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Old 09-16-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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I'm graduating next December and I was wondering if anyone had any insight into how soon is too soon to start meeting potential employers? Most guidelines I've read are around 1 year to 6 months before graduation. Anyone in the biz have any advice?
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:58 PM   #3
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Yeah, do it during Junior or Sophomore year. See if anybody needs a summer intern or something. Then you can hook on full time when you graduate.

You're at NMSU, I assume?

Edit: I'm in Albuquerque
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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Yep. I'm at NMSU. I'm actually a Senior. Not really you're typical college student. I'm kind of on the 10 year plan. I refocused priorities and went back to school about 4 years ago. I already have a full-time job but I don't see myself in that line of work (insurance) once I graduate. I have a friend there in Albq who works for an accounting firm there (can't remember the name right off) and offered to put in a word for me. NMSU has events where you can meet recruiters and I was thinking on getting out to one but was thinking maybe I'm too far off to start going to these. A little too late (and inconvenient for family) for internships at my age!
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:33 PM   #5
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Personally, I would get involved with a single or double CPA office that needs some help. Now is the time to start looking as they are going to be hiring for help in the next couple of months to prep for tax season!

Getting involved with big tax firms sometimes hinders you from getting that one on one learning.

I might be a little biased as I've always found it more enjoyable to work for smaller CPA offices with one or two on staff that are looking to bring someone on and help them achieve CPA status.

Also, keep in mind that during tax season you'll say goodbye to your family from about mid January to April 15! 15+ hour days 7 days a week. It's rough! But, pays well! REALLY well!
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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Yep. I'm at NMSU. I'm actually a Senior. Not really you're typical college student. I'm kind of on the 10 year plan. I refocused priorities and went back to school about 4 years ago. I already have a full-time job but I don't see myself in that line of work (insurance) once I graduate. I have a friend there in Albq who works for an accounting firm there (can't remember the name right off) and offered to put in a word for me. NMSU has events where you can meet recruiters and I was thinking on getting out to one but was thinking maybe I'm too far off to start going to these. A little too late (and inconvenient for family) for internships at my age!

I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I'm currently going to school for accounting, but I don't really like the idea of internships at my age (I just turned 39).
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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Internships or not, if you want to do taxes, you'll need to say goodbye to most of your life and family time from Mid January to Mid April.

However, the alternative would be to not work for an accounting firm but to work for a larger company in an accounting department. That way you aren't dedicating your life to tax season.

It's really a catch 22. Taxes and working in an accounting office is probably a great avenue to put on your resume. Most will be looking to hire paid entry level positions between now and the end of the year, but will require a lot of hours and dedication.

Businesses looking to add to their accounting departments typically want proven individuals. And, the ability to learn diverse industries is limited.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, all. My plan, at this point is to graduate first! I had an audit and a tax test this week and they both kicked me in the rear! I know I'll want to start preping for the CPA exam soon after I graduate. NM requirements allow you to sit even if you're short some college credits. Cool thing I found out not too long ago was I somehow earned a scholarship from Ernst & Young and get to meet representatives from the company next month. Hopefully that leads somewhere; I read they were rated one of the top 5 companies to launch a career with. Well see, I guess.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
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Tax or Audit? I was asked that the other day but don't really have an answer yet. Input?
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:04 PM   #10
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Tax is seasonal. Audit is ongoing!

It really depends on if you like a challange or just want to plug numbers. IMO

Tax is plugging numbers...at least that's how I see it. Yeah, you have to know tax code, but it's all a computer program that spits out the numbers.

I find Audits intriguing and fun. I always wanted to go into Forensics Accounting. Trying to find the frauds in financial statements and those imbezzling. Although, Auditing is much more than looking for deception. A lot of it is verifying that all transactions are recorded accurately.

So, it's what type of work you find enjoyable. I'm sure in your work through school you've experienced both.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #11
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A note on tax vs. audit, especially since we're in the same state.

I work in the Tax Department of a medium sized firm. And yes, it's true, Feb-Apr sucks. For reference, I billed 250 hours last march. That equals 8.3 hours a day for every single day in March. Lot of work. With that said, I am very glad that I don't have to spend weeks on Indian reservations (tribal/casino stuff) or in small towns, etc.

There is a lot of travel involved with audit, at least for the audit department in my firm and in others. If you were in a bigger city you might not travel as much because there are a lot of companies in the city. For instance, in Denver I had a buddy at a Big 4 accounting firm in audit... But he didn't travel at all because his clients were in Denver. Now that he's moved to ABQ, he travels all the time. Weeks on end in Gallup, random Indian reservations, etc. With a situation like that, I'm very glad I get to go home to my bed every night. And since you said you had a family, you might not want to be on the road all the time either.

The plugging numbers thing is true with tax, at least in the beginning. But I mean, none of my seniors do that crap. Once you move up there is more client interaction, more active tax planning, etc. Yeah, right now I just listen to the radio all day and plug numbers, but the next-level type stuff can be pretty interesting, I think.

