Tag Archive for 'Accounting'

Internship Spotlight: Chao Lee, Voith Paper, Inc.

Chao Lee, Accounting Major

Overview

I am currently interning at Voith Paper, Inc. located in Appleton as an accounting intern. Voith Paper is a family-owned manufacturing company founded in 1867 with approximately 40,000 employees in 280 locations worldwide. To this day, it is still a family-owned company and one of the largest, directed by a management-holding from its headquarters in Heidenheim, Germany. The company consists of four main commercial sectors: Voith Paper, Voith Hydro, Voith Turbo, and Voith Industrial Services.

How did I obtain my internship? Resources I used?

I learned of this internship through our very own internship director, Jessie Pondell. As I was in the middle of applying and interviewing with different companies, Jessie emailed me about this opportunity and I applied for it through Titan Jobs. I was contacted by phone to go in for an on-site interview where I met and interviewed with the tax department team. About a week later, I was offered the position and started in June 2012.

What feelings did I have going into the internship?

Like many students, I was very nervous for many reasons. First of all, this was a full-time co-op dealing with high-level accounting and tax work, and on top of that, this was my first internship, so I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t gotten very far in my education yet and I especially haven’t taken a tax course so I was afraid I didn’t have all the necessary technical skills. But on the flip side, I was also very grateful and excited going into this internship. I cared a lot about my accounting classes and work; therefore, I couldn’t wait to get hands-on experience in the field!

What are some of my favorite projects?

The quarterly tax installments and year-end tax provisions and extensions are a lot of fun. Not only am I learning a lot about the book-to-tax process and all the tax principles and regulations that come with it, but I am also challenged and kept busy with these projects. Another project I enjoyed includes the Process Documentation project that is new this season. Documenting each tax process from beginning to end has helped me see the department’s projects and tasks in a larger picture, enabling me to easily understand how and why they do it.

My Future

I am very content in my major selection thanks to Voith. My real-world experience in the accounting field reaffirms me that accounting work involves all the things I enjoy doing. I plan to intern more throughout my remaining time at UWO and hopefully end up with the perfect career after graduation. My ability to take on work and problem-solve through the challenging responsibilities at this organization has given me the confidence and skill sets to do anything. Nothing’s impossible.

Internship Spotlight: Maribeth Schneider,Jorgenson Accounting and Tax Services

Maribeth Schneider, Accounting and Human Resources

Company Overview

Jorgenson Accounting and Tax Services is located in Waupaca, Wisconsin. It is an S Corporation that has been in business for 11 years. More than 50% of the business handles tax services, as well as other services that include payroll, sales tax, and general ledger.

 

How I Obtained my Internship

I used a personal network to find my internship. I was casually talking to my dad’s accountant about school and how I also needed to find an internship when she suggested interning with her. Being able to find an internship with Jorgenson Accounting and Tax Services was a great relief for me because it is in the same city as where I live. As a commuter student, this took off the stress of having to manage any additional traveling for school and work.

 

Incorporated Coursework

Any job assignments that I have been given, I can relate to my current and past coursework. When I am reviewing or entering general ledgers for clients, I am able to identify what transactions belong in the different accounts from Intermediate Accounting. I was first introduced to Quickbooks in Accounting Information Systems, which is the system I now use at my internship. The most relevant area includes tax questions from clients, which are practically the same applications drawn from my tax class. It is a reassuring experience to be able to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it in a workplace setting.

 

My Future

My supervisor is very encouraging to me about the future. We have already discussed the possibility of me staying at Jorgenson Accounting and Tax Services after my semester has ended. Along with promoting a continued job position, she has stressed the importance of taking the CPA exam. This has always been the goal for me from the start. After going to school and working with accounting, I am positive that this is the right career path for me. I am excited to finish my internship with the prospect of continuing working where I am, as well as graduating in May and continuing with my goals and career.

Internship Spotlight: Adam Schubert, First Source Worldwide

Adam Schubert, Accounting

A First Source Experience

                My name is Adam Schubert, an Accounting major at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  I plan on graduating after this upcoming spring semester in 2013.  I have completed much of my coursework required to obtain my degree with a few classes left for one final year of college!  I had still needed an internship though and was pretty stressed out about finding one.  And then I found an accounting internship with First Source Worldwide.

First Source Worldwide is a supplier that manufactures and distributes chemicals for other company’s needs.  Some of their clientele include Rawlings Sporting Goods, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom.  Many of the chemicals they provide are pigments/colorants used in clothes that we wear every day.

