When most people think about what a career in accounting entails they typically picture auditing financial statements or filing tax returns. To be sure, assurance and tax services make up a huge component of the industry and are fantastic opportunities for development and long-term success. However, there are many other exciting ways to leverage the unique skill set developed during a Master’s of Accounting program. In this blog post I would like to describe one such opportunity, which I will be pursuing after graduation.
This past October I received an email from the accounting department at the Fisher College of Business asking if I would accept a nomination on behalf of the university for a fellowship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Post-graduate Technical Assistants (the formal title of the position) serve, “one-year terms, during which they become highly involved with the accounting standards-setting process and come to have an in-depth understanding of the roles played by preparers, auditors, and users of financial information.” The prospect of becoming directly involved with accounting policy and working alongside some of the top accounting minds in the world sounded like an amazing opportunity so I enthusiastically accepted the nomination. Over the course of the next six months I went through a rigorous recruitment process including obtaining a substantial letter of recommendation from the accounting department, traveling to Norwalk, CT for a final interview with the Financial Accounting Foundation, and ultimately receiving a phone call at the start of spring break letting me know that I had been selected as one of six PTAs!
As a PTA I will work on major agenda projects as well as short-term practice and implementation issues. According to the FASB, my roles will include, “analyzing written submissions received on documents issued for public comment, reviewing and analyzing published research, preparing memorandums on technical issues for Board members’ information, drafting due process documents, and evaluating accounting proposals of other organizations.” Additionally, I will, “attend and occasionally participate in public Board, task force, and other meetings pertinent to my projects.” Current projects at the Board include accounting for financial instruments, revenue recognition, leases, and many more.
The experience I will gain through my time at the FASB will be truly invaluable and provide me with a unique skill set moving forward. It allows me to apply my accounting knowledge in an unconventional way, which aligns well with my personality, strengths, and long-term goals. I am thrilled to see what the next year has in store for me and am grateful to have attended a university that gave me the education and support needed to identify & realize this opportunity.