New job – no idea what I am doing

This topic contains 38 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  AusNat 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #2728329

    Pakpak
    Participant

    I started a new job at a top regional firm last week. My first few days consisted of onboarding but the latter half of that week I was given work and it was hell. I was coming home at 10 PM working 12 hour day. No real training of processes, programs, or software. They just said ask if you have questions.

    Little background about myself. I have 3 yrs of experience in tax. All of it with individual tax returns. I may have embellished a little on my resume and during the interview that I know a some corporate tax. In reality, I did one S Corp 2 years ago and had no idea what I was doing. But I feel like I needed to embellish during the interview to have the opportunity to learn how to do corporate acct&tax.

    At first they were giving me individual tax returns, and I was able to do them (even if it took 2-3×s the billable budget – I'm thinking this will speed up over time). But end of last week they gave me a list of complex c corps to work on. I'm thinking, okay, I'll look at the prior year over the weekend and figure it out. Weekend comes and I can't find last year's workpapers or documents in their damn software. I still don't know how to navigate.

    I am so lost, confused and don't know where to start. Even had a few sleepless nights last week. Now I have to do these Corp returns that I have no idea how to do on top of not knowing their software, programs, or processes. I feel like I am going to be sitting at my desk for 12 hours not getting anything done tomorrow. I am stressed and panicking hard.

    I am thinking of speaking with my manager about these concerns by Tuesday. If no real solutions can be made then it's goodbye. I want to succeed but don't know where to start. It's recruiting season so I can most likely find another job maybe at a smaller firm that provides training. Worst comes to worst HR block. My problem is I really need to learn accounting and tax for partnerships, s & c corps. I can only do so many w-2s. I want to grow and enhance my skills.

    How should I go about bringing up these concerns to my manager?

    #2728686

    Ro
    Participant

    I would definitely ask for help. You're wasting too much time trying to figure it out on your own. Ask if there is any training available on the software that the company uses or any notes that will help you navigate.

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - NINJA in Training
    It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.
    #2729181

    Lindsey_p87
    Participant

    Agree with Ro – ask for help. They may assume that you have knowledge of corp tax based on what you told them, but they can't expect to not train you on the company's software and procedures. Ask your manager if you can set up a time with someone for an overview of the software. It sounds like they just kind of left you to fend for yourself, so you're going to have to take the initiative to bring up any questions you have. I'm sure that they would rather you ask the questions than sit there for hours spinning your wheels.

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 82
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - 86
    3 down, 1 to go!
    #2729190
    PC
    PC
    Participant

    Talk with your manager and start with the basics. PY workpapers are a must-have. System software training should really be a must-have too. Save the career trajectory concerns for after you can stand on your own 2 feet there.

    It may be a good idea to have a quick sit-down with the manager and figure out your respective working styles. You're obviously going to have questions. And in an ideal world, your manager is actively checking in with you to ensure it isn't spin-wheel city on your end. In reality, too many managers are good at “doing” and bad at teaching/coaching. Ask how they want questions posed to them throughout the day (tell me right away vs accumulate questions before speaking up).

    Obviously this is just one person's opinion. I've worked for around 40 different managers across big 4 and hedge fund administration – seen way too much talent walk out the door due to inept people-management. Ask around a bit – how did other folks figure this out? Give them a chance to invest in you but be realistic if it's the sort of place that is “sink or swim on your own.”

    There is no education like adversity.

    BEC – 85 (10/1/18)

    AUD – 91 (12/10/18)

    FAR – 92 (5/13/19)

    REG – 87 (9/9/19)

    #2729214

    Adam
    Participant

    You get what you deserve for lying, bite the bullet and ask for help to someone that might no what they're doing, you've done one corporate tax return in your career and lied in order to take someones else's opportunity at a top regional firm as opposed to paying dues and working your way up…lol youre a POS in my opinion..You will likely be fired shortly once they figure this out.

    #2729547

    Lindsey_p87
    Participant

    Dude.

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 82
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - 86
    3 down, 1 to go!
    #2729562

    say
    Participant

    Listen, there is no honor in suffering. Ask for help. The beginning of a job is always challenging because you're going through a learning curve, getting acquainted with the work culture, and familiarizing yourself with their systems. I think you're panicking because maybe you feel that you exaggerating about the Corp tax experience is biting you back. I will tell you as someone who saw this in her career with new hires. I didn't expect them to master the work at all, but I wanted to see them try, be resourceful, and ask for help. You can't even look at prior year because you are afraid to ask for help with using the system. You're just setting yourself up for failure. Make sure when you do ask for help you know exactly what you are going to ask.

