Written by: Derrick Emmendorfer
So I’ve told you that my internship is in the audit practice of Deloitte & Touche, but I’m guessing that many of you may not understand what the job entails. Auditors are responsible for examining the financial statements of a company in order to generate an independent opinion on whether or not those financial statements are relevant, accurate, complete, and fairly presented. All publicly traded companies are required to have an independent accounting firm audit their financial statements. Additionally, many private companies pay accounting firms to perform audit services in order to provide additional assurance to outside investors. Hedge funds and money management firms are good examples of this. If you’re wondering why these firms need to be audited, think Bernie Madoff.
Not every task or assignment you’re given will be intellectually stimulating, especially as an intern. Some of the tasks you receive tend to be pretty mindless, but at the same time they still need to be completed. When you’re given these assignments, try to figure out how to learn something from the experience rather than simply going through the motions. For example, this week I spent a large amount of time making binders. At first glance the task is not very appealing but I used the opportunity to learn about the various funds my client offers to outside investors. My job was simply to organize all kinds of quarterly and yearly reports, but from taking the time to glance through the financial statements I was able to learn more than expected from the assignment. It also doesn’t hurt to show that you’re willing to do some of the grunt work in order to make things easier for your superiors.
I’ve been fortunate to experience a couple internships before this one, so I was able to experience teamwork in the business world. Several classes at Fisher emphasize the importance of teamwork but I know many of us wonder how that will transfer to the real world. Well, my experience so far suggests that it’s very important to master communication skills in a team environment. On my first client we had over 100 people on our engagement team, but thankfully that team was broken down into smaller groups. On my current client assignment we sit at tables with 4 to 5 other people. This makes communication much easier, but at the same time if you’re not comfortable working with others it would get very annoying. So if you’re not comfortable working with others, learn to become comfortable. If you’re not comfortable speaking in front of large groups, learn to deal with your nerves. That’s about all I have for this post. Sorry I don’t have any exciting pictures for you. I’ll make sure to have some for next time.