On Thursday, September 29, 2022, The School of Business held its annual Meet the Firms event in virtual format. The choice for this format was selected to enable representatives from a variety of firms to attend optimally. The firms that participated in this year’s event were:
In addition, several Woodbury accounting alumni, such as Alex Dadashev and Ruxandra Badilas, shared valuable insights about the profession.
After a brief introduction from School of Business Dean, Dr. Joan Marques, Accounting Co-Coordinator, Dr. Alice Shiotsugu, welcomed the participating firms, students, and faculty, and invited Berenice Hernandez to say a few words on behalf of the Accounting Society. Jeff Neumeister, who fulfilled the dual role of Accounting Co-Coordinator and representative of Neumeister & Associates, served as the event moderator, and gave the participating firm members an opportunity to introduce themselves, followed by an invitation to share a typical day at their work.
Throughout the conversations, some important insights emerged:
The audience learned from IRS representatives Vince Capobianco and Sam Gomez, that the IRS has received a major budget to hire and is now massively recruiting. Students from a wide array of expertise areas, freshly graduated individuals, and mid-career individuals, will be attracted.
Gerard Mekhsian and Jordan Young shared some background information on Hutchinson and Bloodgood, a firm that recently celebrated its first centennial, and now operates from five locations, offering a range of services such as tax preparation, auditing, business planning consulting, cost segregation, estate planning, and consulting services.
Ruxandra Badilas shared her experiences at Ernst & Young, having first been attracted as a Woodbury student in an internship position, and subsequently being offered a full-time position.
Mary Akpovi, who retired from public accounting after a career spanning four decades, shared her experience, which mainly focused on mergers and acquisitions, and currently entails consulting.
Johanna Flores, who represented Moss Adams, shared her history, having started at EY, and subsequently shifting to her current employer, which is one of the 15 largest accounting/consulting firms in the nation, headquartered in Seattle. Moss Adams operates from 30 locations and provides a full range of services from accounting services, including tax and audits, to consulting and wealth management.
Alex Dadashev, also a Woodbury University accounting alumnus, shared his rich experience, first working for a very small firm while still being a student, then moving on to EY – one of the Big Four – and now serving in yet a different accounting related environment with a completely different set of tasks and responsibilities, in which he has managed to develop different skills.
Jeff Neumeister highlighted the areas of service in which Neumeister & Associates engage, not limited to tax services, but also including CFO outsourcing, crypto currency, expert witnessing, and forensic accounting. He underscored his company is interested in interns, but also attracts individuals who are in mid-career.
Several of the firm participants explained the “new normal” in their firms, which entails a hybrid approach with some days of the week at the office and other days working from home. The number of days on either side is often influenced by the season, with tax season demanding more in-office hours. The members explained that their companies are very mindful of work-life balance, and that, while full-time working in the field and attending school full-time, might be challenging, it is not impossible. They all underscored that obtaining the CPA license shortly after earning your accounting degree might be the best way to go since the requirements for the exam regularly change.
Another interesting aspect that emerged was the fact that the representatives from smaller firms saw more direct contact with clients than those from larger firms. The IRS representatives underscored that being hired by this large organization mainly entails training in the first few years, resulting in audit projects that entailed direct working with clients.
Last Updated on October 3, 2022.