Author Topic: Resume help - Accountant  (Read 1382 times)

AerynLee

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Resume help - Accountant
« on: November 28, 2017, 07:20:46 PM »
I think I'm ready for a change in careers. I'm currently an accountant for a local government. It's a mostly nice and pretty cushy job but I think I'm done working full time and want to start applying for part time or seasonal jobs. Until today I hadn't looked at or even thought about my resume in about 6 years. I always hated creating resumes and don't feel like I do a good job of writing job descriptions/achievements.

Ideally I want to work for a public accounting firm doing either tax preparation and/or bookkeeping. I've passed the CPA exam but don't have the experience to be a CPA. I'm not sure where on the resume it fits to say that I've passed all sections of the exam.

I'm attaching a scrubbed version that takes out the overly identifying information. I know it needs work. For one thing most, if not all, of the contract assignments need to come out. Should I just take them all out? It leaves some gaps in my work history and only leaves 2-3 "real" jobs; COMPANY 1, 2 and 6 (ish, see next paragraph)

COMPANY 2 is a big box tax preparation company. I didn't work every tax season in the date range. I was a receptionist in 2008, and a tax preparer in 2009 and 2011-2013. It helps fill in some employment gaps and could be useful with getting my foot in the door with a seasonal tax prep job. But what's the best way to show that?

And of course I'm open to suggestions and criticisms on any part of this. I'm in a position where I can be really picky about what job I take and want to make sure I look as good to the ones I want as I can

ETA: I've also been doing tax returns on the side for a few years. Not very many, only about 10-15 a year. Should this go on the resume? I've also been the treasurer for my tiny 10 house HOA for 2 years, keeping the books, paying bills, and preparing tax returns. It's unpaid and very small. Should this go on there?

ETA2: I'm putting the updated scrubbed resume here but keeping the old one too
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 01:17:27 PM by AerynLee »

walkwalkwalk

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 09:05:10 PM »
Hi, I am a CPA. My suggestion to you would be to work full time under a CPA for a year (longer if it suits you) so you can then call yourself a CPA (assuming that really is all that is missing). Then you will be very marketable and can do apart time work for close to full time pay. Or seasonal if you like.

I will say that you can get experience in public accounting or private, just that your work has to be supervised by a CPA. (Although whether the experience can be had in public or private accounting varies by state so check me on that) Just remember that public accounting is generally longer hours. I assume you would go into tax, and not audit.

I feel I am not an expert on resumes so I can't help you there

AerynLee

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 09:14:45 AM »
My state has the strictest requirements for the CPA: 2 years in public accounting, 3 years with the state auditors, or 3.5 years with the IRS. Private accounting doesn't count.
I'm not really interested in working 2 more years of hectic full time. If I cared that much about getting my CPA I wouldn't have stayed at my current job for 6 years. I'm not ruling out full time work entirely but the job has to be worth the time when I'm really ready to slow down and focus on other things

Typed on my phone so prone to typos and bad wording

jwright

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 09:31:45 AM »
Wouldn't the seasonal work at the tax prep company count toward public accounting hours?

To convey the fact that you have passed the exam - I've seen a section for Licensure:  CPA Candidate, Your State, X Sections Passed

I would also flush out the tax preparation section a lot more if that is the type of job you are seeking.  Here is a section of my resume:
   Oversight and review of corporate, partnership and individual tax returns with corresponding workpapers, journal entries and book to tax adjustments
   Supervision of complex tax issue resolution including, accounting method changes, like kind exchange, deferred tax calculations, tax credits, and multi state business and individual filings.


AerynLee

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 09:58:04 AM »
I think you're overestimating the tax prep I did :) This was a big box tax prep company where anyone can pay $100 to take their class and get a job with them. I can probably beef that section up a bit but I only did 1040's. And it definitely does not count towards the CPA.
Thanks for the examples from your resume, that helps a lot

jwright

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 10:22:37 AM »
I think you're overestimating the tax prep I did :) This was a big box tax prep company where anyone can pay $100 to take their class and get a job with them. I can probably beef that section up a bit but I only did 1040's. And it definitely does not count towards the CPA.
Thanks for the examples from your resume, that helps a lot

I would still try to outline more details.  Did you complete Sch A, Sch C or just do 1040EZ?  Organize the supporting documents that clients brought to you?  Decipher what was deductible vs what was trash?

AerynLee

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 11:15:04 AM »
I think you're overestimating the tax prep I did :) This was a big box tax prep company where anyone can pay $100 to take their class and get a job with them. I can probably beef that section up a bit but I only did 1040's. And it definitely does not count towards the CPA.
Thanks for the examples from your resume, that helps a lot

I would still try to outline more details.  Did you complete Sch A, Sch C or just do 1040EZ?  Organize the supporting documents that clients brought to you?  Decipher what was deductible vs what was trash?
Yup, I agree, I can definitely add to the tax prep job description. I did Schedule A's, D's, C's, even a couple of E's. I'll add something to detail this when I'm home tonight
With my side tax prep work now I do two in-home daycares which is a good reason to add it

AerynLee

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 11:52:52 AM »
Okay, I beefed up the tax preparation job description, added that I passed the CPA exam, and took out some of the contract jobs. I left in two that help fill in the gap between my undergrad and the first permanent position and were at least 6 months.

I don't have the tax prep on the side in there yet. Partially because I need to figure out how to word it. Partially because I'm afraid it could turn away employers since I'm looking for tax prep/bookkeeping work. "She wants to do this on her own, how long will she be here?" or "She tried to do it on her own and failed, maybe she's not very good" I'm not sure if that's a logical fear or not
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 01:17:38 PM by AerynLee »

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2905
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 03:41:04 PM »
I know that where I live passing the cpa test is so valuable that you can even get hired by a big 4 firm with only 3 tests passed. What one of my acquaintances from grad school did was join a tax firm and buy the partners book of clients and took over his clients. Whether he had worked previously under cpa supervision was irrelevant.

jwright

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: Resume help - Accountant
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2017, 10:18:51 AM »
Okay, I beefed up the tax preparation job description, added that I passed the CPA exam, and took out some of the contract jobs. I left in two that help fill in the gap between my undergrad and the first permanent position and were at least 6 months.

I don't have the tax prep on the side in there yet. Partially because I need to figure out how to word it. Partially because I'm afraid it could turn away employers since I'm looking for tax prep/bookkeeping work. "She wants to do this on her own, how long will she be here?" or "She tried to do it on her own and failed, maybe she's not very good" I'm not sure if that's a logical fear or not

I would show your side-hustle as an additional job.  Call it Aeryn Lee, Tax Preparation (or similar) with the dates.  For the description say something about keeping involved in developments in tax laws/regs, keeping skills fresh etc.  Like "self-employed side business focusing on continuing tax preparation skills; generated business of 10-15 1040 clients ranging in industries to include xyz...

I think your resume looks great; and you'd be ahead of other entry level applicants.