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Old 04-13-2013, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Overcast,WA
26 posts, read 55,664 times
Reputation: 17

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I am an underemployed Accountant. I have limited experience like 1-2 yrs and a BS degree in Accounting. I am working for a startup for only 10 hrs a week. I have applied with staffing agencies,internships, volunteer positions, and over 500 jobs with no offers. I am attempting the CPA exam but it helps little with limited experience. Any advice on how to get a job over more seasoned employees? Would learning Quickbooks help?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:07 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
39,118 posts, read 70,231,816 times
Reputation: 47152
I can't imagine a major employer using Quickbooks, that is more of a small business tool. You would be more likely to be using something like Peoplesoft Financials, or Oracle Financial Services. Learning business intelligence tools such as Crystal, Tableau, and Jaspersoft are more likely to get you an advantage.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:47 AM
 
2,091 posts, read 7,169,443 times
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I can't imagine being in your field and not having working knowledge of quickbooks. Anything you learn will make your more marketable. Seems like around here even the most entry level admin jobs require use of qb. What kind of jobs are you applying for?
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:05 AM
 
991 posts, read 1,046,912 times
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I am a CPA and I use Quickbooks very little. I have experience with it but I don't really specialize in operational accounting for small business, so it's not something I use everyday. People assume all accountants know everything about 1) taxes or 2) bookkeeping. In reality, most CPAs employed in public or industry are auditors of some flavor, and unless they own their own practice they may not experience the diversity of job tasks that can fall under the umbrella of "accounting".

For the OP...what part of the accounting field would you like to work in? Do you want to be in external or internal auditing, operational accounting, managerial/cost accounting, tax, attestation, forensic accounting, compliance, or IT? Do you have a particular industry you would like to work in? Let's start with those questions and I might be able to give you some tips/strategies on where to look and what certifications to pursue.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,946 posts, read 19,285,087 times
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KC_Sleuth has given you excellent advice.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY born & raised!
2,626 posts, read 4,390,162 times
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If you are looking at small to mid size companies, then QuickBooks would come in useful. The only other title you might be able to pull off is a Controller position, but those generally require years of experience.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:26 PM
 
273 posts, read 1,036,054 times
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accounting is another industry suffering outsourcing, coupled with automated software. if you are good with numbers and math, consider leaving this line of work into another related field that can use your skills.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:46 PM
 
991 posts, read 1,046,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guest4 View Post
accounting is another industry suffering outsourcing, coupled with automated software. if you are good with numbers and math, consider leaving this line of work into another related field that can use your skills.
This is possibly true of lower-level accounting positions, but auditing and higher-level accounting positions are still in demand because it cannot be easily outsourced. The same goes with my field (forensic accounting and financial fraud investigation). According to the BLS, the demand for accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16% in 2010-2020. There is always demand for some form of accounting.


BLS Job Information - Accountants & Auditors
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Overcast,WA
26 posts, read 55,664 times
Reputation: 17
Thank you all for the answers.

Wireyourworld- I have applied for Accounting Clerk, Accounting Assistant, Accountant, Staff Accountant, Accounts Payable Clerk,Jr. Accountant

KC_Sleuth- I am interested mainly in Operational Accounting and possibly nonprofits/governmental. Possibly compliance and IT. Right now, I am mainly interested in Payroll and Accounts Payable. I would like to work towards a Controller level or a high level in Payroll or higher. How did you get into forensic Accounting?

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:26 AM
 
991 posts, read 1,046,912 times
Reputation: 838
I got into forensic accounting by taking a job involving internal fraud investigations well before I completed my CPA. Also, before I obtained my CPA license I took classes in fraud investigations and examinations, and so I had a few years of experience in the field when I finally got my CPA. I also obtained my CFE, and networked through the ACFE.

I don't know what the employment numbers in your area. Operational accounting is one of the more vulnerable to outsourcing at what would be entry-level positions. Companies are finding it cheaper to outsource a/p work to India; so I would target positions above the "clerk" level, especially since you have a BA in Accounting. I would first suggest going through Robert Half/Accountemps. Since your goals are to become a controller, and you don't have any Big 4 experience, you might want to target smaller companies. If you try temping you might be able to catch on with a company where you have a chance of moving up the ladder fairly easily while you work on your designation.

Make sure your resume is top-notch. Pay someone if you have to.

As for governmental, you might have some luck with state or local but federal is extremely competitive, so you will need some experience (and probably a masters degree or CPA) first before you have a shot.
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