Deciding whether to specialize in tax or audit is a choice that college accounting majors need to make once they start their careers. For some, the choice is easy. They may instinctively have a sense for which discipline is the better fit with their personality and career goals. Or, their internships have given them enough information to guide them in the right direction. For others, the decision is harder.
We asked a few team members in our Tax Strategies group how they decided to choose tax vs. audit. Here are their responses.
I kind of blindly chose to intern with the tax department with the idea that an internship setting was a great way to temporarily try it out. It ended up being a great fit for my personality. I appreciate the consistency of coming into the office almost every day and having my own space at my desk surrounded by coworkers, who have become close friends. Although I am not working in the field most days like an auditor, I still have had the opportunity to travel to client locations on occasion and I interact with clients on a daily basis. For me, tax has been a great fit and a rewarding experience!
Liz Bishop, SeniorAccountant, Tax Strategies
During my time as an undergraduate, I took advantage of the numerous internship opportunities offered to accounting majors. I made it my goal to complete both an internship in audit and an internship in tax. With this mindset, I was able to weigh my career choices based on these internships and focus on how I wanted to expand my accounting knowledge. This helped point me in the right direction for my career when applying for jobs post-graduation.
Rachel DeFrain, Manager, Tax Strategies
During the first couple of years of college, I had no idea whether I wanted to do tax or audit. It wasn't until my senior year that I made my decision, and it took a lot of time and consideration. Ultimately, I chose tax due to the ability to create a routine in my life. I enjoy being organized and having my days planned ahead of time, so I felt tax would benefit me the most. I thought that commuting to the office everyday would provide balance in my life, which in audit I could have trouble doing if I were traveling to different clients on a weekly basis.
I knew tax was the career path that I wanted to pursue after I finished my internship my senior year of college. It showed me the critical thinking that comes with preparing a tax return. I found that preparing a tax return is very similar to solving a puzzle; both have their challenges and being able to overcome those challenges intrigued me.
Brian Emerson, Manager, Tax Strategies
Choosing between tax and audit as a career path was not a decision that I made overnight. I began by asking a ton of questions and doing research to really learn what each entailed. The best advice that I got on choosing my path was from speaking with those who have made the decision themselves and had “real world” experience as opposed to college courses. I spoke with colleagues, professors, friends, family, and even firm representatives that I met at events.
Once I gained a better understanding of the two fields, I assessed my strengths and weaknesses relating to them, as well as my performance and overall interest in the courses as I took them. I ultimately decided that tax was the best fit for me. Some specific factors that led to this decision included, among others, the idea of having a daily trip to the office over traveling to different clients’ locations and my curiosity about solving tax problems that arose as I took my classes.
Matt Romig, Senior Accountant, Tax Strategies
Here is some more valuable career guidance: