The first year in public accounting can be a major transition, as new employees move from their academic environment as students to a corporate environment as employees. This fall, I chatted with Ian Nohle, who joined our Outsource Accounting Services Group as a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo about his experiences during his first year at the firm. Here is what he had to say:
What about your first year in outsource accounting was surprising or different from what you expected?
First off, the recognition program. Not only are my managers telling me how I’m doing, but I’ve received formal recognition through SnapEval, and I’ve actually even received a bonus as a result of that. It’s not really about the money, but it’s nice to receive the formal recognition and that my managers took the time to write up a paragraph about the work that I’ve been doing.
Also the patience of the managers. They have many other clients and responsibilities, but they’re super positive and understanding when I have questions. So within six months, I went from no experience outside of school, to working with five clients doing things I didn’t imagine myself being able to do a year ago.
Describe your experience working with clients as a member of the Outsource Accounting Services Group
I enjoy working with multiple clients on a variety of projects. That’s what I fell in love with about accounting, the fact that you’re solving a puzzle, you’re using your critical thinking skills, to create a final product.
I also enjoy fostering relationships with the clients and getting to be a part of their growth. In other departments, you may be working with more clients, but you don’t get to know them as well as you will working inside the company on a daily basis.
Are there any specific programs or benefits you found helpful during your first year?
It was overwhelming at first, but Insero has a great training process and by writing things down, taking notes, and asking questions I was able to learn and grow. It’s not like you’re on your own. The first month, I was shadowing others, learning the skills, and now I’m able to do those things myself. And that’s really rewarding at the end of the day.
Also, the advisor program is great to help with immediate feedback, with questions, and overall growth and development as an employee. It’s also great to have that person to help you scheduling things out, and Teams really helps make it easy to collaborate with my advisor to figure out how to make sure I have time in my schedule to complete the work I need to do, and how to move things around if necessary.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know people in my department and other departments, and everyone has been super friendly. Within my first couple of months I was able to join the DEI Committee, and I love that. I get to work towards developing the company in different ways, not just about accounting, and really fostering a good work environment.
Just recently I was able to participate in the recruiting process and presentation at Geneseo, which was a really great way to give back. Just last year, I was a student participating in it and now I’m part of it, so it was great to be able to bring that full circle.
What skills have you learned or developed more during your first year on the job?
Problem solving for sure. While I’ve had plenty of support, there isn’t always someone there to walk you through everything, so I’ve learned how to figure things out and know when it’s time to ask for help. It’s kind of a balancing act.
I would also say critical thinking, just taking what I know about accounting and applying it. It’s easy to know what a depreciation expense is, it’s a different thing to figure out what fixed access are being added to an account and what do we need to depreciate and applying that knowledge.
If you were talking to a friend who was currently interviewing for their first accounting job, what would you want to tell them?
Apply. Apply. Apply. Prep as much as you can. Practice interview questions. Use the resources the college provides. Go to all the events. Treat it like it’s another class. It’s a two-month process, so do as much as you can so that you can choose the firm that is right for you.
Figure out what kind of environment you want to be in, and make your choice based on your personal preferences. Insero to me is the best of both worlds, in that it’s large enough to have a great variety of clients and services but it’s still a close-knit environment where everyone knows each other.