I started working at Hogg, Shain & Scheck at the beginning of September 2014. The first few weeks were relatively straightforward. The firm made it pertinent that I developed the technical aspects of using the different types of software. The HSS team wanted me to understand that real world scenarios were not covered in much detail at the university level (such as payroll).
The amount of time I had at the beginning really eased my learning curve. Progressively I came to understand the different types of engagements and the general nature behind accounting transactions.
I really appreciated the in-depth training HSS provided as it helped me tackle the different types of engagements in the future. It helped me develop the appropriate thinking process behind making transactions and not just the raw answer. Around this training process I had coworkers telling me to appreciate the spare time, as when you’re not busy you should study for your professional exams. They cautioned me that work would become more demanding in the busier months ahead. However judging on the plentiful time I had, and the fact that I wasn’t tackling a file independently at this time, I thought I would be able to easily handle and balance everything. However I would quickly realize the nature of working in public accounting.
November came rolling around I was scheduled for my first fieldwork. I thought it was simple in the beginning as we received the information from the client and we were working on the engagement. I was treating it like my previous compilation engagements, thinking it was just as straightforward. I quickly learned that every engagement is different and that new steps may apply with changing scenarios. The learning curve started to become steep at this point as I started to apply more of the theory. I encountered situations that I was unfamiliar with, so I had to manage my time after work to properly learn and understand the different situations, while studying for my professional exams.
It started to become difficult to balance everything I wanted to accomplish, so I sought out the advice of my HSS managers and peers. This is when I learned the best approach to balancing work as a public accountant – Be flexible with your time. Just because the clock hits 5 it doesn’t necessarily mean work is done. Especially in this stage of my career I’m learning and applying new things every day, and sometimes you have to be flexible with your time in order to learn things properly.
Being flexible with my time became essential to grasping new concepts and growing from new experiences. Soon I felt well adjusted and prepared for new scenarios. By the end of November I went on to my second and third field experiences, and the rest is history as they say.
Fortunately I’m lucky to have helpful seniors, managers, partners, and fellow students to guide me through the unfamiliar situations. It’s a learning experience everyday and I’m grateful that I have the support at HSS to learn and ask questions.