    #2729991
    LIFO The Party
    LIFO The Party
    Participant

    Welcome public accounting. It’s called sink or swim. Just remember to ask lots of questions (even stupid questions are okay). Try to leverage prior year work papers as much as you can, but try to make them better as you go. Play the politics game right.

    AUD: 78

    BEC: 84

    FAR: TBD

    REG: TBD

    #2731893

    Tommy
    Participant

    I don't know ONE person that hasn't made their experience sound more colorful than what it really is. It's about survival out here so Congrats on the new Job @Pakpak! Now go ask someone for help.

    And don't listen to @adam. He's an idiot. YEA I SAID IT! Come see me in Atlanta GA if you wanna make something of it.

    With love 🙂

    Licensed in IL & GA
    #2732055

    hamcpa2018
    Participant

    I have 20+ years experience at a small accounting firm, 4 people small. I worked my behind off to get to where I am today. I understand where @adam is coming from. I perhaps may have been less abrasive but the over all point @adam made was dead on. Perhaps you thought you could learn in the next three months and be proficient enough at the start of busy season and just did not think that the firm would have you participate in the corporate deadline, now 14 days away. See the manager, fess up and be more careful moving forward. Also, small firms are where you get the love and attention you need to grow and be proficient. You may not make the big bucks initially, but with hard work and time, you will get there. You're not a POS, you just made a tactical error. Live and learn.

    Ever been so frustrated you skipped anger and went straight to laughing like a lunatic...........
    #2733378

    Nate
    Participant

    Hamcpa2018 is dead on, Adam, while has a point, was just being a jerk for no reason. It's best to acknowledge your own mistake which was fibbing on your resume. However you're not the first to do that and you certainly won't be the last. We all do what it takes to get a job. I bet even Adam embellishes during interviews, who doesn't? You act all confident and like you care so much about the company and it's your top choice when most of the time you just want a job or a better job than you currently have. But lying on your resume about experience is taking a little far, not because you're being a POS or taking someone else's job, but because you're putting yourself in a bad situation. Definitely talk to your manager, maybe don't say you lied on your resume, but mentioned you're confused. Better that than them noticing your taking way too long to prepare returns with way too many mistakes.

    AUD: 54 (10/31/15); 83 (12/02/17)
    BEC: 70 (01/31/16); 90 (07/02/17)
    FAR: 73 (10/03/15); 88 (02/17/18)
    REG: 83 (06/09/18)
    AICPA Ethics: 91 (06/28/18)
    Licensed: 08/16/18

    Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
    -Galatians 6:9

    #2733498

    say
    Participant

    I really do think people are going in on you for embellishing a little too hard. You're working for a larger firm that has resources. If it was a mom and pop shop, you're entire team would definitely feel your short comings. You have to do, what you have to do to go out and get what you want in this world. It is a cut throat environment. You're not stealing or hurting anyone… you are hurting yourself with how you're handling this situation. You have 13 days until the deadline and you need to ask questions to get the tasks done. If you're sitting at your desks panicking wasting hours and getting no where, you're going to not only hurt yourself, but you're going to hurt the team. Don't say anything about you exaggerating on your experience. After all, no one assignment is identical to the other everything has a unique challenge. Make sure you gather all the questions and ask them at once versus going to their office multiple times. Lastly, the attitude of – if I can't get it by such and such date I am quitting is a God awful attitude to have. You won't make it in the next place either. Life is hard you need to get used to that fact.

    #2733768
    PC
    PC
    Participant

    There's nothing here to “own up” to.

    You claimed to have “some” corporate experience – and technically that is true. You didn't claim to be a subject matter expert, and the interviewer never expressed that you needed to be one. If they wanted to confirm your technical expertise, they would have asked technical questions. I've been asked verbatim in an interview to explain Credit Default Swap accounting. If technical expertise in a certain area is so critical to the position being filled, it's the interviewer's responsibility to confirm the candidate has that expertise. And not by asking one measly yes/no question.

    You can certainly explain that maybe you “haven't seen one like this before” or something along those lines, but there's no need to apologize or act like you've done anything wrong. It'll just eat up time that could have been spent learning what you don't know.

