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Taxes vs. Audits. Which one suits you best?

Taxes vs. Audits. Which one suits you best?

As an accounting major, it is inevitable to hear fellow older classmates talking about their internships and whether they liked their tax internship or their audit internship more. When I was a freshman, I did not have an idea to formulate my preference for taxes or audits until I was lucky enough to do a tax internship and an audit internship during my junior and senior years. Some of my insights could prove helpful to you choosing an internship best suited for your abilities, and maybe even a career. Eventually, you must choose a job that makes you happy.

As an intern for the tax department at Herbein+Company in Spring of 2015, my main task was to input the clients’ information onto the digital income tax return on the computer. This task is not an easy task, however. One must learn and get accustomed to all the forms and supplemental schedules available on the software to input client-specific information to reach the best tax situation for the client. Typing numbers into a computer is a fairly easy task but knowing where and how to input numbers is the more demanding task. Moreover, as a tax intern, it was required and needed to be vigilant and operate efficiently during the Tax season. This was a must in order to be able to finish the huge number of tax returns piling up especially as the tax season was drawing to an end, when everything becomes hectic. Operating under pressure must be one of your strengths and if it isn’t then you must develop it. There were days when we had 100 returns ready for input and they had to be done before more piled up. Furthermore, one must be able to accept constructive review from the reviewers. Reviewers want you to prepare returns correctly so they can review more returns faster as well. It is all for the benefit of the organization.

Currently, I am interning for the audit department at Herbein+Company. As an auditor there is a completely different approach to the work and the responsibilities. Especially during this time of year, the summer, the audit department is not as hectic as it would be during the Taxes season. But it is still demanding. As an intern we are expected to operate and complete the preparation of multiple documents on the audit software. This again sounds quite simple, until you start seeing a lot of complicated excel sheets for salaries and pensions, and using a trial balance that is definitely much larger than anything you have seen in your accounting classes. Supervisors know this and they will advise you on how everything works. They want your work to be correct to save time and to be efficient. Another aspect of interning in the audit department is the focus on the interactions with the clients during fieldwork and out of office business. One must be social and able to represent his/her own company correctly and professionally. In addition to fieldwork and document preparation, as interns, we get to work on special projects for the company internally, be it a marketing project or an information compilation project. These projects truly require a lot of creativity, preparation and assembly to be presented to the supervisors and the partners because they are directly involved with the inner workings of the organization.

Taxes and audits demand different responsibilities; yet, they both have similar requirements, such as the accuracy in execution, the ability to perform under pressure and the creativity in planning.

Until next time!

Fady_WebFady Wilson
Albright College
2015 Herbein Intern – Reading