This past tax season was the first time I was able to participate in tax season. Before my first day, I expected papers flying everywhere, people yelling at one another and everybody being sleep deprived, paper pushing monsters. That’s not what it was like whatsoever. As soon as I walked into Powerful Accounting, there was music playing lightly in the background and employees with smiles in their faces. At first, I thought I was in the wrong place. I have never thought I would see a firm that was so relaxed and so well put together during tax season.
After all the introductions, they put me right to work, which was shocking to me. I figured I would just be the intern that had to do all the light work around the office and would be making the notorious daily coffee runs, but this was not the case one bit. They sat me at my desk and introduced me to all the different storage sites and software applications that the firm used. I was very impressed, especially when I was told that Powerful Accounting was a cloud-based firm, meaning they kept all of their clients and information in “the cloud” which was fascinating to me.
They use a document storage site called SmartVault that stores all of the firm’s clients and most of their tax information. SmartVault is such an organized and easy to use tool, especially during this time. It saved time and did not take long for me to get used to. Other tools the firm used that really intrigued me was the use of applications like Karbon (workflow management), Gruntworx (tax document organization and population), and T-Sheets (Time Tracking). Overall, using these tools made Powerful Accounting a very organized and very well-run firm. This firm was the type of firm I envisioned working with.
My average work day consisted of organizing documents in the correct order, scanning documents into SmartVault, utilizing the bank feeds feature of QuickBooks Online and reconciling bank statements. One of the huge bonuses was how the team at Powerful Accounting were cracking jokes and enjoying each other in the office. I loved the fact that when work needed to get done, everyone locked in and did what they had to do, but during other times we were able to chat and laugh about what happened the night before or over the weekend. There was always something to do, which I liked because I really am not the person that likes to sit around and twiddle my thumbs, so it was nice to always have work to do. If there really was nothing for me to do, I would always turn around to one of the other accountants there and shadow her on what she was doing and learn a little. And like any first internship, there were going to be mistakes made in the beginning. And if I did make a mistake, they made me understand what I did and why so that I would not make the same mistake again. Working here was a great learning experience, which was the number one goal for my accounting internship.
What I really enjoyed the most was how the firm dealt with their clients. Before I experienced everything, I thought people mailed or dropped off their tax documents to the accountant and thought the documents were reviewed and filed and the job was done. Here, they truly care about their clients and try to help them out in the best way possible when doing taxes. They catch things that other firms would not even think to look at.
This tax season made me realize that great accountants, like the ones at Powerful Accounting, think of all the possible ways to help their clients and are constantly looking at the bigger picture. They are not here just to get work done. They are here to help people the best they can; and being involved in this environment really changed my perspective of what doing taxes is all about.
Some people do not realize it, but fitting in that extra tax credit for a client if he or she is eligible can really make it or break it for them. Tax season really isn’t all about pushing papers and entering numbers into a computer. It’s about doing what’s best for the client and making sure they receive every deduction that they are entitled to.
I would encourage firms to consider bringing in an intern next tax season. You won’t regret it and you will be giving back to your community at the same time. I was offered a job at Powerful Accounting by the owner, Dawn Brolin and I took it! What a great opportunity to learn more about the career I have always wanted to be involved in.
Written by Michael LaMalfa, Eastern Connecticut State University 2019, Bachelors in Accounting.