Accounting Twins Podcast

In this Season 2 premiere episode, we get to listen to the beginning of Norma's internship. Meanwhile, Becky is traveling to Disney World and Italy. They discuss budgeting woes. Norma wonders when she should start studying for her CPA exams!

Show Notes

Links mentioned in this episode
Norma's tweet about when she should begin studying for her CPA exam
Norma's linked post about when she should begin studying for her CPA exam

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Full transcript available upon request.

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.

[00:13] Becky: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to season two of the Accounting Twins podcast. My name is Becky.

[00:18] Norma: And I'm Norma.

[00:20] Becky: And we're so glad to have you back here. Last season, we talked a lot about us graduating a lot of our classes, but now we're back and we're working girls. Well, I'm not really a working girl. It's more of normal, but we'll get into that later.

[00:33] Norma: Yeah, you're not a working girl.

[00:34] Becky: You're a Disney World girl to be an Italy girl So this week we're going to be talking about Norma's internship, what I've been doing, how Norma is, liking the corporate world again, what I'm doing, because I'm just doing the fun stuff right now. Also, for those of you who are interested, I do in fact, still have my gallbladder. He's coming out next month, though. I think I'm going to name him at some point because he's really causing me some pain.

[01:02] Norma: Wait, you could ask them to put it in a jar afterwards and keep it.

[01:05] Becky: That's just the photo for this next season is a photo of my gallbladder.

[01:10] Norma: Your face is Photoshopped on it. It's me holding it normal. That's so disgusting. Okay, so after graduation, we had a few weeks off of not doing the podcast, enjoying school or not enjoying school, enjoying the nonschool life. I'm jealous because I'm at work. So last Wednesday, I started my first day of my internship at Seabirds, and honestly, it's been a week to the day and I'm really freaking enjoying it. It's kind of shocking. I knew I was going to like it and learn a lot, but I'm like loving it. I love the group of interns that I'm with. I'm really close with some of them. We already went and got happy hour and got food last Friday after our first Friday of work because we wanted to get to know each other. We are planning on going to top golf next week. The interns and some of the associates are going to a bottle and brush thing or what's it called. It's like one of those things where it's like it's not paint by numbers, but they teach you how to paint. So I'm really excited for that. I don't know. I'm really enjoying it a lot more than I should or not should. But then I expected I was just talking to some other employees and they're asking me about my old internship experience and how I thought about it and I told them I'm not sure if I liked it. I'm not going to lie, it kind of made me deter wanting to do public because it was all virtual and it was so hard to learn. The learning curve, as we all know, into the public world is ridiculous. Like steep. Like, I think I'm just jumping off a cliff and doing that online was horrible. So I honestly didn't enjoy my internship last summer, but now I am loving it. I am learning so incredibly much my senior, who I do all of my work with. If you're listening to this, Jeff, you're amazing. Oh, my gosh. He teaches me the way that I wish I had been taught last year, and it's how I love to be taught in general. He sits me down, he goes over what it is that we're talking about, like we're doing employee benefit plans, EVPs. I got the lingo. And he's telling me what an employee benefit plan is, why it's important. Explain all the terminology. Like, we sat down for 30 minutes just so he could go over what an EVP is and what a contribution is. The difference between Roth and 401K, that was just super beneficial. And then every time I have to do a new testing or a work paper or anything in this world, he just explained it to me. And I understand it so, so much. I think I'm doing amazing. I think Jeff thinks I'm doing amazing. He told me I am, so let's hope it's true. I'm just really freaking enjoying it, and it's just kind of ridiculous how much I love it. I'm really looking forward to this summer. I love the work environment and the culture. It's something I definitely see myself fitting out well in, and I love everybody there, and it's just great. But the one thing that I'm going to be completely honest that I'm not a fan of is the hours. Not in a sense. Like, I totally get it. I need to work a nine to five job, but that doesn't include the time to get up, get ready, drive, and then drive home. And because I'm from Tucson and I'm currently in Phoenix, I have no experience driving in rush hour. Absolutely none. So I go work out at 05:00 instead of driving home. So then I don't get done with my workout until 630. So I drive home and it's fine, but then I'm home by 07:00. P.m.. By the time I'm done making my dinner, showering, making my lunch for the next day, it's 830. And fun fact about me, I need my sleep or I'm not a fun person to be around. So I'm in bed by, like, ten or 11:00. So I have, like, an hour or two to myself a day. It's just really hard because I'm just dying over here. Yeah.