I had stumbled across this internship by signing up for the email program offered through the Internship Program at UW-Oshkosh.  I received an email stating that interns were needed at this company and responded right away.  After completing an interview, FSW had contacted me and they offered me an internship.  I was able to start mid February 2012.

At first I was really nervous about this new endeavor.  I was unsure what to expect besides what they had told me during the interview where they gave me a vague list of responsibilities.  After about a week I realized what I had gotten myself into.  It seemed overwhelming at first but as time went on, I became very comfortable in my role at First Source Worldwide as an intern.

I have been able to incorporate a great deal of my previous coursework in this internship.  One of the courses that I have been able to apply the most is Bus 305 (Accounting Information Systems).  This class had taught me to use Peachtree which is very similar to QuickBooks.  I use this everyday when entering and approving bills.  Another course that I am using in my position at FSW is Quantitative Business Analysis (QBA).  I use Excel every single day and this class has helped me become efficient in using the program.

My main responsibilities on a daily basis consist of entering and approving bills for both U.S. and Mexico operations.  I also help occasionally with some costing projects in order to supply the business with information that helps them price their products competitively.  I also help out with the purchasing department when they need the additional support.  This has exposed me to various areas of the business giving me a fuller understanding of the business operates and a broader overall experience.

Although I have been exposed to various departments of the company, this exposure reassures me that I would like to stick with the accounting field.  I love everything about it and I continue to learn every day I’m at my internship.  I have recently been offered to continue this internship throughout the upcoming school year and I look forward to the additional experiences ahead of me.

Internship Spotlight: Jamie Churchill, Materials Converting, LLC Company

Jamie Churchill, Accounting

Company Overview

Materials Converting, LLC is located in West Allis, WI.  They specialize in processing primarily flexible materials.  These processes include converting materials by sheeting, slitting, laminating, shearing, die cutting and any combination of these to meet the customer’s needs.  Because service is the most important aspect of the business, they strive to provide quality products in as little time as possible.

How I Got the Position

I received my internship through personal connections.  While going through the process of looking for an internship, I was using Linked In as one of my primary resources.  I noticed that the owner of Materials Converting, LLC, who is also my sister’s boss, had viewed my profile.  After mentioning it to my sister she put in a good word for me.  I emailed the owner my resume and met with him and his wife. They then offer me the position.

My Role

My responsibilities consist of every day accounting tasks done by the organization.  I am doing everything the accountants that actually work for the company do, which I love.  This includes the daily task of creating and sending out invoices, receiving and entering cash receipts, and matching purchase orders to received invoices.  Weekly I enter payables and payroll for both our company and our sister companies.  At the month end I enter the bank reconciliation and soon I will be involved in a quarter end.

Am I happy with my major selection?

Yes, because there are many different aspects associated with this job.  I am gradually beginning to understand the company, its customers, and suppliers.  I am learning something new everyday while still doing the staple responsibilities, such as invoicing and cash receipts.

Correlation to Course Work:

The basic knowledge I learned in my accounting classes comes in handy.  By knowing the basics, I can see how the transactions flow through and impact the organization.  Journal entries aren’t just used in the classroom!  Also, we use a computerized system here at Materials Converting and the experiences I had in my Accounting Information Systems course definitely helped introduce me to using a computerized accounting system.

 

 

Internship Spotlight: Jill Niles, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Jill Niles, Tax Intern Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Company Overview: Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, founded in 1931, is a full-service accounting and advisory firm. Baker Tilly is ranked as one of the top 20 largest accounting and advisory firms in the U.S. The firm has office locations across in the Midwest and east coast in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.

Baker Tilly offers traditional tax, accounting, and audit services, but its professionals also have expertise in the areas of private investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, management consulting, estate and financial planning, and other service areas.

A few of the industries the firm serves include construction/real estate, government contractors, health care, higher education, manufacturing/distribution, non-for profit, renewable energy, and retail and commercial. Employees generally specialize in one of these industry areas and work with a team to serve their clients.

My Experience at Baker Tilly

I began my tax season internship at Baker Tilly on February 2, 2012. I worked as a part-time tax intern for the firm’s manufacturing team. Because I was working part time and started my internship later due to a study abroad opportunity, my duties at the firm were strictly tax related.

My work in February began with preparing personal property taxes for clients. Preparing these returns involved a lot of classification, reconciliation, and problem solving which I loved. The remainder of my internship I focused on preparing individual returns. These were more difficult, but I found it so interesting to learn about our clients as well as tax laws and processes.

