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The DISCLOSURE Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                                       JUNE	2011
 In This Issue
 •	   Just	One	More	Way	You	Can	Help!	UACPA	
      Financial	Literacy	Program
 •	   Diversity:	What	Can	the	IRS	Do	for	Me?
 •	   Today	is	that	Day:	A Simple Look into One
      Student’s Unique Experience
 •	   Professional	Spotlight:		
      Mark	D.	Whiattaker,	CPA
 •	   Q	&	A
 •	   ProNet	Leadership	Academy

 Student	Newsletter

Just One More Way You Can Help!
UACPA Financial Literacy Program
                                                                               By Tory Norman, ProNet Council, BYU Student Affiliate
Since I began studying accounting at Brigham Young University, I knew that I wanted to work for a local Utah firm. However, I
found it difficult on campus to get exposure to the many opportunities available to accounting students in Utah. That is when I was
introduced to the ProNet Council. Through the ProNet Council, I have had numerous opportunities to visit local firms and talk to
CPAs and other accounting students throughout Utah.	...More.

What Can the IRS Do for Me?
                                           By Eric Erickson of IRS Recruitment
Eric Erickson hosts the IRS Recruitment page on Facebook and was more
than happy to help out our readers. The following contains answers to some
of the questions we had about the IRS recruitment process and benefits of
joining the IRS: ...More.

