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 second post in the series, tax intern Joe Cannella and audit intern Alicia Tewksbury talk about the hands-on client experience they've been getting in the past few weeks.
If you missed their first post, you can check it out here. And stay tuned for their final installment in a few weeks!
Joe Cannella, Tax Strategies Intern
At this point in my internship, the client tax information has begun to come in quickly and my workload has increased significantly compared to the first month or so. I am now working fifty to sixty hours a week and am starting to get the full experience of my first busy season in public accounting!
My days are comprised of preparing and assembling individual tax returns as well as trust tax returns. The returns I’ve worked on so far have varied in both length and difficulty. For example, I’ve prepared numerous 1040’s and 1041’s that only have a few sources of income and I’ve also prepared a handful of returns that have a large amount of information and take a few hours to prepare. I’ve enjoyed working on the more difficult returns because those are the ones I’ve grown the most from.
Now that we’ve passed the March 15th deadline for business returns, reviewers have been able to start reviewing the returns that I and the other tax interns have prepared so far. This has allowed me to begin learning and understanding what I’ve done incorrectly on the returns I’ve prepared, so that I don’t make those mistakes moving forward. I have really appreciated the time that my reviewers have taken to answer questions and explain certain review points I may not fully understand.
I, along with my fellow interns, have really enjoyed working with a variety of seniors, managers, and directors thus far because we’ve been able to get to know everyone we work with. More importantly, we’ve been able to learn something new from everyone, which has helped us grow as young professionals. I’ve been able to pick up on things as simple as preparing a workpaper more efficiently or how to utilize certain software more effectively, to more complex subjects such as what is or is not taxable in various states or what can be taken as a deduction from a settlement statement.
Like I mentioned in my prior post, the team aspect of Kreischer Miller is amazing to observe and be a part of. My reviewers always offer to help with items they realize I likely have not seen before and will need some help entering into returns correctly. Even though it is busy season and the workload is large, I haven’t felt overwhelmed and feel that I’ve been put in positions to succeed. My time spent here so far has been a constant learning experience and I’m already beginning to see the strides I’ve made since my first returns. The other interns and I have even become comfortable enough to begin answering each other’s simple questions when the opportunity presents itself.
We’re approaching the home stretch of busy season and I couldn’t be more excited to continue to take on challenges, face them, and eventually grow from them as part of the Kreischer Miller team!
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
Since my last post, busy season has been in full swing. I’ve been out at clients’ offices almost every week for the past five weeks. Luckily, most of my clients have been no more than 40 minutes away from my house. The farthest I’ve had to travel was Center City Philadelphia, but I was able to take a train to avoid dealing with crazy city traffic.
Being able to go out to the clients’ offices has been incredibly insightful. It’s an experience that you really can’t get from sitting in a classroom. I’ve even been able to interact with senior management level positions in these companies.
Luckily, most of my clients have been really great with getting us any support we’ve needed for our audits, which has been extremely helpful with getting workpapers done during fieldwork. During my engagements, I’ve been completing workpapers mostly in the Cash and Fixed Assets sections, but I’ve also done some work with Prepaids, Accounts Payable, and analytics in general.
For Cash, I’ve been testing a lot of bank reconciliations and looking into outstanding checks and interbank transfers. For Fixed Assets testing, I’ve mainly been doing rollforwards and looking into any additions and disposals the company has had over the past fiscal year. I’ve also been able to learn how to do a Search for Unrecorded Liabilities. As I’ve been performing these procedures over and over again for my various clients, I’ve noticed that it’s getting easier each time I do it. The biggest challenge has been realizing that procedures you do for one client may not necessarily work well for another client, especially if they’re in different industries.
Being out at the clients’ offices has really shown me just how important it is to gain an understanding of each company and the industry they are in, especially for analytic purposes. If you don’t really understand your client’s industry and ask them about any big changes or events they may have dealt with in the past year, it’s hard to determine what changes are considered reasonable or irregular for your client when you look at their numbers analytically.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to work with a variety of seniors and staff on my different engagements. While I’ve worked with so many people in the two months I’ve been here, I’ve noticed that while everyone may do things a little differently, everyone is so similar personality and work-wise. You can tell that Kreischer Miller knows what to look for in potential employees during the hiring process to add to the great work culture at the firm.
Everyone is always so helpful with any questions team members have no matter what position you are in. You can tell that these audit engagements are a team effort and that teamwork and communication are the most important things when working together on a client (besides the obvious accounting knowledge). Interning with Kreischer Miller continues to be such a great experience, and while I feel like I’ve already learned so much, I’m sure I’ll learn much more in my last few weeks here!
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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