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Mary in Belmar

70 months ago

It's frustrating, Andy, definitely. But it's not the HOUR people who decide who gets interviewed. It's the Accounting Department heads. HOUR people are told to find people who fit a checklist of given credentials, so they really have no latitude. Most of the time professionals get jobs through personal contacts, and those contacts don't have to be bigwigs, either. I got a job by telling our payroll service account rep that I was looking. He mentioned it to another client who was looking for someone like me and that led to a job for me.

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Mary in Belmar

70 months ago

Oh boy! Darn mobile keyboard. I meant HR and not HOUR. Darn function keys!

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

70 months ago

TERESA in Port Jefferson Station, New York said: I am 41 years old and I just graduated with a BA in Accounting in May '08. I am planning on sitting for the CPA exam within the next few months. I am also finding it hard to obtain a job in a public firm without any experience. Reading your comments have helped me to feel a little better because it is very easy to become discouraged and lose confidence in yourself. I wish you luck in your search and look forward to reading other comments in this forum.

Hang in there, Teresa. You have lots of company. You were smart to get your undergraduate degree in Accounting. That's a bigger plus than you may know.

I'm considering lipo and botox to shrink the stuff that's puffing up, and puff up that stuff that's fallen down :)

I just realized that my e-learning MOS (MS Office e-courses are still good for another 6 months! I just can't access them. I have so many passwords, email addresses, user IDs and what have you that I'm starting to get confused here.

They're for Office 2003, but I don't know how quickly people are flocking over to 2007. There seems to be no hurry to upgrade, especially in these times. I just want to get the MOS certification, after I pass the remaining CPA exams.

Oh, you guys, I've been keeping back a guilty secret from you. I have never had a driver's license. I lived in NYC, and as Paul may attest, it's entirely possible to get around in NYC by public transportation. But this has pushed me to get my license and I got my NJ exam permit (it was called a learner's permit in NY) this afternoon.

So these times are opportunities to learn new things.

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Phillip in Midland, Texas

70 months ago

Nice to see that I'm not alone in this battle. Guess I had this vision that once becoming a CPA, the struggle would be over. Not so. However, I've grown to learn that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you as long as you believe in yourself. Then, you have everything.

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Mary in Belmar

70 months ago

Hi, Phillip. Yeah, we all had the same idea about being in demand. But I really liked what you said about believing in ourselves. It sounds corny, maybe, but it's the only way to proceed. Thanks for the gentle reminder. In other news, the local chapter of my state's CPA association is having upcoming breakfast seminars and other events. I plan to attend as many as I can.

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Phillip in Midland, Texas

70 months ago

Mary in Belmar said: Hi, Phillip. Yeah, we all had the same idea about being in demand. But I really liked what you said about believing in ourselves. It sounds corny, maybe, but it's the only way to proceed. Thanks for the gentle reminder. In other news, the local chapter of my state's CPA association is having upcoming breakfast seminars and other events. I plan to attend as many as I can.

Mary,
Thanks. Tomorrow the local chapter of CPA's are as well having a meeting. With the Lord God's help, this type of networking is definitely the key.

I pray that the Lord will lead you to and give you favor with that CPA that is looking for a person with your attributes. It's definitely all about favor, something of which I believe is beyond our control.

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jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia

70 months ago

Good luck, Phillip.
Thanks to Mary's advise, I looked into the local community college for Quickbooks course, and I decided to do it. I want to build experiences to get a job, gut w/o experience you cannot land on a job. It seems with the course I can "experience" various business settings. Oh, I am just dying to put what I learned through studying for the CPA exams in use!
What are you learning from MS Office e-courses? Are they good??

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

70 months ago

Phillip in Midland, Texas said: Mary,
Thanks. Tomorrow the local chapter of CPA's are as well having a meeting. With the Lord God's help, this type of networking is definitely the key.

I pray that the Lord will lead you to and give you favor with that CPA that is looking for a person with your attributes. It's definitely all about favor, something of which I believe is beyond our control.

