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post #31 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Isn't any private accountant basically a 'corporate reporter', or is that a specialized position? I picture most accounting jobs as generating reports based on past figures.

I think the CMA sounds more interesting, since it seems to encompass some economics, budgeting, strategy, and investment planning (at least the test does, whether the actual job does)

If you decide to go accounting, get your CPA first. That's the first designation any accountant should get if you want to be taken seriously as an accountant.
post #32 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Isn't any private accountant basically a 'corporate reporter', or is that a specialized position? I picture most accounting jobs as generating reports based on past figures.

I think the CMA sounds more interesting, since it seems to encompass some economics, budgeting, strategy, and investment planning (at least the test does, whether the actual job does)

A lot depends on the size of the company. If you work for a huge company, each department and line of business will have its own reporting functions. Most of the time, these all roll up (or sent their numbers to) into corporate reporting which produces 10k's, annual statements, regulatory reports, etc.
post #33 of 273
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by millionaire75 View Post
A lot depends on the size of the company. If you work for a huge company, each department and line of business will have its own reporting functions. Most of the time, these all roll up (or sent their numbers to) into corporate reporting which produces 10k's, annual statements, regulatory reports, etc.

Thanks, makes sense. What do you think would be the most interesting job title to hold with an accounting degree? I'm not too far in, I could still go Finance, but I'm at a state school without an exemplary GPA, so a position like an iBanker is out, plus I'm looking for LESS hours, not 90 a week

To clarify, is there any position in accounting that doesn't solely involve reporting things that have already happened to people who probably won't use your reports anyway? Would that be Finance? Sounds very Office Space to me...
post #34 of 273
Working in audit opens you to a lot more experiences then one would think, however the overall enjoyability of it depends on the your teams. So no one can say working for a Big 4, Mid-tier or small firm will be good or bad because it is 50% your attitude 50% who you get stuck working with.

I really enjoy it (big4).
post #35 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Thanks, makes sense. What do you think would be the most interesting job title to hold with an accounting degree? I'm not too far in, I could still go Finance, but I'm at a state school without an exemplary GPA, so a position like an iBanker is out, plus I'm looking for LESS hours, not 90 a week

To clarify, is there any position in accounting that doesn't solely involve reporting things that have already happened to people who probably won't use your reports anyway? Would that be Finance? Sounds very Office Space to me...

If you can get in, Big Four experience is very important. As others have said, it opens up a lot of doors. My advice is to find an industry you like (consumer, retail, banking, real estate, etc) and try to work on those clients before you jump ship. Unfortunately, a lot of accounting is very dry and most jobs report on what has happened in the "past". You can get jobs in planning and analysis type groups that combine reporting with forecasting. Try to go for jobs that have "forecasting" in the job description. I've seen a lot of my colleagues jump to vastly different jobs. It depends on your motivation.
post #36 of 273
I did a tad over 2.5 years with Deloitte and then another year with BDO Seidman before leaving public. The part I enjoyed was dealing with the clients on engagements thats about it. Hours were long and there were only a few slow weeks throughout the year as they pack your schedule tight (the firm doesnt make money if you arent billing for a specific job) Traveling sucked and you actually worked harder on travel clients due to the limited time to finish the field work. Most meals were expensed with Deloitte (BDO was a rarity), they both had cool parties but in the end I was over worked and underpaid with a not so great quality of life. I went to BDO as a CPA with the hopes that a smaller firm would be better. The hours were a tad less but the grass wasnt greener by any means. Now Im out of accounting all together aside from doing personal taxes on the side for a small list of people but Im loving life. The Deloitte experience carries a lot of weight on a resume and if you leave public as a senior and jump to private they will love your big 4 experience as much smaller firms dont allow you access to the size and types of clients that utilize the larger firms. The government even recognized Deloitte as a house hold name which made interviews a bit easier.
post #37 of 273
My dad is a CFO for the UN, 15 years and counting. I guess he likes it lol.
post #38 of 273
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clown Shoes View Post
I did a tad over 2.5 years with Deloitte and then another year with BDO Seidman before leaving public. The part I enjoyed was dealing with the clients on engagements thats about it. Hours were long and there were only a few slow weeks throughout the year as they pack your schedule tight (the firm doesnt make money if you arent billing for a specific job) Traveling sucked and you actually worked harder on travel clients due to the limited time to finish the field work. Most meals were expensed with Deloitte (BDO was a rarity), they both had cool parties but in the end I was over worked and underpaid with a not so great quality of life.
I went to BDO as a CPA with the hopes that a smaller firm would be better. The hours were a tad less but the grass wasnt greener by any means. Now Im out of accounting all together aside from doing personal taxes on the side for a small list of people but Im loving life. The Deloitte experience carries a lot of weight on a resume and if you leave public as a senior and jump to private they will love your big 4 experience as much smaller firms dont allow you access to the size and types of clients that utilize the larger firms. The government even recognized Deloitte as a house hold name which made interviews a bit easier.

