other peoples frustrations with the accounting world


T

TazBird

Hi all,

I'm a second year accounting student. I currently work as an
accountant for a medium-sized insurance company. Every now and then I
see these posts of people who can't find jobs as accountants or regret
taking accounting as their major. These posts kind of worry me a
bit...but are these just the complaints of a small population, or do
these reflect the majority of the accounting world?

The other thing I wanted to ask was about being recruited by a big
four firm...Like I said I already work as an accountant, and my firm
was hopping that I stay after I finish college, (I am going for my
masters). Prior to working with them, I was an accountant with a
construction / real estate company, even though I've always wanted to
be a CPA I've come to enjoy working in these smaller environments so
what I'm asking is, not working for a big-four firm a career killer?
or can you still be successful in the accounting world even if you
don't work for a big-four type firm?

Thanks for your responses!
 
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P

Paul Thomas, CPA

TazBird said:
I'm a second year accounting student. I currently work as an
accountant for a medium-sized insurance company. Every now and then I
see these posts of people who can't find jobs as accountants or regret
taking accounting as their major. These posts kind of worry me a
bit...but are these just the complaints of a small population, or do
these reflect the majority of the accounting world?



There just happens to be a plethora of disgruntled and/or unemployed
accountants here.



The other thing I wanted to ask was about being recruited by a big
four firm...Like I said I already work as an accountant, and my firm
was hopping that I stay after I finish college, (I am going for my
masters). Prior to working with them, I was an accountant with a
construction / real estate company, even though I've always wanted to
be a CPA I've come to enjoy working in these smaller environments so
what I'm asking is, not working for a big-four firm a career killer?
or can you still be successful in the accounting world even if you
don't work for a big-four type firm?





The only reason to work for a big 4 (used to be more of them back in the
day) firm would be a jump-off point to a position with one of their clients
(which those breaks have been put on recently I believe). Otherwise, if you
plan to open your own practice, you'll most likely not get the skills to do
so in a big 4 firm.
 
R

Ron Todd

Hi all,

I'm a second year accounting student. I currently work as an
accountant for a medium-sized insurance company. Every now and then I
see these posts of people who can't find jobs as accountants or regret
taking accounting as their major. These posts kind of worry me a
bit...but are these just the complaints of a small population, or do
these reflect the majority of the accounting world?
.....

They should worry you. Accounting is an overhead function that
depends upon commerce to supply the entities that need its function.
Two things you probably have not given much thought to are:

(1) We as a country have been deindustrializing for a long time. We
have been "shipping" the companies that need accountants overseas.

(2) Automation has been reducing the need for accountants since the
1950s.

If all the accountants who couldn't find accounting jobs were
complaining on this board, it would fall under the load. The simple
fact is that they don't get accounting jobs, so they go do something
else.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

"Ron Todd" complained again
(1) We as a country have been deindustrializing for a long time. We
have been "shipping" the companies that need accountants overseas.

(2) Automation has been reducing the need for accountants since the
1950s.





CNN Money.com disagrees with you.


http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/moneymag/0703/gallery.bestjobs_young.moneymag/4.html
They are looking at 22% job growth over 10 years.




http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocotjt1.htm
The US Department of Labor lists it as #2 for those with Bachelors degrees
for occupations having the largest numerical job growth, just behind school
teachers.








Telling others not to go into accounting probably won't help you land your
dream job.
 
T

TazBird

"Ron Todd" complained again



CNN Money.com disagrees with you.

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/moneymag/0703/gallery.bestjobs_yo...
They are looking at 22% job growth over 10 years.

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocotjt1.htm
The US Department of Labor lists it as #2 for those with Bachelors degrees
for occupations having the largest numerical job growth, just behind school
teachers.

Telling others not to go into accounting probably won't help you land your
dream job.
Paul, Thanks for your responses, that was just the info I was looking
for!
 
R

Ron Todd

"Ron Todd" complained again






CNN Money.com disagrees with you.


http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/moneymag/0703/gallery.bestjobs_young.moneymag/4.html
They are looking at 22% job growth over 10 years.




http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocotjt1.htm
The US Department of Labor lists it as #2 for those with Bachelors degrees
for occupations having the largest numerical job growth, just behind school
teachers.








Telling others not to go into accounting probably won't help you land your
dream job.
I've heard that same song for the last dozen years. It still hasn't
gotten me a full time job. I've done a few temp positions (even those
have dried up as companies find it is easier to higher expendables,
like the new graduates for the tax season) where I've gotten close to
personnel and seen the stacks, literally stacks, of resumes from fully
qualified accountants. Nothing I have seen with my own eyes says
shortage, it says glut.

