Entry Level Career Advice

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Comments (7)

YoungCPA in Schaumburg, Illinois

50 months ago

Hi,

I recently took a postion as a Staff Accountant at a medium sized, well known public corporation. As a recent graduate, without any experience, I am not sure if my experience here is typical, or if I should begin looking elsewhere.

Essentially, every month, I am in charge of posting about 15 journal entries, completing reconciliations, and finding invoices and journal entries so that I can respond to tax department inquiries revolving around the amount of tax paid on transactions.

I feel like my journal entries and reconciliations basically require me to know how to use excel and how to copy and paste from one spreadsheet to another. And looking up invoices doesn't exactly require an accounting degree. Sure dividing the tax paid by taxable purchases to get the tax rate requires math, but again no real accounting here.

Additionally, I feel like the department is disorganized and there is a lack of communication unless you are at a director level or higher. Is this typical? No information is ever passed down.

Is this pretty typical for an entry level position? I double majored, am a quick learner and am always looking for a challenge. I do not feel like they are using my skills here, but I don't want to leave if I'm going to end up in a similar situation as I do like my coworkers.

If this is typical, then maybe I should begin to look at public accounting, as I am extremely bored now.

I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

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Don't have one in Madison, Wisconsin

44 months ago

It seems like you're doing bookkeeping and I think that's way below your skills. I too am a recent graduate and CPA with no job (graduated in December and still looking)If I were in your shoes I would be looking but I would NOT quit my job and look, I would keep the job and start looking on the side. You'll never know how long it will take till the next opportunity pops up and you want them to know that you are employed just looking for a job that provides more challenge and that you weren't hired. Employers really look for recent experience and value it. But yes definitely do look for a new job

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Don't have one in Madison, Wisconsin

44 months ago

I'm sorry I meant ".....and that you weren't fired."

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ManhattanAccountant in New York, New York

43 months ago

Hi YoungCPA and Don't Have one. I was once in your position. The first two years or so of accounting do tend to be full of mindless, reppetitive tasks. Basically, the senior accountants and managers dump all their tedious tasks on your shoulders. But here's the thing guys--until you have more experience managers will not even consider giving you the more complex tasks. If you pass your first 2 years or so as you are now you can search for a position with more responsibility. I've been an accountant for five years, but the exciting parts didn't really start until about year 3. On the plus side, we are in an industry where you will always be able to find a job anywhere. I've worked 3 jobs in five years and its never taken more than a week to find a job.

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Still Searching in Maxwell, Iowa

39 months ago

Do companies frown upon people applying from far away?

I've been applying for jobs in Des Moines (where I'm at), the Quad Cities, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Bloomington, and Rockford. I've had two interviews since June.

I have my Masters, as I needed the hours to sit for the CPA. I didn't pass all four sections, and can't afford to sit for it again. I worked at a CC last spring, and am still technically an employee, but was not given any fall hours.

Am I screwed?

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

39 months ago

Still Searching in Maxwell, Iowa said: Do companies frown upon people applying from far away?

I've been applying for jobs in Des Moines (where I'm at), the Quad Cities, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, Bloomington, and Rockford. I've had two interviews since June.

I have my Masters, as I needed the hours to sit for the CPA. I didn't pass all four sections, and can't afford to sit for it again. I worked at a CC last spring, and am still technically an employee, but was not given any fall hours.

Am I screwed?

I think the CPA is overrated without direct public experience. I passed three out of four parts, have a MS degree as well but can't get a job in accounting because I don't have 'public experience' and because I have been unemployed for too long. The tasks that the OP talked about above are what I have done in most of my accounting jobs so basically I am screwed especially since I am older at age 36. I have also applied to jobs outside my area and recruiters have basically acted pissed asking me "Why am I wasting their time"

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

39 months ago

ManhattanAccountant in New York, New York said: Hi YoungCPA and Don't Have one. I was once in your position. The first two years or so of accounting do tend to be full of mindless, reppetitive tasks. Basically, the senior accountants and managers dump all their tedious tasks on your shoulders. But here's the thing guys--until you have more experience managers will not even consider giving you the more complex tasks. If you pass your first 2 years or so as you are now you can search for a position with more responsibility. I've been an accountant for five years, but the exciting parts didn't really start until about year 3. On the plus side, we are in an industry where you will always be able to find a job anywhere. I've worked 3 jobs in five years and its never taken more than a week to find a job.

How can I find a job after I have passed the CPA exam but no public experience. My experience is in investment accounting which means I am screwed because I don't have public experience and because I am not working. I hope to have the final part of the CPA (REG) passed by the end of this year but I have found it very hard to get an interview let alone a job and recruiters have been less than helpful and basically told me I am screwed

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