Today is That Day:
A simple look into one student’s unique experience
                                    By Nick Peterson, UVU Campas Ambassador
The ProNet Council asked me several months ago to publish an article in The
Disclosure regarding my accounting experience. I wondered what I could share
that would benefit this miraculous group of accounting students. In preparing for
this article, I decided to contact students from across Utah and ask them about
their overall accounting experience. Unfortunately, for many students, their overall
accounting experience has been purely academic and they feel that the lack of
professional experience steps in the way of pursuing this career. ...More.
Just One More Way You Can Help!
- continued                                   Q&A
I soon learned, though, that networking       Another	Viewpoint	on	How	Long	to	Stay	in	Public	
was only a small part of what the ProNet
Council offers. In addition, the ProNet       Accounting?
Council has offered me opportunities
                                              Many accounting graduates will start           But, of course, the answer differs for
to be involved in the accounting
                                              their careers in public accounting             everyone. You may find that the public
community and serve in a meaningful
                                              Businessweek consistently ranks the            accounting career track isn’t right for
way. One of my favorite experiences has
                                              Big Four firms the top in its annual           you and decide to leave to start your
been working with the Financial Literacy
                                              “Best Places to Launch a Career” list,         own business. Perhaps you desire a
program. I was introduced to the
                                              and public accountants are exposed to          career in information systems or sales.
program during a local UACPA chapter
                                              numerous companies from a variety of           Maybe work-life balance is an issue
luncheon. I felt the program was a good
                                              industries even in entry-level positions.      (bear in mind that many corporate
opportunity for me to start applying
                                              This diversity, coupled with the nature        accountants have their own “busy
the skills I was learning and become
                                              of public accounting work, provides            seasons” at monthly and/or quarterly
involved in the UACPA.
                                              fantastic opportunities to learn about         close periods). The unfortunate scenario
Because of my background in Spanish,          businesses from the ground up and gain         occurs when someone begins in public
I was offered an opportunity to help in       valuable technical accounting skills. The      accounting but hates it, gets burned out,
the development, translation, and filming     learning curve is steep, but those with        and quits after a few short years only to
of the UACPA’s new Financial Literacy         public accounting experience are highly        desperately accept a low-level corporate
seminars online. Over Christmas break,        valued. Some even believe the first            position that fails to take advantage of
I had the opportunity to work with the        few years in public accounting are akin        his or her full potential.
UACPA management to design the                to a medical professional’s residency
slides and develop the content in both        years. But with relatively high turnover       As one professional noted, stay until
English and Spanish. Once the content         rates and few professionals remaining          “you get an offer you can’t refuse.”
was completed, I was asked to help            in public accounting more than several         Contemplate the growth opportunities
teach the recordings of the English           years, some students wonder how long           of the new job, determine whether it will
and Spanish webinars as well. Since           they should stay in public accounting          help you acquire new skills, consider
that time I have been able to maintain        before exploring other options.                the people you will be working with, and
correspondence with participants of                                                          reflect on your career goals to decide if
the webinars via email and help them          The rule of thumb seems to be to stay          you should revise your career plans to
as they develop their personal financial      at least until you make manager, which         capitalize. The biggest thing to consider
goals.                                        is typically after five years of experience.   is whether or not you are passionate
                                              Managers gain excellent experience in          about what you are pursuing. After
This experience working with the
                                              project management, client relationships,      all, we all have different priorities and
Financial Literacy program has helped
                                              and decision making. Public accounting         interests.
me develop myself as a person and
                                              managers also tend to go on to become
as an accountant. It has also helped                                                         Special thanks to Derek Anderson, Dan
                                              controllers and CFOs due to their valued
me feel more a part of the UACPA and                                                         Griffiths, and Matt McReynolds for their
the community. I feel like participating                                                     contributions to this article! ▪
in programs like Financial Literacy or
the ProNet council is an important
part of being a CPA. As CPAs, we              ProNet Leadership Academy
have a gift of working with numbers
                                              •	   Exceptional	leadership	skills,	
and understanding finances. These
                                                   for	an	exclusive	group	of	young	
experiences have taught me that it’s our
obligation to serve our communities with
                                              •	   Learn	to	Leverage	your	Unique	
these skills and, if we are willing to take
                                                   Leadership	Strengths
that charge, the rewards are far greater
                                              •	   Understand	the	Strengths	of	
than any monetary compensation or
praise we could receive. I am grateful
                                              •	   Create	a	Network	of	ProNet	
to the UACPA and the ProNet council
                                                   Leadership	Academy	
for the many opportunities they have
provided to me and would encourage
                                              The ProNet Leadership Academy is               Don’t miss your chance to apply or
anyone who can to get involved with
                                              accepting just 30 young professionals to       nominate an exceptional young CPA!
these programs because they have a
real and lasting effect on the community      participate in this exclusive opportunity.     Click here for fill-in application.
and on future CPAs like myself. ▪             The application deadline is quickly
                                              approaching - June 15, 2011 for the            More details on the website - click here.
                                              class of 2011.
Diversity - continued                                                                     tax compliance officers. We also have
                                                                                          jobs for people who are communicators,
1.	The	hiring	process	for	the	IRS                                                         human resource specialists, statisticians,
People who are interested in working at                                                   policy analysts, research analysts and
the IRS can begin the process at the IRS                                                  lawyers.
Careers website at From                                                     For a list of many of the jobs offered at
there, people can click the ‘Search &                                                     the IRS, I suggest people visit the IRS
Apply’ button to be linked directly to the                                                Careers website at this link:http://www.
IRS section of USAJobs, which is where                                          
we post our jobs. Once a user creates                                                     4.	Benefits
a USAJobs account, they can upload
résumés to be used when applying for                                                      As an IRS employee, we are federal
open announcements.                                                                       employees and generally able to
                                                                                          enroll in many different insurance and
Listed in the job announcements are          are ranked the highest generally move
                                                                                          benefit programs. Here’s a great link
the specific qualifications, background      to the next phase in the process. For
                                                                                          to an OPM site which lays out the
and education requirements needed            some positions, applicants need to
                                                                                          different benefits programs available
to qualify for a particular position.        take an assessment to determine their
                                                                                          to federal employees:http://www.
The piece of advice we give most             knowledge about specific topics. For
often to applicants is to review these       other positions, groups of applicants
requirements carefully, and be sure to       are interviewed – generally by a panel of
address them as thoroughly as possible       managers and employees.                      Full-time IRS employees also receive sick
in your application.                                                                      leave and annual leave. For instance,
                                             2.	Local	branches	of	the	IRS
                                                                                          in the first year of employment, an
When a user finds a job which interests      The IRS has offices in every state.          employee will earn about 8 days of
them, they simply click on the link to       We have four main branches, each             sick leave and an additional 8 days of
apply for the position. They will then       focused on a specific type of taxpayer:      vacation time, which we call annual
select which saved résumé they want          individual, large business, small business   leave.
to use to apply for that announcement        and tax-exempt organizations. Three
and submit it through their USAJobs                                                       On top of these benefits, employees
                                             of these divisions are headquartered
account.                                                                                  may be able to participate in other
                                             in Washington DC with the fourth in
                                                                                          programs – depending on their job. For
There is generally a human                   Atlanta, GA.
                                                                                          instance, the IRS offers alternative work
resources specialist listed in each job      We have more than 15 offices around          schedules, such as working four-day
announcement along with their contact        Utah, most of which are in Ogden. The        work weeks, 10 hours a day.
information. Applicants are encouraged       IRS has several large centers around the
to contact that specialist with questions                                                 Also, our employees receive top-notch
                                             country where tax returns are processed
related to the announcement.                                                              training to ensure success on the job.
                                             – we refer to these centers as ‘IRS
                                                                                          Aside from specialized training for their
Users can also create USAJobs                campuses.’ One of these campuses is in
                                                                                          current jobs, employees can participate
search agents, which allow people to         Ogden, where we have more than 3,000
                                                                                          in leadership classes to give them
select criteria for a job they would like.   employees. Many of the positions at
                                                                                          the skills necessary to move up in the
USAJobs will send an e-mail alert to the     these processing centers are seasonal,
user, letting them know that a position      temporary and part-time. Being hired as
was posted which meets their pre-            a seasonal or temporary employee is a        5.	A	brief	summary	of	what	a	typical	
selected criteria.                           great way to get your foot in the door.      day	is	like	for	an	IRS	employee
                                             We have several employees who were           This really varies depending on the job
The process differs depending on
                                             hired for an entry-level job at a campus,    they do. We have several ‘day-in-the-
the type of position. For instance, we
                                             and have moved on to become leaders          life’ videos on our IRS Careers website
have seasonal, temporary and full-time
                                             here at the IRS.                             featuring actual employees talking about
positions. There in Utah – in Ogden –
we have one of our centers where tax         We also have offices in Provo, Marriott-     what they do in their typical day.
returns are processed. We have several       Slaterville and St. George; and an           Here’s the link to that page:
of these centers around the country, and     additional two offices in Salt Lake City.
these centers are where the majority of      3.	Types	of	jobs	offered                     employee-profiles.html. ▪
our seasonal employees work.
                                             There is a perception that the IRS is
Generally, once an applicant submits         just about taxes, however we have
a résumé, their application is reviewed      jobs for people with a wide variety of
by an HR specialist, who determines          backgrounds. Naturally, we do have
– based on the information provided          jobs focused on tax law – such as our
by the applicant – if they are qualified     revenue agents, revenue officers and
for the position. The applicants who
Professional	Spotlight:	Mark	D.	Whittaker,	CPA
                                                                                          By Jonathan Berrett, UVU Student Affiliate