Now, lets ask the questions. (Very few people do, I find) Who is
saying there is a shortage? What evidence are they giving? Did they
use a survey and if so who did they survey? What questions composed
their survey instrument? Would any of them have a motive for maintain
an excess of accountants?

I still pay the fee every two years and take the C.P.E. to keep my
license current, but I have never made a buck out of it.
 
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P

Paul Thomas

Ron Todd said:
I've heard that same song for the last dozen years. It still hasn't
gotten me a full time job.


And you're not bitter - at all.

I've done a few temp positions (even those have dried up
as companies find it is easier to higher expendables, like
the new graduates for the tax season) where I've gotten
close to personnel and seen the stacks, literally stacks,
of resumes from fully qualified accountants. Nothing I
have seen with my own eyes says shortage, it says glut.


No doubt, location is everything.



Now, lets ask the questions. (Very few people do, I find) Who is
saying there is a shortage?

No one said there's a shortage.


I still pay the fee every two years and take the C.P.E. to keep my
license current, but I have never made a buck out of it.


Ever thought of going out on your own?

Be your own boss?

Why isn't it worth the shot?

You clearly don't have anything to lose.
 
R

Ron Todd

And you're not bitter - at all.
No, why, I can't do anything about it. I greatly saddened by the lies
and the liars in the business world these days. I am convinced it is
destroying the profession and C.P.A. s will soon be held in the low
esteem of used car salesmen.
No doubt, location is everything.
Pretty sure no as I have searched nation wide for a dozen years and
found nothing.
No one said there's a shortage.
You must not be reading much outside of tax pubs these days. Its been
the steady drill in my ears. I figure its mostly practitioners and
their sock puppets in the "financial press" and the schools beating
the drum for a steady supply of new fish. The practioners for cheap
labor and the schools to keep their government handouts coming in.
Ever thought of going out on your own?
Yes, looked at it quite closely. The market is very bad and I've
noticed that quite a few firms have folded over the years. One of the
problems, with the fibs I believe, is that it has seriously ruined the
reputation of the brand and an increasing number of small businessmen
no longer see any value in having a C.P.A.

(Frankly, from the practitioners I've met over the last thirty years,
I am surprised anyone sees any value in C.P.A.s.)

The days when setting up a practice was a slam dunk are gone. It is
now a very risky place to put ones capital. I don't think banks are
loaning startup capital for starting a practice anymore, are they?
 
P

Paul Thomas

Ron Todd said:
The days when setting up a practice was a slam dunk are gone.



No one said it was a "slam dunk". Going into business is hard work, and
remains hard wrk even after 15 years.

But I've never relied on one client for my revenues, so if I lose one or
two, or three, or.....it's not a big deal. You work for a company and they
decide to cut back, it's SOL if you're the one holding the short straw.


It is now a very risky place to put ones capital. I don't think banks are
loaning startup capital for starting a practice anymore, are they?

Any business is, always has been, I see nothing different now nor in the
future.

It's what you make of it. You definitely can't hang out a shingle and
expect to gross $250K in the first 12 months And no, I doubt any lender
will cover much more than hard asset purchases. You've got to come out of
pocket for a bulk of the overhead. But face it, this isn't a profession
where you have to sink tens of thousands into assets to get started. You
obviously have a computer, so determine what services you would like to
offer (ie: what your future clients will want from you) and buy the software
you need. The rest can be had as your client base develops.
 
R

RidgemontRat77884

Hi all,

I'm a second year accounting student. I currently work as an
accountant for a medium-sized insurance company. Every now and then I
see these posts of people who can't find jobs as accountants or regret
taking accounting as their major. These posts kind of worry me a
bit...but are these just the complaints of a small population, or do
these reflect the majority of the accounting world?

The other thing I wanted to ask was about being recruited by a big
four firm...Like I said I already work as an accountant, and my firm
was hopping that I stay after I finish college, (I am going for my
masters). Prior to working with them, I was an accountant with a
construction / real estate company, even though I've always wanted to
be a CPA I've come to enjoy working in these smaller environments so
what I'm asking is, not working for a big-four firm a career killer?
or can you still be successful in the accounting world even if you
don't work for a big-four type firm?

