Hi everyone! Today, I would like to write about the most important things I have learned from the accounting industry. I have only had a year and a half of job experience as an auditor at a Big 4, but I have learned some important things from my experiences. Hopefully sharing this will help those who are getting their foot in the door of the accounting world.
During my interview with a firm partner for my first auditing position, I asked if there was any important advice for someone just starting out. He told me that in his case, understanding the business of a client is the most important aspect of the job.
I quickly found that to be the case for me as well. In auditing, understanding a client’s business quickly is critical because you are assigned to a particular client for only a few weeks and need to go through a full year’s worth of financial records. You have to figure out how they operate and what it is they’re trying to achieve. As you go from client to client, you don’t have time to sit them down and have them explain how every piece of their business works. It’s your job to take initiative and figure things out on your own. However, this idea does not just apply to auditors; it applies to most accounting fields.
I’ve found that another important aspect of accounting is to find what field or specialization is best for you so that you can focus building upon it. It seems that this can help lead you to a successful career path in the accounting industry. From my own experiences in auditing, I saw that understanding a specific client industry well was always considered to be valuable.
For example, some auditors focus on revenue recognition in software companies because it is hard to evaluate their intangible products. On the other hand, manufacturing industries require skills of cost accounting because they deal with physical inventories. Understanding the risks and trends of an industry can be a great advantage because it not only makes you more credible, but also more valuable to clients and the firm you’re working for.
Overall the accounting industry has a wide of variety of jobs. Corporate accounting, public accounting, tax planning, etc. Whichever industry you choose, applying these concepts can help you have a great career.