1. Connect with your accounting peers and teachers
  • Accounting is a profession of people, not living calculators. Connect with your serious classmates by working together and assisting each other at every opportunity. Successful career accountants are constantly connecting and giving their knowledge whenever possible.
  • You should be on a first name basis with every instructor along the way. Make a memorable and long lasting impressions by demonstrating your interest and excellence at every opportunity.
  1. Formalize your general professional network
  • Join an accounting business fraternity or online equivalent
  • Be on a first name basis with every instructor along the way. Make memorable and lasting impressions by demonstrating your interest and excellence.
  • Use online communities such as Linkedin and even Facebook
  1. Actively join and assist in local / national accounting activities
  • Join Cal-CPA or equivalent organizations
  • Attend events, get on a first name basis with people, and help at every opportunity
  1. Volunteer accounting services to an organization or prepare low income tax returns
  • Check out VITA – Volunteer prep services and see how you can help
  • See if your local community organization needs basic assistance – anything to get you involved with the books and records.
  1. Learn about and visit local tax and accounting firms
  • Request an “informational” interview from local firms long before you ask for an internship or job
  • Learn about what local firms and companies are looking for so you can steer your academic work in the proper direction.
  1. Stay current about accounting and business news
  • Accounting at the top requires great knowledge of current regulations and updates. Signup for email updates from organizations such as the AICPA and private educational companies such as Spidell.
  • Be familiar with front page business news and how to talk about it.
  1. Consider practical education along with your academic education
  • Your accounting teacher may be impressed with your technical accounting skills, but you may find much of it irrelevant to your actual job.
  • Consider taking courses at junior college or companies to learn tax and accounting skills. Checkout the QuickBooks pro-advisor certification and ways you can register to prepare taxes by learning about the requirements with the IRS.
  1. Bs = Accounting excellence – Internships are what matter
  • Do well in school, but no need for perfect scores. It is far more important to have a passion for the subject and people. Firms want people that they are going to enjoy working for.
  • Follow the above strategies to get yourself and internship, not a “5.0.”
  1. Sir / Ma’am may I have another!!!
  • Accountants and CPAs are a glutton for punishment and work hours, especially early in their career. Take every opportunity to take on more projects and responsibilities.
  1. The CPA is a strategy, not a solution
  • The CPA is a highly respected designation, but is not for everyone. 95% of successful accountants pass the CPA exam after they have been in the profession. Taking the test in itself is not a guarantee of employment. Think people first.
  • When ready for the CPA exam process be sure you are in position to pass it and approach it strategically.
  1. Bonus tip – the shameless plug