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I was wondering if I could talk to a CPA online? I need to…

I was wondering if...

I was wondering if I could talk to a CPA online?

Accountant's Assistant: The Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.

I need to conduct an interview with a CPA

Accountant's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Accountant should know?

Yes Lots

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/22/2017
Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 2,442
Experience: Certified Public Accountant
Verified

Hi, my name is Mark. I will be happy to help you with your questions.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hello Mark! I have a class assignment that requires me to conduct an interview with a accountant/finance professional. I was wondering if you could help me out?

Absolutely.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok, first question is - What was your major in college, and what's the best and worse class that you took in college?

Psychology was my undergrad major. I went to Dental School for a semester and it was not for me. So I needed something to do and numbers came easy. I took the necessary courses to sit for the CPA exam and passed the test a year later. For the classes I assume that it is just accounting and business related. The best class was the business law class and the worst one was Cost Accounting.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok, great! How did you end up with your current position, and how many hours do you work a week?

I have had 20 years of experience as a CPA. Almost all of this has been in taxes. I spent about 13 years working in public CPA firms, working as a junior account, staff accountant, senior accountant, and tax director. I also spent 7 year working as a Revenue Agent for the IRS. With the IRS I was responsible for coordinating the audits of large publicly traded corporations. Last year I decided to go off on my own and start my own Accounting Firm. Usually you would work about 40 hours a week unless it is tax season. During tax season you are looking at 60 hours plus a week. Since I started my own business I have worked close to 50-60 hours a week.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Wow, that's a lot of hours. What hurdles or obstacles have you overcome in your position?

The big hurdle is that there is a learning curve. It take some time to get used to the forms, the changing laws.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Recently, we have just learned the basics of the three financial statements in class. If you could use only 1 statement to review the overall health of a company, which statement would you use and why?

The income state is the most important financial statement in the short term. A business needs to be able to generate income if they want to remain a going concern.

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Oops Income Statement.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What is your current budgeting process like?

The current budgeting process involves determining your fixed expenses and estimating the variable expenses. You would also need to estimate the income. The income will involve regular monthly income (for monthly write up services and payroll services) and then the additional income from tax and special engagements. Ideally, the goal is to have the regular monthly income cover the expenses. For my current business, it is necessary to generate a large reserve during the tax season to be able to survive the slower months at the end of the year

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok, few more questions.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
If you were (or are) the CFO of your company, what would keep you up at night?

Cash flow problems would keep me up at night - especially if the company is not generating positive cash flows from operations. Other concerns would be if the current liabilities exceeded the current assets (a current ratio being less than 1).

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What is most important for me (non finance or accounting) to know about Accounting

You should be familiar with the financial statements specifically the income statement and balance sheet. You would want to be able to review the asset and liabilities to determine if a company is stable. You would want to be familiar with liquidity ratios (current ratio = Current assets / current liabilities). You would want to look at a comparative income statement and see how it changes from period to period.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Great! One last question. Do you have any advice for me if I were to pursue accounting?

A CPA provides a great amount of flexibility. You can work in private companies, government, or public accounting. Many states require a masters to be able to obtain certification.

I would recommend interning at a few positions if you are able to. This will give you a taste of what you can expect.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you so much! I appreciate your help!

It was my pleasure. I was happy to help. If you would take a moment to rate my response I would greatly appreciate it. This is the only way that I will receive credit for helping you today. If you have any additional questions I would be happy to continue the conversation. Thank you.

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 2,442
Experience: Certified Public Accountant
Verified
Mark Taylor and 87 other Finance Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No problem, I will.

Thank you.

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