Five Questions Accounting Interns Should Ask

John Krautzel
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An accounting internship is great for field experience and can be the deciding factor for a particular job you're seeking. Not only can an accounting internship teach you valuable skills, but it can also be a great networking opportunity, which allows you to learn from a plethora of people. If you have or are pursuing an internship in the accounting field, here are some important questions you should be asking.

1. Will There Be Monetary Compensation?

Although it's not common, some internships offer paid experience opportunities depending on the field and level of responsibility. A paid accounting internship looks great on a resume, as it can count as paid experience. It shows that you can be trusted enough as a novice to handle a workload that requires compensation and that you can therefore put those skills to work as an employee.

2. Will You Be Working Closely With Management and Other Employees?

When trying to gain experience in your field, developing a relationship with employees and management is great for learning skills that go beyond what you can learn from training or a textbook. These people can mentor you and help you to become more confident in your abilities. They can also be helpful in assessing your abilities and leading you towards a path that best suits those abilities.

3. Will You Have an Opportunity to Learn How to Use Different Software?

Your accounting internship can be very hands-on, depending on who you work for. Not all accounting firms use the same software when it comes to preparing important tax information. It's important to seek out the opportunity to use different types of accounting software so that you can be versatile, which can increase your chance for employment or advancement. Therefore, an important question to ask is how to use different software if given the opportunity to do so.

4. Will There Be Networking Opportunities?

To put your accounting internship to great use, find out if you have an opportunity for networking and then take advantage of this opportunity. Networking is a great way to become familiar with a variety of people that could turn out to be future employers or colleagues. Networking is also a great way to build clientele, whether you plan on working independently or for a firm. Also, if you have plans to further your education in accounting, you may have the opportunity to meet college directors or committee or board members to get an idea of what schools to attend.

5. Are There Opportunities for Advancement?

It's quite common to be offered a job within a company where you've completed your internship. Some accounting firms and businesses see accounting internships as an investment, and they mold their interns through training to be an addition to their ranks. Be sure to inquire about the likelihood of an employment opportunity after your internship is complete, so you can take the necessary steps to help you to secure that position.

An accounting internship is an excellent tool for advancement within the field of accounting. With an opportunity to explore your abilities and gain hands-on experience, you're sure to go far if you remember to ask the right questions.


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