Thanks for your responses!
The accounting profession is simply not what it once was. Years ago,
someone could graduate with a degree in accounting and the sky was the
limit in terms of opportunities. But today, it is a dying field. Part
of that is due to automation, and part of it is due to outsourcing.

There are a huge amount of unemployed accountants, or accountants who
have left the profession to try and make a living doing something
else.

Accounting skills are very valuable to have if you want to run your
own business. But to actually find employment and make a decent living
is another story.

Public accounting firms are places where many graduates tend to
target. Schools often push students in the direction of public firms
too. But there is often a catch. At least 70 percent of the accounting
work for the year done by public accounting firms is done during tax
season.

So what many firms do is hire graduates in the fall, offer them what
"appears" to be a nice starting salary, then work them
70-80+ hours during tax season. What many new hires don't often
realize is that their weekly salary ends up being near minimum wage
during tax season once the hours climb to 60 or 70.

And then once tax season ends, many of these new hires are let go by
the firms. By this time (May), the new hires have served their use to
the firms which is to provide very cheap labor for low level, grunt
tasks. They are by this point, expendable.

The following fall, the firms do the exact same thing with a new group
of newly-minted accounting grads who are eager to make a "career" in
accounting. Little do most of these youngins know that by the
following May they will be unemployed.
 
R

RidgemontRat77884

Hi all,

I'm a second year accounting student. I currently work as an
accountant for a medium-sized insurance company. Every now and then I
see these posts of people who can't find jobs as accountants or regret
taking accounting as their major. These posts kind of worry me a
bit...but are these just the complaints of a small population, or do
these reflect the majority of the accounting world?

The other thing I wanted to ask was about being recruited by a big
four firm...Like I said I already work as an accountant, and my firm
was hopping that I stay after I finish college, (I am going for my
masters). Prior to working with them, I was an accountant with a
construction / real estate company, even though I've always wanted to
be a CPA I've come to enjoy working in these smaller environments so
what I'm asking is, not working for a big-four firm a career killer?
or can you still be successful in the accounting world even if you
don't work for a big-four type firm?

Thanks for your responses!
Other advice I'd like to give you is to take with a tremendous grain
of salt the advice and insight of the person in this forum known as
Paul Thomas.

Paul has functioned in this forum for years as a kind of public
relations "cheerleader" type of person for the accounting profession.
According to Paul, the decline of the profession is a mirage, the
opportunities are limitless, and accouting jobs are everywhere and
extremely available.

Don't buy it.

The biggest problem with Paul Thomas is that he only sees the field
from his own perspective. It's been many years since Paul was like
you, a young person trying to get into the field and willing to work
hard.

But unlike you, Paul came into accounting in an era where the
opportunities were much better and someone could easily find
employment, and get ahead by working hard. Paul assumes those are the
conditions that you have to deal with. He is wrong.

Paul is now in a very high position in the field. He has an
established client base, and has years of experience. He is set. He
cannot relate to your situation.

If the same Paul Thomas was graduating from a college in 2007 with a
degree in accounting, he would find a much, much different world than
new grads are experiencing. Paul would find just how bad the field has
declined and how poor the opportunities are for recent graduates. But
Paul is unable to see this from his position. So he only sings the
praises of the field (from his standpoint), and can't see or
understand the struggles of those just starting out.

Ron Todd, has a more realistic view of the current state of the field.
According to Paul Thomas, people like Ron Todd just don't exist. Yet,
there are plenty of them. Unfortunately, the "rah rah" public
relations hacks in the representing the accounting field or trying to
sell programs on college campuses want people to believe accounting is
still a booming field.

Don't be fooled.
 
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R

RidgemontRat77884

No, why, I can't do anything about it. I greatly saddened by the lies
and the liars in the business world these days. I am convinced it is
destroying the profession and C.P.A. s will soon be held in the low
esteem of used car salesmen.





Pretty sure no as I have searched nation wide for a dozen years and
found nothing.





You must not be reading much outside of tax pubs these days. Its been
the steady drill in my ears. I figure its mostly practitioners and
their sock puppets in the "financial press" and the schools beating
the drum for a steady supply of new fish. The practioners for cheap
labor and the schools to keep their government handouts coming in.





Yes, looked at it quite closely. The market is very bad and I've
noticed that quite a few firms have folded over the years. One of the
problems, with the fibs I believe, is that it has seriously ruined the
reputation of the brand and an increasing number of small businessmen
no longer see any value in having a C.P.A.