Thanks for the info. What are you doing now? Do you think hours would be fewer at a private firm?
post #39 of 273
My sister is an accountant, and I work in Finance. It seems like you should stick with accounting and go work for a Big-4 firm. A big 4 job is the gold standard in accounting. If you went for finance, only i-banking will give you the options a big-4 job will give you when you're done.

My sister doesn't like her job, but it's bearable. She'll probably leave after she has 3 years experience, but she'll have a lifetime of a big-4 on her resume.
post #40 of 273
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinnn View Post
My sister is an accountant, and I work in Finance. It seems like you should stick with accounting and go work for a Big-4 firm. A big 4 job is the gold standard in accounting. If you went for finance, only i-banking will give you the options a big-4 job will give you when you're done.

My sister doesn't like her job, but it's bearable. She'll probably leave after she has 3 years experience, but she'll have a lifetime of a big-4 on her resume.

Thanks! Only question, what will she do after leaving the Big4 if she doesn't like accounting?
post #41 of 273
Thread Starter 
One more questionf or everyone, are there only the Big4 vs. EveryoneEsle, or are there companies that are almost as good as the Big4, and will look alsmot as good on your resume? Does it simply relate to the number of employees and the size of the accounts they handle?
post #42 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Thanks for the info. What are you doing now? Do you think hours would be fewer at a private firm?
Hours all depend on the company you work for and how they manage their people. If you are looking at doing public a few years with the intent of going to a private company in the accounting dept, then your schedule will be a bit more relaxed unless the company is super disorganized, which sadly some are. From what Ive seen, private is much more 9-6ish with few weekends except for end of month and when the audit team is in there for a Q or the year end audit. Obviously the higher up the ladder you are in private (A/P manager, A/R manager, low level controller, corp controller, CFO, etc) the hours will be longer. Pay is better in private, even from the entry level jobs but you are better off with the public experience and those 3 letters after your name, CPA, before going private. What I do now? I used my accounting experience as a stepping stone to work for uncle sam in a totally unrelated field in which I make about the same (but will top out much lower) but am happy when I go to work instead of just collecting a pay check.
post #43 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
One more questionf or everyone, are there only the Big4 vs. EveryoneEsle, or are there companies that are almost as good as the Big4, and will look alsmot as good on your resume? Does it simply relate to the number of employees and the size of the accounts they handle?
Yeah, 2nd tier firms are good as well as regional firms. As long as the name is recognized (for good reasons) by the company you are applying to, you should be good to go. Big 4 firms are a household name thats widely recognized as "the standard" and also most likely produced the person who is interviewing you for said job. The thing to remember though is that once your resume gets past the pre-screening phase and you interview, all bets are off. From that point on its about you selling yourself as a person rather than paper credentials so don't think time at PWC, EY, KPMG, Deloitte will guarantee anything. Also, with the current situation in the financial world, there are layoffs and rescinded offers across the board (more so on the consulting side of the firms, but still) so be aware that you cant really fuck off as much as you could 2 years ago.
post #44 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by stylinnn View Post
My sister is an accountant, and I work in Finance. It seems like you should stick with accounting and go work for a Big-4 firm. A big 4 job is the gold standard in accounting. If you went for finance, only i-banking will give you the options a big-4 job will give you when you're done. My sister doesn't like her job, but it's bearable. She'll probably leave after she has 3 years experience, but she'll have a lifetime of a big-4 on her resume.
Thats the norm. Suck it up for a few years, get your CPA license, then use that experience to sling shot yourself into private. The big 4 mutually uses us as worker bees for those 3 years so everyone wins or loses depending on how you wish to look at it.
post #45 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Thanks! Only question, what will she do after leaving the Big4 if she doesn't like accounting?

My sister wants to eventually run a non-profit, so she'll probably go work for one. When being considered for a leadership position in a non-profit, having an accounting background is really helpful, because it gives the board comfort that you know how to run a business, and won't waste all the money they donate. Yet another example of how accounting comes in handy everywhere.

She might get an industry job for a few years first though.
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