I don't think you can go wrong either way, to be honest. A couple people in the tax department with me now moved over from audit. When you're in the interview process, make sure to ask about travel for auditors, but also be sure to ask what their policy is on changing departments, etc. You might find you hate one, and hopefully the firm can accommodate a change.

Also: have fun with the CPA exam. I've passed 2 parts, I actually take another part tomorrow and I'm procrastinating a bit on the 'Mane. It sucks but if you can do it it'll mean the world to you and your career.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:28 PM   #12
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Oh and actually, the plugging numbers thing mainly applies to individual clients. That is true. 1040's are easy.

But entity clients involve more work, journal entries, etc. Lot of work to do before you even begin to plug the stuff into the software.

Either way, like I said, once you move up you don't do that anyways, for either individual or entities.
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:51 PM   #13
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A note on tax vs. audit, especially since we're in the same state.

I work in the Tax Department of a medium sized firm. And yes, it's true, Feb-Apr sucks. For reference, I billed 250 hours last march. That equals 8.3 hours a day for every single day in March. Lot of work. With that said, I am very glad that I don't have to spend weeks on Indian reservations (tribal/casino stuff) or in small towns, etc.

There is a lot of travel involved with audit, at least for the audit department in my firm and in others. If you were in a bigger city you might not travel as much because there are a lot of companies in the city. For instance, in Denver I had a buddy at a Big 4 accounting firm in audit... But he didn't travel at all because his clients were in Denver. Now that he's moved to ABQ, he travels all the time. Weeks on end in Gallup, random Indian reservations, etc. With a situation like that, I'm very glad I get to go home to my bed every night. And since you said you had a family, you might not want to be on the road all the time either.

The plugging numbers thing is true with tax, at least in the beginning. But I mean, none of my seniors do that crap. Once you move up there is more client interaction, more active tax planning, etc. Yeah, right now I just listen to the radio all day and plug numbers, but the next-level type stuff can be pretty interesting, I think.

I don't think you can go wrong either way, to be honest. A couple people in the tax department with me now moved over from audit. When you're in the interview process, make sure to ask about travel for auditors, but also be sure to ask what their policy is on changing departments, etc. You might find you hate one, and hopefully the firm can accommodate a change.

Also: have fun with the CPA exam. I've passed 2 parts, I actually take another part tomorrow and I'm procrastinating a bit on the 'Mane. It sucks but if you can do it it'll mean the world to you and your career.
Good luck on the exam. I have a friend that works for Clifton Gunderson there in Albq who just passed the last part of CPA exam. I plan on jumping right into it right after doing the school thing.

Audit does sound a lot more interesting. I don't mind travel but if I'm never home, that might be a problem. Tax has to be the least favorite class I've taken.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:25 PM   #14
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Took Financial today. I think it went OK.

Getting black-out drunk tonight.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:03 AM   #15
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I barely passed the 1st federal taxation class. Audit it is, I guess, !
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:32 PM   #16
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I barely passed the 1st federal taxation class. Audit it is, I guess, !
Not that I'm trying to recruit you to the tax side or anything, but a lot of my grades were crap in school. Whether you're an A student or a D student, you'll still be trained the same, go through the same learning curve, etc. If you go audit that's cool, but honestly don't necessarily let one class sway you.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:47 PM   #17
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Not that I'm trying to recruit you to the tax side or anything, but a lot of my grades were crap in school. Whether you're an A student or a D student, you'll still be trained the same, go through the same learning curve, etc. If you go audit that's cool, but honestly don't necessarily let one class sway you.
Yeah, I've heard. I did OK in tax (C) and pretty good in Audit (A). Have two semesters to go! The career hunting part starts soon!
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:20 PM   #18
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My wife's an independent insurance auditor (worker's comp) looking for an additional client or two.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:02 AM   #19
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The thing about accounting (and I've worked for two of the big four so I have a little knowledge) is that you really want to avoid having to work long hours. Now, if you are going to be in public accounting, what you need to do is pick a field that is extremely specialized. That way, you will never really have a "busy season". State sales and use tax is a good one to pick, for example. Do that, and you will be happy.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:00 AM   #20
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ten year plan. That's what I'm on. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:36 AM   #21
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Ok. Who's hiring? Ready to start putting my resume out there since graduation is 6 months away. Tax or Audit, doesn't matter as long as as it sets me on the path. Prefer to stay in NM but would consider relocation for the right job.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:40 PM   #22
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I think there is a vacancy in Texas becasue some Maner left to live out a train wreck in S. Carolina...
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:06 PM   #23
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I think there is a vacancy in Texas becasue some Maner left to live out a train wreck in S. Carolina...
That's funny! I know someone who can hook me up with something in Myrtle Beach. Maybe I should get the 'Mane's opinion?
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #24
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So I finally graduated, found a pretty good job, but now I need to take the CPA exam. I know there are a few CPA's here so I was wondering if anyone had any advice on a CPA review course. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:55 PM   #25
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I used CPAExcel online course and had no complaints, passed them all on the first try. You should check with your employer though, they might have something they can give you.
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