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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-04-2006, 03:25 PM   #41
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

You don't get overtime for working 12 hour days as an auditor with a big public accounting firm. And it's hard to become a CPA-CFO unless you have public accounting experience with one of the big four firms. Even breaking into the big four firms as an entry level auditor may be tough, depending on your background, GPA, and the college you went to.

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Originally Posted by frujinator
But 12+ hours is not bad, thats a lot of overtime! * Ya I'm ready for the dedication.* I know I'll get burned out, but thats what vacation/retiremtn is for
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-04-2006, 05:05 PM   #42
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
You don't get overtime for working 12 hour days as an auditor with a big public accounting firm. And it's hard to become a CPA-CFO unless you have public accounting experience with one of the big four firms. Even breaking into the big four firms as an entry level auditor may be tough, depending on your background, GPA, and the college you went to.
Soup,

You do have some good points.. but I assume that the kid has the goods if he was making $100,000 per year at his age.. but then again, if I was doing that I would not have left!!!

But, you do get paid overtime (or at least you did) as a staff accountant... it is at regular time, not time and a half... you usually get a bank of time to take off during the 'off season' but then get paid for the rest... since you are burned out, you take your bank as vacation and do not get the extra money...
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-04-2006, 05:18 PM   #43
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

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Originally Posted by soupcxan
Even breaking into the big four firms as an entry level auditor may be tough, depending on your background, GPA, and the college you went to.
It's interesting that the above conditions have not changed much in two decades.

Almost 20 years ago, I wanted to work for one of "The Big 8" (then) CPA firms. *I had passed the exam but still found it hard to even get interviews because I did not go to a "name" college. *The one Big 8 firm that interviewed me lost interest because I was not a greencard holder.

I did get a low score on the exam's tax portion, and I doubt I would've enjoyed the work of a financial auditor as much as I do writing programs.

On a bad day at work, I sometimes think of pursuing accounting but realistically, I'll be struggling*now even with just bookkeeping.* My accounting memory banks have been erased...well, maybe not entirely.* I remember a few terms, and a basic understanding of what financial folks are talking about helps me when I work on financial apps.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-04-2006, 06:17 PM   #44
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Frujinator, consider carefully what Charles shared with you re long term.* There is another skill that a future CFO needs, people management.* People at all levels.* Often it is the sales rep that cooks the numbers before you even know there is trouble in the trenches.* You need to watch what motivates people.

The path that Charles noted is not easily found.* You need to 'do time' in an accounting firm that audits a lot of firms on the venture track, know your stuff and build relationships.* Long hours go without saying.* Pay attention to the culture of the venture capital firms, as well as the firms they invest in.* It is a small world.* A person on the CFO track asks questions, listens a lot, and is a student of the profession.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 12:47 AM   #45
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

With each post it sounds harder and harder to become a CPA...

I'm getting worried now...

What should I do I like accounting.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 07:43 AM   #46
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

There are a great many jobs one can do with accounting skills, but I'm no expert and will give you just one example. Years ago my aunt worked in the accounting department at an entertainment company in NY City (I think they managed musicians & theatre people). Since then, she founded her own small firm and handles the books, does taxes, etc. for individuals and small businesses, mostly in the entertainment field where she has contacts. She really enjoys the people she meets as well as the work. She expects to simply wind down her business by rejecting new clients at some point to semi-retire (if she didn't have such a shopping jones--and NY is a heckuva place to indulge that!--she cold be retired right now). Her daughter (my cousin), recently graduated with a degree in accounting and I think works in the fashion industry. SO maybe it can be as simple as doing accoutning in an industry that turns you on.

This reminds me of when my husband was designing hardware/software products for a company with clients in the brioadcast industry (CNN, Sky, etc.) He got a real kick out of working with these creative people--doesn't happen so often when you're a programmer.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 07:57 AM   #47
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Quote:
Originally Posted by frujinator
What should I do* I like accounting.*
If you haven't heard of sarbanes oxley, I'm not sure you know enough about accounting to know whether you like it or not.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 08:36 AM   #48
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Brat hit it right on, and soupcxan makes a valid point ... if you haven't come across Sarbanes yet, I assume you are early in your investigation.

