Becoming an accountant takes a lot of dedication and hard work with placement in accounting internships being one avenue that will take an undergraduate student to the top of the game. Accounting internships are short-term placements in an accounting firm giving practical hands-on experience of the profession while the intern is getting paid for doing real work.
Guaranteed accounting internships are not as easy to get as just calling one of the big four firms and flaunting your resume; securing a placement requires a bit of professional groundwork and building bridges early on in your academic career. Here are a few tips and reasons why you should seek an internship with a reputable accounting firm in this $20.9 billion Australian industry.
Why Accounting Internships on top of a Degree?
Accounting internships are not just work experience that is required to complete your Bachelor of Accounting at a university. In fact, a lot of academic courses do not formally require the student to complete an internship and yet undergraduates still actively seek placement in a reputable accounting firm, for a number of reasons. The main benefits of securing an accounting internship are:
- The practical experience you gain builds confidence and is invaluable for your career
- The building of networks paves the pathway to future success
- The expected mentorship from a CPA teaches you the finer points of accounting not taught at university
- Development of general professional skills such as working in a team, goal setting, achieving key performance indicators and self-management is an unspoken requirement to succeed in any profession
- The internship could lead to the formal offer of a full-time job at the accounting firm
Practical Accounting Experience More than Complements Your Degree
Accounting internships are not just a preparation for eventual full-time work, they give a practical experience that is equivalent to real full-time work as an accountant. An intern will be given duties that require him or her to use all the skills and knowledge they have learned in a lecture theatre while providing a testing ground of best fit to reveal accounting specialties an intern might prefer. There are numerous types of accounting including tax accountancy, financial accountancy, business accountancy and other fields in which to specialize. Accounting has never been a boring profession.
Some incredibly motivated undergraduates will find internships in a few accounting firms not only to hone their skills but also to find their passion for accounting. Not all accounting firms are the same, with different organisations having different corporate cultures, competing infrastructures and long-term goals and vision specific to their reputation and brand. Completing a few accounting internships allows the undergraduate to find his or her strengths and to determine where and in what type of accounting practice they would like to lead their professional career.
Why Accounting Internships are about Network Building?
For all intents and purposes, accounting internships are perhaps the actual start of a student’s career not only because it is real work, but because this is where they begin to network and develop working relationships with professionals who may have been in the business for decades.
In the 21st century nearly every job is not just about duties and key performance indicators, it is about team leadership, rapport with colleagues and moving forward into new challenges and relationships in order to fully develop your skills, especially in the accounting profession.
Placement in an internship with a reputable accounting firm often means you will come under the guidance and mentorship of at least one seasoned and highly trained professional accountant. Mentorship, whether formally recognized or informally realized, is perhaps the fastest way to pave the way to future success in the profession of accounting.
Engaging all these reasons for an internship leads to the develop of generic professional skills that will hold the intern in good stead in any job or career. Working in a team, presenting reports, compartmentalization and management of daily tasks and work schedules, and the ability to self-motivate are just some of these generic skills developed in accounting internships.
The crowning glory of an internship is of course the offer of a full-time job within the accounting firm. Apart from this, even if the intern doesn’t secure permanent placement at the firm, he or she will realise accounting internships have developed their knowledge and skills to a professional level, and created networks that will guarantee them a career somewhere worthwhile in this highly respected profession of numbers, management, calculations, and human relationships.