I studied at Brock University for 4 years in the Bachelor of Accounting program, but it wasn’t until I worked at HSS that I learned about what actually goes on in an accounting firm.
In school, we were obsessed with audits. We glazed over the terms “review engagement” and “compilations”, but we had 3 courses worth of coverage for audit engagements. However, I’ve learned that clients need a vast array of services, and audits are only one part of it. The real world is much more well-rounded than school made it out to be. That was my first lesson.
The real education started when I received my first compilation engagement. University taught me how to make journal entries, but it never mentioned that the greatest learning curve would be the software. I’m so glad the first couple of months were only compilations, as it gave us a chance to actually learn how to use the different functions and technicalities that come with preparing a file.
A big moment in the training process was “My First Time in the Field”. It was daunting, it was foreign, and it was difficult. But then I was scheduled on file after file, and I became a sponge. While I was being said sponge, I failed to recognize that I was being given more and more responsibility until one day (out of nowhere) I was scheduled to prepare an audit file on my own. Every section, every working paper, tax returns and all. And it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard anymore.
That’s what I really continue to appreciate about the training I’m receiving at HSS. It’s a building exercise and it’s subtle. You don’t realize just how much you’ve grown until you’re there. But trust me, it’s a pleasant surprise.