I had the opportunity to work very closely with the members of my team. Several people would work to complete returns for the same clients, so there was a strong sense of teamwork and communication. This was one of my favorite parts about my internship. I developed professional relationships with my coworkers, and learned so many things from them all.

The most challenging part of my internship was the amount of hours I worked and how much work there was to be done. Balancing my work and school definitely required careful time management. I was very impressed with how Baker Tilly empowers, motivates, and entertains its employees during this potentially stressful time. We would have team lunches, outings, March Madness Tournament, Chili Cook-off, and the end of the season party. This made the work fun and always gave us something to look forward to.

Overall, I had an excellent experience interning at Baker Tilly. I really enjoyed the work I did, the people I worked with, and the company culture. I definitely feel that I worked very hard, but I also had a lot of fun at my internship. It is important to enjoy where you work, especially in an environment such as public accounting where the hours are long. I really enjoyed the challenge of my internship and the opportunity to constantly learn new things. Most importantly, my internship helped me to confirm that accounting a great career fit for me.

Advice to Other Students

The best advice I can give to other students is to step out of your comfort zone. I am naturally a shy person and find networking situations difficult. However, as soon as I began to put myself in those situations more and more, I found incredible opportunities opening up for me. My confidence improved immensely and I was able to gain the professional experiences I had been looking for.

I would also suggest to anyone looking to do a future internship to get the most out of the opportunity. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. After all, the purpose of the experience is to learn. I found that I learned much more when I tried to understand not only how to do something, but also why it was done that way. Also, the more you ask questions and interact with your co-workers, the more confident you feel in yourself and your work.

Internship Spotlight: Lucas Wolosek, Wolosek and Wolosek CPAs

Lucas Wolosek, Accounting Major

Introduction and Company History

My name is Lucas Wolosek and I recently was a staff accountant intern for Wolosek & Wolosek CPAs. Eugene Wolosek, my grandfather, originally founded Wolosek CPAs in the 1960s. He ran his business without hardly any help until he hired his son Kevin and Kevin’s wife Mary, my parents, in the 1980s. He later retired and sold his business to them in 1990, which they have successfully run since.

My Responsibilities & Experiences

I started my internship on February 1, 2012 and worked through the end of tax season, which ended on April 17, 2012. My main job was to create individual tax returns for clients. Usually clients provided all the information needed to do this, but sometimes I had to contact them and acquire the missing information. I was also given a couple of small projects that included organizing information for family trusts and doing adjusting journal entries for clients.

I really enjoyed my internship and the experiences that came with it. I learned a lot about individual tax returns and I am now confident in creating them. I had fun working with my fellow employees and meeting some of Wolosek & Wolosek CPAs’ clients. I learned a lot of the company’s clients have been coming to them for years, which made me realize how important client relationships are.

The most important thing I learned

I learned it is really important to create good notes for yourself and others. When presented with new information I was told to create notes for myself. This helped me eliminate having to ask the same questions over again. I was also given notes from my fellow employees that they had made for themselves in the past.

Writing notes for others is also important. I learned the notes I left for others had to be clear otherwise the notes were useless. Just because the words and indications on my notes made sense to me, did not mean it made sense to my fellow employees or the company’s clients.

Future Career

My internship made me realize I like the career path I have chosen. I really enjoyed working with clients and creating their tax returns. I also liked doing other accounting work when it was available. I feel this experience will help me to be successful in the future, and has made me still want to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

 

Internship Spotlight: Ross Helein, Schenck SC

Company Overview

Schenck SC is a Wisconsin-based CPA firm that has been providing tax, audit, consulting and governmental services for more than 80 years. With 9 branches spread throughout the state of Wisconsin, Schenck is dedicated to serving its clients with the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible.

This semester I was placed at the Green Bay branch of Schenck, the 2nd largest out of the 9 offices. I was located on 2nd floor, which provides tax services to the individuals and businesses that we serve.

Why Schenck?

When I was a wide-eyed sophomore first starting in the college of business, I hadn’t the slight clue about what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to work for. While at the fall Career Fair on the Fox, I felt awkward talking to the professionals from the different companies. When I fell on Schenck’s booth, I did not have that level of discomfort.  Rebecca Stanonik, who would later be my main HR contact, really put a lot of my tensions to rest by her relaxed demeanor.

I stayed connected to Rebecca through my junior year, and when senior year rolled around, I knew that I wanted to do a full time internship with Schenck. What I had learned in my 2 years of networking was that it was not Rebecca presenting herself; it was her presenting the company as a whole. Schenck was the kind of place I could see myself at, a relaxed yet professional firm that prides itself on taking care of clients and employees. The icing on the cake came when Rebecca called me 3 days after my interview.  She told me that there was no need for a follow-up interview; I got the job.

