The public accounting internship experience can be incredibly rewarding. But being in a "real world" environment for the first time – especially during busy season – can also 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 third and final post in the series, tax intern Joe Cannella and audit intern Alicia Tewksbury talk about the last few weeks of their time with Kreischer Miller and what they took away from their internship experience.
Joe Cannella, Tax Strategies Intern
The last month of my internship was where I got the full experience of busy season. At this point, the other tax interns and I were working long hours and work was being assigned more frequently. During the final few weeks leading up to the tax deadline, my time was split between preparing new returns, finishing older returns, and preparing extensions for returns that needed additional time to finalize. Naturally I felt a little pressure as the deadline approached, but I was confident that I was up for the challenge and proved to myself that I can perform under the pressure of a deadline.
My work slowed down two days before the deadline, so I spent those days assisting with whatever I could. I primarily helped other team members assemble returns and prepare extensions, and I also prepared a handful of returns that came in later than expected. It was incredible to see how much work got done in final few weeks leading up to the 17th.
It’s been amazing to look back at my experience and see how much I’ve grown during my first busy season in public accounting. During my initial handful of 1040s, I had so many questions and preparing an entire return would take up most of the budgeted hours. But as I prepared more returns, the number of questions I had decreased significantly, and I was able to work at a much quicker pace as my confidence grew. I had never prepared a tax return prior to my internship, so it’s incredible to see how much practical and hands-on knowledge I gained in just a few months.
I enjoyed every aspect of my internship at Kreischer Miller, but there were a few things that stood out to me the most. First, I enjoyed the variety of people I was able to work with. It was so cool to have the chance to work with so many different people during my internship because I was able to learn something new from everyone I worked with. This was so beneficial to me and it had a big impact on my growth as a professional.
Also, it was amazing to witness and be a part of the firm’s incredible team dynamic. Everyone I had the pleasure of working with always found time to answer questions, which was easier said than done during the craziness of busy season. And during crunch time, we all helped each other out with whatever work needed to be finished, regardless of whether it was a return you worked on or not.
Finally, the most important thing I get to take away from my internship is the certainty that public accounting is the right career path for me. I enjoy being challenged and learning new things every day, which is something I’ll never stop doing in the constantly changing landscape of accounting/tax laws.
Kreischer Miller truly met or surpassed all of the expectations I had prior to the start of my internship and I enjoyed every day I spent in the office. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to experience my first busy season in public accounting!
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
The last few weeks of my internship continued to be just as rewarding as my first two months. I definitely feel as though I have become more efficient in auditing areas like Cash and Fixed Assets since I have been working with those since my first few weeks. My seniors and managers continued to show me more efficient ways to complete work papers, and they were always eager to explain new sections and procedures to me whenever I completed my original assignments.
While the majority of my internship was spent working on the audits of financial statements, I had the opportunity to help out on a few Employee Benefit Plan audits during my last couple of weeks at the firm. I was glad I got a chance to work on those because it gave me a broader understanding of the audit services Kreischer Miller provides to its clients.
During my time at Kreischer Miller, I was able to work on-site at nine different client locations, which was more than I was originally expecting! It was great to work on-site at client offices because I got a better understanding of the clients' businesses and the industries they’re in. It also allowed for more efficient communication since I could ask questions and speak with client management face-to-face.
In the weeks following the completion of my internship, I was able to reflect on my time at Kreischer Miller. This internship has been such a rewarding experience, more than I could have expected. I realized that I really didn’t know much about what a career in public accounting would be like prior to this. I’m so glad I had this opportunity because it gave me a chance to decide that a career in public accounting is definitely something I can see in my future. I’m so thankful to have been a part of the Kreischer Miller team for those three months - it really did feel like I was a part of a big family!
I am so appreciative to those that I have had the chance to work with during my internship because not only have they helped me grow as an accountant, but they have also helped me enhance my critical thinking and communication skills. I have learned so much during my internship and met so many great people. I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to intern at such a wonderful firm and feel prepared to take on whatever my future in public accounting holds!
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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