other peoples frustrations with the accounting world

Hi all,
I'm a second year accounting student. I currently work as an accountant for a medium-sized insurance company. Every now and then I see these posts of people who can't find jobs as accountants or regret
taking accounting as their major. These posts kind of worry me a bit...but are these just the complaints of a small population, or do these reflect the majority of the accounting world?
The other thing I wanted to ask was about being recruited by a big four firm...Like I said I already work as an accountant, and my firm was hopping that I stay after I finish college, (I am going for my masters). Prior to working with them, I was an accountant with a construction / real estate company, even though I've always wanted to be a CPA I've come to enjoy working in these smaller environments so what I'm asking is, not working for a big-four firm a career killer? or can you still be successful in the accounting world even if you don't work for a big-four type firm?
Thanks for your responses!
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There just happens to be a plethora of disgruntled and/or unemployed accountants here.

The only reason to work for a big 4 (used to be more of them back in the day) firm would be a jump-off point to a position with one of their clients (which those breaks have been put on recently I believe). Otherwise, if you plan to open your own practice, you'll most likely not get the skills to do so in a big 4 firm.
--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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wrote:

....
They should worry you. Accounting is an overhead function that depends upon commerce to supply the entities that need its function. Two things you probably have not given much thought to are:
(1) We as a country have been deindustrializing for a long time. We have been "shipping" the companies that need accountants overseas.
(2) Automation has been reducing the need for accountants since the 1950s.
If all the accountants who couldn't find accounting jobs were complaining on this board, it would fall under the load. The simple fact is that they don't get accounting jobs, so they go do something else.
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"Ron Todd" complained again

CNN Money.com disagrees with you.
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/moneymag/0703/gallery.bestjobs_young.moneymag/4.html They are looking at 22% job growth over 10 years.
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocotjt1.htm The US Department of Labor lists it as #2 for those with Bachelors degrees for occupations having the largest numerical job growth, just behind school teachers.
Telling others not to go into accounting probably won't help you land your dream job.
--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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wrote:

Paul, Thanks for your responses, that was just the info I was looking for!
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On Fri, 13 Jul 2007 14:09:22 -0400, "Paul Thomas, CPA"

I've heard that same song for the last dozen years. It still hasn't gotten me a full time job. I've done a few temp positions (even those have dried up as companies find it is easier to higher expendables, like the new graduates for the tax season) where I've gotten close to personnel and seen the stacks, literally stacks, of resumes from fully qualified accountants. Nothing I have seen with my own eyes says shortage, it says glut.
Now, lets ask the questions. (Very few people do, I find) Who is saying there is a shortage? What evidence are they giving? Did they use a survey and if so who did they survey? What questions composed their survey instrument? Would any of them have a motive for maintain an excess of accountants?
I still pay the fee every two years and take the C.P.E. to keep my license current, but I have never made a buck out of it.
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And you're not bitter - at all.

No doubt, location is everything.

No one said there's a shortage.

Ever thought of going out on your own?
Be your own boss?
Why isn't it worth the shot?
You clearly don't have anything to lose.
--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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On Sat, 14 Jul 2007 22:06:33 -0400, "Paul Thomas"

No, why, I can't do anything about it. I greatly saddened by the lies and the liars in the business world these days. I am convinced it is destroying the profession and C.P.A. s will soon be held in the low esteem of used car salesmen.

Pretty sure no as I have searched nation wide for a dozen years and found nothing.

You must not be reading much outside of tax pubs these days. Its been the steady drill in my ears. I figure its mostly practitioners and their sock puppets in the "financial press" and the schools beating the drum for a steady supply of new fish. The practioners for cheap labor and the schools to keep their government handouts coming in.

Yes, looked at it quite closely. The market is very bad and I've noticed that quite a few firms have folded over the years. One of the problems, with the fibs I believe, is that it has seriously ruined the reputation of the brand and an increasing number of small businessmen no longer see any value in having a C.P.A.
(Frankly, from the practitioners I've met over the last thirty years, I am surprised anyone sees any value in C.P.A.s.)
The days when setting up a practice was a slam dunk are gone. It is now a very risky place to put ones capital. I don't think banks are loaning startup capital for starting a practice anymore, are they?
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No one said it was a "slam dunk". Going into business is hard work, and remains hard wrk even after 15 years.
But I've never relied on one client for my revenues, so if I lose one or two, or three, or.....it's not a big deal. You work for a company and they decide to cut back, it's SOL if you're the one holding the short straw.

Any business is, always has been, I see nothing different now nor in the future.
It's what you make of it. You definitely can't hang out a shingle and expect to gross $250K in the first 12 months And no, I doubt any lender will cover much more than hard asset purchases. You've got to come out of pocket for a bulk of the overhead. But face it, this isn't a profession where you have to sink tens of thousands into assets to get started. You obviously have a computer, so determine what services you would like to offer (ie: what your future clients will want from you) and buy the software you need. The rest can be had as your client base develops.
--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
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