Forum Replies Created
@Vbmer that is good to know. I noticed in your signature you're B4 Deals Manager – I'm in B4 right now (L2 associate, assurance) and the business combinations I see regularly in audits is what has got me thinking about the CFA.
How do you think your firm would react to a first year/second year senior in audit try to pivot to M&A if they have their CFA? Thinking longer term, do you think the exit opportunities are better for someone with that experience/credentials + 2-3 years in M&A?
Ya I am just trying to get an idea if it really is something I want to pursue. With you guys being CPAs and in pursuit/are chartered – are you trying to pivot out of accounting or is it a value add in what you are doing within accounting?
Trying to determine where a CPA & CFA would be most valuable in either finance or accounting.
Absolutely don't contact HR. Assuming you have one, reach out to your coach (or someone like a coach, for whom you report to/have been assigned to – I think all firms call them something like a “coach” or “relationship leader”) before anyone else. Probably should wait until after busy season like you mention, for purposes of not looking like you have a bad attitude and so that it at least looks like you gave tax a shot.
Make it clear that audit is what you want and be as forward looking as possible. For example, make it more about why you think you'll do well/enjoy audit more rather than why you don't like tax. If they specifically ask what you didn't like about tax, be honest, but if being honest will come across like you're trashing it, then come up with something else – remember, this is what that person does for a living.
From there, your coach will probably do all the heavy lifting for you in terms of getting HR involved and so forth. If not, he will tell you how to go about it.
Tons of people make switches, nothing at all to hesitate about. Just be smart about when you ask and 9 times out of 10 they will honor it.
This is a good question honestly. First, I would say draw a greater distinction in the number of passed exams – I'd say your best shot is to just wait till you've got them all out of the way. The thing is, passing the exam is kind of assumed at the B4 (and any large size firm for that matter). With that said, applying to the B4 with your license in hand and 2-3 years experience for level 1 associate position is solid and they would be stupid not to hire you.
I would absolutely agree with what was said previously – polish up your LinkedIn! Its hard to land at a B4 if it's not through campus recruiting, but definitely not impossible. Ive had B4 recruiters reach out to be via LinkedIn when I was at the same experience level as you.
Pretty good for only 2 weeks studying honestly. I think the fix is easy – just start from scratch next time and study for 3 weeks. I would not consider myself gifted by any means and I only studied 3 weeks for REG and got an 84 – I crammed like crazy (averaged 6-7 hours a day). Since your passed section falls off in October I would say get the hardest section out of the way right now (probably FAR) and be conservative on how much time you give yourself to study – i.e. make sure you pass.
Come back to REG in October when you can take it again, three weeks, pass it, on to the next one.
My personal advice if your goal is YE19 is to just be conservative and give yourself the time you need – if you dont have that luxury then just bust your tail day and night to make it happen. With that said, consider why you want to finish by YE – promotion? raise? bonus? – if not, perhaps forgo that goal so you ensure you pass without failing.
Continue with FAR and squeeze it in as you've planned. Worry about AUD after FAR – you got this!August 3, 2019 at 6:40 pm in reply to: considering getting EA instead of CPA, is that a mistake? #2604048
EA would be good choice if you want to stick to the tax route rather than accounting. Not sure there is a comparable tax specific certification. The only other thing i've heard of people doing for tax is JD/LLM (in tax) but that doesn't sound like the route you want to go.
I would weigh how much longer you can make it against your convictions that are pressing you to leave – keeping in mind how much (if any) the experience you get from your firm adds to your career in the long term.
I feel like this is the age old question – you're not alone. I am often conflicted if I should stay in public accounting as well. I’m at a large regional firm and I have a hard time maintaining most time. I’m aware its only going to get harder but the experience it provides is incredible. Nonetheless, its surprisingly harder than you think to make an exit that is a step up in your career with only two busy seasons under your belt.
I have gathered that public accounting can seriously take some years off your life. With that said, concluding that “public accounting isn’t for me” is the general rule, and essentially assumed by everyone in the field given only 2% make partner. However, as someone who has been wrestling with this question as well and accepted I should leave, the profession as a whole seemingly requires a certain amount of time to be put in. As such, even if you conclude to humble yourself and forgo goals of making partner or manager, or whatever, sadly you might find you can’t quite leave at the moment.
