Accounting jobs suck!

I graduated from college with a BBA in accounting in May 2002. My GPA was 3.87 on 4.0 scale. I have been a professional seeker of accounting jobs for five years. Most employers will not even consider you for
good paying position unless you are CPA or have an advanced graduate degree. The jobs I have been interviewing for are basically clerk jobs in accounts payable, receivables, and the general ledger. The managers that I have worked for are all women and are bitter and nuerotic-- and the pay sucks.
I can't believe I spent four years of my life studying economics, intermediate accounting, finance, taxation, and cost accounting to be an accounts payable clerk. If you are college student, stay away from undergraduate degrees unless your going to use them as springboard to become a doctor or a lawyer.
My career is dead and I will probably be working entry-level construction for the rest of my life.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote :

First of all, the jobs that you hope to get don't entail all that you studied. The only thing that you can do that could entail even a substantial portion of what you studied would be to go into business yourself. Secondly, you spent all that time getting a bachelor's degree, why would you turn your nose up at getting a CPA? Finally, if have spent five years looking for a job, what's 15-18 months to get the advanced degree? You young people expect to be given everything.
--

Yours,
Dan S.
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On Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:01:30 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Well, that is the price you pay when you study into a surplus category. Most people know they don't have a career in accounting after they are not recruited by a big four firm in their Junior year. (Also, it is pretty obvious when you start reading the "job requirements" and find out they are highly specific & the other thing you mentioned.)
You have the education it is now up to you to find the living, best of luck. (Twenty years ago I would have said look to the military, but they seem to be surplus on the administrative fields also.)
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Did you got skills, after you finished the study, to organize and lead the account job in a small/middle/big companies ? I ask that because I'm interesting about the educational system in your country (economy, especially accounting) and the comparison with the cost/benefit of four years of life in my country.
p.s. what is the average of going to exams in your University ?
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Read this posting for a different perspective:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/05/AR2007070502165.html
Firms Lavish Accounting Majors With Trips, Parties and Offers
By Kim Hart Washington Post Friday, July 6, 2007
Katie Piniuk got a lot of yawns from friends when she chose accounting as her major at Virginia Tech. But two weeks into her final year, she had lined up 15 interviews with the biggest firms in the country. Recruiters treated her to trendy happy hours and fancy steak dinners, wooing her with impressive salaries, free Cancun vacations and irresistible sign-on bonuses. She got three job offers in one afternoon. "I had no idea it would be that easy to find a job," said Piniuk, 23, who will start at Ernst & Young's McLean office in October. Accounting isn't typically considered to be the most thrilling course of study, but number-crunching students have become hot commodities on college campuses as firms try to keep up with the exploding demand for financial workers. Increased scrutiny of public companies coupled with the impending retirement of thousands of baby boomers have driven accounting firms to snag the next generation of auditors, bookkeepers and tax experts as early as possible with promises of plump paychecks and tempting perks. Some firms are grooming potential interns as early as high school.
"These firms are so crunched for workers that they've become really aggressive in their recruiting," said Lindsay Terry, who works in the office of career management at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "Students are getting serious internships by the time they're sophomores. The top seniors have had jobs lined up for years -- and that's after deciding between 12 offers."
The supply of accountants dropped off in the late 1990s as high-tech professions grew more popular. Yet the need for people with a knack for numbers has soared in recent years. In response to a raft of corporate scandals, Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, requiring companies to keep much closer tabs on their books.
