different basic accounting jobs (accounts payable, receivable, collections, auditing transactions, etc.).
So flash forward to now.. I was wanting something a bit more challenging to boost up my resume. I applied for a position labeled “bookkeeper” which advertised very basic bookkeeping skills, degree preferred not required, etc. I applied! I ended up getting an interview for the fairly small company (50ish people) with their CEO and Accounting Manager. It was then that I was told that the job had actually shifted due to the Accounting Manager moving across the country soon for family reasons. It was now an interview to be the Accounting Manager, and they’re not hiring a bookkeeper anymore.
Right off the bat in the interview, I knew I was way underqualified for the job they were interviewing for, but I have A LOT of passion and enthusiasm and I love to learn. I continued the interview anyway and was VERY honest about where I was not fluent in accounting yet. I really thought this would end up being something they giggled at after I left and just say “what a nice kid” then scratch me off the list.
I ended up getting a call the next day. I was told that other candidates had already completed their degrees and had better experience, but that they simply couldn’t get over my passion, enthusiasm, and potential. They offered me a very large salary, benefits package, the whole 9 yards. I will get 2 weeks of training, then be on my own. There is no one else currently working in accounting for them. Only a 3rd party contracted CPA for tax purposes, who is not on site obviously.
I accepted quickly, but now having second thoughts… My husband keeps reminding me that I was honest in my interview so they know what they’re getting into, but I feel like I’m setting myself up for failure. I know I’m underqualified, and won’t have a lot of training before being on my own. I think I also feel guilty that they gave the job to me and not another candidate – as if I didn’t earn it fair and square – even though I simply gave them an honest interview.
I’m now an accounting manager in my mid-20s without my degree and only basic work experience.
Any advice/anyone been in a similar position?
Post # 2
I think your husband is right- if you truly were honest, they clearly value what they think you can bring to the role.
It will be VERY important that you establish precisely what the procedure is if you come across something you can’t handle- what do you do, who do you tell etc.
You were honest in the interview and they liked you. Now you need to be honest with them on how to go about getting the experience.
Ask them if they can organise a mentor for you, someone with accounting experience- perhaps the 3rd party cpa that does the taxes can be paid to give you an hour a fortnight or something?
Post # 3
Will you be finishing your degree?
Because this feels like it’s a temporary problem, and I think that’s how they’re viewing it- you will become more experienced fairly quickly
Post # 4
This could be amazing for your career! I agree with other PP and with your husband, you were honest, they knew what your limits are. I would just try your hardest and learn a lot as you go!
Post # 5
As someone who has been doing accounting for over 15 years and manages all of the accounting and finances for a mid sized manufacturing company, now, you are fine. I have a bachelors and a masters in accounting and had ZERO idea how to actually DO ACCOUNTING. when I started. believe that 95% of “training” comes from actually being on the job. Accounting is pretty easy in it’s most basic form. Each company does things a little differently, but generally it’s basic. There are debits and there are credits and do things tie? I prefer to hire the more “green” accountants, and was hired for my first accounting job, 3 or 4 steps above what I should have been. Like pond said, make sure you are completely open to bringing up things that you DON’T know about, specific to that company and their operations. Google is your best friend since accounting is pretty black and white, you should be able to research to get the right answer, more times than not.
Post # 6
I have my bachelors and masters in accounting. In my experience, he majority of my learning has come from on the job experience. I would read about accounting and learn the entries and all of that in school but it never really sunk in until I was in the field.
It’s scary going into that advanced position but you were honest and they chose you for a reason. Get as much as you can from the manager before he or she leaves, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
And trust your capacity to learn! Good luck!
Post # 7
Don’t feel guilty. You did earn it. If finding the right job applicant was only about qualifications they wouldn’t do interviews, they would just hire based off resumes.
Clearly, they feel you have something that is more important than the other candidates degrees and that they can teach you what you need to know.
You are only setting yourself up for failure if you go in with that attitude. Find some confidence and start this job with the passion and enthusiasm that earned you the job in the first place.
Post # 8
I’ve been in the workforce many years, and I can validate that most anything can be learned, but being excited about a role is rare. You were honest, they liked you and your honesty. Go for it!
Post # 9
Thank you all sooooo much! I’m starting to feel better already. I agree that I should trust what I am able to learn, versus what I have already learned. I am very excited for the role, and hopefully I’m able to push past the initial fear once I get in the company. I’m going to spend the weekend making a list of all areas that I’m most concerned about, so that during my 2 weeks of training, I can be sure to address everything.
Post # 10
THANK YOU so much, that is exactly what I needed to hear right now, is that accounting is more learned from the job anyway. I think it just makes my throat go dry when I think about the fact that the company’s finances are going to be juggled in my hands. Lol. But I’m trying to remember that it’s just a step by step process and the majority of accounting anyway is just report after report. The software they use seems decent as well.
Post # 11
OP, my current job is a manager role (managing editor for a magazine), and while I had editing experience, I had NO magazine experience, no experience with management responsibilities like budgets or editorial schedule coordination, and only a tiny bit of experience with nonprofits. They hired me anyway, and the best “training” was truly on-the-job experiences. B
One thing that did help me was finding a professional association to join that has relevant workshops and training events, along with a great newsletter and magazine I get. Maybe there’s a similar resource in accounting?
Post # 12
I also just want to point out that as women, it is ingrained in us to feel guilty over things MEN wouldn’t think twice about.
For instance, feeling guilt over having gotten the job over the other, ostensibly more qualified, candidate.
Just try to be aware of this tendency. Try to think from a “man’s” point of view when it comes to your career and developing your skillset and earning potential.
Don’t feel guilt over asking for more, don’t feel guilt if you GET it. Just don’t ever feel guilt for looking out for yourself and improving your own circumstances.
Congrats on the amazing start to your career! I would have given anything for this kind of break back when I was in college, so don’t take it for granted!!
Post # 13
First of all, you DID earn the position FAIR and SQUARE. It sounds like they interviewed a lot of people, and they hired you based on your passion and drive. They are allowed to make their final decision based on those factors, that is fair. Having a degree isn’t the end-all be-all of qualifications. More than that, a lot of companies want to hire people that they see potential in and who they think they can get along and work with. A lot of learning is done on the job these days.
Also, are you going to finish your degree (even part-time)? Because if you are then that totally takes the education component out of the equation. You will then have the same educational background as the other candidates had.
Post # 14
Girl, I’ve built my entire career on “fake it till you make it”.
You can teach anyone how to do a job, you can’t teach a personality or passion or enthusiasm to learn.
Post # 15
take a deep breath and gather yourself some CONFIDENCE. If they didn’t think you could do the job, they wouldn’t have picked you. Also, stop feeling bad. You deserve this job just as much as anyone with any degree does. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, so don’t let your lack of degree take away from the accomplishments you’ve made in your career thus far.
Lastly, don’t *ever* feel bad for getting a position instead of someone else. You’ve gotta look out for #1 above all else…as I guarantee you no one would ever feel “guilty” about getting a position instead of you!