I think the point that is missing is segregating “people skills” and “office politics”. The former is necessary for meaningful promotion. However, the latter is not necessary.
I started at an audit role where I immediately knew I didn’t fit in. Heavy office politics and some arguably rude individuals. However, I put my head down, proved I was good, and always had a good attitude.
Something that might help is to not talk Bad about people but be honest about what you think of the firm in general, areas to improve, etc. The key is to steer clear of individuals specifically.
This seems to be a good problem to have in my opinion – the fact that you have the opportunity to take over your Father's business.
However, I see how you have reservations if it is not what you bargained for. My advice if you miss medicine, hate F/S prep, but will ultimately be inclined to take over your Father's business is this –
Get into auditing at an accounting firm that has a plethora of health care clients. It appears time is on your side so make sure it's a right fit. Get experience so that you can go out and gain these types of clients for your Father's firm once you take over. Typically manager level (~5 years) is when you may (depending on the firm) have the opportunity to learn the client engagement/acquisition process.
I would be shocked if mid-tier and even B4 would not pick you up if you expressed a strong interest to work solely in health care, given your background in medicine. A large part of auditing is assessing risk via understanding the entity. You'll be out at these clients in a medical environment, which I assume is a plus for you, even though it's not in a medical capacity.
It seems like you have a lot of options. I'm not sure if you're a follow-your-heart type of guy, but if that's the case then just nix everything I just said and get back into medicine – don't think twice. If you can't bear both mundane work and not taking over your Father's business in good conscience about it's future, then look into auditing in order to prepare for that day.
@Cpamang – That is just ridiculous. I would try to fix it as @Ultrarunner says. Just go talk to someone you trust. Tell them what you have been experiencing under this manager. Ask how they suggest you deal with it to relieve the tension between you and the manager. If no suggestions come from it, sit on it for a little bit to see if anything changes. If not, go back and see if you can switch teams or managers.
@RJ – What size firm was that at? Why aren't you an auditor anymore?
@Cpamang – I understand the frustration. I have a manager that has similar tendencies. He will talk underneath his breath about my work papers to others in the audit room while I'm sitting feet away. When I'm on his engagements, I perform terribly. Alternatively, every other engagement I knock out of the park
With that being said, I'm not sure I agree with @RJ ‘s premise in that you always learn the most from these types of managers. Managers that demand perfection for things that could have the slightest impact at a conceptual level are not the same as micromanagers.
So, I think you need to ask yourself a few questions –
1) Would you perform better under a different manager, or do his tendencies make you better despite the frustration?
2) Have you learned any new audit theory under him?
3) Is there a way that you can make the situation better by trying to bring light to the situation?
I pose that last question because the last engagement I did for him (last engagement of it's type for the summer) we had a very frank conversation where I asked him for his candid feedback. The manager, senior, and I (I'm a staff as well) had about a 3-hour dinner just talking. He started the conversation off with “you do a great job; you're a hard worker; etc. ect.” All the advice that followed was posed in a general, never specifically saying it was towards me, but in reality, I knew it was. At some point in the conversation, I remember him say “you don't need to be a pussy about it” when talking about voicing one's opinion. I laughed and agreed. Did it take me off guard? Absolutely. The next day was the last day of field work and it went great. I knew how I needed present myself around him for him to show me any respect. My work papers didn't change, my work habits didn't change, it was just everything being out in the open that allowed for me to get through it rather than get stifled by it further.
Hopefully that helpsApril 9, 2018 at 7:54 pm in reply to: I want to be an accounting professor – thoughts needed #1761527
Thanks @recked, that seems to be the dynamic as I research this more.
I think one of the driving forces that is often overlooked for why there is a shortage of accounting academics is because of the acceptance rate to get into Ph.D programs. I dont know what types of backgrounds a lot of applicants have, but a lot of schools I see have 1% acceptance rates. Id imagine this makes it difficult for someone like myself, with little experience and normal above average academic track record to pursue this arena.April 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm in reply to: I want to be an accounting professor – thoughts needed #1758526
I think I will have to put in some thought of the next couple of weeks to determine if I am going to tell my current firm about things. I hope that it wont create any changes in the work that I get or how I am assessed. Simply put, I just dont want to be able to hear what they say about me. It makes concentrating almost impossible.
