Interview: The First Year in Accounting

This fall, I sat down with a few of Insero’s audit staff to discuss their experiences during their first year in accounting at the firm. Here is what they had to say:

Erin Heizyk: What about your first year at the firm was surprising or different from what you expected?

Erica Cratsley: I was surprised about the responsibilities that new staff are given. We are given the chance to interact directly with clients from day one as well as constantly take on more responsibility and ownership over the work we are doing.

Edwin Hoefler: I was surprised by the number of people and industries I was able to work with during my first year. I have gotten the opportunity to work for each manager and partner in our audit practice and have had direct interactions with them during the process.

Shannon Allen: I was surprised by how many happy hours and fun events the firm hosts outside of work. I think it’s awesome to get together with everyone and have fun together instead of relationships being strictly work only.

staff in a conference room ready to discuss their first year in accounting

Erin Heizyk: Are there any aspects of the job that took some time to get used to?

Shannon Allen: I had a general idea of what busy season would be like, but with no prior experience I’d say that’s something that took me a while to adjust to. Along with that, getting adjusted to working full-time was a something that took me a couple of months to get used to.

Erin Heizyk: Have you had support as you made the transition from student to full-time employee?

Shannon Allen: I’m pretty impressed with our mentor and advisor programs. It’s extremely helpful as a first year to have someone I can go to ask questions, discuss my schedule, and help manage stressors that come with being a first year and learning something completely new.

Marissa Budwey: The advisor program has been something that really impressed me at Insero too. I have had an ally that I could go to about anything from the moment I started. I had no idea how much I would like having someone that I can talk to about my schedule, career path overall, even the little questions that I was afraid to ask anyone else. They also give us feedback that is passed down, and it is comforting to talk to my advisor about my feedback opposed to someone I don’t interact with constantly.

Erin Heizyk: What stood out to you during your first year at the firm?

Shannon Allen: I’ve appreciated how helpful everyone I have worked with has been. It’s comforting knowing that questions are encouraged and there is no such thing as a stupid question. Along those lines, I am surprised and happy that there is an open door policy around here. I figured that work I performed would go up the chain of command and I wouldn’t really ever interact with managers and partners until I was at a certain level. However, I’ve worked with and received help from multiple managers and partners. There’s a big push for first years to be more open to talking to and working with management instead of feeling like we can only go to select people for help.

Erica Cratsley: Everyone has the opportunity to be involved with out-of-town clients that require some travel. The best part about this is how much we are encouraged to make the most out of personal time in new cities. For many of these jobs we work regular hours and then get to see the city at night. The Audit Department even has a Summer Picture Challenge, which shows how much Partners and Managers expect us to be making the most out of our travel opportunities.

Marissa Budwey: The people that we work with at all levels trust us but are great about on-the-job training. We aren’t expected to know everything walking in the door, we have great group training but I found I have learned most on the job with my peers and managers teaching me. They don’t just tell you how to complete a workpaper, they encourage you to understand the process, why the steps are being completed, and explain how each step fits into the big picture. I started at the firm as an Intern, and by the end of my internship, I was taking responsibility for entire employee benefit plan audit files, not just doing the mindless work I assumed I would be doing.

Adrian Black: One thing that I think stands out about Insero is how much the partner group shares with the firm. I had no idea how much information would be shared with us on through firmwide communication calls. We get regular updates on new clients, events that the firm is participating in, the goals that the partners have set and what is being done to reach those goals, and noteworthy updates from each department and major committee.

To learn more about what it’s like to work for Insero, benefits, and current openings, click here.