This summer, I sat down with first-year members of our audit staff to talk about their experiences during their first year of working in public accounting at Insero & Co. CPAs. Here is what they had to say:

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

Spencer Ciulla: The amount of responsibility we are given right off the bat. It’s not an overwhelming amount, but it’s more responsibility than I was expecting.

Morgan Gionta: I didn’t think I’d be interreacting with clients as much as I have. In addition, I enjoy how much we get together outside of work. You get to know people on a more personal level.

Adam Reeder: At Insero, when you start to show an understanding, you gain more responsibility rather than just staying at the same level. I was also surprised at how many different industries I’ve been able to work on, as well as both financial statement audits and employee benefit plan audits.

Carlin Lydon: I like the advisor program and it has been very helpful to me in my first year. Being a first-year isn’t just shot in the dark, they guide you and help you to develop along the way.

Michelle Sile: There is always someone I can ask any question, and there are no stupid questions. I also think that the firm activities like happy hours and volunteer day have been great for me, since I’m often working outside of the office. These events have given me opportunities to get to know everyone in the firm.

Frank Ferrari: I like the SnapEval process. [SnapEval is Insero’s online employee evaluation and recognition tool.] I enjoy being able to see what I need to work on and what I did well in order to develop in my career.

The First Year in Public Accounting, two women working together in an office

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

Michelle Sile: Organization – it’s hard to get used to juggling multiple jobs when you’re switching to a different job from week to week.

Spencer Ciulla: I agree, it can be difficult to keep up with jobs and avoid a backlog.

Adam Reeder: It took some time to get used to the overall audit process in general such as how a job runs, what to do in the file, developing an understanding of how to complete a full file.

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

Morgan Gionta: Having the mentor program has helped me in my transition. It has allowed me to get advice and develop my career goals effectively.

Spencer Ciulla: The In-Charges on the jobs I’ve worked on have been extremely beneficial because they have expectations that we’re not going to know how to do everything and they make themselves available for all questions.

Shannon Allen: What stood out to you during your first year at the firm?

Frank Ferrari: How laid back everyone was, even in busy season. Everyone tries to reduce stress and understands that everyone has a lot on their plate. There’s also no expectation of working 90 hours a week like in a Big 4 firm, and if you are working excessive hours you are expected to communicate that to see how things could get cleared from your plate.

Carlin Lydon: There are a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to experience different departments and different industries within each department as opposed to just looking at one section of one specific industry like in a larger firm.