Beginner’s Guide to the First Year of Accounting
In September 2013, I was interviewed by Copeland Buhl & Company employees for a full-time staff accountant position. Over the course of the day, I met a variety of employees who greeted me kindly, discussed company sponsored events, and explained their experience working at the company. I remember driving home after the interviews feeling very impressed. Everyone I met that day had truly seemed to enjoy working at Copeland Buhl and I eagerly awaited to hear back from them over the next few weeks. In October 2013, the wait was over and I was thrilled to receive a full-time offer of employment. As a college student, this was an exciting opportunity. While most college seniors were stressing over finding employment, I no longer had to worry about my plans after college and could simply focus on finishing the school year.
The school year went by quickly and before I knew it, it was October 2014 and time to begin my first day at Copeland Buhl. I was nervous. Even after obtaining a degree in accounting, I didn’t know what to expect. My first day wasn’t traditional. After a half day of training, all of the employees in the company went to a regional park where we were split into teams of five for an orienteering challenge. In our groups, we were to use a map and compass to navigate the park in an effort to find all of the hidden flags. I quickly learned that teamwork is very important at Copeland Buhl.
During my first year, I have worked on a large variety of projects. These projects have consisted of drafting individual and business tax returns, aiding in tax planning, engaging in 401(k) audits, compiling financial statements, recruiting, implementing the vision, mission, and values, and interacting with clients. Each of these experiences has helped me to grow in my career and develop a better understanding of the accounting profession. This was also the first, full-time tax season I participated in. Based on rumors I had heard about busy season in general while I was attending college, I had been expecting overly-caffeinated, exhausted, irritable, and stressed-out accountants panicking to meet the deadline. However, this was not my experience. The overall environment at Copeland Buhl remained mostly the same. Yes, there was more work to be accomplished and longer hours put in, but everyone remained helpful and courteous and we were able to complete the tax season in good spirits.
Copeland Buhl’s most unique feature is its employees. These are a group of individuals dedicated to the success of their clients and fellow co-workers, as well as the overall firm. I have learned that while college may prepare you with the basics, true understanding does not come until you begin working on the projects. Throughout my first year, I have had many questions and my co-workers have been great in providing answers and guidance. Employees go out of their way to assist the clients and help each other. There have been many instances where employees have sacrificed their time to stay late to ensure projects are completed before the various deadlines: all for the benefit of the client.
One year later, I am no longer fresh out of college, but I am still impressed with Copeland Buhl. I have learned a tremendous amount from the company’s wonderful employees and believe the company to consist of a talented, knowledgeable, hard-working, and trustworthy group of individuals. Through their support, I have had a great first year and I continue to look forward to the many challenges to come.