Accounting Twins Podcast

In today's episode, we hear about Becky's first weeks in her private accounting job and Norma gives us a small update before she starts graduate school!

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Season 2

Creators & Guests

becky steiger
Norma Steiger
David Leary
Joel Collier

What is Accounting Twins Podcast?

To CPA or NOT to CPA? Public vs Private?
What if you could run an experiment?
Take twins, with identical DNA, life experiences, education, GPAs, majors, internships, and careers as accountants. Then have twin A go private and have twin B become a CPA and go public.
Follow Becky Steiger and Norma Steiger on their separate journeys in the private and public accounting worlds! Together they will compare and contrast their experiences and goals in the accounting profession.

[00:12] Norma: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to season two, episode five of the Accounting Twins podcast. My name is Norma.

[00:18] Becky: My name is Becky, and we're super.

[00:21] Norma: Excited for you to come along this journey with us. So Becky started her job at Axon a few weeks ago, so she's just going to tell us how it is.

[00:29] Becky: So it's my time to shine. The past few episodes have been about Norma, but now it's all about me. I have been working at Axon for the past four weeks. It's like a name reveal on social media. They do, like, a soft launch or a hard launch. Like, this is the hard launch of where I work. I work at Axon. Axon is formerly known as Taser. I am in the Finance Leadership Development Program. So for the next two years, I have six months rotations in different departments. Right now. I'm in revenue. I could be in GL, all of those things. I love it so far. I really like the aspect of doing a rotation, which is really nice, getting to dip my toes in the water, because Norma is taking her classes, and she gets to dip her toes in the water of different subjects, which is what I get to do. So week one was awesome. It was more of a training, getting to know the company type of thing. One of my favorite parts was we got to get an indepth presentation on all the products that Axon has their Axon body Cams, their Tasers, their VR. It was really awesome. I had a great time.

[01:32] Norma: It sounded like a great week. I'm really jealous about all that they got to do so they could meet the other workers, interns, people within the rotational programs. I heard a lot about it, and I was really jealous because it sounded so fun.

[01:44] Becky: One of the coolest things that we did was we took this personality test to see what our strengths and weaknesses are, and, like, you know how people take personality tests, and you're like, It's kind of accurate. I can't remember the name of this personality test, but holy moly, it was like my life was on a book. I sent it to my dad so he could read it, and it told me word for word what I would say my strengths and weaknesses are. Like, how do you approach somebody with this type of personality? How should you not approach somebody with this personality? And it was awesome. I'm not someone to believe in things like Horoscopes, but I'm telling you, if Horoscopes were as accurate as this personality test, I would believe in Horoscopes. Why?

[02:24] Norma: I would hear about this personality test. I want to know about it.

[02:28] Becky: Well, I'll send you the document, and you can read all about me, and we can get to know each other more than we already do.

[02:33] Norma: I want to read it because I feel like out of everyone in the world, I know you're the best. So I think I can judge if this is correct or not, but then I want to see, like, do I have those things too?

[02:45] Becky: Yeah, it's kind of like scary accurate and cool. Honestly, one of my favorite things we did well, I can tell you some stuff about it. It's like an 18 page long result of a personality test. So for the test, we went through and we answered five questions at a time, and we had to pretty much rank them how we felt from highest to lowest.

[03:08] Norma: What do you mean by rank them? Was it like a statement? Kind of like, I agree, I disagree neutral. Neither thing.

[03:15] Becky: So they were five statements and you had to rank them how you felt they most closely related to you. So some of them I was like, this does not relate to me at all. So I gave that zero. But then if I related to it, I gave it a five. And I was not allowed to write any of the options in that one questionnaire of the five questions, any of the same numbers. So I could only rank them differently.

[03:42] Norma: Okay, so like saying if you like goldfish, I rate that five. If you like, I don't know, lettuce you rate that as zero.

[03:51] Becky: Exactly.

[03:52] Norma: I don't know the results.

