By Avraham Brothman, Untracht Early LLC
For most new graduates, coming into a CPA firm is a great opportunity to start one’s career in accounting. At the same time, there are challenges a staff accountant will face that, without the proper guidance, can become overwhelming.
However, with the proper mindset and the right leadership to offer direction, these challenges can be turned into opportunities. This is particularly true for new staff accountants.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- A new staff accountant is never expected to turn out a perfect tax return from start to finish. Bearing that in mind can alleviate a great deal of stress in the first few years in the accounting industry.
- Communicating with peers and reviewers in a professional manner will show the firm that you’re greatly committed to its success.
- Focusing on completing the basic tasks, such as assisting with extension preparation, basic workpaper preparation and keeping pace with your CPE classes, are all great ways to set yourself up for future accomplishments.
- Ask pointed questions about unclear subjects. Though it’s tempting to say you understand what’s going on, when in truth you’re unsure, it’s better for your development and your work product to ask the questions that will help you gain mastery of skillsets. Managers appreciate you asking for clarification before starting, as opposed to waiting until the deadline is right on top of you and finding out you’re lost.
- Show managers your determination and drive to improve as an accountant. Even though working through a tax return can bring along its share of challenges, working as hard as you can to figure out the return is best.
- Realize this is your chance to show everyone that you are a go-getter and see if you can help the team out or go beyond the call of duty even though it may be easier to just wait for the work to land in your inbox.
In the long term, you’re much better served when you aim to distinguish yourself from your peers.
This original article was published on the New Jersey Society of CPAs' website (January 8, 2020).
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