Internship as Part of My Accounting Education Essay

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Internship

As part of my accounting education, I undertook an internship at the offices of a. Garza's Tax Service from August to November, 2010. Adolfo Garza has a small business providing tax preparation services from two offices, one in Angleton and one in Houston. The business is small, and does mostly small commercial tax work, in addition to some personal tax work. I had very little idea ahead of time what I was actually going to do in my internship, but I was excited to get some hands-on, real world experience in accounting, as I expect to get into that business some day. Seeing what it is really like in the real world was important to me.

My statement of internship, which was formulated at the outset of the program, was intended to serve as a guide for the types of work that I would be doing on the job. The statement of internship was as follows:

"As an intern, my objectives are the following: reconciling accounts, preparing federal and state tax returns, audits, bookkeeping, payroll, and setting up corporations. I chose to intern at a sole practitioner's office because of the knowledge and experience of handling different tasks. This particular office deals with a high volume of clientele and handles a wide variety of services."Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Internship as Part of My Accounting Education, Assignment

The choice to work in a small office was deliberate. I knew that in a small office I would be exposed to a greater variety of tasks. For me, I thought it was essential to gain this exposure, as it would help me to narrow down my area of specialization. There are many practical questions I thought I would be able to answer as a result of working in a small office. The first and most obvious one is whether or not working in a small office is something that I would want for myself. The idea of working for myself is appealing, but there are more challenges -- doing marketing for example. I wanted as a result of exposure gained during this internship to have a better sense of what a sole practioner's life was really like. The other thing I wanted to learn was what areas of specialty I might prefer, if any. I thought that in a big firm I might only perform one task, whereas an internship at a smaller firm I would get to do a lot of different things. In doing so many different things, perhaps I would find that I had a preference for some over others. or, perhaps I would not. I felt that only by getting real world exposure would I know.

So this is what I had hoped to learn, hoped to achieve and hoped to experience over the course of this internship. My report on the internship will essentially have two sections. The first section will outline the work that I did for a. Garza's Tax Service. I kept a log to help me with respect to this. The second section will outline my thoughts on the internship, specifically with respect to what I learned over the course of the autumn while the internship took place.

What I Did

The job started with a task that is typical of a tax office -- dealing with a client who hasn't filed in a couple of years. I received four banker's boxes full of expenditures, payroll stubs and other tax documents. The customer had two businesses and I needed to sort those out. The task took over a week, just to sort out the expenditures for one of the businesses for 2008. This part of the job was not terribly interesting, but I learned about lot about expenditures when Adolfo (Garza) went through my work to analyze it. After this point I was able to begin organizing the tax information for the Chipotle restaurant for 2008. I made some mistakes during this point in the process and had those corrected. There are a lot of fine details that need to be addressed in this kind of work.

By September 3rd I had finished the 2008 Chipotle and begun the 2009 Chipotle. The process was much the same, but after having completed one year the second year was completed much more quickly. The 2009 tax year was interesting because the company closed down during the year. I gained experience not only with the relevant tax forms but also with how to deal with a closed business. When this process was complete, I began work on the customer's other business, Artistic Wood Works. The process was the same. First I had to separate the expenditures into categories for deductions, then I was able to have the categories reviewed by my boss. I examined the bank statements in order to calculate the income and the cost of goods sold and reviewed the credit card statements. All of my work was reviewed by my boss.

By late October I had finished the tax statements and forms for the two different companies and two different years. The process took roughly two weeks for each, so it took the first two months of my internship to produce the statements and tax returns for the customer. At this point, I was able to move on to other customers

The first of these other customers was a beauty salon that was set up as a sole proprietorship. The process was the same as for the corporations, but went by much more quickly. The client had a fairly simple personal return, so this procedure took a little over a week to complete. I learned a lot as a result of this process about the differences between sole proprietorships and corporations, and the differences between different clients in general.

I was able to move on to other tasks at this point, in particular bookkeeping. This involved a lot of data entry and reconciliation accounts. Over this period I also was able to complete an article of corporation and perform some payroll calculations. I did a lot of little tasks over this period that gave me exposure to some new areas. I was then charged with the task of preparing statements and tax returns of an LLC. During this process I was able to learn about marketing a little bit, because the customer communicated that he wanted to buy some accounting software, to improve his bookkeeping and accounting processes. So I needed to discuss with my boss about the different software options, and learn how to turn such a request into an opportunity to profit.

My last task was to deal with another corporate client, who wanted to prepare for the 2010 filing. This process involved going through the 2009 information as well. I had to report the sales tax to the state comptroller's office, which was a new procedure for me. Lastly, I discussed with Adolfo Garza what I learned as a result of my internship, and had a chance to analyze my own performance and how this was going to influence my choice of career.

What I Learned

I learned most of what I wanted to learn during this internship. I gained exposure to corporate taxes, a variety of different company structures, and I was able to work through the process of preparing a corporate tax return several times. On the whole, I found the experience to be very helpful. Having a boss who was patient with my questions and able to inspect my work carefully also helped a lot, and after the first couple of returns the entire process began to come naturally.

One of the things I really appreciated was the ability to learn about the daily flow of the job. Every customer is different, and there is always another customer that must be served. Each customer has his or her own needs, and it is the role of the accountant to try to meet those needs as best as possible. At the end of the day, it is a service industry and we need to provide that service to the best of our ability. Even when the work is slow and tedious, utmost care must be taken because the customer is counting on you to do your best, and file an accurate return.

That the first basic task of sorting out the expenditures can take days indicates a lot of what I thought about small business taxes. The role can be tedious, but there is a reason why accountants like Mr. Garza exist, because many people do not want to handle this task themselves, or they are overwhelmed by it. We get paid to do this work because we are patient, diligent and dogmatic when it comes to tax preparation, and we want what's best for the customer. I love the feeling of finally getting to the end of a long project, and when the work was approved by Mr. Garza is felt good, knowing that I was able to help somebody.

At the outset of the internship I wanted to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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