Takin' Care of Business - Real CPAs Explain Where Being a CPA Can Take You!

Uploaded by StartHereGoPlaces on 07.02.2012

Alright alright settle down everybody. So, Erin, any ideas about what youíd like to
be? Iím not really sure. Erin, those are hardly the words for the editor of the school
paper and president of the class. Donít forget, captain of the field hockey team.
Right, nice form. Ok Erin, it says you like being counted on for your good judgment. You
like being in charge, no surprise there. Since the Supreme Court requires a tad more experience,
what about a CPA What? A Dweeb?
Au contrare! A certified public accountant is not in the same universe as that stereotype
nerd with glasses. No, a CPA is viewed as the master of business, people. One who gives
guidance, insight. Think Yoda minus the swamp and shack and with a cell phone and a laptop.
And Shannon, you too. Youíve got the talent to see things that others canít. not like
The Sixth Sense, more like Bill Gates. The ability to think differently.
Do Mr. Dilworth, everybody should be a CPA? No, some must graze in other pastures. But
everyone sure needs a CPA. Maybe this video can explain it.
The great thing about going into accounting is that it opens a whole world of possibilities.
I started talking to people in the profession and realized working in the local firm with
entrepreneurs really is my calling because then you really do get to tie into more of
the creative processes and youíre really thrown into the mix right off the bat.
The reason that I chose the firm im working at was because of the diversity of clients.
Everything from high-tech clients, internet startups, construction, contractors, manufacturers,
non-profit organizations such as the Seattle Symphony. If there was one thing that I really
did not learn a lot about in college it was the whole world of nonprofit organizations.
Behind the scenes there are hundreds of people that really make this an organization. A very
exciting and dynamic part of that behind the scenes group is that accounting department.
When people donate money to the symphony, someone has to keep track of all that, someone
has to try to continue to make those donations grow and put them to the best use. We use
the word consultant rather than the typical staff accountant because we are really looked
at as a business advisor for our clients. When we actually do come out to a client there
are various opportunities that just present themselves. They may need help hiring particular
people to grow their accounting department. Maybe they need help putting together a business
plan, something they can present to donors. Helping people figure out the best way to
structure their company. Math is really not the focus. Yes, there are numbers. Yes, there
are dollars and adding and subtracting is pretty critical but beyond that its more having
the thinking skills. You come out of college ìOh my gosh, do I know anything? Am I ready
for the real world?î But itís pretty amazing first of all, how much you do know and second
of all, how quickly you do learn. If you have any inkling that business is what interests
you and you really want to get on the inside track of any business then public accounting
is far and away the most direct route to do that.
Iíve heard the joking explanation of an entrepreneur as somebody who works 16 hours a day, so they
donít have to work eight hours for somebody else. Thereís some truth in there, but I
think in all honesty an entrepreneur is really somebody who looks for opportunities in the
market ñ the market being business all over the world- Then trying to figure out if they
can create a business out of that opportunity. The CPA profession prepared me for business.
With the desire to start my own business anyway, I knew that this huge infrastructure of the
internet that could reach millions of people would have to be used for business, and that
businesses were looking professionals who could help them create that.
I decided it was time to just jump out and start my own business. My primary role is
business development, and Iím into meeting with new clients talking to them about their
business and why the internet is an advantage. My typical day is that I start fairly early.
Iíll touch base on all the projects, websites, and ecommerce development projects we have
going to make sure everything is in order. Then Iíll role in maybe 5:30-6:00, have evening
with the family. Then when the kids all go to bed, Iím cranking out on my laptop at
home at 8:00-8:30pm and working until 10:30-11:00 at night.
I donít think you can ever stop being an entrepreneur even if youíre within a huge
firm. Firms live on entrepreneurial ideas. We always keep that in front of us in our
business. We need to keep looking at new ideas because somebody else is.
The opportunities for CPAs who understand technology and the internet specifically are
immense. You can go in and advise the new dotcom start-up companies on how they ought
to structure their company because you understand how they are going to do business on the web.