Note the salary figures I posted before are after many years of experience ... I've see "CFO's" (i.e. lite) at less than $100K, with the same hours.

Yes, it is tough to become a CPA, as it is tough to become an attorney, doctor, engineer, entrepreneur, etc. ... any "job" paying significant money comes with high expense for education (formal or "street" time), lots of hours, and plenty of risk.* That's OK ... the gambles are worth it if you want high returns.* It is like, and is investing.

Just be sure there is "enough juice for the squeeze" ...

Thus my recommendation that you investigate PEG's as well.* A very smart Board member in my current company said he considered being an investment banker.* He saw an article in the WSJ, and noted that investment professionals in PEG's / VC's made more than investment bankers, and worked roughly the same hours.* Voila ... if it's the same hours anyway, might as well make more money, no?

Same with CPA's / CFO's ... most work tons of hours, but I seriously question whether there is "enough juice for the squeeze" anymore.

Yes, the CPA route gives you lots of options.* But you don't need that if you want to become an investment professional, and the time might ... might ... be better spent getting an MBA from a great school (don't assume you can't afford it ... check on scholarships).

I've been CFO for many companies now, and been a partner in a CFO firm ... I have had stock options pay off on one gig only ... all the others produced no return.* And, the one that did pay off didn't generate significant wealth.

But a partner in a PEG gets into many, many deals, buys and sells many companies, and has many swings at bat.* Lots of great experience, seeing many different industries, and great upside potential.* You are an investment professional, dealing with pre-IPO companies, some of which will become household names.

Sorry to run on, but just wanted you to consider alternatives.* You should have time to study, plan and adjust ... you're in a time of R&D, as well as education.* Consider your future path as best you can, spend the time and effort to investigate, don't be shy about calling some PEG professionals to discuss that career, and keep your educational choices broad enough to give you the flexibility of different career paths. Your life will take many twists and turns ... ask anyone here, and I suspect they will tell you they encountered quite a few surprises. Makes it exciting.

Best of luck.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 10:07 AM   #49
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

I am a CPA and CFO as well. When I was in public accounting, I saw the partners in the firm working enormous amounts of hours with no life outside of work. I quickly decided that I did not want to grow up to be a partner in a CPA firm. However, I think anyone who aspires to a financial career would gain a great deal by spending a few years in public accounting and pass the CPA exam.* This will open many more doors for you.*
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 01:01 PM   #50
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Quote:
Originally Posted by frujinator
What should I do* I like accounting.*
Then you should do accounting.

Consider how hard it would be to tackle an occupation that you DON'T like.

My BIL graduated from MegaU with an accounting degree and tackled his CPA cert. Like many others he took the exam twice (after an extensive prep course) and went to work for a tax firm.

20 years later he's a junior partner in a DC area firm that does taxes for rich entrepreneurs & trust-fund babies. He has been constantly employed and perpetually recruited by firm-hopping mentors. He's done tax returns with features like Cisco employee #23, W-2s with eight digits (plus the two on the OTHER side of the decimal), and fourth-generation heirs so coked out on Wednesday morning that they passed out during the final review of their return. Now he mainly runs the office, supervises the work of a staff of a dozen or so junior CPAs (his stock answer is "Gee, interesting question. What's the tax code say?") and occasionally schmoozes the customers. He used to commute an hour but his latest job switch is a 15-minute drive. He works 40 hours a week most of the year, whatever it takes from Jan-15 Apr, and takes his overage in comp time or overtime. He leaves the office at the office and doesn't bring work home. He doesn't do politics (unless he wants to) but he does very good work. He's seen a lot of very interesting things, met a lot of very interesting people, and made a consistent annual income of $80-$110K (depending on seniority & bonus).

He's also seen almost as many Schedules D as the IRS and he knows his way around a financial report, so he knows how to invest. He and his (working) spouse don't try especially hard to save but they don't fritter away their money. I suspect that he's made far more from his investing than he has from work. I'm not insinuating that he's an insider trader, just that he's been in a very good position to see what's working for others and has the skills & resources to follow up with the due diligence. He'll ER in a couple more years and we've been joking about him joining us on Oahu.