    There is no education like adversity.

    BEC – 85 (10/1/18)

    AUD – 91 (12/10/18)

    FAR – 92 (5/13/19)

    REG – 87 (9/9/19)

    #2734419

    hamcpa2018
    Participant

    Oh, PC…there are so many problems with your post, lol….well off to study!

    Ever been so frustrated you skipped anger and went straight to laughing like a lunatic...........
    #2735211

    Pork Flavored Bacon
    Participant

    Adam got pissed at me for calling a guy out for bullshitting in interviews and here he is calling OP a POS for doing the same. How ironic. But he's a Senior CPA in Chicago making 80k with four years of experience so he can say whatever he wants.
    .
    Good luck, Pakpak. Hope things work out for you.

    #2735454

    Let's not ignore the fact that Adam is 33 years old and only making 80k.

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 77
    FAR - 77
    REG - 76
    Licensed in VA
    #2735460

    Tommy
    Participant

    I'm pretty sure @adam is 34 by now

    Licensed in IL & GA
    #2735544

    Lindsey_p87
    Participant

    I don't see any problems with @pc ‘s post. If the company, which is a large regional firm and should theoretically know how to interview candidates appropriately, were planning to throw this person to the wolves with no training on corporate returns, they probably should have asked more questions about the candidates' experience in that area. OP said he mentioned that he had “some experience”, which is technically true. If they expected him to be an expert, they should have asked more follow up questions. It would be different if OP claimed to be an expert with a ton of corporate return experience, but he didn't say that. Applying for jobs and interviewing is a game of jumping through hoops and making yourself look as desirable as possible to employers. Not to mention the fact that no 2 companies are the same anyway – you will always need to be trained on a company's software and procedures. You should never be expected to start a new job and know what you're doing on Day 1. That's ridiculous.

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 82
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - 86
    3 down, 1 to go!
    #2736213

    NYSCPA
    Participant

    That escalated quickly… So how old is everyone and how much do you guys make? Also, please provide region for pay adjustments.

    For the OP. It's now Wed. How did your chat go?

    Scores are for Pikers. NYS Licensed CPA. 10yrs in this shit and it never gets easy!
    #2737053

    Tommy
    Participant

    You first, @nyscpa

    Licensed in IL & GA
    #2737098

    jombe
    Participant

    I think most people on this thread is trying to place blame on the employer's inadequate hiring tactics, i.e. it's employer's fault that they didn't test Pakpak's knowledge base properly, which doesn't seem really fair. I get the employer isn't completely blame-free on this one, but shouldn't the applicants make fair representation of themselves as well? Do employers now have to go into interviews, assume the applicants are going to be dishonest & bang their heads on the table to get some truth out of them?

    I am just saying, what is the root cause for what's happening in Pakpak's work life? Isn't it Pakpak's own misrepresentation of himself? It's one thing to embellish your boring experience/qualifications to make it sound tad fancier, but isn't it basically lying to say you know “some” corporate tax, when you've done 1 return while having “no idea” what you were doing?

    AUD - 99
    BEC - 91
    FAR - 94
    REG - 96
    --------------------------------------------
    Done with exam. On with life.
    #2737101

    Nbmorty
    Participant

    So many entitled ppl here..
    Why not spend all that energy helping someone in a question he/she asks here coz Becker's/Roger's /Jeff's etc explanation isn't driving the point home?!
    Ppl how about an upgrad to become people? Not ppl.
    You are talking 60k and 80k well thats irrelevant, what's the point if you aren't happy?!
    Ok u are a regional Manger or a cfo etc.. The point?!!!
    A semi drunk hobo is happier than u. You would say (for a short time only) but at least they had that (Short time) u ppl hadn't and with that set will never have..
    And this isn't coming form someone who is Buddhist or a hippie or just monetary rich, this is coming form me (a dude who gave up his job which considered prestigious from where i am from to study full time only then to realize he knew the concpets but is too slow with answers)! And probably will have to pay another 1000 dollars for another attempt.
    Oh and btw
    I make 11k per year only ( i am form the middle east) but i am happy, i would even pay to see the look on an company's owner or the chief of accounts when i say hey there an error here! Priceless..
    Point is if you don't like ur job u are a slave!
    Simply put.
    This forum is for people who are studying or having problems with the exam thats how i understood it.. Not about employees asking for additional benefits or complaining about lack of them,
    As trump put it, SAD

    #2737107

    jombe
    Participant

    @nbmorty – stop trolling.