You can go into the major companies who are trying to reengineer the way they perform
services with the internet and advise them. The opportunity to serve in this role is going
to be huge. Now, Linette. You think strategically. You
have excellent communication skills and if it werenít for your high ethical standards
Iíd say maybe a third world dictator. But Iíve got to say CPA for you too. Letís go
to the video tape. I decided to obtain my CPA afterworking in
the accounting field for about three years. As soon as I passed the exam I applied to
the FBI. Itís very competitive because youíre competing with applicants nation-wide for
just a few positions. They look for advanced degrees, professional certifications which
a CPA qualifies as. The training for becoming an FBI agent was quite extensive. It consisted
of 16 weeks of vigorous firearms, physical fitness, and classroom training. For most
people, when you think of the FBI you think of kidnappings, bank robberies, organized
crime but thereís another aspect of the FBI: White Collar Crime. I specialize mostly in
the bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud area. The motive for a majority of crimes is money
and we need agents and individuals with that financial background to trace funds. We have
to prepare extensive prosecutive reports once we gather all the evidence and present it
in a logical manner to the United States attorneyís office so that they will be able to prosecute
the case. We also have to testify in court so you have to be comfortable speaking in
public. In a typical day you may have to help out a fellow agent on a search, you might
have to go out and do an arrest. I just feel good about being affiliated with an organization
that has such a rich history. To know that I had a part in eliminating some type of crime,
I get a lot of career satisfaction from being an FBI agent.
Class, while I try to reconstruct my knowledge of 1986 technology how about some other facts
about CPAs? Did you know that Tom Piccard, the FBIís number two kahuna is a CPA? And
anybody know Phil Knight, that guy who started the little sneaker company Nike? CPA. Just
look anywhere the action is and youíll see CPAs. Thatís a little loud, now where was
I? Jackie, youíve got an analytical side and a creative side, maybe you can find a
career where you can use both. Gee, I wonder where this is going.
Stay with me here ok? Mike, you have a more competitive side, that fire in your belly
to win. You ever consider a contact sport? You could be a CPA for a professional sports
team. A real tem player, unless of course you blow out your knee. Then youíll thank
your lucky stars because as a CPA youíll still have a career. Here, letís watch.
I have personal interest in the entertainment industry because I love the movies. A common
job would be as a production accountant. Each production has its own set of books. It gets
funded by the production company, which would be New Line, and the production accountant
is basically the controller, the CFO, the VP of Finance for the production for the length
of time the production is going on. You actually see the stars of the movie and you deal with
the actual finances of the movie, whatís actually making up the cost of the budget
of the movie and when one movieís over, you go work on a different movie.
My job is a little different than that. I get very involved in the big picture of the
business. Iím the person that does the business plans. Every film that we make, I have projection
for and the films that have already been released I update based on what actually happens, was
it available on television in this quarter, how much was the revenue, and when are they
paying us. Things like that I keep track of for every single film, then I add all the
films together and thatís our business plan. Where it gets creative and fun is the stuff
that you havenít made yet. Are we going to make 10 very large budget pictures? Are we
going to make 20 small budget pictures? Whatís happening with our TV division? Are they going
to have straight to TV stuff? Is there going to be a TV series? A movie of the week? A
special? What ends up happening is that I know what the vision of the company is and
I have to put the pieces together to portray that. I have to say the best thing about my
job is ow it enables me to live my life. I had a baby last year and the company has been
very flexible with me. I can work from home via a computer that the company gave me. I
can access all my files and everything. Having that balance in my life between my job and
my family makes everything that I do worthwhile. Working here at the Jets is a dream come true
for a sports enthusiast. It wasnít until I came to work here at the Jets that I realized
that there are a lot of different components that go into this finished product that you
see on the football field at 1 pm on a Sunday or Monday night football.
The great thing about being in the accounting department and being a controller is that
everything somehow or someway will pass through your desk, and you can gain some real insight
about the company youíre working for. I get involved in all aspects of the organization
in terms of measuring the performance of the organization, taking a look at the marketing
aspect, the operations aspect. So when weíre talking about maximizing revenue, it says
okay so we have to sell more tickets or weíve got to sell more pretzels at the game. Same
thing with expenses. Okay. Weíve got to control some player costs because weíve got expenses.
Weíre spending a little too much money on this or too much money on that.
In 1993, the NFL introduced a salary cap, and it became a matter of now I have this
piece I need to fit into the puzzle, and can we work this guy in? Heís going to need a
signing bonus of X. Heís going to have a base salary of Y. How will this fit in under
the salary cap? Working in the sports and entertainment industry
in general is very rewarding. Itís like being part of the team without being on the playing
field. I would have liked to have been on the playing field, but Iíll take the next
best thing. And thatís working in a front office and being a part of the team and being
very much involved in making a contribution to our ultimate goal, which is to win football
games and hopefully compete for the ultimate experience of playing in a Super Bowl.
So there, you see? Because CPAs know the language of business, they can be whatever they want
to be. CPAs work with non-profits like charities or hospitals or they run companies that make
money. Truckloads of it! But whoís counting? You could work with athletes or actors. You
could make a career tracking down criminals or internet bandits. Just imagine the possibilities.
And if this stupid machine would just work, weíd see the kind of respect, job security,
and flexibility that CPAs enjoy. Little help? Class? Class? Anyone?