"Ever since Sarbanes-Oxley, the demand for accountants has exploded, and it hasn't slowed down," said Charles Ingersoll, principal at Korn/ Ferry International, a recruiting and staffing firm. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies have also been affected by the shortage, making the Washington market especially tight, he added. "Every single sector is struggling desperately to fill these slots."
In the Washington region, workers providing financial and business services make up the largest professional talent pool, outnumbering legal and information technology workers by nearly 3 to 1, according to a recent Greater Washington Board of Trade report, sponsored in part by The Washington Post Co.
But area universities are not churning out enough graduates to keep pace with the growing demand. According to the report, about 1,060 local students graduated with a bachelor's or master's degree in accounting in 2005, leaving about 700 jobs in the region unfilled. The same year, the Washington area had 1,240 openings for employees with an associate's degree in accounting, yet local community colleges graduated only 100 people with the skills. Accountants and management analysts make up half of the 58,000 business and financial workers the region will need to hire over the next seven years.
As a result, recruiters often use extravagant perks to lure students into the field -- and into their companies. Last semester, PricewaterhouseCoopers threw a beach party on the University of Maryland's College Park lawn, giving away embroidered lawn chairs, beach balls with logos and $3,000 spring-break trips. Ernst & Young threw an ice cream social, and KPMG held a lavish party at a Ruth's Chris Steak House in downtown Washington for new recruits and their professors. On the first day of the fall semester, Deloitte & Touche plans to be on campus to welcome the new class of students.
In the Washington region, entry-level salaries have risen 10 to 20 percent a year for the past four years, to amounts 130 percent above what is available elsewhere in the country, said John Owen, regional vice president of Robert Half International, a staffing firm. An entry level salary typically is $58,000 to $70,000 a year; people with master's degrees generally start in the range of $63,000 to $80,000.
Last fall, days after starting his senior year at Maryland, Mark Kaufman, 22, of Silver Spring got eight job offers. He decided on a position at Beers & Cutler, an accounting and consulting firm in Vienna where he had interned the previous summer. In addition to a $5,000 signing bonus, the firm is paying part of his tuition for graduate school, which he will start in the fall. (Many states, including Maryland and Virginia, require a fifth year of school or a graduate degree before students are eligible to become certified public accountants.)
"When I was a freshman, all the seniors told me how great the market was for accountants," said Kaufman, who graduated in May. He was president of the school's accounting and business association, which held meetings that became a popular venue for recruiters looking to promote their firms to top students. Slots filled up within the first month of the semester.
"Companies are on a year-long waiting list to get in front of students at those meetings," he said. "It got to the point where we had to schedule a career fair just for accounting students."
To reach students like Kaufman, firms have tried to figure out what today's college students, dubbed the millennial generation, are looking for in a career. The Big Four -- Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG -- have nearly tripled the size of their recruiting teams and budgets over the last three years, partly to finance youth-oriented seminars, campus leadership programs and edgy marketing campaigns. Some firms have posted jobs on Facebook, a social networking Internet site popular among college students.
Beers & Cutler hired a consultant to get inside students' heads. Last year the firm gave $250,000 to the University of Maryland and George Mason University to provide scholarships to accounting students. Partners at PWC now spend part of their week on college campuses to teach classes and chat up students. Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, with headquarters in McLean, promotes a generous reward system, including 20-percent bonuses and rapid promotions. Grant Thornton, a firm with a major office in Tysons Corner, offers sign-on bonuses to interns and sends welcome letters to their parents.
Jean Wyer, head of PWC's recruiting, said the firm hires about 3,500 students, or about 80 percent of its workforce, directly from 200 colleges every year. Connecting with students as early as possible is key to successful hiring, she said.
"If you don't reach them by their sophomore year, you've kind of missed out," she said, adding that the firm is considering starting recruiting efforts at the high school level. "We'll probably be in fifth- and sixth-grade classes soon."
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wrote:

As Rusty has found out, an n of 1 is in no way typical of what amounts to the present situation in the accounting profession.
Now if you give him a job..........
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Rusty,
I've been waiting for someone to post a response that will provide you with some guidance, but no one has. Please, be patient as I try to be helpful. You have more going for you than you might know. Follow me on this:
The highest risk industry in the US economy is the construction business. Sadly, most of their failures could have been avoided if they had done one thing: control costs. Unfortunately, getting a contractor's license does not require any level of proficiency in accounting or business management. (The same thing goes for doctors, by the way.) As a consequence, good people with great technical skills go into business and many of them lose their homes, family, self respect, etc. when costs get out of control and they lose money. These are smart people, and they know that you always use the right tool for the job, but few of them know there is a "right tool" for construction accounting (job costing). They go to the nearest department store and buy a "general" accounting package, something that was never intended for them. If they are lucky, they might find the one that claims it is for construction, even if it isn't. Truth is, a great number of those contractors end up looking for a real accounting program that actually does job cost accounting.
That's where you come in. You are apparently working in construction now. You also have a degree in accounting. Why not use your education and marry the two. What if you offered your accounting skills to some of the contractors you work with, even the one you are working for now? What if you begin small, working with a few companies, even on the side, doing their job costing and their payroll at night? I firmly believe that most contractors are smart, hard working, and honest. If you approach them with a solution to their problems (controlling costs), I believe that a number of them will be honest enough to admit that they literally lose sleep over cost control. You have a solution for them. Not only will you take the worries out of doing accounting and payroll, but you can provide them with cost variance reports, telling them where their actual costs are out of line with their estimates. That is what job costing does.
What's it going to take to do their accounting? A job cost accounting program. That's where I come in. This is not a sales pitch, it's background. A-Systems has been providing job cost accounting software to the construction industry since 1978, the first company to do job costing for the PC. Our software is rated 5-Stars out of 5 by The CPA Technology Advisor, experts in their field. We have job costing software in use in every state in the nation, some of them doing hundreds of millions in annual revenue. Many of our clients started on the unnamed general accounting program then dumped it when they outgrew it or figured out it wasn't meant for them. A-Systems has job costing software that you can solve a lot of problems with. Now, the obvious question is how much it costs. Let's make it easy. We have a copy for $79.95. Don't get the idea that it's low price means it can't do the job. We used to sell this version, The Small Builder Advantage (SBA) of A-Systems JobView for $1,495 and we added another $200 for the multimedia training. At the invitation of the United States Small Business Administration, I went to Washington, DC and visited with several senior officials in their organization. During those meetings, I offered to lower the price to the point that anyone could afford it. They were overjoyed and purchased a copy for every SBA office in the country. In response, we renamed that version of the software to have the SBA acronym. If a company outgrows the SBA Edition, they can upgrade (without any loss of accounting history) to The Standard or The Preferred Edition. There's a lot of room for growth. Our largest customer reports revenues in excess of $400 million. I believe we have larger companies, but they do not release information. Our software was not written so that it requires a CPA to run it. In fact, most or our users are bookkeepers. Still, they provide job costing reports that a CPA would be proud of. (By the way, JobView has an "import" function that pulls data from that "accounting" software in puts it into JobView. We had to create it because there were so many companies abandoning it.)
If you start small and grow your business, you may find yourself with a number of construction companies relying on you for their job costing information. You can make a difference in their lives, actually reducing their risks, and increasing their profitability. They can't afford not to use you. Let me be specific about cost savings. The payroll in JobView tracks Worker's Comp Insurance based on an employee's task, not their job description. Most contractors, especially the small ones, end up paying Worker's Comp at the highest rate an employee has. For instance, if an employee works 39 hours framing and 1 hour roofing, most companies end up paying the ultra-high rate for roofing on all 40 hours. With JobView, an employee's task is tracked and the Worker's Comp rate is task-based, they pay for 39 hours at the framing rate and 1 hour at the roofing rate, saving a fortune. This was a radical concept when we introduced it in 1980. It was so radical that our new clients were almost immediately audited by the Worker's Comp people when their insurance costs dropped through the floor. We has to add a special Worker's Comp Audit Report to document the information for them because of so many of them being audited. The auditors always left quickly, satisfied that the contractor knew how to reduce costs. One California contractor reported that they saved enough to pay for the top-of-the-line version of our software---every month! You can do this for them.
Now, let's take another scenario. Let's say that one supervisor constantly runs 25-50% over budget on man-hours with his crew. This needs to be dealt with, but how will an owner know it if they aren't using real job costing software? This is what job costing is all about. In fact, if a contractor is using job costing software, they can bid bigger jobs, more jobs, more complex jobs, and succeed. You need job costing to monitor all of those jobs at once.
One more scenario. Very often, builders are told by owners, "While you're at it..." and they add tasks, modifications, and changes to the job. Unfortunately, that change may not result in a "Change Order", a modification to the contract to cover the additional costs and make a profit at it. As a consequence, they may end up losing money on that job. Several years ago, I was approached by a contractor that was using general accounting software. He had just completed a job and he had lost $120,000. He had budgeted a $100,000 profit, but there was a $220,000 swing--to the negative. He was at a loss about how to correct it because he had not idea what he had done wrong. We introduced him to job costing and he is more profitable than he has ever been in his life. He's now using the right tool for the job.
Well, that's my advice. You may have an opportunity right where you are. If you would like a bit of hope, getting pumped up, I would suggest you read the speech called, "Acres of Diamonds." It suggests that the opportunities you seek are closer than you think, but few people recognize them. I would suggest that your "Acres of Diamonds" might be beneath your feet.
Good Luck,
Arnold

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