I job shadowed Phil Goldband, an experienced accountant, who along with a a partner runs his own accounting firm. Phil started out working for a large firm, but wanted something more entrepreneurial so he started out his own firm. However, if you work in a firm your days are more structured, your job is more secure, and it’s less scary than running your own accounting firm.
Phil usually works 11 hour days and does accounting work for corporate clients and lots of families and individuals. While he enjoys helping out both, Phil really enjoys working with families because it requires more creativity. As well, during tax season he has many couples come in to his office to look at their financials and during this time Phil usually acts as a sounding board and sometimes he feels like a psychologist. Of course Phil wouldn’t be able to do all the accounting himself for every business and family so he says he is like a “quarterback” who assigns work to his office staff. Some of them are chartered accountants and some aren’t but Phil reviews all the work, troubleshoots, and then reviews it with his clients. Phil mostly meets with his clients during tax season which is during February, March, and April (versus corporate accountant’s tax season which is January and February due to the year end earnings need to be reported). One frustration though during tax season, by far Phil’s busiest time of year, is when clients don’t send everything he needs into his office so this can drag on the process.
Accounting can be a great career, however, by nature it is very technical and complicated. For Phil, as a partner of his own accounting firm, one of the most important skills is being able to relate to the client and use laymen's terms. Exceptional people and communication skills are really what sets Phil apart from the typical accountant.