(Frankly, from the practitioners I've met over the last thirty years,
I am surprised anyone sees any value in C.P.A.s.)

The days when setting up a practice was a slam dunk are gone. It is
now a very risky place to put ones capital. I don't think banks are
loaning startup capital for starting a practice anymore, are they?
Ron Todd, I generally agree with your take on the profession. At least
you tell it like it is.

However, the only thing I don't understand about you is why you still
attempt to find a job working for others.

With an MBA and CPA, you'd be better off simply saying the hell with
trying to work for anyone else and just work for yourself.

You may still not make much money, but at least it beats waiting
around for someone else to hire you. The jobs just aren't there
anymore.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

However, the only thing I don't understand about you is why you still
attempt to find a job working for others.

With an MBA and CPA, you'd be better off simply saying the hell with
trying to work for anyone else and just work for yourself.





FWIW: Working for "yourself" means you have dozens upon dozens of "bosses"
instead of one.

I work for "myself", meaning that I have a couple of hundred employers each
with their own boss. Instead of schmoozing the one guy who controls my
employment prospects, I have a few more than that.

One thing though, I try hard to not have one client that I depend on for my
livelihood.
 
R

RidgemontRat77884

FWIW: Working for "yourself" means you have dozens upon dozens of "bosses"
instead of one.

I work for "myself", meaning that I have a couple of hundred employers each
with their own boss. Instead of schmoozing the one guy who controls my
employment prospects, I have a few more than that.

One thing though, I try hard to not have one client that I depend on for my
livelihood.
No one is arguing with your success in the field, Paul.

But your perception of what the field offers for someone trying to get
in is based on your own situation and how well things are going for
you.

The state of the profession when you entered, and the state of it
today are two totally different things.

When you give advice to young people looking for a way in, seeing
their situation from YOUR perspective just doesn't make much sense.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

There are a huge amount of unemployed accountants,
or accountants who have left the profession to try and
make a living doing something else.




You can't point to that and claim "it's a dying field". There are
unemployed and under-employed people in every field and profession. They
are that way, in the situation they are in, for any number of reasons, and
part of that ~may~ be that they can't find what they feel is suitable
employment - in their field - in their location - for the pay range they
want. Some are disillusioned as to the type of work, and possibly the pay
range, they will encounter. Some found they just didn't like it, and they
were smart enough to move on to related fields, like finance, insurance,
investments, etc. Some I know have moved on to totally unrealted fields and
have found that happiness, which often leads to success.






Accounting skills are very valuable to have if you want
to run your own business. But to actually find employment
and make a decent living is another story.

So - from your perspective - with an accounting degree you can:
1) run your own business
or
2) not make a decent living




Having learned nothing from your educational experiences, and having
retained nothing form your employment experiences (however brief they may
have been), life is nothing but a dismal failure because of the degree you
studied. I dare say that for you, life would suck no matter what field of
study you finished.

There are many who do well in whatever field they studied in, mainly because
thay like what they do. That zeal for the business, whatever business that
is, makes them good at what they do, and they therefore become sucessful at
it (meaning decent pay or profits).
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

No one is arguing with your success in the field, Paul.



I'm glad you think I'm a success, although you don't know me or my practice
at all.



But your perception of what the field offers for someone
trying to get in is based on your own situation and how
well things are going for you.


And your perspective, and that or Mr. Todd, is based on - how bad things are
going for you?

Gee, now that's a twist. If everyone only listened to the people who never
got a staring role, no one would bother to go to Hollywood.

You make it sound like all CPA firms rape over the senior class every year,
and while some probably do just that, many others do not.




When you give advice to young people looking for a way in, seeing
their situation from YOUR perspective just doesn't make much sense.


And looking at things from your perspective, and that of Todd, what, make
sense because your failures in this field are the guiding light?
 
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R

RidgemontRat77884

I'm glad you think I'm a success, although you don't know me or my practice
at all.


And your perspective, and that or Mr. Todd, is based on - how bad things are
going for you?

Gee, now that's a twist. If everyone only listened to the people who never
got a staring role, no one would bother to go to Hollywood.

You make it sound like all CPA firms rape over the senior class every year,
and while some probably do just that, many others do not.


And looking at things from your perspective, and that of Todd, what, make
sense because your failures in this field are the guiding light?
As usual, a Paul Thomas answer that really ISN'T an answer at all.

Notice that Paul hardly talks at all about the revolving door many CPA
firms have for new hires. Or the fact that these same CPA firms almost
never pay their workers by the hour.