Thanks, Phillip. I could definitely use some divine help. I am SO glad you're getting out there. Good luck! Jinmo, good for you, getting QB instruction. It's enormously popular with small businesses, and there's nothing really hard about it. It's just a matter of exposure and practice.

The MS e-learning courses are very basic and straightforward, which is fine with me. In their course catalog they also include brief free mini-lessons, instructor led 1-2 day training courses and books. So it's a 1-stop shopping place. They offer a MILLION different certifications for every audience, from "information workers" (that's us) to Help Desk support professionals to software engineers. And there are a lot of products. They bought Great Plains software, which a lot of big companies use, and they have instructor-led training for that too. But I'll wait til my next employer sends me :)

Glad to hear we're all starting to add some new things to our bag of tricks!

Have a great weekend, all!

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Phillip in Midland, Texas

70 months ago

Man, God is good. Was called in for an interview on Monday. In today's market, nothing short of having your CPA will suffice. Something deep within my soul has been satisfied in obtaining this designation. Now, the key is humility.

Friends, these CPA firms are, to the nth degree, sharks. Planning on preparing a portfolio with extensive excel spreadsheets covering various industries. Also, preparing a synopsis on GAAS and GAAP theory. And finally, doing an exhaustive study of this particular company via their internet website. Have I covered it all? Oh... the scripture from one of Peter's epistles is applicable: Be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove.

A couple of excellent reads for those who might be interested... neither has anything to do with accounting, but everything about leadership. Author: Dr. Stephen R. Covey's, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "The 8th Habit." Both books are absolutely life changing.

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David in Carlsbad, California

70 months ago

Would they actually expect me to do all that for a relatively entry-level position?

My only (failed) second interview was pretty much just a bunch of relatively easy 'fit' questions, and one relatively simple technical question. I made a stupid mistake after answering most of it perfectly, the interviewer (a partner) swore it wasn't going to affect a hiring decision, but who knows why they didn't offer me a job.

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Fatimazahra in Chico, California

70 months ago

[qqQUOTE who="David in Los Angeles, California"](I'm traveling now so my location keeps changing...)

I'm reaching the point where I wouldn't mind the prospecting - even cold calling if I have to. If anything, I'd be *more* uncomfortable selling to friends and family, especially if they don't necessarily need what I'd be selling.

I had a financial advisor interview a couple of weeks back, but I pretty much backed out because it was apparent that I had to sell to friends and family. The thing is - I'd honestly love to be a financial advisor to people I don't know beforehand (and that includes the selling), but I know that my family already has their finances taken care of, and my friends might not be able to afford it. If I'm really desperate, I might give it another look though. :|

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Fatimazahra in Chico, California

70 months ago

I want to be a CPA, I dont know from where to start,I have BSBA in business management with no experience.please help me.

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

70 months ago

Go visit the website www.nasba.org and find your state's rules for CPA certification/licensure. See if your education fulfils the state's requirement. Each state has its own NASBA (CPA certifying entities) website.

Also check out www.aicpa.org. That's actually probably your best bet as a starting place. Good luck!

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

70 months ago

Phillip in Midland, Texas said: Man, God is good. Was called in for an interview on Monday. In today's market, nothing short of having your CPA will suffice. Something deep within my soul has been satisfied in obtaining this designation. Now, the key is humility.

Friends, these CPA firms are, to the nth degree, sharks. Planning on preparing a portfolio with extensive excel spreadsheets covering various industries. Also, preparing a synopsis on GAAS and GAAP theory. And finally, doing an exhaustive study of this particular company via their internet website. Have I covered it all? Oh... the scripture from one of Peter's epistles is applicable: Be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove.

Well, in grad school we did as much of a full financial statement audit as we could on a non-existent company, from engagement letter to opinion, and our teacher pushed us to the nth degree (a good thing! I would have been wasting my money otherwise). I have all the workpapers and schedules, and they're in decent shape.

