Tax or Audit?

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Blogger Caroline Ferguson

Tax or audit? That is one of the most asked questions when you are interviewing with potential employers and networking accounting professionals in general. It’s a tough question to answer because most of the time, when you’re recruiting for accounting firms, you will have no idea. I know I didn’t. So, to help you get a better picture of both, I’m going to give you my sales pitch for tax and Tue Tran, another TA and blogger, will be giving you a better picture of audit in a later post.

Plot Twist: I actually went through recruiting in audit and signed my initial internship offer in audit too. I had been told that if I was a social person, which I am, then audit was for me, so I decided to go audit and eventually signed my offer in audit. However, I had already signed a summer seasonal offer to help out in the tax practice at PwC. At the time, I just thought it was going to be good work experience and that I would just power through tax busy season and then go into audit.

However, as the summer went on, I started to really enjoy the work and love the people I worked with. So, fast forward, I switched my internship offer to tax, completed another tax internship in the winter, and am now about to finish up my third seasonal internship. From all my internship experience, here are some things about tax that you usually don’t hear about.

One of the most common things that people will tell you is that if you are social to go audit, but really tax is for social people too! One of the things that I really like about tax is that not only are the people on your group or team really close, but you also get to know everybody from other groups because you’re on the same floor every day, and you also work closely with various groups to complete client work. In comparison with audit, where you have the potential to jump from client to client and consistently have a completely different team from month to month. Another common misconception that you will hear is that tax professionals do not have much interaction with the client. Although, it is true that audit will definitely have more interaction with the client, in my experience, we actually have quite a bit of client interaction through conference calls and even going to the client site on a weekly basis.

With all this being said, what actually drew me over to tax was the work. I think one of my seniors put it best when she said “in tax you have more ownership of the work earlier than audit.” I have found this to be completely true. As I have gained more knowledge throughout my internships, I have also gained autonomy and been given more discretion when preparing work papers and have also started to be able to participate in some discussions about problems that arise and the plans to fix them.

I hoped this has given you some insight into tax and will help you make a well-informed decision. However, whichever way you go, internships are rewarding and, while it is to your advantage to make a decision between the two while going through recruiting, you can always switch if you pick audit or tax and find that it is truly not for you!

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Apply for Internships and Entry-Level Jobs During National Meet the Firms Week

Accountingfly and AICPA PCPS are hosting National Meet The Firms Week Oct. 19-23. Meet the Firms Week is a free, online recruiting event that connects accounting students with accounting firms across the country for internships and entry-level positions. Webinars will be held all week on topics including accounting education options, the CPA exam, career paths, career success and more. Sign up for the entire series with a simple registration and attend only the sessions that interest you. If your schedule conflicts with a webinar – no worries! You will receive a recording link for each session just by registering.

For questions, contact Judy Schryver at

Learn more and sign up today!

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Interested in Accounting? Give it a try!

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Blogger: Randy Moser

My biggest piece of advice for anyone interested in accounting, or any other career for that matter, is to get hands-on experience. It may seem daunting at first to “knock on the door” asking for a summer job or internship; however, there are many different paths that can be taken. Depending on where you are in your educational career, there are several options. Remember, the earlier you start the more informed and prepared you will be!

If you are a junior or senior in high school, ask around for advice on possible summer or part-time accounting internships. At this level, some of the tasks may not be heavily based in accounting; however, support tasks are part of everyone’s job in accounting. Once at the internship, express interest in more challenging tasks to further advance yourself and your knowledge. A key benefit to internships at this point is building up your resume as well as setting yourself up for a recurring summer internship or job.

If you are a freshman or sophomore in college, most of the larger accounting firms offer leadership programs that give you exposure to the company and can put you on track for a job when you finish school. To find out about these programs, visit their websites and search for leadership programs. Beyond leadership programs, internships and summer jobs are still key ways to build up your accounting knowledge and experience. Also, be sure to use your school’s resources such as the career center, professors, student organizations (like Beta Alpha Psi), and school programs (such as 5-year programs). An officer position in an accounting-related student organization is a great way to be involved, show your people skills, and build up your resume.

If you are a junior or senior, college resources such as those already mentioned are very important. They will help you build a network and get exposure to the accounting professionals in your area. Additionally it can be difficult to get exposure to larger firms and land your dream job at this point without having a strong resume.

After entering graduate school, your social network ties become extremely important on the job hunt. Often jobs can come from friends and acquaintances you made with upperclassmen who are now in their full-time jobs. Other places include your college’s career center and faculty recommendations.

Finally, some general advice when searching for an internship or job, don’t ask for one! This goes for looking for a job as well, too. People do not like being put on the spot; however, asking for advice is a great way to indirectly ask them. Asking for advice gives the person you are talking to the opportunity to give advice, which is always helpful, while leaving the door open to them to bring you in on any opportunities they might be aware of among their own contacts.

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Summer Lovin’

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Blogger John Phelan

A new school year can be daunting – new classes, new schedules, new routines. I’m sure you’re muttering under your breath: take me back to summer! Well, I’ve got good news: it’s time to start thinking about next summer.

No, I’m not talking about booking your summer vay-cays. I’m talking about jobs.

If you’re an accounting major or considering accounting as your major, you’ve probably got one thing on your mind: a full time job. So how do aspiring students obtain full-time employment in the accounting world? One simple word: internships.

Accounting firms and industry corporations start their internship recruiting cycles anywhere from one to two years before the internship’s scheduled start date. (I once accepted an internship offer to start over two years later!) Planning and timing is crucial to landing an internship. Firms and corporations also typically recruit juniors to intern as seniors, a year later. So what if you’re a freshman or sophomore, several years from the big internship? That’s where planning comes in.

To be considered for a top internship among other top students, you must position yourself as a top candidate. To be a top candidate, you need a strong GPA, effective communication skills, extra-curricular involvement, and job experience. You’re thinking: I need work experience so I can land an internship so I can be hired full-time? Yep.

So let’s go back to our next summer’s plans. The Big 4, mid-market firms, small firms, and industry corporations all start their summer internship and temporary work recruiting in the preceding fall – which is now! If you’ve got your eye on the big prize at the end of the road, now is the time. Now is the time to solidify your resume with real, qualified business experience, whether it’s a job in corporate accounting, internal audit, external audit, tax, or any of the other countless avenues of accounting.

So, no, it’s not take me back to summer – rather it’s can’t wait for next summer!

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Introducing TXCPA2B’s newest bloggers!

TSCPA is excited to introduce you to 10 new TXCPA2B bloggers from the University of Texas at Dallas! Learn more about these future CPAs on the Meet the Bloggers page, and stay tuned for their stories and insight from their personal journeys to the CPA credential.

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She Passed the CPA Exam at 17!

Belicia Cespedes became one of the youngest CPAs in the world when she successfully passed the CPA exam at age 17. Read more about how she did it — and what she plans to do next.

Journal of Accountancy print issue

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Becker Professional Education and TSCPA Host CPA Exam Informational Webinar

The registration process for the CPA designation can be confusing and taxing! Join Becker Professional Education and TSCPA for a free webinar on Friday, May 1 at noon to help answer your questions and set you on the path toward becoming a CPA. Topics will include: Texas state license and education requirements, strategies for exam preparation, information on Becker’s CPA Exam Review, and more. For more information, contact Kim Holland at

To register for the webinar, please RSVP at:


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