In January of 2017, four other interns and I sat in Kreischer Miller’s lobby waiting for our internship – and our first busy season – to begin. Our first day began with a “meet and greet” breakfast with the rest of the firm and a tour of the office. After that, we were on our way.
When you hear about internship experiences other students have had, you sometimes hear about them getting coffee and doing other “busy work.” That wasn’t the case at Kreischer Miller. Here, we were treated as if we were full-time staff.
Our first week of training consisted of learning company policies and procedures. We learned how to bill clients and we were trained on the software Kreischer Miller uses. The next week was spent learning how to complete an individual tax return and a trust tax return. We also learned how to research issues regarding a return. For example, during training we researched which expenses are allowed to be deducted on an individual return. During individual and trust training we were walked through - line by line - how to complete a 1040 and a 1041. It was a little overwhelming at first because I had only had one tax class, but you are taught everything you need to know in training.
The next two to three weeks after training were filled with completing a few returns and other miscellaneous projects. Those three weeks were key, because they gave us the opportunity to review our slides and notes and to put what we learned to work. We were also able to take our time going through the returns and ask questions.
During that time, we hadn’t yet received all of the information from one of the clients I was assigned so I wrote all of my questions down and put them aside for when we received it. A month and a half later, we finally received the information and I went back to my notes. I discovered that I now had answers to all of my original questions because over that month and a half I had prepared more than 100 returns! That shows how much hands-on experience and valuable knowledge I acquired during busy season.
Accomplishing our first busy season was definitely a good feeling for many reasons. It showed that we’re capable of handling the time and effort required during these hectic few months. It was a lot of hours and there is pressure put on you, but everything is a team effort. It also showed me that I am in the right field; public accounting is the right career path for me and I know that I can survive future busy seasons.
If I was to pick a favorite thing during my internship at Kreischer Miller, it would be the last week before the deadline because during that week I watched everyone in the firm work together as a team to get returns out. I saw team members step in to help out on returns that weren’t initially assigned to them. It truly was a team effort.
My advice to future interns would be to take as many notes as you can - especially during training - because so much knowledge and information is shared with you. I would also suggest asking as many questions as possible during your first six weeks because that is when your seniors, managers, and directors will have the most time to sit down and go over information with you. And don't be nervous to ask managers and directors questions because everyone at Kreischer Miller is glad to share their knowledge and expertise. I would also say to meet as many people in the firm as you can. You want people to know who you are and the best way to do that is to network with your co-workers. Lastly, enjoy your internship. You will meet so many great people and learn so much. It goes by quickly and before you know it, those 15 weeks will be over. So, enjoy it!
John Lowry attends Temple University. He will graduate in December 2018 with 150 credits and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance. When he's not studying or working, John enjoys playing with his dog Jax, hanging out with his family and friends, and watching football and hockey.
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