Intern Spotlight - Accounting
Accounting consists of several sub-departments specializing in areas such as payroll, accounts payable, treasury, bank reconciliation, accounting systems, financial reporting and cost allocations. Positions include roles like staff accountants, payroll specialists, cost analysts, treasury specialists and more.
Melissa Herbert, University of Tampa
What does your role consist of?
My role consists of assisting accounts payable auditors by auditing any expense reports that are submitted for reimbursement as well as help payment processors distribute and track all client checks that are issued. Additionally, I support the specialists in entering ACAT fund disbursements and invoices, among other day-to-day tasks.
How does your MBA curriculum overlap with the real-world experience you are gaining here at the firm?
My MBA curriculum has definitely helped me prepare for this internship. My Accounting and Value Creation class focused on analyzing financial statements as well as developing my auditing skills. The course also helped me understand the substantial role accounting departments play in maintaining a profitable and growing company.
Scott Barbour, University of South Florida
What sparked your interest in accounting?
My parents owned an engineering firm, and I always thought that I was going to take over their business. But I realized I liked the business aspect more than the engineering aspect. I decided on accounting because you really can understand any business if you know accounting.
What has been your favorite project so far?
One of my favorite projects has been the contractual obligations. For this project, I have been looking at the requirements for the disclosures in the section of the 10-K (a comprehensive summary report of a company’s performance that must be submitted annually to the Securities and Exchange Commission) and 10-Q (a comprehensive report of a company’s performance that must be submitted quarterly by all public companies) and how we disclose the information. I have also liked a data analytics project and working with other interns within financial reporting.
Stephanie Schlau, University of South Florida
Where did your desire to focus on tax come from? How does this specialization help you with the work that you are doing today?
I am seeking my master’s in accounting with a focus in tax because I enjoyed working for the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. VITA is a volunteer program to help underprivileged families receive free tax services. I am able to bring my knowledge from school into my job by understanding the processes for consolidation. With my knowledge of new accounting standards, I am able to help provide research to help update accounting policies.
Explain consolidation in the accounting world.
I am working with consolidation by helping the firm close the books of the subsidiary companies into the parent company, Raymond James Financial. I am also working on the company’s accounting policies, making sure they are up to date and matched with the proper process flows.
Accounting Systems and Projects
Kiana Harris, University of South Florida
What are the reconciliations that you do on a day-to-day basis?
SYN, SIS, Shadow and Impact, which are the trading systems that feed data into PeopleSoft, an application showing official accounting records, are daily reconciliations I do each day. The purpose of the “recons” are to make sure that the inputs from the different trading systems match the outputs shown in PeopleSoft.
How does your prior accounting knowledge intertwine with the role you have assumed today?
In my accounting information systems class, we had ongoing projects in Excel that gave me great practice with different formulas and functions. It has helped me work through spreadsheets of data faster. In addition, my information systems and management class gave me a better idea of how different departments affect one another, showing me a high-level view of a company and making me aware of the pros and cons of different business structures, such as centralized and decentralized.