A Day in the Life: Auditor Intern (Big Four Firm)
9:00 a.m.: If I'm unassigned, go to the office to check e-mails and phone messages. If assigned, arrive at the client site (but days usually start around 8 a.m.). At the client's office, I'll be meeting the client on a new job (usually the controller, other accounting personnel or pension plan administrator), getting to know where the files are, networking my laptop with my co-workers', and getting to know the job. I'll also find out the first account I'll be working on -- usually equipment, accounts receivable or attributes testing for pension plans. My senior will usually sit down with me for about a half-hour, and walk through most everything I'd be doing on the account (using the audit program and last year's work papers).
10:00 a.m.: Still working through my first account or attribute test. I stop lots to ask questions, which is encouraged. Sometimes the answer to my question has to be found with the client, and sometimes I'm sent by myself to approach the client. This helps in building a relationship with the client (if I end up working here full-time, I'll definitely see them the next year), confidence skills, and analytical skills in learning to ask the right question.
11:00 a.m.: Probably still working through the same account. Some larger accounts, like accounts receivable, take days and days. Around 11:30, one of my engagement team members will mention lunch and that will be discussed for a while.
12:00 p.m.: Lunch! A lot of variety here. I've eaten at everything from fancy places to fast food. Usually, if clients or partners are involved, lunch is taken care of. This is the time to get to know your team on a more personal level, which is always enjoyable.
1:00 p.m.: Back to work. Get some caffeine to fight off the after-lunch slump. There's a possibility that I might be starting something new at this point, and thus the cycle of explanation begins again.
2:00 p.m.: Still working though the accounts. If unassigned and in the office, there's a good possibility I'll be picked up on a small in-office job. These jobs usually consist of photocopying, typing and pulling files. It isn't bad to work these types of jobs; I enjoy the exposure I get to people I would not work with otherwise, like those in our tax department. If unassigned and not on a job, I'll be working through an online tutorial, surfing the Web, writing e-mails or chatting with friends. Unassigned time can get pretty boring, but I luckily don't have too much of it.
3:00 p.m.: Audit, audit, audit. I try to take lots of notes on my work towards the end of the day so I'll be set when I come in the next morning.
4:00 p.m.: Making sure all my work papers are organized, understandable, and that the notes make sense. If at the end of an engagement, I will always sit down with my senior and explain exactly what I had finished, where I left off, and what still needs to be done. I try to always write out all of that too, just so the message got across.
5:00 p.m.: I'll usually leave pretty close to 5 p.m., definitely by 5:30. On a few jobs I had, I left as early at 3:00.
6:00 p.m.: Fighting the traffic home or to an intern event.