    AUD - 99
    BEC - 91
    FAR - 94
    REG - 96
    --------------------------------------------
    Done with exam. On with life.
    #2737110

    NYSCPA
    Participant

    @Tommy NYC late twentys. Mid 90s, with another 25-30k from my own practice. U?

    Scores are for Pikers. NYS Licensed CPA. 10yrs in this shit and it never gets easy!
    #2737125

    hamcpa2018
    Participant

    I'm with Tommy re: @nyscpa……However, I’m a little bit perplexed by the lack of honesty, integrity and ethics in the responses to the OP. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but some posters responses read as if they are advocating for having no personal accountability in a profession that commands honesty, integrity and ethics. Final assessments such as that it was ultimately the interviewer’s fault for not vetting the prospective employee thoroughly is problemsome for me. The interview is a two-way street with responsibilities on both sides. Also, the original poster did not “technically” tell the truth. Doing “one S Corp 2 years ago and had no idea what I was doing”, does not give one leeway to proclaim, “I have some experience”. I’m not a real doctor but I play one on TV so….. The original poster simply erred in the interview by embellishing on a subject that became a harsh reality. This should be a learning experience of what not to do, not a free for all to dupe every future employer because the interviewer’s skills were not on point. Maybe at 41 years old and working my way up to manager since I was 20 and becoming a shareholder of an accounting firm has made me view this through a black and white lens with little tolerance for the OP fib. Food for thought – what if everybody here interviewed and hired OP and took, let's say for the sake of argument 1K, out of their pocket to pay OP. If you found out they couldn't do the job after telling you they could, would you blame yourself or would you say they lied to me? Sometimes it helps to think of these things as if its coming out of your own pocket. After all that is what we do everyday, we step into the financial shoes of the client and guide as if it was our own $.

    Ever been so frustrated you skipped anger and went straight to laughing like a lunatic...........
    #2737140

    Nbmorty
    Participant

    @jombe i am not trolling at all.. The fact that you thought so explains a lot, problematical childhood?
    A whish to change ur career or even life when its too far?
    Not that kind of far which u could retake u know…

    Well. I hope ur exam is in this window so at least my score in mcq will held u down, ppl like u should be kept in a cage.

    #2737152

    NYSCPA
    Participant

    @hamcpa2018, As an employer and employee, and someone in the process of building a firm from nothing, I wholeheartedly agree with the notion of “seeing things from both sides”. Where this entire thread fell of the tracks was Adam's unnecessarily abrasive response.

    You pose an excellent question. for myself, it depends, I'd like to believe if it was someone fresh out of college or very early in their career, I'd let the embarrassment be punishment enough, let them use it as a learning experience and help them grow. If it was someone older, with years of experience, you should know better. The other part that can't be ignored is the fact that its a regional firm. So, not a mom and pop shop that will truly suffer from hiring someone who lied about experience in a particular area.

    Moral of all this. Don't lie, but if you do, and get caught, have a plan!

    Scores are for Pikers. NYS Licensed CPA. 10yrs in this shit and it never gets easy!
    #2737155

    jombe
    Participant

    Well said, @hamcpa2018. I am glad I am not the only one that was uncomfortable w/ how most people were interpreting this situation.

    AUD - 99
    BEC - 91
    FAR - 94
    REG - 96
    --------------------------------------------
    Done with exam. On with life.
    #2737179

    hamcpa2018
    Participant

    @nyscpa and @Jombe, I like where your heads are at! @nyscpa – I agree that my vision may be myopic given my small firm status. I'm in Bergen County NJ – Northern NJ – 100K+, full benefit package and more to come once I get BEC out of the way and NJ finds themselves good and ready to issue a license. (average 5 months) Good luck building your practice!

    Ever been so frustrated you skipped anger and went straight to laughing like a lunatic...........
    #2737203

    NYSCPA
    Participant

    @hamcpa2018 Thank you. Best of luck with the last exam. BEC was my last as well. The happiness I felt on that day, seeing that passing score, was second only to the day I got married.

    Scores are for Pikers. NYS Licensed CPA. 10yrs in this shit and it never gets easy!
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