Mark decided to pursue a career as a CPA when                                   filling insurance needs, or implementing retirement
he was in the 9th grade. His high school offered                                plans. One of Marks strengths is helping clients
a bookkeeping class which he took and enjoyed.                                  understand which investment options are wise for
Around that time, he saw a survey on TV describing                              their individual situation.
the stability of various professions; working as a                              Mark and his wife have 11 children and spend a lot
CPA was one of the top picks.                                                   of time participating in varying activities with them
At an early age, he set this goal to become a CPA                               from soccer to horse training. Mark also loves to
and was determined to accomplish it. As a college                               travel. Last summer Mark explored the island of
graduate, Mark had job offers in other industries                               Aruba with his family for a week. One of the best
that would pay better starting wages than an                                    vacations he ever took was a halibut and salmon
entry-level accounting position for a national firm.                            fishing trip in Alaska.
However, He stuck to his plan and is very happy                      Besides vacations, he attends professional conferences every
with his decision. He said it was definitely the better long-term    summer and loves to learn new things. He values continued
decision.                                                            professional training and feels it important to remain sharp.
Mark is currently a partner of Hawkins Cloward & Simister, a         Maintaining specialized knowledge puts you in a strong
highly respected local accounting firm. As a full-service firm,      position to help clients.
Hawkins Cloward & Simister administers audits of government          Mark suggests that students gain a strong understanding
and private entities. They also do litigation support for            of accounting principles. It is well worth the effort to apply
companies that need a receiver to take in assets and oversee         oneself and come out of college with good grades in order to
the proper dispersion of them. Another frequent service they         land a decent job with a reputable firm or company. On-the-
perform is business valuations to help buyers or sellers assess      job training with an excellent company opens many doors of
a company’s true value. Lastly, they do estate planning to help      opportunity. Working for a national firm is not the only way
people pass their wealth to children wisely.                         to go, but when planning your career, look for the best type
Mark loves his job and has found a lot of diversity in working       of company or firm in your desired specialty and shoot for it.
as a public accountant because you are exposed to both               Don’t sell yourself short.
public and private entities and so many types and sizes              For accounting students who aren’t sure what to specialize
of businesses. He said he experiences new and different              in, Mark recommends an internship with a local business to
opportunities every day.                                             get a real taste of how auditing, tax, or other disciplines you
For him, the most gratifying part of his job is helping people       feel you might be interested in would be. And lastly, if you are
make wise business and retirement decisions. Right after tax         trying to decide whether to pursue a CPA certification or not;
season, Mark spends time going over notes he took while              do it! You’re much more likely to get a great job as a CPA than
doing taxes with clients and then assists them in reaching their     with an undergraduate degree in business or accounting. This
goals whether it is an exit strategy, gifting ownership to family,   specialty makes a big difference to employers. ▪