[05:05] Becky: I'm not going to lie to you guys. This is the most I've ever heard about Norma's internship, because, yes, I have been doing other things, but also, whenever we call, we're both just so done with the day.

[05:14] Norma: We're like. Hi. Love you.

[05:15] Becky: What are you doing this week?

[05:16] Norma: Okay, bye. Yeah. So whereas I'm so incredibly busy, becky's not. She's having fun.

[05:24] Becky: I'm living the dream. Last Tuesday I went to Disney World for five days. I went to Epcot magic kingdom, animal kingdom, all the hoopla. It was so much fun. I spent a lot of money on food. It was the best thing ever. But actually, it kind of taught me a lesson, which I know sounds weird, but to be very frank, I'm broke. I have no money. However, I'm paying rent. I have another trip to go to in five days, six days, I'm going on another trip or whatever. So I've actually been budgeting myself and learning how to save money, and I'm lucky enough to be able to be borrowing a little bit of money. All that jazz. I definitely have had to budget myself. I downloaded an app, and it lets me track all my spending in restaurants, food, games, drinks, all that stuff. So actually, what I was a little worried about was I need any kids in the sense that if I take them to lunch and I buy them $30 worth of food, that's counted as restaurant, but I'm not spending it because that money is going to get paid back to me by the parents I need for. But there's a part on the app that lets me realize that that is going to be coming back to me. So I've literally been doing my own debits and credits, trying to figure out what did I spend, what did I make, what is going to be given back to me, all that type of hoopla. So I am using the accounting in the real world, ladies and gentlemen. Norma's doing it for work, and I'm doing it as I go to Disney.

[06:50] Norma: Well, I'm also doing all the budgeting stuff, too, because I'm paying rent for here in Phoenix. I have to pay for it. Oh, my gosh. Gas is expensive. We're not even going to get on that. I'm budgeting all my things. Like, okay, I have, like, $30 a week to spend on going out to get food, like, being social and stuff. But then I have to think about, okay, well, what if I want to do something with my friends? Oh, my gosh, I need to go get groceries. There's miscellaneous things I have to pay for, but also I need to make sure I'm saving, like, 75% of my money. Actually, I don't know. I don't think that percentage is correct, but I need to save a crapload of my money so I can use it for grad school. Oh, my gosh. This is just insane. I feel like two weeks ago, I was totally fine, chilling, just working a few hours a day for the job I have in Tucson, and I'm just hanging out. And then here I am, wallowing in pity and work and having to organize all my money.

[07:48] Becky: At least you have Boomer and Guppy to keep you company.

[07:50] Norma: Boomer and Guppy are my sister and her roommate's animals. Boomer is a dog who I love, and Guppy is a cat, and I'm allergic to cats, so I'm kind of predisposed and pre biased there. But I love Boomer. We love to copy.

[08:02] Becky: Guppy is also super sassy. That is the sassiest cat ever. He literally goes up and smacks this dog.

