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For me this is highly variable. In audit, field work can take anywhere from 30-40 percent of the total time. During those times I am hardly behind a desk. I am out interviewing people or learning how things works in different parts of our company. The remaining 60-70 percent of total time probably has some component of desk work involved. Note that I say that there is a component of desk work involved. This is because most audit professionals will be assigned a laptop that allows for a high degree of mobility. So you do not always have to be behind a desk to do your work.
It's never too early to start laying the groundwork for a successful career in accounting. Find out what you can be doing to prepare for college and your future career as a CPA under our Getting There section (www.startheregoplaces.com where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know from point A to point CPA!
Charles Weinstein, CEO
I have encountered many ethical situations over the course of my 30 year career as a CPA. Somewhere in the course of your career you will face an ethical dilemma. One memorable situation comes to the top of my mind. During the course of an engagement, it came to light that the CFO of a long term client had done something improper. I had a relationship with the CFO for over 10 years, but my training as a CPA, indeed my responsibility as a CPA, led me to speak directly with the shareholders of my client about the problem, immediately upon becoming aware of it. Appropriate action was taken and the Company has continued to thrive. Although it was a painful personal matter, professionally it is always your obligation to do what is right for your client.
As Managing Partner of my firm, I am faced with difficult business decisions every day. From staffing matters to clients matters to matters that impact on how we deal with other accounting firms. Many times I make decisions that are not always the most profitable decisions for our firm because I think it is the fair and ethical thing to do. Being a Certified Public Accountant provides a great ethical compass for how to run your firm.
Michael Goodman, President
As a CPA will I get to count money? While it is very possible that you will get to count money it is unlikely unless the business you are auditing has substantial inventory of currency. As you may know, in order to verify assets like inventory, a CPA will go out to the site and sample counts as part of an inventory. Assets like cash are usually held in bank or investment accounts and are verified by statement or confirm.
Will I be giving advice to those who have trouble with spending money? As a CPA you will have the opportunity to give all kinds of advice. Helping people with their personal finances is a rewarding process. Personal Financial Planning is an area of practice within the CPA universe and if this is an area of interest to you, then you can specialize in PFP.
Will I be holding everyone's tax money? You should not be holding anyone’s tax money.