Tax Season 2012

My tax season started in January with training. Unlike most of the other interns, I did not attend the majority of the training sessions. I was informed on the first day of training that I was needed at the Green Bay office as soon as possible. I was confused as to what was happening, but it made better sense when I went to Green Bay the next day. They asked me to skip out on the full training to assist with W-2 and 1099 preparation for the first month and then I would receive on the job training from February through the end of my internship.  Schenck did not disappoint.

My first month was a lot of monotonous work (printing and stuffing envelopes), but after it was all done, I moved to the tax center where I stayed until mid-April. The on-the-job training gave me a richer understanding of our tax system and all of the software that Schenck utilizes to complete client returns. Finally applying the concepts that I had been learning for so long was such an enriching experience. It truly was everything I had hoped for, a lot of hours, a lot of learning, and a lot of fun.

 Closing Thoughts

A life goal of mine is to work for a company that takes care of its employees and provides an environment of positivity and encouragement. My co-workers at Schenck were all friendly and supportive; they wanted to see me grow and learn. Even though I am not sure if I am cut out to be a CPA for the rest of my life, I am glad that I have this experience under my belt. Seeing what the real world is like truly excites me for my future career.

Internship Spotlight: Darren Steger, Walt Disney World Resort

Darren Steger, Accounting and Finance Major

Intern Background

My name is Darren Steger and I am currently a senior at UW Oshkosh double majoring in Accounting and Finance along with having an Emphasis in Entrepreneurship.  I am currently participating in a co-op internship working as a Merchandise Planning Professional Intern at the Walt Disney World Resort®.  I am having an experience of a lifetime learning how one of the world’s best entertainment companies brings magical entertainment to life.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Company Overview

The Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL opened in 1971 and has grown to feature four theme parks – the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Also, more than 20 themed resort hotels, two water parks, and the Downtown Disney® Area, a daytime and nighttime entertainment complex, all comprise the Walt Disney World Resort®. Today, the company employs nearly 70,000 “cast members” and provides world class entertainment to millions of visitors each year.

Application Process

The first steps how I began working for Disney started when I applied in early October 2011 at the Disney Professional Internships website.  I then took part in a first round phone interview within a week after I applied.  After the phone interview, I was anxious to work for Disney but then had to wait nearly two months later as in early December I got a phone call from my current leader with a second round interview.  It was difficult to get things in order on such short notice but leaving to par-take in a professional internship with Disney was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort

Merchandise Planning Intern Role

My role consists of analyzing, validating, planning, and executing franchise programs and merchandise promotions.  I am the main contacts in charge of organizing and delegating promotional workflows to ensure they are completed correctly, timely, and efficiently.  Another role I have is in assisting pricing integration with incorporating price changes in Disney’s internal computer system.

An additional task I have is to conduct analyses on promotions by creating reports using internal software systems as well as creating reports using Microsoft Excel.  Promotional analyses are mostly conducted within our division on Disneyland®, Walt Disney World®, Disney Cruise Line®, and the Aulani® Hawaiian resort.

Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios

I am also currently working on a long-term project with a Junior Pricing Analyst to construct an efficiencies workflow process map for Disney’s promotions.  This process map will be used for future uses after my internship as the map will ensure consistency, accuracy, and organization for promotions throughout the Walt Disney Company®.

At the end of my internship the Junior Pricing Analyst along with myself, will be presenting to my Merchandise Promotions Analytics leader, the Location Planning Managers from Walt Disney World® and Disneyland®, as well as presenting to several other Disney senior merchandise executives.

Advice for Future Interns

My best piece of advice I could possibly give is to build your resume!  Make sure you participate in on campus clubs, volunteer, keep a GPA above 3.0, and have work experience for your employer to effectively evaluate your skills and abilities even if it’s not for the position you are applying for.  Not only are the things important that you do to enhance your resume but how you present your resume is essential as well.

Be sure to proofread your resume several times as well as have your peers give you some constructive criticism on it.  Make your resume appealing and easy for the reader to find information they want.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom

The primary reasons why I got the position over hundreds of others was because I had a flawless resume, I dressed up and smiled during my phone interviews, and I wrote a thank you email immediately after the interviews.  Employers pay high attention to detail and doing the little things to exemplify your professional development may set you apart from the competition.