But they don't want anyone over 30. I was invited to a CPA firm recruiting event, and it was humiliating. As a "team-building" exercise, they had us running around in little groups outside trying to toss rings on stakes and similar nonsense. Maybe it was because my father had died two weeks earlier, and maybe it was because I was 52 years old, but I wanted to sink into the earth. All morning I had heard speeches by CPA firm honchos who were complaining about the number of mistakes new hires made. No offense to any of you twentysomethings out there, but I've already made every mistake possible and I've learned about the traps. My teacher laughed at me the next day, saying that everyone over 25 is over the hill to them. What is weird is that the partners who are my age are more valuable than anyone else and they probably work harder too.

Is it uncomfortable for them to see an older face? If it doesn't bother me, why should it bother them?

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

70 months ago

David in Carlsbad, California said: Would they actually expect me to do all that for a relatively entry-level position?

David, they can pretty much get away with anything they want, given the market.

David, Phil, Teresa, Gin - I hope things are going well for you. I am studying for Regulation (still!). I remember a lot of this stuff from law school. I had a great teacher, and I'm happy to see he eventually got tenure. Tax professors who make the subject interesting are rare.

Yeah, God is good, Phil, but he's not hiring. I guess we should be prepared to be interviewed by his competition.

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

70 months ago

You too, fatima! Missed you.

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fatimazahra in Chico, California

70 months ago

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey said: Go visit the website www.nasba.org and find your state's rules for CPA certification/licensure. See if your education fulfils the state's requirement. Each state has its own NASBA (CPA certifying entities) website.

Also check out www.aicpa.com . That's actually probably your best bet as a starting place. Good luck!

Thank you.I dont know is I need to take more accounting classes or not.I had four classes in accounting when I was in the university.do you think its a good idea to be a CPAor just waiste of time.I couldnot find a job with my degree in management.that wyy i am looking to change my field.I am from CA but I am planing to move to NC in two years.Thanks

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

69 months ago

SupervisorCPA in Long Beach, California said: If you have recently passed CPA exam and are interested in entry-level jobs with Federal Audit Agency (must be US citizen), please send me email to: oktaxcpa@gmail.com and I may be able to get you an interview in South Bay/Los Angeles area of California. We are looking for the best candidates in the auditing field.

Are you sure that is the name of the agency? I've never heard of it and can't find it on Google.

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

69 months ago

I could be wrong but this smnells like a scam.

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

69 months ago

I'm sorry, it SMELLS like a scam.

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SupervisorCPA in Long Beach, California

69 months ago

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey said: I'm sorry, it SMELLS like a scam.

Dear Mary, by being so negative you may be overlooking certain opportunities for your employment. But do not worry about my posting - you are not in our area. If you are interested in Federal employment, go to www.usajobs.gov.

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Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

69 months ago

Supervisor CPA, I stand by what I said. There is no such agency as the Federal Audit Agency, unless Obama just created it. And I am familiar with usajobs, thank you. Not a thing about your post sounds genuine.

And when laid-off people become desperate, the conditions are ripe for their falling victms to fraud.

My alleged negativity (and please spare me the New Age baloney; the rest of the country recovered from that insanity years ago) is none of your business. But I DO have a problem with people who mislead others. If there were people you could help, you would have already found and helped them instead of trolling here. You can't find auditing candidates in L.A.? Come on.

But people should go to www.usajobs.gov. A classmate of mine is now an accountant with the DHS, and she recommends that site for federal jobs. And it IS actually a good site.

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ME! in Irvine, California

68 months ago

Good advice, Kanymanyman.

Besides calling, you could also try showing up and introducing yourself to the partners who are usually easy to find. There was somebody who showed up and introduced herself to our small CPA firm last year. The moment there was a job opening, the first person we contacted was her. Show enough interest in us and we'll show interest in you.

