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Odysseus32
LSU Fan
Boise, ID
Member since Dec 2009
3745 posts

Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
I thought maybe a break from COVID/BLM topics would be welcomed. Probably not, though.

I've been working in warehouse positions since I was 19, driving forklifts, picking orders, and generally doing basic grunt work. I managed to make my way up to warehouse supervisor at one position before finding out it was the same thing with more responsibility and not much more pay.

I went back to school Summer of 2019 and I'm pursuing accounting. I've just started my financial and managerial accounting courses this summer after finishing up my prerequisites. I'm very much nervous/excited about the prospect of recruiting for public accounting, even though I've read horror stories around the internet. I've also read that some people can be dramatic and it's not as bad as people make it out to be.

Is anyone on the OT in this field? I'm in Idaho, and I know the recruitment process is different at every school, but maybe some people have their own stories? Hardest courses in your junior and senior years? Public vs Industry? How hard is the CPA exam? That kinda stuff.

Please, no OT ballers.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
29567 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

I'm very much nervous/excited about the prospect of recruiting for public accounting, even though I've read horror stories around the internet. I've also read that some people can be dramatic and it's not as bad as people make it out to be.




Not sure what you're referring to here. Recruiting of students by public accounting firms? Recruiting of students by colleges?

quote:

Is anyone on the OT in this field? I'm in Idaho, and I know the recruitment process is different at every school, but maybe some people have their own stories? Hardest courses in your junior and senior years? Public vs Industry? How hard is the CPA exam? That kinda stuff.


I'm an accountant, but I graduated years ago. Seems the hardest class I remember was advanced financial accounting my senior year. CPA exam is tough, but with adequate studying and prep, you'll pass it. The general track for CPA's is public for a few years, then move on to private, though many make a career in public. I couldn't get out of public fast enough.


USMEagles
Southern Miss Fan
Member since Jan 2018
3771 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
Intermediate Accounting I and II are both pretty challenging.

The thing that kept me from pursuing an accounting career, even though I have the coursework to sit for the CPA exam, is that the career track is very narrowly defined. If you don't get onto that track as a young adult you're pretty much screwed. It's not a career you can easily switch to after you've been doing something else... at least, not if you want to be a CPA.


Nappy
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2005
105 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
Make good grades. Be able to have a conversation with someone (as for many professions, your ability to show you are intelligent (grades) and able to work with others is extremely important). You will do fine.


Odysseus32
LSU Fan
Boise, ID
Member since Dec 2009
3745 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:


Recruiting of students by public accounting firms?



This one.


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Olric
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2015
788 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
I finished the CPA exam last September, and it was probably the hardest thing I have ever accomplished. Its all about limiting distractions around you which can be hard for your wife, friends, and family to understand. I work in public accounting right now, and while I don't love it and foresee a move to industry in the future, in this market and at my level of experience public pays a great deal more than industry.


LigerFan
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2014
2473 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
Get good grades and get in good with your professors (who will provide you with letters of recommendation) and you'll have no problem getting in at a decent firm.

With your warehouse experience, you'll have a lot of fun doing EOY inventory counts, so just go ahead and mark your NYE and New Years off your calendar for a couple years.

I found public accounting to be a great starting point to get your feet wet, be surrounding with very knowledgeable people in the field, and soak up as much information as you can. I suggest that everyone does a couple years as an auditor out of college.


roobedoo
LSU Fan
hall summit
Member since Jun 2008
606 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
My son is in a 5 year program and said Accounting 327 in Junior year was the toughest class. He chose the Finance track.

If you do well, you will have tons of opportunities. Part of his program is an internship in the Spring. He interviewed with 7 companies and had good offers from 6, and they all included a signing bonus. And that was just for Spring.

Work hard and you will be rewarded.


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30
jclem11
Rice Fan
Houston, Texas
Member since Nov 2011
4092 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

Is anyone on the OT in this field?


8 years in public accounting and CPA here.

quote:

Hardest courses in your junior and senior years?


For me, it was intermediate 2.

quote:

Public vs Industry?


Depends on what you are looking for. Public is generally more demanding from an hours and work life balance perspective but the work tends to be more varied.

I do tax work for individuals, businesses, trusts. I enjoy the variety of the work and that I learn a lot of different industries and areas.

The idea of being senior accountant 2 and reconciling intercompany accounts or fixed assets is depressing to me.

I am probably public for life. Overall, accounting has been a great field for me and I do not regret my decision to go into it.

I make a great living and work with some cool, smart people.


quote:

How hard is the CPA exam? T


I finished the exams 7 years ago now but biggest piece of advice is get it done ASAP. Work only gets crazier as you get more experience and responsibility. Plus it is hard to get back into "school mode" after working for a while.


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91
jclem11
Rice Fan
Houston, Texas
Member since Nov 2011
4092 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

If you don't get onto that track as a young adult you're pretty much screwed. It's not a career you can easily switch to after you've been doing something else... at least, not if you want to be a CPA.


True, public accounting at the Big 4 level is a young man's game.

It is very rare to see a 27 or 30 year old first year. And shite can get weird when your boss is a 24 year old.



BRmike
Member since Oct 2013
28 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
I graduated from LSU with a BS/MS in Accounting and proceeded to study for the CPA after obtaining the MS.
The CPA isn't as hard as it's made out to be as long as you put in the time to study for it.

