The public accounting internship experience can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a great way for college students to get hands-on, real world career experience and observe firsthand what life is like in public accounting. It’s also a chance to meet new people and begin to create your professional network, and it can offer a path toward a potential job offer. But while those are all very positive elements, being in that real world environment for the first time – especially during busy season – can at times be a little intimidating.
We asked two of our spring semester interns to write about their experiences at various points throughout their journey. In this first post, tax intern Joe Cannella and audit intern Alicia Tewksbury talk about their first few weeks on the job and what they’ve been working on. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the semester!
Joe Cannella, Tax Strategies Intern
I eagerly awaited the first day of my Kreischer Miller internship, which began on January 8th. Three other tax interns and I were welcomed to the firm with a “meet and greet” breakfast, a tour of the office, and lunch with the tax managers. After being assigned a desk, laptop, and security key fob, we began our training.
The first week of training was spent learning company policies and the various software that the tax department utilizes. For example, we were introduced to the client information, workflow automation, and time entry software.
The coolest aspect of our first week was the Scavenger Hunt. All of the interns and first year staff were split up into groups of three and assigned a list of 30 interesting facts about people in the office. Finding the person who matched each fact on our list made it easy to meet people from all of the various departments. We also had the pleasure of taking a director of our choosing to lunch during the Scavenger Hunt!
The second week of training was devoted to individual and trust return training. I was a little nervous leading up to my internship because I’d only had one tax class at Temple and had never prepared a tax return before, but that feeling disappeared when training began. The entire week was spent learning how to fill out 1040 and 1041 forms line-by-line using a fictional client. It’s a lot to take in initially, but the team members who led our training were awesome teachers and willing to answer any question. Also, a different director joined us for lunch each day, which was another great way to get to know some of the directors we’d be working with in the months to come.
The next few weeks following training were spent completing various projects around the office. This time was valuable because it gave us a chance to settle in and get to know people before things ramped up. I handled tasks such as entering information into the client software, preparing tax organizers for mail, and completing small projects for a few senior accountants, who took time to thoroughly explain everything that needed to be done. Mid-way through February, our workload quickly started to increase, and we began preparing numerous 1040’s and 1041’s.
The best part about my experience with Kreischer Miller so far has been the people and the culture. Everyone in the office is willing to answer questions and offer help when we come across an item we’re unfamiliar with. The directors keep their office doors open and frequently work with staff and seniors, which has been amazing to see.
While I’ve never worked for another accounting firm, I have no doubt that Kreischer Miller’s team environment is something special. The workload will continue to increase and become more challenging, but I’m excited to challenge myself and I’m confident Kreischer Miller will put me in a position to succeed.
Joe Cannella attends Temple University and will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting in August 2018. In order to enhance his knowledge of accounting, Joe will complete the Master of Accountancy (MACC) program at Temple University beginning in September 2018. In his free time, Joe enjoys playing/watching sports and spending time with friends and family.
Alicia Tewksbury, Audit & Accounting Intern
I’m so happy that I decided to interview for and was able to attend the Kreischer Miller Experience (the firm’s summer leadership program for college accounting students) in the summer of 2017, because it was through that event that I was offered an internship. During the two weeks between my college graduation day in December and the first day of my internship in January, I was nothing but excited and eager to start.
When I walked in on my first day on January 2, I was greeted by Kristin Seeger, Kreischer Miller’s Recruiting Manager, who I had originally interviewed with. I was then introduced to the other four audit interns and three new audit staff members that I would spend the next two weeks with in training.
During those two weeks, we were familiarized with the computer software that we would be using during our assignments, went over common audit procedures for Cash, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Fixed Assets (areas that we would most likely be assigned to during engagements), and got to take the time to learn the layout of the building. We were also given our own company laptops to use and were assigned a desk with everything else we would need for our internship.
Training could be a bit overwhelming at times, but you’re not expected to remember every single detail – they just want to make sure you’ve at least had an introduction to various programs and procedures so you’re not completely thrown off when you’re asked to do something similar in fieldwork. I was glad I had completed my Auditing course in the preceding semester so that a lot of terms and concepts that were used and explained during our training were still pretty fresh in my memory.
On the second to last day of our training, we were broken up into teams for the Scavenger Hunt. Teams were a mix of interns and new staff in both the audit and tax departments, which gave us a good opportunity to introduce ourselves and get to know each other a little better, since audit training had started a week earlier than tax. The Scavenger Hunt was a great teamwork activity that allowed us to get to know more about the firm’s team members as well as the local Horsham area. It was a really fun activity to finish off our last week of training before we got a taste of actual work the following Monday.
Most interns worked in the office for most of January, helping out a variety of seniors and managers with small tasks on some of their engagements. I enjoyed this time because it allowed me to familiarize myself with the computer software and programs I’d be using before I had to go out on an engagement of my own. When it was time for me to go out to my first client, I was a little nervous, but the team I was with was extremely helpful and encouraged me to ask questions about anything I wasn’t sure how to do.
One of the things I love about interning with Kreischer Miller is how helpful team members are. I never get nervous about asking a “stupid” question – team members are happy to clarify anything you’re confused about and are glad to help you learn something new while you’re working together. The first few weeks have been a bit of a slower pace, but I’m looking forward to working with a bunch of different teams throughout the upcoming busy season!
Alicia Tewksbury attended Bloomsburg University and graduated in December 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. In order to enhance her knowledge of accounting and successfully pass the CPA exam, Alicia will return to Bloomsburg University after completing her internship with Kreischer Miller to work toward earning her Master’s degree. During her free time, she enjoys reading, being outdoors, and spending time with family, friends, and her puppy Jackson.
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