Stephanie Atkins – Herbein Intern
Hello everyone! I’m back and I couldn’t be more excited to be starting my second internship with Herbein + Company. As many of you know, I was an intern in the tax department for this year’s ‘busy season’ and now I’m back for the summer as an intern in the accounting and audit department. I’m very excited about all of the new things I will be experiencing with this opportunity and the new skills I’m going to gain from the different projects I will be getting involved in throughout the summer. My fellow interns and I were told that throughout the summer we will be assigned to clients in many of the industries, including for profit, nonprofit and government audits, as well as completing projects for the marketing department.
Our first two weeks back at the firm consisted of training, CPE, and getting comfortable with the new software and skills we would be using on audits. After the training was over, we all went our separate ways to different clients. My firm client was in Hagerstown, MD which was really fun because I got the opportunity to travel! Kyle Levengood, Pavel Kolenda, and I went down last week and I have to admit that I was pretty nervous the entire 2 hour car ride to the client. I had so many thoughts running through my head about whether or not I would remember how to use Engagement, if I would remember ‘The Big 5’ to put on the work papers, how I would know what to talk to the client about, and so much more. Thankfully Kyle and Pavel were the best teachers I could have ever asked for because they made my first audit experience great. The week before we went, Pavel sat down with me to explain the client, people who work there, and the sections I would be completing. He also walked me through Engagement and guided me to where I could find helpful documents to prepare for the field work. This step was extremely important for me because it helped me to prepare myself so I didn’t walk into the client and have no idea what their business was or what I would be doing when I got there.
While at the client, performing the procedures on the work papers and figuring out what source documents to look at was a little overwhelming at first, but once I figured out the basis of what I was doing I felt pretty good. I don’t think I would have been able to get through it if I didn’t have Pavel sitting next to me because I asked about a million questions. At first I felt bad for bugging him all the time, but with every answer he gave me, I learned something new so I just kept asking. I was responsible for the cash, operations, and walk-throughs sections. Each one required me to ask the Controller for documentation and have discussions with her about things that didn’t quite make sense on paper. This was extremely helpful for me because I learned how important it is to have good communication skills. The hardest part throughout the entire audit process for me was using the proper language and terminology on the work papers. Kyle and Pavel both told me it comes with time and experience, so I’m going to keep working at it!
Besides being at the client and learning so many different things about auditing, the trip to Maryland was a lot of fun! It was a great opportunity for me to get to know Kyle and Pavel, which was really nice because I’m new and don’t know anyone very well yet. We went out to eat and they gave me a lot of good advice and guidance on how to be successful at Herbein. Overall, this experience has been awesome so far. I had the opportunity to travel to a client and be a part of an audit team and I can’t wait to find out what my next task is!