As far as the GMAT goes, I think I will start preparing soon. I dont think around a 700 is unattainable, but I will probably have to take it a few times. Thanks for the heads up on what they typically look for in admissions. I think I will apply to broad array of schools. I notice that the acceptance rate is around 1% for the top schools, at least based on the figures from their website (which might inflate how many applicants they get). I cant imagine many people want to go down the academia route. The average pay is a lot less than what you could make if you stayed in public for just 5-7 years and took a controller position, not to mention the forfeited salary while in school. But who knows.
Anybody else have any insight on how I should go about putting myself in the best position for acceptance into a program?April 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm in reply to: I want to be an accounting professor – thoughts needed #1757935
I appreciate that insight. I wouldnt imagine failing students is easy. Ive thought about governmental, and I actually really want to get into non profits such as hospitals. I could see it being a little more easy going.
But one more question – should I tell my coach or someone within my firm about my Asperger's? How do you think they will react?April 4, 2018 at 6:10 pm in reply to: I want to be an accounting professor – thoughts needed #1756913
Hey guys, yes most people in my program completed in a year and a half or 2 depending on their goals and undergrad degree. However, there were a few that just studied and took the exam and knocked everything out in a year.
My logic goes like this. I am 24 and was recently diagnosed with mild to moderate Asperger's. Looking back, I struggled with it for the past decade but never thought it affected anything serious until I got into the workforce. Thus, my current compromise is dealing with ‘real world' realities such as office politics and keeping within budgeted hours (I suppose I don't like ticking things immaterial). I even hear partners laughing about me in their offices on a regular basis.
So the question becomes, is this something I can compromise with? Well, I love what I do and make a decent wage. However, it is hard for me to believe that people think I am even good at what I do. Just one example: I find work papers from prior years that have entire tick marks and recalculations, labeling an account as expense when it is actually revenue (signed off on at two levels). I bring it to my managers attention because I am doing the current year, and I get, “I wonder who did that”. However, I still don't get assigned to full scope audits because my first work paper I ever did took me longer than the budgeted hours (I have ‘ate hours' ever since).
Since I am starting to believe that the crux of these issues I will have to compromise with are somewhat evident in every facet of non-academia, and that it is clear that I am the issue, I am just trying to seek another path.
Can you guys elaborate on the “politics” of academia?
Note: sorry for the forwardness and detail but I just wanted to explain the reality of the situation.April 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm in reply to: I want to be an accounting professor – thoughts needed #1753929
So I looked into a lot of programs and it seems to be quite the process in applying and getting into most all programs.
Anyone think I am giving up on accounting by trying to get into academia?April 1, 2018 at 9:11 am in reply to: I want to be an accounting professor – thoughts needed #1753437
@aaronmo Thats interesting you say that. I could definitely see there being some stuck up professors in academia. The pressure to publish research and everything else they do for endowments must feel overwhelming to some people. Completely disagree with his statement on CPA not being valuable in academia or real world. This is what students pursue, as a professor adding value to their careers, I feel like you have got to be able to help them in this area.
Ive looked at a few of the programs in the south (from NC), and all of the ones I looked at offer fellowships. Which, like mentioned, is a small stipend plus tuition waiver. For the most part, this is enough for rent and PB&J's.
I hope I can get in to a program. My average GPA in undergrad was a 3.56 overall, ~3.75 concentration, and finished with a 3.7 in grad school. Do you guys think this will be enough? I understand it is a mix of experience and grades at the PHD level but as mentioned, my experience is slim.
Anybody know of someone that actually did a PHD program? What have they said about it?
Hey bud, so it sounds like you are doing well! Remember that the Becker exams are always harder for most people. You are on the right track. What I would recommend is that you keep doing what you are doing to the 10th degree. Beat the MCQ's to death, beat the sims to death, look back over the text book, recite the code that you struggle with, make it happen.
You are going to do well based on your description, just solidify everything you have mastered. I have faith, do well!
You should know what works best for you by this time. Stick to it, dont question it, and just go for it. You got this.
