Margaret Krenke is a double major in Accounting and MIS who is set to graduate in the spring of 2021. This winter break she had an externship with Keegan, Linscott, and Kenon as well as the General Accounting Office of the State of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.
Please provide a brief description of what you did during your externship:
I partook in two externships. One at KLK (a public accounting firm) and one at the General Accounting Office at the State of Arizona. In the KLK externship, we did a variety of activities working on the computer software with fake tax returns and looking at fake audits to learn about the basis of the two main types of accounting. We also heard from a Consultant at the company who taught us about the aspects of catching fraud at a company level. The KLK externship was all day long whereas the GAO externship was only four hours and consisted mostly of presentations from the variosu sectors of the General Accounting office and other State Departments as to how financials are important in their departments.
Why did you want to do this externship?
I was excited to do this externship because it opened doors into helping me understand the difference between tax and audit as well as learning about various technology systems which are used in accounting firms.
Please describe your externship experience:
I shadowed Bonnie Gonzales, a five year Senior Tax Associate. She presented on the various systems used at the company to perform both individual and company taxes. Along with Bonnie, Matthew a first year tax associate also spoke about the differences between tax and audit and explained why he chose tax. In addition to Mathew and Bonnie, two audit representatives talked to us: Rebecca and Paola. Both groups gave us various activities to complete to learn about the two main types of accounting. In addition to audit and tax representatives one of the partners in the firm: Christopher Linscott, came and spoke to us about his work as a Consultant and helping companies overcome bankruptcy and fraud. The externship was a full day.
What did you learn as a result of this externship?
I learned about the differences in the workload between tax and audit. Tax is more individual whereas audit is more team based and travel driven. While the tax busy season is from January to April, Audit is more year round depending on the industry one audits. I also learned that tax is more based on filing out a variety of forms for the IRS based on financial statements and Audit is based on ensuring the statements are accurate according to government standards.
Anything else you would like to share about your experience?
I feel the experience allowed me to determine what direction I may want to take in my accounting career. The activities we partook in where interesting and engaging. Additionally I learned about the importance of obtaining my CPA as well as other certifications which can open doors to new opportunities.