[03:54] Becky: Okay. Anyway, so it's like 18 pages of results. So it's not like one sentence. It's like a lot. So it says, my key strengths are happy to serve and help others. Articulate and communicative is how, you know, how you say it. Whatever. Enjoys spending time around other people and helping them feel good. Seek variety in both tasks and relationships. Loyal, self sacrificing and sympathetic.

[04:19] Norma: That's freaky. Like dead on. Because I feel like that would be some of the ways I would describe you so easily. Like, in some ways you're a people pleaser. You want to help people out. You like doing different things. That's freaking bizarre how I'm going to.

[04:37] Becky: Send this to you, but it's really weird because it tells me a lot of my weaknesses, and I don't want to tell everybody who's listening my weaknesses. I can't let you know all my flaws. I got to keep some of them together.

[04:49] Norma: Can I hear one?

[04:50] Becky: Yeah. I was going to say one of them is puts too much effort into ensuring everyone's comfort and avoids interpersonal aggression and irritation.

[05:01] Norma: But the thing is accurate.

[05:03] Becky: It is. So the topic I'm under right now was like, key strengths and weaknesses, but then it goes into different areas like, oh, here's how I'll react in communication. Here's how I react when I am a value to the team. And it talks about my blind spots. It says, I have a difficult time saying no or asking for help. Continuously focusing on her current experiences, she tends not to look to beyond the moment, and they missed the broader view. I'm just so in the moment it's weird to look by and, like, it tells me how I should react. I should work alongside people who are opposite of me. So how I can meet the needs of an opposite person of my personality is, like, take responsibility for my own actions and errors, which I do, but it tells me how I shouldn't talk to somebody who's the opposite personality type of me and be like, don't be vague about boundaries, and don't be lighthearted or superficial. So it's not saying these are my flaws or anything, but it's saying, okay, if I'm zero and they're 100, how can we meet in the middle?

[06:04] Norma: That's so bizarre. I think out of everyone in this world, I know you best, and I would say that spot on. Like, there's not one thing that you've said that I wouldn't agree with. Is that, like, a company wide test? It's only by Axon, or is it something that I could log on and do myself?

[06:23] Becky: You can't log on and do it because it's, like, meant for a larger scale. But no, it's not just Axon. I'm not sure what it's called, but I'm telling you right now, I looked at this, and I was just in awe. So I work with one of my really good friends from college, and somehow we got partnered up to look at each other's personality tests together, and he was, like, reading mine, and I was reading his, and we're like, wow, this is really accurate.

[06:52] Norma: Well, that's kind of crazy. Can you send that to me? Possibly, because I want to go over this, because you and I are pretty similar, so I know how to interact with other people that aren't like us, quote unquote.

[07:04] Becky: Oh, my gosh. Wait. This is so funny. I'm looking into a different part, and it says, how to communicate with Rebecca. Use warm gestures, agree to exactly what needs to be done, give praise and thanks for a job well done, how not to communicate with her. Don't tell or command me or be dismissive, and don't act aggressively. Like, I am such a big ball of sensitivity that if you're going to tell me I'm doing something wrong, I need you to give me something good, something bad, and then something good. I need you to give it to me in a sandwich.

[07:37] Norma: Basically, you got a pro con pro. Well, I hope you can use this going forward because I think that's super cool and will help you grow as a person, especially just because it said how to and do not communicate with others.

[07:49] Becky: Yes, I've used it a lot in my month at Axon so far, and it's also helped me as a person, not just at work. So it's really awesome. I'll send it to you normally so you can know how to and how to not communicate with me. And I really loved getting to know the other people in my class, which is amazing. So everybody is on different rotations. Everybody has their own different schedule of that stuff. But I went in with one of my good friends from college, and we just had a really good time being able to meet everybody else. And I really enjoyed all of the bonding events that they placed for us throughout the week. They took us to dinner with other people who are working in Axe on where they were in the LDP program 510, 15 years ago. Actually, the current COO was in the LDP program many, many years ago. So it's really cool to see how there's a stepping ladder and it's not just your stagnant in the position and that people really do grow in the company. So, like, I know when Norma starts her public accounting job, like, I know what type of ladder they have to go up, but I didn't know what it would be like for my company. So I think it's really cool because Norman and I can grow together.

