One of the most common questions I get asked by people considering entering the public accounting world is to explain a typical day in the field. The problem is that there is no such thing as a “typical” day. That’s what makes it so interesting. During my time in the field, which is approximately six years, I have learned something new every day. From preparing tax returns to working on the sale of a company, my day is filled with thought-provoking work.

The tax field’s year is segmented into two seasons – busy season and outside of busy season. I have work to do throughout the year but the busy season months (February-April and September-October) are more demanding than the others. So with all that said, I will do my best to describe how a typical day progresses. I believe the easiest way to show this is with an outline.


Day during busy season

7:00am - Wake up

8:00-8:30am - Commute to the office

8:30-8:45am - Grab a cup of coffee and make my to-do list for the day

8:45-11:00am - Review workpapers

11:00-11:05am - Start getting hungry; ignore it

11:05-12:30pm - Review tax returns

12:30-12:45pm - Grab a quick bite to eat from the café in our office building

12:45-1:45pm - Discuss tax return changes with preparers

1:45-2:45pm - Discuss upcoming jobs with managers

2:45-6:00pm - Review tax return changes

6:00-6:15pm - Head to the kitchen in the hopes that the dinner Kreischer Miller has ordered for us has arrived

6:30-7:00pm - Eat dinner

7:00-9:45pm - Continue reviewing workpapers/tax returns

9:45-9:50pm - Review the day’s to-do list and realize it somehow got longer

9:50-10:15pm - Commute home, being thankful for no traffic


Day outside of busy season

7:30am - Wake up

8:00-8:30am - Commute to the office

8:30-8:35am - Grab a cup of coffee

8:35-10:30am - Review workpapers

10:30-10:40am - Catch up with colleagues

10:40-12:30pm - Review tax returns

12:30-1:30pm - Go out to lunch with a few colleagues

1:30-2:30pm - Meet with staff to discuss preparation of a return

2:30-4:30pm - Work on special projects

4:30-5:30pm - Wrap up work, respond to emails

5:30-6:15 - Sit in rush hour traffic


Keep in mind the days that I have outlined above are very vanilla in nature. Although some days look like this, for the most part each day brings different challenges. There could be meetings with clients, CPE or other training, a wide variety of special projects, and unforeseen work that pops up out of nowhere. It is why I enjoy the field. Constantly challenging myself to learn new things keeps it fresh.

The timelines above also make it seem like there is no room for a personal life outside of work, but that is not the case. Over the years, I have made friends with my colleagues by going to happy hours, playing on the company softball team, and attending events inside and outside of work.

I would like to reiterate that there is no such thing as a “typical” day in the public accounting field. It may seem overwhelming at times to be faced with different issues each day, but I believe it has allowed me to grow as a professional and I look forward to continuing my career in the public tax accounting field.

Editor’s note: If you missed our previous post about a day in the life of a senior accountant in our Audit & Accounting group, read it here!

John Ebling is a Senior Accountant in Kriescher Miller’s Tax Strategies group. He joined Kreischer Miller in 2016 after working for a few years at a small public tax accounting firm. Contact John at Email.




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