Where are the accountants/finance guys at? I need some advice/help.

Joined Dec 4, 2005
I went to college to get a degree in accounting, but a few years in, turned my focus to finance. When I graduated, the company I was working for offered me apromotion and I took it. Now I am 5 years removed from school and I have no experience in the field I have a degree in. I make good money and I enjoy my job,but this recession/depression is causing me to rethink my career choices. Our business is being hit hard and my experience makes me attractive to othercompanies feeling the same stress we are.

For those who have a career in finance or accounting, what was your first job in your field? What should I be looking for to get my foot in the door? Are youhappy with your job? How long have you been working and where are you at now? What kind of hours would I be working to move ahead?

Any advice/info would be appreciated.
Joined Dec 4, 2005
Skip - yes. Actually it is Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance. Very generic, I know. Like I said, I was at a company that I had been withfor a while. They had given me small promotions while I was going to school. I guess they thought throwing a little more money and a better title would keepme around and it did.

I am trying to figure out if my degree in finance will get me in the door enough to prove I can do the accounting or if I need to go back to school. Every jobopening I have found wants experience and a degree. I want to avoid taking a $10/hr entry level job unless this is the only way.

I can't go fishing around my accounting dept here without raising some red flags. I know there are people in these fields on here.

Joined May 8, 2009
I currently work in Accounting. It's my first Accounting position out of college. It's basically doing accounts payable work, with some other anglesmixed in. If you are looking to get into corporate accounting, they are usually the most apt to take kids with very little experience. However, they'llwork you to the bone...
Joined Feb 4, 2007
I started off as an Accounting Clerk and now I'm a Government biller. Never set out to be an accountant but that's how it worked out. I aint mad atall.
Joined Feb 12, 2003
I graduated with both.

I took the extra semester to grab the finance degree since a lot of overlap was present in my acocunting path.

I graded December 2005 and began my job (where I am today) on January 3rd, 2006.

As many are familiar with, I work in public accounting (there are numerous people who do or have, on here....Deadset, Angel, and a bunch of other names thatI'm drawing blanks at) but not at a Big 4.

There's tons of different options between accounting jobs, most of which are in the private side. Generally, at least from what I've personally seenaround my area, people will spend a bunch of years in public then move to private. Either a client or a certain industry the firm may specialize in.

Public accounting will require the accounting degree for sure and since you're far removed from school and don't really have any accounting experiencein your job, you can expect to be a staff accountant. Salary is usually dictated by area of living and most firms are comparable. I can't remember what ourstaff make, but I'd like to say around $47k and they receive OT for two years. That may be slightly different than a big four.

Hours are long during the early part of the year (ie - Jan to April) for my firm. We're lighter, but not dead the rest of the year. Obviously withoutreporting constraints of the SEC and PCAOB we have less to do overall.

I'd start the process to look at firms in your area and see when they begin the process to hire folks and when they start. I don't know the processwith the Big 4, sorry.
Joined Dec 4, 2005
Thanks for the info everyone.

LazyJ - when you say they "receive OT" do you mean OT is required/offered or they are compensated for it? I don't mind putting in the extrahours. I have never been an 8 and skate guy.
Joined Feb 12, 2003
OT is required during "busy season" and you are rightfully compensated for it. Generally, the rest of the year, OT will require Partner approval.

So basically, staff level (year 1 and 2) you may receive OT pay on top of your base.
Joined Feb 12, 2003
Son gonna keep those PMs for his entire NT tenure.

We get it, we've heard the story. This isn't the post for it.

TXCaddyKing, let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try to answer them.
Joined May 10, 2007
I'm a finance major. graduatiing in a week. i was lucky enough to land a job at a bank utilizing my degree.. times are incredibly rough right now to get aa job tho. Normally kids at my school (esp the business school) ALL have jobs/internships lined up it either banking or consulting. It's not even closethis year to previous, tons of kids are either jobless or in limbo.
Joined Mar 2, 2009
Just finished my Junior year, Accy major. The vibe from recruiters/college of business/news is that accounting is the best route. Accountants are in muchhigher demand right now and the finance jobs are in the gutter for obvious reasons. I've had a couple of internships with a Big Four firm and I loved it.The people are fantastic, you learn a TON about accounting, and there is a wide variety of work you can get into. Of course there's some bias in myresponse, but speaking from a career-only perspective, accounting is the best route at this given time.
Joined Nov 10, 2007
I'm an accountant for a major retailer and some of my coworkers with degrees in finance have now become accountants. I think it's easier to start outin corporate accounting. Do you know anyone at all who could get your foot in the door? Maybe you could try a staffing agency like Kforce or Accountemps?
Joined Feb 2, 2008
LazyJ10 made a lot of good points already.

I'm going to be starting in public accounting at a large firm this October (I'm in LA/OC). I guess the only additional advice I can try to give is totry to go back to school and pick up Accounting (and go for the CPA) if it's not going to take too much time. I just personally think it offers a morestable career path while still having the potential to make a lot of money (a lot of money being relative, of course) in the future.

If you don't really want to go back to school, then starting up somewhere in private/corporate accounting doesn't sound like a bad idea. You can alsotry looking for positions as a Financial Analyst with some companies (I know a lot of my peers who majored in Finance/Accounting ended up being FinancialAnalysts with basically zero experience), but of course locations vary.

Hope this helped you out Caddy
Joined Jul 19, 2004
If you want to do accounting and become a CPA, you're going to have to go back to school. I would recommend it.
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