[08:55] Norma: Can you be a little bit descriptive and maybe say, like, the hierarchy and stuff? Because I don't know what it is.

[09:02] Becky: So it's really cool about action is, like, once you graduate from the LDP program, you get placed in a department that you think you would like to fit best and where they like you best. And from there, you can just grow within that department to different titles, and you can honestly, they're really flexible with the LDP program and, like, exploring what you want to do. So I'm so excited to see how I'm going to grow within the LDP program, but also to see where I land after it and where I get to grow after it. I'm an adult.

[09:33] Norma: I like how you're in a rotational program, because, to be honest, I don't hear a lot of people doing those. They're just saying, I'm starting a job here, here, and here. Because you know how in college they say, like, on average, students switch their major seven times before they graduate? Well, to be honest, when you're going into the workforce, you might not want to know specifically what you're doing, like, what type of accounting do I want to do, what type of sales do I want to do? So by having this reputational program, you're kind of going through the, quote unquote, seven different times. You change your major. You're going through that in real life so you can figure out what you want to do specifically. So I really like that you have that opportunity.

[10:10] Becky: It's awesome because if somebody who likes to be good at a lot of different things find which ones I'm best at, but also which ones bring me the most joy, because, of course, all of them are about numbers, and all of them are about the accounting of acts on. I get to find out which one I have the most impact on, but also which one has the most impact on me, because I love the values of Axon. I love what they're doing, I love what their mission is. I love the company culture so I could see myself staying with this company for a long time. So I really want to find a place where I can blossom and grow, but also that helps me grow. My first impressions, as I told everybody else, was like, this exceeded my expectations within the first week and within starting my rotation, I knew it was going to be great. I knew I would have a good boss, I knew that I was going to enjoy what I was doing. But if I expect to like it 110%, I'm loving it 150%. Right now I cannot say anything bad about my job because there is nothing bad. I'm having the time of my life doing this stuff. Actually today, earlier, I was working on something with my boss and I was like, this is making me happy. I feel so smart and I feel driven and I feel like I know what I'm doing. This is the high of my day, is having everything click and understand and my boss is so awesome and he is so supportive and happy for me that I'm understanding this because he knows, yes, I'm a new hire. Yes, I have done public accounting, I have never done private accounting. So he is so fabulous at walking me through step by step of what every step is, why it is and what part it correlates to in our end goal. And I'm truthfully just loving this job. So right now I'm working in revenue and a lot of the tasks that I've been doing have been focused around revenue recognition to make sure that the customers are billed correctly, to make sure that the adjustments have been filled correctly, to make sure that the dates of the contract are filled correctly. That way we know when can the hardware be recognized as revenue versus when can the software be recognized as revenue. And honestly, a lot of this reminds me of the concepts taught in our beginning accounting classes but absolutely expanded upon further. But I'm really enjoying what I'm doing just because each day is honestly different. I haven't done the same task more than once in multiple days and it's really nice to see all of my accounting knowledge come together.

[12:40] Norma: So I know, like I was saying when we were doing public accounting, there is a learning curve. Do you think there's a learning curve to your private accounting? Yes, I know some of it might be like the software you're using, but like you said, the revenue recognition concepts that we learned in college are now being used. Is there a learning curve to that?

[13:00] Becky: I wouldn't say entirely. It's hard to go into it without like going through everything I've done, which I'm not going to do because that's so time consuming. But the overarching concepts are very much there and very similar but because everything is unique to each company. Not like each customer that Axon has, but each company, whether it's Walmart or Target or Axon or a cupcake company, like, everything is so different based on each company that I have a very good time understanding what's going on at Axon. It just somehow clicks in my mind. But the learning curve is just honestly the software and the programs that they use. Obviously, school cannot teach us every single type of software and program. It's just very hard to get through because there are so many puzzle pieces to every program and software. So it's just hard to get a grasp on that.

[13:59] Norma: So there is somewhat of a learning curve use, you say, then yes, there is.

