By Chris Mennel When I graduated from high school, one of the gifts I received was the Dr. Seuss book “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” I don’t remember all the rhythmic lines of the book, but I do remember feeling as though it somehow applied to an ever-changing life of exciting career paths. It couldn’t possibly apply to working at a local accounting firm with only one office. Or could it?
11 years later and after having worked for the same local accounting firm for 7 years, I can reflect back on the places I’ve gone, and the places I will continue to go. Public accounting takes you out of the daily drones of the workplace and puts you in client offices on a daily basis. Every company, even those that may sound simple on the surface, have intricacies and problems that they have to work through in order to stay in business – and we get to experience those intricacies as we work through them with our clients.
Within the first few years of working with our firm, audit and tax staff spend time at planning and closing meetings with the heads of the businesses we work with. Through these meetings, we get the chance to not only meet chief officers that we wouldn’t otherwise meet, but we get to understand what it takes to run a business. Every year when we go through recruiting, we hear students say that they want to do “consulting.” Not on any specific topic, just “consulting.” But what will they be consulting on when they haven’t been out in the real world to experience it? These meetings with business owners and spending time at client locations are where experience is gained.
In a literal interpretation of “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, I’ll be traveling to Ecuador later this month to audit a missionary client. Since it is a country I have never been to (or even thought about going to), it’s exciting to be traveling there and experiencing the culture. Although I’ll be a tourist in the country for only a short-term, I’ll be there to meet with individuals that have lived in the country for several years. That means everything from meals to traveling around the city will be a chance to experience the culture and see what it is like to really live in a foreign country.
As a CPA in public accounting, it’s hard to know the places you’ll be going next. Sure, not every day is filled with excitement. But it is a lot different than the old-fashioned introverted accountant stereotype.
If you’d like to be part of where we’re going next, send your resume and cover letter to Allie Petty-Stone at email@example.com. Alerding CPA Group is an Indianapolis-based public accounting firm.
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Christopher Mennel, CPA
Senior Audit Manager
Chris oversees audit and accounting services, not-for-profit and consulting services. Chris’ specialties include manufacturing, distribution/wholesale, retail, health and welfare, service and civic organizations. Chris also prepares financial statement projections and other financial analyses.
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