So chase down that accounting degree, pay attention to the fields that interest you, and see if you too can obtain lifetime employment (or ER) courtesy of the tax code.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 04:24 PM   #51
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Thanks for all your responses guys, I really appreciate all the awesome advice I'm getting here.

I have done well in my accounting claasses, and have done some temp accounting work, so far I love it.

But can someone explain to me in more detail what Sarbanes Oakley has done to the world of Accounting?
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 04:27 PM   #52
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Where's Mr. Google when you need him?
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 04:30 PM   #53
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Quote:
Originally Posted by frujinator
Thanks for all your responses guys, I really appreciate all the awesome advice I'm getting here.

I have done well in my accounting claasses, and have done some temp accounting work, so far I love it.

But can someone explain to me in more detail what Sarbanes Oakley has done to the world of Accounting?
Sarbanes Oxley has created a new standard statement when someone asks 'Why do we do it this way?', just say "Sarbanes Oxley"...

Really, it has put some teeth in the ability of law enforcement to bring criminal charges to people who cheat... *before, they could just say 'it was the accountants, I knew nothing abou it'... the law says you must know. *So, you have to have controls in place to prevent fraud etc.. and there is a cottage industry that is doing Sarbanes Oxley testing etc... *and it is costing companies a LOT of money to comply... I am 'lucky' that I only need to do testing twice a year on my stuff as it is deemed not critical..

Have a look at this site for more info:


http://www.sarbanes-oxley.com/
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 04:38 PM   #54
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Quote:
Originally Posted by frujinator
But can someone explain to me in more detail what Sarbanes Oakley has done to the world of Accounting?
Wasn't he the ne'er-do-well political nephew of Annie Oakley?
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 05:35 PM   #55
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Fruitjunator,
just ask CFB for the Quebec version of Triumph and the poodle is so froojinatoor. You will definitely be a Certified Pubic Accountant.

Good luck with being only 14 and so sucsessfull.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 06:38 PM   #56
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

But can someone explain to me in more detail what Sarbanes Oakley has done to the world of Accounting?

What SOX has done is to create a huge demand for accountants to do the work. Many accounting firms are having a difficult time attracting enough qualified staff.It is clearly a growth area in the accounting profession. From what I have seen, however, one could easily burn out with the demands of the workload.* In addition, the threat of being sued is hanging over your head.
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #57
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

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Originally Posted by roadkill
But can someone explain to me in more detail what Sarbanes Oakley has done to the world of Accounting?
Some of you private sectors guys should jump in and correct me if I am wrong -- I just left 30+ years with Government....but, the impression I got is that corporations have to document adequate management controls to ensure that they can catch waste, fraud, and abuse before it affects shareholders. The accountants are tasked with evaluating (testing) the controls for adequacy. If your controls are not adequate, you will get a qualified opinion or worse. We have something analogous in Government. The impact on me (a CIO) was that the auditors drove me nuts with security assessments of my systems (reliable IT systems are a (the?) core part of management controls) -- and any problems they reported became serious problems for me and my staff. My private sector counterparts reported similar pain from Sarbanes-Oxley.

Don
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 07:10 PM   #58
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

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Originally Posted by justin
Where's Mr. Google when you need him?*
It's hard to make fun of Fruj when he's getting more hits & less garbage from this board than he'd ever get from Google.

Pretty soon he'll be asking for the answers to the questions on the CPA exam... and probably getting them!
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 07:10 PM   #59
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

My daughter attended a well regarded university in the south bay, graduated with a finance major. *When she changed from engineering to finance I warned her that that path, for all practical purposes, required earning a CPA. She didn't want to be a public accountant but she suffered through a couple years and passed the exam. *She did that and audited a number of high tech companies. *It wasn't easy, but it has been very rewarding (she has a position with a great group of people who are highly regarded in their industry).*

She could have gone a number of directions with her credentials, intellectual and people skills. *The only way you will know what doors are open to you is to prepare well and work smart. *

Frujinator will learn soon enough about Sarbanes Oxley.*
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Re: The Story of Frujinator
Old 04-05-2006, 08:16 PM   #60
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Re: The Story of Frujinator

Come on guys don't be so tough, so I am just starting out, but I will learn.

HAve some mercy, I'm only 19...
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