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olivera in West Palm Beach, Florida

67 months ago

I have passed all four sections of the CPA exam with high score, while being stay-at-home Mom. Last year ,in August, I started to look for job. Dissaster? I have applied with "Big 4".Heavily tested by leading accounting agency(Robert Half,Accountemps,and all others) and scored highly. Posted resume on Monster, CareerBuilder. Emailed resume to few local CPA companies found in Yellow pages. Used Craigslist,Indeed.com,USA JOBS...... Tried all I know... Very discouraging... I did not get any call back, no interview.... I did not expect this...I was depressed...

I concluded I am overqualified for the positions I am applying for .The managers that read the resumes do not have CPA license or did not pass CPA exam. I assumed that they will not hired me .

I was desperate...Have to feed my kids, pay mortgage,bills...So I decided
to not put on my resume that I have passed CPA exam... White lie... will not hurt anyone. Yes, it helped me... I have a part time job in accounting profession, not paid well... but, I can pay my bills and it will add value to my resume..

I do not feel well because of it.It bothers me... But, I need money for food, kids, just for basic needs.... ( I apllied for positions like: cashier, sales person,bookkeeper,AP/AR,..-nobody offered me job)....I had to save my children...

Now, I am thinking to gave up of being CPA, and change profession to Nursing? Critical shortage of it, well paid, excellent benefits,...It is hard to decide to go back to school, after all accounting and CPA studing? I am not sure? But, I do not know how to get CPA license if nobody wants to employ me ?
Many unknown variables?

I appreciate any idea from you.Thanks

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targetCPA in Sugar Land, Texas

66 months ago

Wow! I was just about getting all the info to start the process of getting certified. But reading all the comments here especially the last one from Olivera...I feel down and feel like I should start to rethink this over again. At first thought of doing nursing but didn't want to just go to school without working. I wanted to work and study part time...thats why I thought of getting the CPA. This is very disheartening.

If the situation is like this I wonder why the talk that CPAs are in demand as theres less people choosing accounting majors etc. etc....? Is the job scarcity due to the slump alone or is the whole demand for CPAs' just a hype?

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Alicia in New York, New York

66 months ago

targetCPA in Sugar Land, Texas said: Wow! I was just about getting all the info to start the process of getting certified. But reading all the comments here especially the last one from Olivera...I feel down and feel like I should start to rethink this over again. At first thought of doing nursing but didn't want to just go to school without working. I wanted to work and study part time...thats why I thought of getting the CPA. This is very disheartening.

If the situation is like this I wonder why the talk that CPAs are in demand as theres less people choosing accounting majors etc. etc....? Is the job scarcity due to the slump alone or is the whole demand for CPAs' just a hype?

I think to become a CPA or really get hired so that you can get the audit experience to become a CPA, you have to work for a firm as an intern for free. The people on this forum seem to not have the life circumstances that allow them to do that. I graduated and pass the CPA exam but the people that I have seen advance to become CPAs were the ones that had the intership in place. Working for a private firm does not win you any points.

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Trent in Midland, Texas

66 months ago

For those aspiring to be an accountant, get ready. Passing one of the most challenging exams known to mankind is just the beginning. And then, actually finding a working environment which will promote your talents can be difficult at best.

Folks, this business is full of sharks. Dare I say that success will take everything within. The best policy is to make sure your life is based on principles of leadership which set you apart. And finally, I always pray for the Lord God's blessings over the work.

Indeed, being a CPA is one of the greatest professional endeavors one can aspire to achieve.

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Reyup in Chicago, Illinois

66 months ago

My advice to all is to consider a job with the government. The IRS is hiring tons right now, and the if you have a masters or a cpa you can come in at a pretty good salary. I am working as an auditor for a state DOR, and I've seen lots of similar jobs posted recently.

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Rong in Chicago, Illinois

65 months ago

I am from other country,i passed 4 sections in the year, i hold a master degree (MBA)and work experience for 17 years overseas, i can't find a job here.very stress, any suggests?

