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Actuary, CFO, Accountant... all people please come in

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  • Actuary, CFO, Accountant... all people please come in

    Hi there, My name is Peterson, I am a college student and study Actuarial Science in the 3rd year. My professor calls me to interview an Actuary, CFO, Accounting or people who are working relate Finance stuff. I hope you guys can spend a few minutes and answer the questions for me. Your answers would be really helpful for me and my groupmate to become an Actuary. Thanks

    1. What is your job title?
    2. How did you get into this field
    3. What kind of training/ experience did you have?
    4. What kind of entry level positions are there?
    5. What is the career ladder for this occupation
    6. What is the salary range for these positions?
    7. What kind of benefits could you except? Educational incentives?
    8. What does the Future look like this occupation?
    9. Describe a typical day.
    10. What do you like most about your job?
    11. What do you like least about your job?
    12. What personality characteristics are most important for this occupation?
    13. What happened when you got this job that you did not expect?
    14. What did you expect to happen when you got this job but did not?
    15. How would you recommend that a person best prepare for this field?
    16. Who else would you recommend that I talk to about this type of work?


    Thanks Again.

  • #2
    I'll answer your questions. I'm an Accountant working at a CPA firm.

    1. What is your job title?
    Accounting Clerk

    2. How did you get into this field
    My grandfather had a friend whose son was an Accountant for Sea World. As a CPA, he made a lot of money. I thought it would be a good, stable career.

    3. What kind of training/ experience did you have?
    I received my associates and then my bachelor's. I am currently enrolled in grad school, but when I pass the Actuary exam 1P, I'm dropping out.

    4. What kind of entry level positions are there?
    All kinds. Some people do Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable or what we call "bookkeeping" like payroll. If you have a Bachelor's and want to sit for the CPA exam, you can get an entry level job in public Accounting like me.

    5. What is the career ladder for this occupation.
    I'm not sure. You start out entry level and you can stay there. Some people work AR or payroll their whole lives. In a CPA firm, you can get your CPA license which makes your billable rate higher. You can then go on to specialize in taxes and open your own firm. Or, if you don't like public Accounting, you can work your way up from AP or AR into management and eventually work as the CFO.

    6. What is the salary range for these positions?
    I started at $13 per hour, but you can go up to $50,000 as a clerk and maybe $80,000-$100,000 as a CPA. This requires a TON of overtime during tax season. If you open your own firm, you can make more.

    7. What kind of benefits could you except? Educational incentives?
    We have no benefits, but my boss is a jerk. I'm sure most CPA firms offer at least medical.

    8. What does the Future look like this occupation?
    People will always need Accountants. There are just too many complicated tax rules that business owners do not understand. So, in the future, there will be plenty of Accounting jobs.

    9. Describe a typical day.
    I either do bank recs for my clients or do their payables. I also do their financial statements which includes finding all variances in their general ledger and making AJE's. I also figure their depreciation and do their payroll taxes. For some of my client's I do their sales and use taxes as well.

    10. What do you like most about your job?
    The people I work with.

    11. What do you like least about your job?
    The job itself. Accounting was a mistake. It's repititous, boring, and requires no actual thought or intelligence. I want to use my brain more.

    12. What personality characteristics are most important for this occupation?
    Patience, especially when dealing with clients. A sense of humor. Otherwise, the job is dull.

    13. What happened when you got this job that you did not expect?
    The reaction from people when I say I work at a CPA firm. They give me a little more respect.

    14. What did you expect to happen when you got this job but did not?
    I thought I would like it. I thought Accounting was harder and had more to do with Math. It has NOTHING to do with Math.

    15. How would you recommend that a person best prepare for this field?
    Do your research. Understand what public Accounting is all about. Know that it requires 60 hour work weeks during tax season. Know that you have to pass the CPA exams to make decent money. Expect to start at the bottom.

    16. Who else would you recommend that I talk to about this type of work?
    Call any CPA firm. They love to advertise their services.

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    • #3
      really old thread I know...came up in a google search...I'm a senior in college and I was just curious to see more replies so I decided to bump

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      • #4
        I would also love to see some replies to this thread. I graduated Univ of DE with a BS in Math/Math education and I'm deciding on a career in accounting or as an actuary. My internship was student teaching, but I've decided to not go into teaching. I'm currently enrolled in one accounting class and studying for the first actuary exam.

        I would love for an actuary to answer the questions asked in this post for another outlook into the profession. Thanks!

        Dana

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