The appeal of public accounting

CLAUDIA PEREZ-VALDEZ, AUDIT SENIOR

 

What type of clients do you work with?

I work mainly with not-for-profit clients, which tend to be small- or medium-size. I work occasionally with larger for-profit clients.

How is your current team structured; who reports to you and to whom do you report?

The team structure changes based on the engagement and the client, but the basic setup is a staff member, senior, supervisor/manager, and then of course, a partner. I’ve also worked on a few engagements where it’s just myself, a staff and the partner without a manager in between, which has allowed me a lot of access to the partners at the firm.

What do you like about working at Hood & Strong?

I really like that I get to work one-on-one with partners on some engagements. Based on what I’ve seen at other firms, that’s very rare. Usually there are so many levels between team members and partners, so I really like that I can learn from them and ask questions. The partners at Hood & Strong really care about you and want you to be successful.

I think a job in public accounting, and specifically a job at Hood & Strong, is really good for someone starting their career. One big benefit for me was the Firm’s Not-For-Profit Service Group, which affords team members the opportunity to work with organizations that make a difference. It’s nice to know that your work really does help an organization.

Why would you recommend a career in public accounting to someone who’s thinking about entering that profession?

With public accounting, you get to see the many roles and many processes of all different types of businesses – how things are done at one company may not be how they are done in another. So you get an understanding of the basic controls and processes that go within the accounting of that department.

Also, you get to work with a variety of people on different jobs and learn time and team management, which is crucial for any future in accounting.

Is there anything that surprised you about public accounting?

One thing that surprised me are the many different sectors that you can work with in public accounting – not-for-profit, financial, manufacturing, consumer goods, and so on. And it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach with every sector. They all are audited differently, so risks of one sector may not be the same of another.

What kind of opportunities does Hood & Strong offer team members to help them grow their careers and explore different options?

Hood & Strong offers coaching with a team member, either a director or partner. These coaches help navigate future career opportunities at the firm. If they have a sense of what you’re interested in and what your career goals are, they will make sure you get the experience and exposure necessary to make the next step in your career.

What does success look like for you?

I like to start small. If I get all my sections done and complete the work in a timely manner, that’s a win for me. Then if I get the deliverables out in a timely manner that is another success. The most rewarding success is getting recognized by my peers on my work.

What advice would you give someone who’s looking to advance their career at Hood & Strong?

I would advise someone looking to advance their career at Hood & Strong to be organized, be on time, and to communicate clearly and often with your supervisor and the partner you’re working with as to how things are going in an audit engagement. And ask questions! That that will take you a long way at Hood & Strong.