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targetCPA in Sugar Land, Texas

65 months ago

Rong in Chicago, Illinois said: I am from other country,i passed 4 sections in the year, i hold a master degree (MBA)and work experience for 17 years overseas, i can't find a job here.very stress, any suggests?

Did you try the recruiting firms? Theres a plethora of job sites out there..craigslist..careerbuilder..simply hired..indeed etc..You said you are from overseas...do you network with other people from your country who might have been already in the industry or their kids who were born and educated here and probably in the industry now...referrals do matter in this field, so try that way too...how long have you been trying? It could all be due to the present slump, otherwise accounting has good opportunities and the DOL gives a good projection for accountants, plus theres fewer students opting accounting these days...keep your spirits high, the important thing is that you have passed the exam, which is not a small thing...Good Luck!!

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Rong in Chicago, Illinois

65 months ago

Thank you so much.I have been in USA for 2 years,i have improved my English very quickly,passed CPA EXAM,everything are going well,you are right i need keep my spirits high and try more,maybe join some societies, know more people here

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Marian in Saint Petersburg, Florida

65 months ago

Trent in Midland, Texas and Alicia, in NY, I have to agree with you both. Although I have not reached the point of taking the CPA exam, I would like to next year. I am getting close to earn my Bachelors Degree by the end of this year. In any event,
Trent I agree with you that there are a lot of CPA sharks or let's just say sharks period out there. I have had so many interviews after I was laid off from a CPA Professional Service firm I have given 15 months of my time. And all of the CPA firms I interviewed with did not hire me and I think it is because that I had gained too much wisdom and knowledge and I also had a diversity of work experience in other fields that I believe those CPA firms felt I was too much competition. I have may reasons. It supports the issue about a Law firm in the Tampa Bay Area that was high profile. With Alicia's statement, I have to agree with her in a way that many of the CPA firms/professional services want a intern or someone new like I was to work either basically free or for every little. When I had mastered the tasks that were given to me I had asked for more. I was learning the work experience rather quickly so I strongly believe they knew I was nearing my time of graduating with my Bachelors and I was going to sit for the CPA exam and I sincerely believe they did not want to give me a raise. Not only that, after working at this firm, they had kept me from speaking to any of the clients to which I later found out that many of the CPA firms want exactly that. I strongly believe it was because I had 5 years of sale skills plus when I did communicate with the clients on very rare occassion those clients did like me. So oh well!! It is that firms loss and my gain. I shall move on to another job position and I will be better at what I do and grow from this experience.

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karen in Cape Coral, Florida

65 months ago

Dianne in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: I have passed CPA exam in 2004 but do not have any accounting experience. Due to some personal commitments I could not work earlier. Can anyone suggest/what will be the best way to find a job as everyone needs some experience. What do I do to get experience. Also since its been long since I passed is there any other course or exam that I can do that adds value to my qualification and increases my chance of getting a job at the same time.

h.r block has openings ... this maybe the way to get some experience
they have up to date training (paid), and are getting ready now for the next
tax calendar year...ck yellow pages or career builders keyword h.r block

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app in Chicago, Illinois

65 months ago

hey reyup hows ur job ? let me know if any state job is posted for accountants & auditors. thanks

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mini in Detroit, Michigan

65 months ago

That is true. they really care about your experience in America, no matter the experience in other countries

Nikki in Sunnyvale, California said: Hey Guys,

I have passed my CPA exams last year with excellent scores and
now its been 4 months I am looking for job and have not receive any response from cpa firms. I have also posted my resume to every job sites, but this doesn't help me much.
I guess, they don't care whether u passed cpa exams or not, they only care about how much experience u have and unfortunately I lack US experience.

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JulieBird in Lansing, Michigan

65 months ago

I had a white lie in getting my first accounting job... pretty much an assistant in a single person Accounting office under an EA. The job gave me a lot of experience with Quickbooks and various payroll functions, as well as introduced me to some of the tax software used for preparing individual returns (not too much more at that level then a glorified turbo tax in my opinion). I hope that this real experience will give me the edge to get a job at a CPA firm (my GPA isn't too great after going through 2 pregnancies while going to school and working a 2nd job when my husband got laid off). I had to quit this job after 2.5 years when my school schedule required that I be in class right at the middle of the day mon-thursday.

