What I’ve Learned
Mar 09, 2021
During my first week in training I felt clueless and like I was behind. Once I started working on engagements, that feeling went away because I started picking up on the processes and my reviewers were very helpful and understanding. Everyone I worked with was always welcome to questions and displayed the “I’ve been in your shoes” attitude.
Beyond that, Cohen and Company really wants to support you in doing what you care about. For example, I was assigned to work in the hedge fund space, but I developed an interest in individual taxation. After voicing my interest, I was given more work in that area. It is important to speak up. People are always willing to listen.
One tip that has stayed with me from one of the geographic leaders is to try to develop an understanding of the meaning behind the work you do, instead of being complacent with how technology can do a lot of the work. In tax, I have prepared a lot of tax returns and much of the work is mechanical where you follow excel formulas and the like. It doesn’t always require an understanding, but I always ask questions so I can see the bigger picture. It really helps when running into issues and will help as you move up and work with clients.
One tip that is always told to you in tax is to look at prior year workpapers as a guide. That really does help immensely. It becomes easier to follow along with what was done last year and to repeat that for the current year. It is also important to learn from each engagement and to carry that knowledge with you to the next. Usually after working on one project, I’m able to refer to it to help me with other projects afterwards.
One last thing that helps me is listening to music while I work. Everyone has what works for them. Some might find music distracting and occasionally that is the case for me. But in general, I find it enjoyable and it helps me stay on track.