Once you are in a professional intern position, set up “meet and greets” and network with as many professionals as possible.  It’s vital to network within different areas of the business to help you determine where you feel is the best fit for you.  Lastly, go above and beyond to exceed expectations not only in your internship, but challenge yourself to be the person you didn’t think you could be.

Internship Spotlight: Marcia Seston, WI Dept of Transportation

Marcia Seston, Audit Intern, WI Dept of Transportation

Organization Overview

The WisDOT plans, builds, and supports Wisconsin’s state highways and interstate system.  It also maintains Wisconsin’s rail, air, and water transportation as well as bicycle and pedestrian services.

WisDOT also closely works with other state, local and federal agencies in their commitment to provide safe, efficient, and quality transportation services.

The WisDOT employs other companies and agencies to complete road construction and other roadway and bridge projects.  These companies compete against one another by submitting competitive bids for certain projects.

My Role

As the audit intern, my responsibilities include creating project audit setups, assisting higher level auditors while out in performing audits, and reporting audit findings and recommendations.

A Typical Day

A typical day for me starts with going through any emails that I received the day before.  Then I usually spend a few minutes going over what I did the day before and what I plan on doing that day.  Afterwards I either continue working on a setup from the day before or I begin a new setup for a different project.

A setup involves downloading the project contract, any amendments, and invoices from the WisDOT database and determining what type of setup needs to be created, then reconciling the contract and invoices with what the WisDOT database shows was allowed and paid.

My Advice

My advice to up and coming COB students is that it is never too early to start looking for an internship; the longer you wait to look, the harder and more frustrating the search will be.

Internship Spotlight: Mark Juedes, Clifton Gunderson Allen

Mark Juedes, Accounting Major

History & Background

Clifton Gunderson was founded in 1960 in Peoria, Illinois. Before the start of 2012, the firm ranked around 15th in the nation in firm-generated revenues. At the start of 2012, Clifton Gunderson merged with the similar-sized firm Larson Allen to form Clifton Larson Allen, the newest top 10 certified public accounting firm in the United States.

The firm has 90 locations throughout the United States and serves over 150,000 clients on an annual basis to bring in approximately $550 million of revenue in 2011, combined.  The main service areas for Clifton Larson Allen include audit, accounting, tax, consulting and advisory.

The primary industries include agribusiness, cooperatives, dealerships, employee benefit plans, federal government, financial institutions, health-care, manufacturing, distribution, non-profit and state and local governments. Employees within the firm generally work across one or a couple of these industries to gain expertise to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness for both the firm and the client.

My Role at Clifton Larson Allen

Throughout the spring, I have been able to experience a large amount of both audit and tax work. I started my internship in January working on audits up until the beginning of March. I was able to partake in audits for manufacturers in the paper industry, local-governments, service providers, medical production, and plastic manufacturing clients. This wide variety of experiences helped me see what kind of clients I would be most interested in working for.

For only an internship, I was provided a lot of opportunities to travel throughout the state and mid-west on audits. My most enjoyable audit was flying to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a week stay to work on the Oshkosh office’s largest audit client.

Early in January, I prepared property tax returns for both businesses and individuals using the MR & MP forms. Starting about midway into March, my focus shifted primarily to tax work. I started working on basic returns and rapidly moved on to more complex returns that included business income, partnerships, S-corporations, farm income, rental income and foreign businesses and residence. Additionally, I assisted in preparing some business returns, which can be far more complicated based upon the type and number of owners.

My Experience

Going into my first public accounting internship, I had no idea what to expect. I, like many others, was “thrown into the fire” in January and had to learn quickly. There was not much time for me to adjust to my new work place before I was being sent out to clients on audits. I embraced the time I had to improve my communication and problem-solving skills when working on these audits. Clifton Larson Allen was excellent at providing me these kinds of experiences in order to grow as a professional. Soon after my audits ended, I quickly picked up tax work. Being allowed to work on more complex returns, other than the basic returns, allowed me to become more confident in my abilities as well as become more marketable to the professional job-force.

Closing Statements

I was nervous going into my internship with all of the unknowns ahead of me. Looking back on it, this was the most invaluable experience I will ever gain heading into the work-force and by far out ranks any internship I have ever held.

A full-time experience working around 60-70 hours a week helped me “engulf” myself in the job and made a huge difference in the amount I learned, versus only working part-time or 40 hours at a regular internship. Being on the job so much forces you to pick up a lot of material that you otherwise would not have gotten the opportunity to work on or pick up. Given the opportunity, I believe all College of Business students would greatly benefit from completing a full-time internship.

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