Back to the white lie part... I guess it was more of a bending of the truth. I worked for my cousin's daycare throughout my senior year and for a few months after graduating high school before going to a retail job close to my apartment. My job during most of that time was being a typical daycare worker, watching screaming kids all day and cleaning up messes. Seeing how it was my cousin that I was working for, she ended up letting me do a little bit of the paperwork. She showed me how to do the other 2 workers' paychecks (which were all done by hand using the tax tables) and let me add up the receipts to give the expense report to her accountant. This was pretty much a job that was assigned to me during naptime. On my resume, I listed it as Office Intern for the daycare without mentioning that my primary job was to watch kids or that my boss was a close relative. Shame on me... but I think it helped... the important part was making sure we were on the same page if she were to be contacted.

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Rong in Evergreen Park, Illinois

65 months ago

I called some accounting firms and wish to work as volunteer,but the responses are we do not need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!how terrible it is

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faith in Lake Zurich, Illinois

64 months ago

Hello everyone!!
I recently graduated last May, and as I read your post especially Mary and Jin. I am more determined to find the my dream job.

I thank you!!!

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Papu in New York, New York

64 months ago

Try getting a job in the US armed forces. They seem to be looking for people with all kinds of skills.

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MIke in Kent, Washington

63 months ago

News flash people: "getting a job at a cpa firm or any job in financial accounting is all about "who you know". That's it. Unless of course you were in the top 5% of your class and scored one of those hard to get internships.
IT's a big stinking pile of stinky stuff lie that accounting majors are in high demand. Absolute rubbish. I seriously think employers say this just so there is a surplus of accounting graduates and that way they can pay them lower salaries. This happens with engineers too.
I too had the delusion that my good gpa would pay off. Night after night, year after year of studying my butt off for school and the cpa exam. For what? I work at FedEx and drive a truck....exactly the job I was trying to get away from.
I tried to get those internships.....they all basically wanted experience too. Yea okay, like I'll waste my time with an internship when I have experience.
Most of my classmates had this problem too. Then when you can't find a job, people say, "why didn't you get an internship?"
I must be ugly or have no social skills right? My resume has typos right?
No to every excuse people come up with as to why I don't have a job in accounting yet.

It's who you know! I had to work with this girl for a group project my senior year and she didn't do anything but promise something and flake out on me. I did all the work which was more than 50% of the class grade. She was an idiot! I tutored her and I'm surprised she graduated. Well, she works at a CPA firm. Why? Because her mommy's friend works there too. She used to brag about this.

Think about it. How many accounting firms are there? Now how many accounting majors are trying to get an accounting job?

Keep trying and hopefully it will pay off. Not trying to dampen your enthusiasm. Just face the facts!
You haven't done anything wrong. It's just the way the world works. IT's who you now! Experience only matters when you're trying to move up in your career, not start.

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Marian in Saint Petersburg, Florida

63 months ago

To the person who just posted about not being able to secure an accounting position with a firm and is now working for FedEx. I understand your frustration. I am an undergraduate student who will be complete by the end of this year and I am moving on to my graduate courses in Jan 2010.

I did not know anyone when I landing my first accounting position with a firm. There is something that college student will have to take seriously when looking for an accounting position.

1. Yes having an accounting degree and your CPA license is a good thing.

2. If one does not obtain experience on the job while in school it is a disadvantage. Why?
Because in the real world those on the job skills are not taught in the University. I
do not care what university you have earned your degree from. So with that said, if at
all possible try to obtain a position anywhere that has to do with accounting. This
will help build upon your skills. I know many will not want to hear that but it is a
start. Somewhere down the line, someone will notice you and give you a break and let
you work at there firm. The best time to get hired is in the height of Tax Season.
That is how I was hired the first time. This firm lost there last person and they were
desparate to hire someone else and I was at the right place at the right time.

