Seeking to know about Your Experience as an Accountant


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I'm hoping you guys can help me - I'm working on a course for high school students, helping them explore careers so they have a better awareness of their opportunities before they reach college.

One of the fields we are exploring is accounting and am asking for you help in answering the following questions:

1. What do you wish you had known about being an accountant when you were selecting your career path?
2. Benefits and drawbacks of being an Accountant?
3. How would you best explain what you do on a day to day basis, as an accountant, through a brief simulation? (ex. Would you have them sit in front of a computer analyzing a spreadsheet, or an exercise on following rules, etc.?)
4. What advice do you have for High school students about Accounting?

Thank you in advance!

Anetta from OnTrak
 
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I'm hoping you guys can help me - I'm working on a course for high school students, helping them explore careers so they have a better awareness of their opportunities before they reach college.

One of the fields we are exploring is accounting and am asking for you help in answering the following questions:

1. What do you wish you had known about being an accountant when you were selecting your career path?
2. Benefits and drawbacks of being an Accountant?
3. How would you best explain what you do on a day to day basis, as an accountant, through a brief simulation? (ex. Would you have them sit in front of a computer analyzing a spreadsheet, or an exercise on following rules, etc.?)
4. What advice do you have for High school students about Accounting?

Thank you in advance!

Anetta from OnTrak

1. What do you wish you had known about being an accountant when you were selecting your career path?

Not sure if this answers the question, however I wish I had re-studied the basics before starting my first role.

At university I was so focused on drilling down into very specific accounting policies/practises that I had neglected the basics and when it came down to actually completing accounting work I was behind other members (especially those who had come straight from school).

2. Benefits and drawbacks of being an Accountant?

Opportunities are always available in lots of areas if you have an accounting background, and you can provide useful advice to people who need it and appreciate it. The drawbacks are that in the first few years the hours are quite strenuous.

3. How would you best explain what you do on a day to day basis, as an accountant, through a brief simulation? (ex. Would you have them sit in front of a computer analyzing a spreadsheet, or an exercise on following rules, etc.?)

This is quite an open question because of the range of things an accountant might do. Some specialise in certain areas while others may be more general. Also your question asks what I do and then what I'd get a new accountant to do. So I'll answer in what I think would be the best training for a new accountant in an chartered accounting environment (this would also apply to management accounting up to point c):

a. Firstly, I cover or get them to re-cover the basics to patch up any missing knowledge a grad might have.
b. Give them a simple set of financials for a year (and/or period) and run through how they were produced.
c. Get them to produce the next years (and/or periods) financials
d. Provide scenarios of a new client coming on board and how we would deal with those matters.
e. Get them to provide advise to their own clients based on information provided by those clients.
f. Give them their own clients to manage.

4. What advice do you have for High school students about Accounting?
I think the key to understanding accounting stems from the last few years at high school, at university you get into a lot more detail but those basics you learnt at high school are the most important in the real world.
 
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