Tax Accountant (Male, Age 23) in Philadelphia, PA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 23 who works as a Tax Accountant in Philadelphia, PA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleTax Accountant
Salary$52,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week
Company Size(not answered)
LocationPhiladelphia, PA
Years Experience2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Ernst & Young. It is an international professional services firm with 200K+ employees. They primarily work with accounting related functions in the areas of Auditing, Taxation, and Advisory Services.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I primarily work on tax compliance and tax provision work for various corporate/individual clients that we have. Tax compliance entails preparing tax returns for companies and any other items related to this process. Tax provision work entails auditing a company’s tax provision that they will ultimately put on their public financial statements.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
15 days of vacation; sick leave on an “as-needed” basis (no limit); Blue Cross insurance; 401K (w/ company contributions)

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Under

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, I work with co-workers, seniors, managers, senior managers, partners, as well as specific client individuals at their respective corporate headquarters. Whether or not I enjoy working with these individuals depends on who these individuals are. Due to the nature of this business, I could be working with one person one day and another person the next. This is due to the fact that there are different people on each engagement. In general, I enjoy working with people and feel that it helps me improve my interpersonal communication skills.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Typically, I work at the corporate EY office. As it is located in Center City, what I do not like about it is that I usually need to take the train into the city, which doubles my commute time than if I were to drive in. I do not drive because parking is $28/day for our building. What I do like about the office is that I have my own cubicle; there is a kitchen with brewed Starbucks coffee; and it usually is not too hot or cold. I am also on the 28th floor so I have a great view of the city.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 7
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 5
Supervisors: 4
Job Title: 3
Level of Responsibility: 8
The Actual Work: 6

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Campus Recruiting and networking through firm-sponsored campus social events

What was the application process?
Spoke with campus recruiter; submitted resume, got called for a phone interview; did an office visit and two more interviews there; got call back a few days later with offer!

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
(Same as last question) Spoke with campus recruiter; submitted resume, got called for a phone interview; did an office visit and two more interviews there; got call back a few days later with offer!

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
1. Describe a situation where you had to lead a group and there was a conflict. How did you resolve the conflict?

2. I see “such-and-such” activity/experience on your resume. Tell me more about that.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes; the week-long trainings are very beneficial, although they can be a bit overloading sometimes. The on-the-job training ties everything together.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, there are week-long trainings every 4-6 months. These involve firm-wide trainings with various course listings that are both required and optional. When I first started, there was a week-long office orientation, followed by a national orientation with all of the new tax hires around the country.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
It prepared me to understand the concepts of my job. I am constantly learning on a daily basis. There is always something new to learn.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I never did an internship. I was planning on going straight into my master’s, however I got an full-time offer from this firm before I had to make that decision. I will be pursuing my master’s this coming year, as it will be sponsored by my firm.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
The best degree to get in order to get a JOB in this field is an accounting degree, or possibly finance. It is definitely helpful to get an internship during the summer before you graduate from undergrad. It is also a good idea to attend recruiting events around campus that are oftentimes hosted by Big4 accounting firms, as well as other smaller firms. Networking is important, so meet as many people in this fields as possible and develop meaningful relationships.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
To be in tax at Ernst & Young, you will typically need a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Accounting; you will need to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, which is usually satisfied by your accounting degree. You will need to have good communication skills, as you are in constant communication with co-workers, management, as well as clients. The accounting degree gives you some background into the concepts and theory behind what you will be doing, however the work you will be doing may not entirely correlate with what you are taught in school. When making hiring decisions, managers are looking for individuals who are teachable and can communicate well with others.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes; an accounting bachelor’s or master’s. The technical training is done on the job or through firm classroom trainings.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
You can definitely learn a lot working at Ernst & Young, however no matter which area you are in, you will likely have “busy seasons” where you will be working 50-70 hour weeks (sometimes more) in order to meet deadlines. During other periods, you may have very little work. There are expectations for how many hours you charge to a client and your performance is measured on a weekly basis.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes; working in a Big4 firm such as EY is looked highly upon be most employers for those eventually seeking positions in the tax/accounting fields outside of public accounting.

What are your current career goals?
One career path would be to work here for a number of years and find a position in private industry, where the pay is much higher and the hours are much less.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I am still undecided as to whether I will stay in the accounting/tax field or if I will pursue something else. As long as I am undecided, it is in my best interest to stay in this field, as it can only help me the longer I stay in it.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Sales Rep2 months12-15/hourSummer job between school years. Customer service and sales for various companies – e.g. selling YellowPage ads, helping Nicor gas customers transfer to a fixed monthly plan; also, debt elimination package sales.
Prior Job 2Customer Service Rep3 months11/hourWorked in a call center and responded to customer inquiries/requests regarding their accounts with the bank.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:4

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.5University of FloridaB..S. in Accounting
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
N/A

Ask a Question of this Mentor

This mentor has opted to receive questions from people interested in this career or job position. Please be respectful of their time and willingness to help. Include some basic relevant background so they can intelligently answer your question.