3. Recruiters are not that great and mind you they are tryng to earn a commission off of
your skills so that may not be the best person to help find you a position but they are
good for advise or a source of information.

4. Understand that if one gets a position at a firm, you will be given menial jobs to do
that no one else wants to do so we have to eat a lot of humble pie! Even if we have a
degree NO firm likes to hire a smarty pants or a know it all.

5. Realize there is office politics. Some places it is not good and some places they are
very fair, more...

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Marian in Saint Petersburg, Florida

63 months ago

To Mike in Washington:

Do you live in the State of Wash. or in Washington DC? Anyhow do not get discouraged! Look for Part time accounting positions. Many smaller firms hire people part time because they want to see if your the right person to work for their firm. If you are really wanting to start practing public accounting, these firms will start you slowing doing smaller jobs. That is how I got started when I had little experience. I am now in a new accounting position in another part of town. It takes me an hour to drive to work but I don't care because in this economy, this is how strongly I feel I must go out of my way to obtain experience. I was hired part time and I am working for a CPA who has been practing publicly for 10 years. On his staff is another CPA who is working with me and showing me the tricks of the trade, if you will. No I did not know anyone, and this is totally a professional firm who was serious about hiring someone who can do the work. For three months I had sent out my resume and I was only collecting unemployment. I had to move all of my things in a storage facility and share a condo with a friend of mine. Time was not that easy for me but I finally landed a position I never thought would happen. I do have to admit that there was divine intervention in the opportunity I have now. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you to keep trying. I am going to guess you are probably a lot younger than I am so you should have more flexibility. For the time being stay at FedEx and talk to people or find ways to have others look at your resume. Network and look for other part time accounting positions and see if you can work part time at FedEx and part time at the accounting firm or someplace where they need an accountant. I hope this helps and I sincerely want this to encourage you.

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MJ

63 months ago

What's so odd is that CPA professional journals tend to reflect a real sense of uncertainty about where our next crop of CPAs is coming from. What planet are these people on? We're right here!

Try being over 50, even if you *have* experience. I would LOVE to know how many people my age have been hired into junior positions at CPA firms in the last year. I believe they are practicing illegal age discrimination in hiring.

This should be investigated. It took an Enron for the CPA profession to be stripped of the ability to regulate itself. Apparently it's learned nothing since then.

I have years of private-sector experience. I was once at a state CPA Scholars Institute seminar (I was the oldest student there), where at least one speaker, a partner with a big firm, complained about how many simple computational errors new grads made. Maybe if he hired experienced workers, he wouldn't see so many mistakes.It's not as if we're asking for more money.

It's just so galling.

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MJ

63 months ago

Oh, by the way, Marian, posts from good people like you keep me from giving up completely.As you may have noticed, I become frustrated from time to time.

I *don't* have an accounting undergraduate degree, but from decades of work experience, I know more about accounting than many new grads. I have an MBA and have taken several grad-level accounting courses and aced all of them. But since my BA wasn't in accounting, recruiters aren't interested.

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Marian in Saint Petersburg, Florida

63 months ago

To MJ~

Okay so those Journals are out of touch with reality and they are only looking at the younger students fresh out of the universities. These larger firms want to capitalize on the youth who are naive and have more energy. YES age discrimination is alive and well, I am sorry to say, Nevertheless, if one goes to look else where like a smaller firm you will have a higher probability to get hired. ESPECIALLY if you have experience. These smaller firms may be so busy they do not have the time or the staff to train a new person and they want someone who already has experience.

As for the Complaints about computational errors, part of it is, show off and the other part is to glorify themselves about how great they are. Please realize and understand that at any firm there is always someone who checks other peoples work and vise a versa you may be checking someone elses work. Internal auditing in firms is necessary evil so that the work is done properly. NO ONE on this planet is perfect or a machine. We are Human and as accountants need to learn to work as teams. Just be sure to work with someone you feel is ethical and a good partner to work with. I hope this helps!