[14:04] Becky: Everywhere there's a learning curve, let's be honest. But I know a lot of the concepts that go into what I'm doing. It's more just trying to figure out which order I do them in type of thing. Because, again, no two companies are the same, therefore, no education can be the same on it. But as we have discussed before, I think schools can do a lot more to close the gap. So some of the things that I have learned myself over my second and third week as I start my fourth week is again, my boss is awesome. I have loved shadowing him because he teaches everything so fabulously. One thing that I've learned is I'm honestly not as good as Excel when I thought I feel like schools teach you how to do steps for problems, but not for the actual concept itself. I do not know how to use hotkey still normally do. Explain it to me this week, I still don't know. I'm still learning how to use formulas and navigate Excel itself normally. I really hope you have a class in grad school that's literally just Excel for dummies.

[15:05] Norma: That is one of my first classes, actually. Like, my Friday classes are split into three different things. We're learning excel, QuickBooks, and another platform. The first part is excel. So I'm really excited because I learned a lot in Excel, but I don't know anything still.

[15:21] Becky: Yeah, actually, one thing that my company provides is the ability to take these, like, little modules on a lot of things. So one of the first things I did was learn how to use Excel more. I am telling you right now, I learned more in an hour and a half on these modules they provided than I did in school on a lot of the Excel formulas, which is kind of funny, let's be honest.

[15:44] Norma: I would 100% agree with that. I learned more from the modules that Steve has provided me about Excel and from my senior than I did in school itself. Because in school it's like you're learning to memorize, you're not learning to learn.

[15:57] Becky: Exactly. And what I've noticed is in school they give you a problem and they say, oh, you need Excel to solve it. Here's how to do it for this specific example. But what I have been learning through these modules is, here's the steps to do it. Now let's give you a problem and see if you understand. It like the complete opposite, and it makes so much more sense. I am slowly becoming an Excel Goddess. Very slowly but surely.

[16:23] Norma: I already took that title, like, two episodes ago that's I'm Excel Goddess. You're like my apprentice because I told you about Hotkeys and how to use them.

[16:30] Becky: I hope soon enough I can outstep you in those, because I would like to be better than you at something.

[16:35] Norma: I wish you guys could have been there for that conversation, because we were driving to my house, and I don't even know how we got onto the topic of Excel and Hotkeys, and I was teaching her how to use them while I was driving, and she didn't have Excel in front of her, so I wonder if she would retain that information.

[16:49] Becky: No, also because I was driving, so I wasn't really paying attention to what you're saying because I was focusing on the road like a good person. But also, do you want to meet up this week and teach me how to use Hotkeys?

[17:02] Norma: I'll come. So Becky is currently at my house right now, so when I come home, I will teach her when I get home. How about that?

[17:09] Becky: Perfect.

[17:10] Norma: Oh, my gosh. Big life update for me. I have a house now. I'm living with friends we'll talk about all my life and getting ready for grad school. Another episode. But it's such a huge accomplishment that I finally am not living in a sorority house or on campus or with my parents. I am now living with friends. Becky stayed at my house last night, which is the first time she's ever stayed at a place of mine. It was amazing. Sorry. That's a big update from me.

[17:37] Becky: Norma, your life updates are important to me. Anyways, the next thing I want to talk about is Axe on is their camaraderie. Literally. I know every company says this, that they say, oh, my gosh, we have a great company culture. We're like family. Truthfully, everybody here so far has been like a new family. The camaraderie is great. I am never scared to go up and ask someone a question. I always am comfortable sitting with someone random at lunch. The past few weeks have been going on lunches and dinners from Exxon with new people just to meet people in the company. None of it's awkward, I think because Axon has a very specific mission. It hires, likeminded, people, because people like that want to work at apps. There's just, like, an automatic click that happens with everybody there. I met my friend Bailey on the first day. We're like BFFs already.

[18:30] Norma: I've been really jealous of them because as a group, like, their LDP.

[18:34] Becky: LDP.

[18:35] Norma: Okay.

[18:36] Becky: Yeah.

[18:36] Norma: Their LDP group has been celebrating each other's birthdays, going out to celebrate, hanging out. I'm just like, that sounds nice. She now has great coworkers but also great friends. I'm freaking jealous of that because they get to hang out with you and I don't because you left 2 hours from me.