BEC has a broad umbrella of material, try to isolate and master each section, realize that they are not all connected together like all of the other sections and you will do well. I have faith, do well!
@Son thank you so much for your insight, it is really helpful in navigating my first year.
I have a awfully stupid question for you though, how would I know if I am a terrible cultural fit?
Any further help on this would be greatly appreciated.
I would take the finance job and keep looking for something in public. I completely agree with misconnie that it is harder to get an internship then an experienced hire at those career fairs/meet the firms events. In fact all the experienced hires at my school had more offers on the table than everyone else. Absolutely try to leverage your professors. Youd be surprised to see how easy and willing they are to get you something.
I would try and focus on the exam. I am at a B4 and have a really sour taste in my mouth from my whole situation because of the group I got stuck in. Long story short, its my first real job out of grad school but I just got word that I passed the exam on the last release date. I started looking around in industry (switching from B4 tax to internal audit) and already have 2 interviews set up. I only have 3 months of experience in my group. Also, I am in the works of switching departments within my firm. It looks like it will pan out because the new department knows I passed the exam and they value that a lot, whereas my group now could care less. Youd be surprised how many opportunities just passing the exam can bring.
Thanks I appreciate the insight.
My reviews just came back (1-5, 5 being the best):
Senior Manager- 3,3,4,4,5,4
The comments are all positive with no suggestions on how to improve. I am in the works of switching departments because the one I am in doesn't have any CPA's (I know it sounds ridiculous) and I don't want all the work i've done to pass the exam go to waste.
Could someone shed some insight on what the process of coaching someone out looks like?December 29, 2017 at 6:57 am in reply to: Has anyone worked on Banks or Community Banks in Public Accounting? NEED HELP!!! #1687732
About 97% of my work is in banking and capital markets and I love it. However, I am in tax. I would imagine audit would be even more interesting and challenging though.
Also another point, I have yet to be critiqued on anything. Like not given any suggestion on anything. I even slipped in “adjusting to firm culture” question when my manager followed up with me about the review she gave me. She had no suggestions. So I am really confused.
@Radez No, I did an accounting internship in industry before grad school and have had multiple other jobs through high school and college. Thanks for the insight though, I appreciate it.
@son Thats all understandable, I am cognizant of how and when I should ask for work. No the other staff dont because part of some engagements have parts that are very low level (meaning anyone can do it). We have a specific admin come in during busy season.
Thanks guys, I appreciate it. It seems like every day gets better. To clarify, our busy season is typical but just more drawn out so we dont slow down until June-July.
How can I show a good attitude? I know this sounds stupid but I know I already have a pretty ugly thinking face and I try to be cognizant of it but I cant help it. I have conversations with my senior manager and manager a lot about higher level things that I know staff from other offices around the country are assigned on this time of year. The staff from my office dont have college degrees so its hard to go from passing all 4 sections of the CPA exam in 6 months to putting documents in order…
Hey guys I have another question because I am kind of worried and already have pretty bad anxiety as is. Ive been on the job for a little less than a month and have to ask for work everyday. I have “training” set up with another staff at the end of the month. However, I know that management talks about me on the phone with other management (we sit close to one another) and I am nervous that its not highly.
I work hard, I have not messed up once (literally), ask for work and ask questions constantly. However, I have not been given a definitive role or set of responsibilities. I am polite and talk to everyone about friendly things when it seems appropriate. However, I feel like something isnt clicking and am afraid I am going to get fired randomly. Does this happen or will I see more definitive signs? I know we need the help because the group has been short staffed for years.
Please, I need advice or insight, good or bad.
@r00shine Thanks for the insight. Im in SALT so the seasons run together depending on the phase of the engagement we are in. We just finished filing for one state and are getting started on another. Im hoping they will have me jump in on this state. I know for a fact everyone is working and they say they are going to train me soon. But thanks, thats good to hear.
@ruggercpa2b Thanks for the tips. I am asking questions, even questions that I know the answer to strictly to show I am engaged and am following them. I ask for work all the time, so much that I think I am annoying them. When I am talking about training I just want to know how our software works (took 2 weeks to get access to it), how to find documentation I need, and what the engagement includes. I can figure out the tax part of it, hell thats why they hired me.