[08:09] Norma: One thing that I kind of realized while doing this internship is I always like, because of my internship last year, I was like, it really stinks how you're somewhat not necessarily unprepared, but just not ready for the learning curve that public accounting brings to you. And this past week, I've literally already realized nothing that you do in college will prepare you for what you're doing in public accounting, at least on the audit and assurance side that I am, because I'm sorry, the majority of the problems that I'm having is going on. The company that we're auditing, their website, trying to figure out where to find this data, where to find this information, how to analyze the information. So honestly, a lot of it is just conceptual stuff that I'm using. Like the audit class that I used first semester my senior year, I paid attention, but I really wish that I had paid even more attention to it in the sense just like, okay, there's the PCAOB, the AICPA, the IAASB, I don't know, just all those different things. I'm just seeing a lot of the acronyms for them, and I wish I had known what they actually mean sometimes because it's also like I'm being thrown into the world, and all they do is speak in acronyms. So I'm like, okay in EBP. I'm going to keep saying EBP, but I don't know what it means. Or we're talking about, like, sock one. My senior has told it to me multiple times, and I've written it down so I can try to remember it. I'm like, what the heck is Sock One? So it kind of just made me realize there is a huge learning curve to the public accounting world. And if you are going to be an accountant and you're wanting to figure out if you want to do public or private, I think the first internship that you actually need to have is going to be a public internship because private, you kind of know what it is. That's basically what you're doing in your accounting classes. But nothing prepares you for the public world unless you have real world experience.

[09:55] Becky: I do agree with that. And of course, our accounting classes teach us so much. Like, we need to know the debit and credit. We need to know depreciation and all that stuff. But you're not taught how many different softwares there are, and you're not taught how to interact with the client and all those things. Of course you need your accounting classes. I do think it would be very hard for someone who did not major in accounting or at least take a good amount of classes to be able to effectively succeed in this without a lot of help. But it's a big difference, let me tell you that. They're like, here's step A, B and C. But it's A. And then part one, part two, part A and B of one and then part A and B of two and all that jazz, and it's so different from the real world. And granted, I'm doing public accounting private.

[10:42] Norma: I know.

[10:43] Becky: I realize that I'm doing private accounting. I never did a private accounting internship, any of that. I've only done public. But I also realized my calling for it. So I also have no clue what I'm doing at the same time. So you'll hear about that in about a month and a half, maybe two months. You guys will hear me cry a little bit.

[11:02] Norma: I know Becky and I talked about this in season one. I don't remember one episode, but we were talking about how the real world is so much more lenient in a sense than school, just in the sense if you make mistakes, typos all that. That is so freaking true. Like, I had some experience, so I knew it was true. But literally this week I made the dumbest mistakes, and it's totally fine. I'm not losing my job over it. One of the seniors or the associates that I was talking to, she's like, oh, no, I make mistakes every day. That's part of the job. Even the dumb mistakes from Mistyping something, putting a file somewhere or anything, she's like, oh, my gosh, if I accidentally delete a file or do something, it can be undone. It's not permanent. So the one thing I understand that school needs to prepare you for the real world. And yes, it's not good to make mistakes sometimes, but if you make a mistake, it's not the freaking end of the world in the public world or in the real world, in the business world, because there's always going to be someone along the way to help you. For example, if I'm doing a work paper and I'm done, I sign off of it. Then an associate looks at it, then a senior, and then two other people. Like, everything's going to get looked over. So it's just frustrating that when we're in school and I know you can agree to this, Becky, if we spell something wrong or make one small mistake or we can't even use a simple reference we're marked off. But in the real world, you have so many resources.

[12:23] Becky: Exactly. Think of our cost accounting class. He was great at giving out partial credit because let's say you had part one, two and three. For part one, you got an answer of 200 when the answer was supposed to be 300. If you do part two based off the answer you got on part one, you did all the formulas correct. He'll then give you full credit for part two. You can go back and change stuff and you really need to know the application. You can go back and start over. In the real world, you can go back and change one number. And because you're a handy, dandy person who use reference cells in Excel. Once you do it, everything else changes. So it's not like you're going back and redoing the whole process. All you're doing is changing one number, and there you go, boom. You got a 100% instead of a 20%, which means you got part one wrong, so you get two and three wrong.

[13:08] Norma: Yes. I also think one thing in school that I wish I had paid attention to more, actually, where I did, but I wish I had really resonated with it was show your work to everything. Because if I'm trying to learn from someone and they're not showing their work or simply I'm reviewing my work, trying to figure out where the number is. Life is so much easier if you reference what you did. Like if you put a tick mark or a number referencing what other worksheets or pages you used, just so much easier to show your work. Also, it's so much easier to follow along. I wish there was a trackpad with someone's eyes if they're trying to show me something, because then I can see what they're looking at because I might be looking at something else.