[18:51] Becky: I miss you all the time though. Norman I FaceTime like literally 24/7.

[18:55] Norma: Even though it's like not 24/7, maybe like once a day, like ten minutes a day, but it's still we do.

[19:01] Becky: It in our free time when we have the time. Oh my God, I'm going to have no free time. Norma, I believe in you.

[19:08] Norma: Well, I'll go into a whole range of how I'm so scared for the school year. In our next episode, I have so many updates to talk about with grad school and all that stuff.

[19:17] Becky: I can't wait for everyone.

[19:19] Norma: I've been thinking I want to have a whiteboard in my room just to have a cry log so I can visualize how much I'm going to be crying. The way I deal with stress is by crying. So just like seeing how much I cry due to how stressed I am studying for my exams and stuff. But my mom and I came up with an idea because I'm a big visual learner and like visually understanding stuff. I want to get a jar and for each exam for the CPA, the first one I'm going to be studying for is, I think the Far exam. I don't remember, to be honest. But each exam is going to have its own color. And then for every color, we're going to have marbles. And every 5 hours I study for my exams is one marble. And I'm going to fill a jar with it so I can visualize how much I'm going to be freaking studying for them.

[20:03] Becky: Our lives sounds so different because I was going to mention like, you're not going to have any free time. I work 8 hours a day and take an hour lunch break for 9 hours. And then I come home and I have the rest of the night to myself. And then I have the weekends free and I don't have any homework or exams to do. And we are living completely different lives. Like this upcoming Sunday, I'm going tubing with my roommate and my friend. But this upcoming Sunday, Norma is not even starting school and she's going to be stressed and busy. We're living completely different lives.

[20:34] Norma: No, I'm going to get my study materials and start studying this weekend.

[20:39] Becky: Wow, we really are living different lives. I'm going tubing and you're studying.

[20:43] Norma: We're not even you know what, we'll just talk about that later. It's making me so sad right now.

[20:48] Becky: I don't like when you're sad.

[20:50] Norma: So basically next episode we'll just be talking about me being sad in grad school.

[20:54] Becky: Exactly. We'll talk about usually I am sorry.

[21:01] Norma: I was going to say I feel like we're the different type of emotions, and inside out.

[21:07] Becky: We'Re just like complete opposite sides.

[21:09] Norma: I know. This is just going to be so weird because Becky and I'm at different stages of our lives. I'm almost certain we've mentioned this before, how we did everything together. We're in the same sorority, had all the same classes, always studied together. Honestly, we were one and the same, and we're doing such different things in our lives now. I'm really excited just to even have this podcast for our own personal reason so we can see how different our lives are. Like, yes, we will be talking about it on the phones, but like, five years from now, we can come back and listen to the podcast and see how different we can see the beginning of us going off on our own ventures.

[21:45] Becky: Wait, that's so cute. Now you think about it, because you know how a lot of people have been posting their families on TikToks and they're like one of the reasons I love it is because when the kids are older, they can go back and see what they were like as children and all the happy moments they had. This is like our Tik Tok platform. We can go back five years from now and be like, norma was so sad studying for her CPAs and Becky was having the title of her life.

[22:10] Norma: I know. Speaking of TikToks, I'm honestly really excited for school to start, just in a sense. If you follow our Tik Tok At account Twins Pod, I'm going to make, like, a day in the life of an accounting student so people can see what I'm going through. Maybe I'll show videos of me crying. Who knows?

[22:26] Becky: Oh, and I can do day in the life of me at work. Then you'll see what I do after 05:00 when I'm really happy even though Norma is crying.

[22:34] Norma: So basically, we're love the story. Follow our TikTok or any of our other social media just to get updated on our lives and see where we're going. And also just keep listening to the podcast because you'll be hearing our crazy different lives because we are no longer twins. We are now separate people doing separate things.

[22:52] Becky: Great. Thanks to you guys for tuning in and we'll see you next episode. Bye bye.

[23:05] Norma: This has been a production of the Accounting Podcast Network.