He won't go into that, because he understands that the salaries these
firms pay are a real bargain for the firm. The hours during tax season
are so jacked up that many of the new hires are making near minimum
wage.

I wonder, how many people would accept an accounting job knowing
they'd be making near minimum wage and then are let go following the
busy tax season?

This practice is pretty common. Every year, legions of new college
graduates inform excited parents of their new jobs with pubilc
accounting firms. By the spring of the following year, many of them
are let go once tax season ends. The firms of course don't mention
this in the beginning.

It's one of the best kept secrets by people outside of the accounting
profession. Paul Thomas doesn't want to let you know about it. He
probably engages in this himself.

At one time, accounting firms would hire someone, invest in them, and
try to have an employee that would become part of the company.

Today, new hires are not much different than temps.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

This practice is pretty common.

Name firms. While you're at it, identify yourself, so the firms know who to
sue.




It's one of the best kept secrets by people outside of the accounting
profession. Paul Thomas doesn't want to let you know about it. He
probably engages in this himself.


Well, I do not, and I am not aware of any firm that does.





But your misplaced anger is noted.



If you are that dissatisfied with how your career and life turned out, then
maybe some serious course corrections are in order. But if you stay, please
note that your sour notes are known to be just that.

Regardless of what changes have occurred over the years in this or any other
profession, you get out of it what you put into it. And it's quite obvious
that you don't put much into it. It's obvious that you don't enjoy what
you're doing, yet you seemingly continue on the same track. One wonders
why, if you hate it so. Alas. Woe is me. The sky is falling.

There will be people for many years to come who have successful careers in
accounting and lead a full and enjoyable life despite your dire warnings of
the death of accounting as a profession.

Oh wait, you'll have an excuse as to why they "made it" and you didn't.
 
J

jerry gitomer

So what many firms do is hire graduates in the fall, offer them what
"appears" to be a nice starting salary, then work them
70-80+ hours during tax season. What many new hires don't often
realize is that their weekly salary ends up being near minimum wage
during tax season once the hours climb to 60 or 70.

And then once tax season ends, many of these new hires are let go by
the firms. By this time (May), the new hires have served their use to
the firms which is to provide very cheap labor for low level, grunt
tasks. They are by this point, expendable.

Hmmm, the federal minimum wage prior to this month was $5.15 per
hour. If you worked 80 hours per week at minimum wage that
would come to just under $21,000 per year -- hardly a "nice
starting salary".

As far as I am concerned when you make statements calling
anything under a $30,000 starting salary "a nice salary" you
lose all credibility.

Perhaps the picture isn't as rosy as you think Paul Thomas
paints it, but it certainly isn't as gloomy and dismal as you
are painting it.

I do not think Paul Thomas painted a rosy picture. He did say
(not using these words, but meaning the same thing) that in
order to succeed you must be prepared to work very hard and be
prepared to put in the time to either build your own practice or
work your way up the ladder as someone elses employee. In this
respect accounting is no different from any other occupation.

Jerry Gitomer
 
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M

myaccountingtutor01

I'm gonna have to agree Ridgemont. I received a BS degree in
Accounting from FSU and I have to tell ya, it has been hell trying to
get a job in the Accounting field in central FL. I have gone to
staffing agencies which by the way aren't any better than going
straight to the hiring company. Staffing agencies have not treated me
very well. If you don't have what they need, they dismiss you without
so much as a phone call. When I was in college, which was as little as
1.5 years ago, they always tooted high salaries for accountants. Well,
I experienced the opposite. The most you started off with was about
$11-14/hr in the Orlando area. To be honest, I was highly insulted. I
worked my butt off through college trying to gain accounting
experience. After graduation, that experience meant nothing because I
had to start from the bottom. For example, if you have a BS in
Accounting, you can't start off as a Staff Accountant. You have to
start off as an Accounting Clerk which doesn't make sense. I did not
get into $50,000 of student loan debt to start off with $11-14/hr.

Before I graduated, I did get into real estate and mortgages. That was
hot for a while but not at the moment. Being an agent, I got a taste
of what it's like to be self-employed. I decided to just make use of
all the endless hours I spend on the internet and just help others
learn about accounting. I hate doing interviews and I have had the
privilage of working around CPAs and it has not always been fun.

My advice to existing accounting students is to not buy into the hype.
Spend your years in college doing what you want to do. Don't spend it
in Accounting because it won't probably matter anyway.


http://www.myaccountingtutor.net
 

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