PS No I am not 50 but I am in my 40's. I will have my Bachelors in Accounting this December 2009 and I am moving on to my Masters in 2010. I will be eligible to sit for the CPA exam in 2010 since I have already been working at a CPA firm for over a year. I just cannot have my license until I finish with my 5th year. Meanwhile I am getting experience on the job training, if you will, while I am in college. It is the only way to go!! So for now I really like working with the current firm I am now at since the CPA is a young guy (38) and has been in the business for over 10 years. All of his clients are physicians who are so busy that they do not have anyone to take care of their books so we do it for them. I love the public sector of Professional Services.

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Marian in Saint Petersburg, Florida

63 months ago

MJ,

I would love to hang with you at work!! So don't rely on those recruiters! YOU CAN GET THE JOB YOURSELF!! Market your self of if you know of anyone who is in marketing to assist you with your effort. You can sell your self and your skills!! If I CAN DO IT SO CAN YOU!

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Marian in Saint Petersburg, Florida

63 months ago

And MJ,

BTW those Recruiters are giving you a bunch of HORSE DO DO!! I am sorry. I have been in sales way to long and I am not fooled. If you believe in yourself and you know what it takes, then I can suggest that you get withsome who will help you with your resume, or a Professional Coach on helping you market your skills.

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MJ in Belmar, New Jersey

63 months ago

Marian, you are a balm to my spirit.

I've had some great accounting jobs in the past, jobs with real responsibilities at which I excelled, and I got every single one of them on my own.

Last year, a recruiter told me I would be considered only for accounting clerk positions (which I might take at this point!). I don't think she even KNEW what accountants do. I let her sell me on that proposition, and now I'm ashamed that I permitted that.

Thanks again for the support. It really makes a difference. And good luck to you, too :)

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Mike

63 months ago

Yes Marian, I agree that if people are really passionate about something they should never give up. Just in case my comment was taken out of context, I want to clarify that my point was to let people know that persistance and networking is one of the only ways to get a job that will lead to a CPA license. I left the comment because I lot of prior comments complained that employers are looking for experience. But I just wanted to let people know that experience isn't what's going to get them that breakthrough job; it's who they can meet or who they already know. The reason that a lot of people don't get jobs without experience is because they apply to jobs advertised for experienced people. The jobs for the inexperienced are usually not advertised. They often are given to college students (interns) or given to people who have been referred to them, often for part-time work, just like MJ said.

I haven't given up and I don't think other people should either. But the fact is that there are way more people with accounting degrees who are taking the cpa exam than there are cpa jobs available or just jobs that can lead to one. This is why "who you know" becomes ever more critical if you didn't score a good internship in college.

Any trace of a sour attitude that may have been in my comment was just frustration at the repeated assertion that "accounting majors are in high demand". It's just not true in the sense that it implies there is a shortage, but there isn't. High demand just means that it's a growing industry. This is the case for virtually any job in America. We are an extremely educated society. I know so many educated people who can't seem to keep a steady job. They're constantly laid-off and work lousy temp jobs waiting for that big break. To be quite honest with you, the only stable and successful people I know in my life didn't go to college and the least stable are the most educated in a variety of majors (law, accounting, biology).

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Mike

63 months ago

I'm not suggesting that education is worthless. It will always increase the opportunities available to college graduates. But it's far from a guarantee that a good job and stable career will be attained. It's just a risk people take when they get into debt to try and better themselves in a cut-throat world. My education was free thanks to my military service. Others I know, however, are in serious financial trouble. A friend of mine went to a very good law school, got a really good job, then lost it. Now she's a secretary and had to move back in with her parents becasue she can't support herself with all the student loan debt.

Anyways, I'm totally off topic here.
I just get pissed off when society keeps telling people that education is a ticket to a good career.

It's more like a raffle ticket.

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