Pursuing a career in accounting, I am
currently making plans for an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a national
public accounting firm. My interest is to intern in the assurance side of the firm, and
serving the firm’s audit clients. This prospective internship will take place during the
winter quarter of my senior year. I am keenly interested in interning at the firm’s
Charlotte, North Carolina office. This is due to proximity of family. Also, Charlotte is a
leading financial center in the United States, making this location attractive for the
potential career advancements. An internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP will
give me the experience and knowledge to work full-time at the firm upon graduation.
In succession to graduating from Ohio University, I plan to take a CPA exam
review course and study extensively for the exam. I will complete a double major with
finance, and a minor in business economics. This will allow me to accumulate the
required 225 hours to sit for the CPA exam. My goal is to accomplish this in four years
by registering for classes for this year’s summer session, and the summer I graduate. To
complete a double major in four years will be dependent upon the classes offered during
summer session. Using past year’s summer session schedule of classes as a benchmark, I
consider this strategy to be feasible. After reaching 225 credit hours, I will immediately
sit for the CPA exam. With a successful internship, I will sign with Pricewaterhouse-
Coopers LLP, and begin work in the fall.
With an exceptional education from the Ohio University College of Business, I
will have strong technical skills to perform an audit on financial reports. Theses skills
will further be developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP training and job experience.
The technical skills, along with further developing human and conceptual skills, will
ultimately mold me to becoming an effective business leader. At an entry level auditing position in the firm, I will exercise many of the technical skills that I have obtained. However, as I am promoted and advance my career, I will become more involved in managing employees and the organization.
Beginning a career with a national public accounting firm, I will start as a staff
auditor. Ultimately, my duties are to perform the detail work of a financial audit. A staff auditor usually works this position for one to three years before being promoted. Staff auditors will often start to direct small audits at the two-year level. After three years with the firm, I will have the potential to move into the position of senior auditor.
My aspiration to begin a career in public accounting will be well aligned to my
organizational design preference. Accounting firms are a mechanistic design, in which there are many rules and procedures, and formal coordination. This type of design is apparent in planning and performing an audit on financial reports. As a student, I have the ability to work in a tight structure where rules must be adhered to, and coordination is essential. With a mechanistic design preference, I will be well prepared to start a career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. This particular type of organizational design will be present in all areas of the accounting profession, which will be to my benefit for promotions and career advancement.
With a promotion to senior auditor, my responsibilities will include directing
audit field work, assigning detail work to staff, and reviewing their work papers. Other tasks involve preparing financial statements, developing corporate tax returns, and suggesting improvements to internal controls for the client. A senior auditor normally
works in this particular position for one to three years before being promoted to audit manager.
As an audit manager, the primary responsibility is to supervise seniors and staff. I
will also be responsible for audit engagements, personnel scheduling, audit working papers review, financial statement disclosure approval, daily client relationships, determination of billings for engagements, and training and evaluating staff and seniors. The achievement of the position of audit manager is essential to long-term success within a public accounting firm, since this level is intended for those who have great potential to make partner in the firm.
After six years or more with a national public accounting firm, I have several options, but are not limited to:
o Pursuing an MBA
o Moving into corporate accounting
o Moving into financial management
o Remaining in public accounting
Pursuing an MBA will give me the added knowledge and credentials to fulfill an executive position in an organization later in my career. I plan to seriously consider higher education when time comes. I have currently made the decision that work
experience will be essential before deciding to pursue a full-time MBA program.
An alternative option would be to make a transition into corporate accounting. After six years with a public accounting firm, a likely position with a private organization is the financial accounting and reporting manager. This position directly works as an assistant to the controller. The reporting manager is often in-charge of a functional area such as,
financial accounting, or budgetary planning and control. Additional tasks consist of coordinating and directing the work of personnel involved in detailed accounting entries, internal financial reporting, and financial statements.
Within ten years, there is potential to advance to the position of assistant controller in a private organization. At this level, primary responsibilities would be reporting to the controller, assisting in the supervision of daily collection, and interpretation of accounting data. Other responsibilities include the preparation of journal entries, account analyses, tax returns, and financial statements.
A second alternative for career advancement is to enter into the financial management aspect of accounting. After six years with a public accounting firm, I could act as the financial planner. A financial planner directs the staff responsible for performing analyses in several functional areas including profit planning, capital expenditures, acquisitions, and budgeting. A career in financial management could lead to the position of assistant treasurer within ten years of working in the accounting profession. Responsibilities would include directing the staff in cash management activities including forecasting and investing.
Another potential alternative would be to remain in public accounting as an audit manager and work towards making partner in the firm. The partner level is held with a sense of prestige since only about 2 percent of all persons entering CPA firms will reach this level. The achievement of partner level usually requires at least 12 years with the firm, and sometimes longer.
Primarily, my plan is to allow myself to have the widest available opportunities for career advancement in the future. From an academic standpoint, I have thoroughly
enjoyed studying the financial information professions. At this point in time I have
mapped out my career aspiration and where I want to begin my career prior to graduation.
With regards to long-term career objectives, time and experience will guide my decisions.
With the ability to effectively organize and plan for myself, I will be able to bring this to an organization in my career. I also possess strong leadership skills, which is apparent
in my extracurricular activities on campus. Theses skills that I am developing
momentarily will be the forefront to becoming an effective business leader. Although,
the most important attribute that I can bring to an organization are my high ethical
standards and integrity. Recent financial reporting scandals have shattered the public’s
confidence in the assurance that an audit provides. As I work with clients and colleagues
on an audit engagement, my primary focus will be to uphold leadership integrity, to lead
honestly and demonstrate “consistency in putting ethical values into action.” Considering
the skills I have developed and my integrity, I am assured that my professional and
personal endeavors will lead to success and happiness.