I want to reiterate what others have said already...the CPA exam requires a lot of sacrifice as far as time goes. I took it right after finishing my MS and I believe that played a major role in making it easier because most of the information was still fresh.

I'm in consulting/O&G severance taxes in Houston now and am enjoying it so far. Pay is enticing and the work is challenging in the best way.
This post was edited on 6/16 at 8:37 am


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Odysseus32
LSU Fan
Boise, ID
Member since Dec 2009
3745 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

Intermediate Accounting I and II are both pretty challenging.


I've heard this a couple different places.

quote:

It's not a career you can easily switch to after you've been doing something else... at least, not if you want to be a CPA.


My age has worried me (I'll be 29 when I graduate), but honestly I'm also fine with going industry and never becoming a CPA. Obviously my intentions are to sit for the CPA exam, but if it doesn't happen it isn't the end of the world.

I just want a decent paying career where I won't have to continue wrecking my body. It'll be work to break into the field, I get that. But I am willing.


Theboot32
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2016
2238 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
Most people after school go work for the Big 4, which is great and it sets you up to get a good job in industry after. I hate the big 4 and the culture they have, basically try to break you, and overwork the shite out of you. I got a job with a local firm and am now in industry and dig it. CPA exam is a bitch, REG was the toughest for me, although I'm not and never have been a tax guy.


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Bayou_Tiger_225
LSU Fan
St. George Country Club
Member since Mar 2016
5753 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
Intermediate accounting 1 and 2 are two of the harder required classes. Advanced financial is difficult.

I'm in public accounting right now. It isn't fun and the hours are long, but it's great experience. The CPA exam is a grind so if you go that route be prepared. It isn't easy, but it is 100% worth it.


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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
29567 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

My age has worried me (I'll be 29 when I graduate), but honestly I'm also fine with going industry and never becoming a CPA.



Don't let that deter you. You might feel out of place at one of the Big 4's at that age, but in my experience there are a lot of recent CPAs that age going to work at the smaller, regional CPA firms.

quote:

Obviously my intentions are to sit for the CPA exam, but if it doesn't happen it isn't the end of the world.


My opinion is it would be a waste to get an accounting degree and not get your CPA. It will open a ton of doors down the road in your career.


Odysseus32
LSU Fan
Boise, ID
Member since Dec 2009
3745 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

With your warehouse experience, you'll have a lot of fun doing EOY inventory counts, so just go ahead and mark your NYE and New Years off your calendar for a couple years.


Good to know that inventory never ends.

quote:

I found public accounting to be a great starting point to get your feet wet, be surrounding with very knowledgeable people in the field, and soak up as much information as you can. I suggest that everyone does a couple years as an auditor out of college.


I know my age will be a bit of an elephant in the room, but I've gone through worse shite than having everyone around me younger. I like the idea of public accounting for a few years because being a cog in a machine sounds really appealing for experience purposes. People say that if you get stuck with an incompetent team it can be hell, though.

quote:

Work hard and you will be rewarded.


That's basically my mindset at this point.

quote:

The idea of being senior accountant 2 and reconciling intercompany accounts or fixed assets is depressing to me.


Yeah, I like the idea of being in public for 2-3 years, but I could see how being a career guy for a big firm could suck your soul.

quote:

I'm in consulting/O&G severance taxes in Houston now and am enjoying it so far. Pay is enticing and the work is challenging in the best way.


Thanks for the response. Definitely wouldn't mind getting into something like that, especially considering my family is down that way.


BRmike
Member since Oct 2013
28 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
I don't know how the culture in Idaho is like but I wouldn't worry about your age too much. I started working at 24 for the state of Louisiana and decided it wasn't my speed after a few years. I moved to Houston for a fresh start at an O&G severance tax firm when I was 28.


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dandan
Member since Nov 2007
2683 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
Big 4 is a good starting point in your career. Get to see lots of things and you will meet lots of people that can help you for networking.

Also would be good to determine which industry you want to focus on b/c that will help as you progress in your career.


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Mingo Was His NameO
LSU Fan
Brooklyn
Member since Mar 2016
13718 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
The hardest courses are probably intermediate I and II, especially if your teacher sucks. My recommendation, do a lot of solo learning online for those. I found the same concepts fairly easy on the CPA because Becker taught them so much better than my shitty teacher at LSU.

As far as public accounting, yes, the hours are longer than 40 hours a week, sometimes by a lot. However, I find that with just like profession at of people dick around and waste time then bitch about how long they had to work. If you don't wont to work 60 hours a week dont take an hour lunch break everyday and 3 15 minute coffee breaks. There, I just saved you 10 hours.

The CPA wasn't that hard, in my opinion, you just have to be prudent. The first 6 months after I finished my masters I literally didn't do shite. I studied everyday and got 2 done before I started working and 2 after.


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Mingo Was His NameO
LSU Fan
Brooklyn
Member since Mar 2016
13718 posts

re: Accounting Majors -- Any experiences here?
quote:

I know my age will be a bit of an elephant in the room, but I've gone through worse shite than having everyone around me younger.


Most people are campus hires, but we have a few come in every year from either nontraditional paths like yours or spent a couple years at a small firm or state or whatever. Not a big deal at all really. The worst part or going to be spending a week at training with a bunch of 24 year olds at training.


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