                      FUN	with	Accounting

               The auditors have taken an inventory of thermometers held in a
               warehouse, in summer. The thermometers will be exported out of
               the country in January, and are kept under lock and key.
               In December, auditors ask management to redo the inventory
               count. The management is surprised. “Why? Nothing has
               changed.” The auditors tell them, “The inventory is overstated, in
               summer there is more mercury in the thermometers.”

Today is That Day - continued                There are others whose career goals            is: What sorts of growth opportunities
                                             may be different and for them, the             will come with my new job? Is this
They also gain excellent project             resume and job market perceptions that         something that is going to help me
management experience and generally          flow from it may not be relevant. I know       acquire new skills? Will I be working
have opportunities for higher levels         three very successful entrepreneurs who        with people that I can learn from? Will it
of interaction with decision makers at       left public accounting after less than two     further my career goals (whatever those
clients and generally develop some sales     years. In their cases, it is unlikely they     goals may be)?
skills and savvy.                            will ever use a resume to get a corporate
                                             job. It’s just not the career path they have   One unfortunate scenario I have
The other thing that the job market place    chosen. They all make good money, love         observed occurs when someone starts
values is the fact that public accounting    their work and for them, leaving public        out in public accounting (because
generally attracts a fairly competitive,     accounting early was probably the right        everyone told them that that’s what
bright group of people. First, you have      choice.                                        you’re supposed to do), hates it, gets
to get accepted into the business                                                           burned out and quits after a year or two.
school, then you have to get accepted        In my case, I started public accounting        They are so desperate to get out of their
into the accounting program, then you        convinced that I would stay at least           miserable job that they decide to leave
have to take the GMAT (depending on          until I made manager. At that point, I         to take a job as the Accounts Payable
the program) and get accepted into the       figured that I would be able to decide         clerk at a small company. This could be
graduate program. Then you have to           whether the partner track was for me           a good move if they would like to be an
survive recruiting and convince a public     or whether I should start looking for          A/P clerk or assistant controller for the
accounting firm to give you and offer.       other opportunities. As it turned out,         rest of their career. However, if that is
                                             much earlier than expected, someone            not part of their career plan, then this will
Once in public accounting, the level         in my network contacted me with an             likely result in a major career setback and
of competition rises as the group of         unsolicited opportunity that I could not       a lot of dissatisfaction.
accountants that has made it through         refuse (a very good CFO position with
the gauntlet of school and recruiting        ownership and lots of upside). Accepting       Finally, if you’re not excited about
now competes for a limited number            that job was the best decision I could         spending a few years in public
of available promotions. A resume            have made and things have worked out           accounting, don’t. As one of my
that shows that someone was able to          very well. It was really a matter of chance    accounting professors used to put
compete well enough to get into public       that the job came along when it did. In        it, “if you’re not passionate about the
accounting and then be successful in         most cases, something like that doesn’t        opportunities that you are pursuing, then
getting promoted through the ranks up        just fall out of the sky, but when it does,    in a few years, you will find yourself in a
to manager can really help a candidate       you may want to consider revising your         boring job as the controller of a dog food
stand out. This all assumes of course        career plans to capitalize.                    plant.”
that you are interested in going after
corporate jobs where this sort of resume     I think the big question to ask when           If you have any questions you would like
will be useful in distinguishing yourself.   contemplating leaving public accounting        researched for you, please contact us
                                                                                            through ▪

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