[13:45] Becky: Oh, my gosh, I know exactly what you're talking about when we'd like to be doing something, but you look at here and it says that you're like, I don't know what the heck you're looking at. Like, you are showing me a woman, which makes sense. So normally we'll be going into what? Week two? Would you call next week week two? Like full week, or would you call a week?

[14:02] Norma: So my first week was just a lot of training and a lot of they call it like my Learns, where you're learning whether it's stuff about the company or how to do things. So last week was a lot of training. This week is like the first full week, and I'm sorry, I've just learned so much. It feels like it's Friday, and I've learned a lot. It's Wednesday.

[14:18] Becky: So next week would be your week too, then? Yeah, enormous training week. I went to Disney in enormous second week, I'm going to Italy. Enormous third week, I will still be in Italy. So we have very different summers. I travel up to Phoenix on Monday, and my flight leaves Tuesday, and then I'm out of town for ten days while Norma gets to do debits and credits and work papers, and I get to have pasta and seek the culture and have so much gelato.

[14:44] Norma: Don't rub it in. Yes. Well, hey, I love my internship. I'm going to be enjoying it. But I'm sorry, who would rather be in an office than in Italy?

[14:53] Becky: I am glad that you do love your internship. That's a big thing because it's your summer job for six weeks. But, hey, as I said, I'm going to Italy, and I'm nanny and kids travel and kids, two favorite things. But I also have the heart of a child.

[15:08] Norma: So we're talking about how Becky and I are so different right now. She's going to Italy, I'm working. I'm also still trying to decide, should I start studying for my CPA exams over the summer? Because I've been talking to a lot of associates and seniors and some of the associates are still studying for their CPA exams. They say to start as early as you can and try to take as many exams as you can during the school year because it's horrible trying to do it while you're working. I would like all of the listeners advice is when to start. Should I take the summer to myself despite the fact I'm still working my internship, have another job that I'll be working like two or 3 hours a week and then working at almost full time, part time after my internship? Should I have the summer to myself or should I start studying for my CPA exams? Because I'm really on the fence because I would love to not have the possibility of doing it while I have to work next year after my grad school graduation. But I would also like to the summer to myself because we all know how burnt out I was last semester and I really need to get over that because even work is just it's not stressing me out, but it's burning me out in a sense. Like I said, I wake up at 630, I'm not home until seven.

[16:14] Becky: I love how we're leaving the listeners with two different things. I'm like, let's see if I get my gallbladder out, let's see if I get stomachache from gelato. And you're like, do I study for my CPA exam which I will use for the rest of my life?

[16:28] Norma: If you're a listener and you have any idea on what I should do as to whether or not when I should study for my CPAs, please let me know. Go to our social media. It's either at ACCT Twins Pod, so at account twins Pod or just on Facebook and LinkedIn. It's just accounting. Twins podcast. Please just comment on a post and let me know because I would love some real world insight because, yes, I can hear from my parents or my bosses what their opinions are, but I would love people who have just experienced the same thing that I'm going through right now because your opinion matters to me. And while you're at it, go follow and share our social media. It's super important to us.

[17:11] Becky: Leave us reviews. Yeah, and don't forget, try to find a name for my gallbladder just as much.

[17:17] Norma: Yes, we will be taking pictures of it. So that's it for the first episode of season two. I'm honestly really excited for this. I'm sorry you had to listen to basically just my voice today while I talked about my internship, but I'm really excited for the season just so I can talk about my internship and tell everyone because I think it's going to go great, knock on wood. But I think it's going to go amazing. And I can't wait to talk about it and just give my opinion about it, too. I think that's something that's so unique about this podcast.

[17:46] Becky: I can't wait to come back and tell you how much money I spent.

[17:49] Norma: Yeah. So that's it from us. Don't forget to follow us on all our social media and please leave us a review. And if you have any ideas or opinions you want us to talk about, let us know.

[17:59] Becky: Have a fabulous week, you beautiful people. This has been a production of the Accounting Podcast Network.