My Education: MS in Accounting, Eastern Michigan University BA in Accounting, Western Michigan University
My Prior Experience: I worked in the Finance Department of a large book retailer (corporation). I completed bank reconciliations and prepared basic journal entries. With the same employer, I filed, reviewed, and paid sales and use tax returns.
My Company: I work for a governmental agency that is concerned with conserving and managing water resources.
Job/Career Overview: My current accounting job involves daily, monthly, quarterly, annual, and ongoing tasks. On a daily basis, I respond to internal and external e-mails. An example of an internal e-mail would be someone from within the organization asking me to record a journal entry to reclassify an expense from one expense line to another. External calls usually involve various requests for information, such as asking for my organization's Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
Each month, I complete various reconciliations to reconcile the state grant money received and spent. Also, I prepare a monthly treasurer's report that shows the agency's cash and investments on hand, which is presented to the Governing Board.
Finally, I file an annual report to the state which reports the value of investments. Of course, my supervisor occasionally assigns me various accounting-related projects after giving me instructions and allowing me to ask questions.
I rate this career 8 out of 10.
The best parts about my career are that my organization supports a worthwhile cause, there is variety in the assigned tasks, and opportunities for career advancement exist. Also, I get along well with the people that I work with, and we often say "How are you doing?" or "Have a good weekend." Basically, it is a friendly work environment.
The worst parts of my career involve a lack of clear communication and the monotony of working on tasks that seem tedious and unnecessary. Working in my field involves a lot of patience and a "can do" attitude.
Nowadays, to secure a job in the field of accounting, it is a must to have at minimum of a four-year Bachelor's degree in Accounting. Better yet, your employer will favor you more highly if you also have a Masters degree and/or a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Having passed the CPA exam or furthering your education will show the company that you are willing to go above and beyond the absolute minimum for furthering your education and technical accounting skills.
Accountants must be detail-oriented, organized, and must be able to meet deadlines. Sloppy and careless work will probably lead to poor job evaluations by your supervisor and will definitely hinder your opportunities for job promotion. Accounting careers pay well, but there is also a great deal of responsibility.