In the Season 2 season finale the Accounting Twins discuss their different notetaking methods, how their Accounting classes prepared them for work, and their life updates. Becky gives us some greater insight into her Leadership Development Program, and Norma gets ready for Graduate school!
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.
[00:14] Becky: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another episode of the Accounting Twins podcast. My name is Becky.
[00:19] Norma: And I'm Norma.
[00:21] Becky: And we're so glad you're tuning in for another episode. So this past week week marked the beginning of five weeks at Axeon. I can't believe we've been dating for a month.
[00:32] Norma: Wow, your longest relationship.
[00:37] Becky: Honestly, you're not wrong. So as I said, it's about five weeks into acts on roughly about four weeks doing work. Work. Because the first week was orientation and I still love my job. My boss is fabulous, I love everybody I work with and I've learned a lot. Obviously, when there's a job, you're going to make mistakes.
[00:58] Norma: So not just interns are expected to make mistakes.
[01:02] Becky: Exactly. So I learned that this week when I made a mistake, it was my first bigger mistake. Not just like, oh, I forgot this stuff. It was like I did something wrong, but it's okay. So pretty much my first bigger mistake was this week. So I accidentally loaded a lot of transactions. I'm not even going to get into a number, but I was only needing to upload too. So it was a mood breaker. It made me sad that I made a very stupid mistake. My boss told me, he was like, dude, don't worry, this is totally fine. Easy fix. I'm glad you made this mistake because it's a learning experience. So side note, that's another reason I just love my boss. Like everything is learning experience. He'll never get upset, he'll always say it's learning experience and he's just like the best teacher for this stuff that I'm doing. So thank you, Julian. Anyways, so that brings me up to my next topic, taking notes. Not just for work, but for school and everything in life. Take notes if it's important.
[02:08] Norma: Isn't that right, Norma? No, exactly. Like for class, obviously take notes. But even just at work, I would say that because at first it was my third day of work and I was still doing my internship and I was still doing trainings and my senior called me over to explain something to me about what an employee benefit plan was. And I honestly was so like, okay, I actually need to be productive. I didn't take notes on what an employee benefit plan was and everything he was showing me. So just by not taking notes on the first day of being productive, I set myself up for failure for a few days because I was so confused at what he told me.
[02:46] Becky: So if you're listening, take notes. It could be about what we're saying or it could be on your job in your class. But notes, notes are everything. So I take a ton of notes. I have over 30 documents of just pages of notes depending on each task. So before I start any tasks with anybody who's teaching me, I go, hello. I am not doing random tasks on the side. I am taking a ton of notes because I want to succeed at this. I want to know what I'm doing, and I want to be able to do this project on my own without asking you for questions, because I want to take ownership of it. So I have over 30 documents full of pages and pages and pages of notes. I'll take notes of even stuff that may not correlate, because if it comes back and I need it, I need it. I also ask if I can record some of the zoom sessions, depending on how intricate task may be, because sometimes it's easier to follow along later and try to get as much information as you can now instead of taking notes. But it really depends on the situation. Like, if this task, just one task, is going to take me, like over 20 minutes, I'm going to record it. But if it's going to be a task where I'm just repeating the same thing over and over, I'll take notes and I'll ask a lot of questions and I just take a lot of notes.
[04:06] Norma: That's really cool that you could record your zooms, because I also found that super effective. Like, even in school, if the professors just recorded their zoom lectures, I could just go back and like, not because I was not paying attention in class, but so I could just reteach it to myself again. Instead of trying to figure out what the professor said, I was going to.
[04:27] Becky: Ask, how did you take notes over your internship? Because maybe you're going to their desk and asking them a question. Did you have pen and paper? Did you have your computer? Like, what do you do? Because my boss is stationed somewhere else. Well, not stationed. My boss lives somewhere else. So it's always zoom call. So I'm always able to record or take notes. So how would you do that in person?
[04:50] Norma: So it depended. If my senior came to my desk to show me how to do something, I would take notes on paper, but otherwise I would usually just bring my laptop because it was a lot easier for me to do. And I could be a little bit more descriptive, but it really kind of just depends. But like, in school, that's completely different because at work, I'm just kind of doing something so I can always look back at my notes. But in school, obviously, I'm trying to learn it. Like, it's a lot of information. I'm one of those people, you will not see me type notes on a computer at school. Never for the life of me have I done that, because if it's not effective for me, I have to write something down. Like, I once read an article, literally at the beginning of college, if you write something down seven times, you remember it. So I always would take notes in class because that's one of the seven times I would write it down.
[05:36] Becky: Agreed.
[05:37] Norma: I have a question about the notes that you can take at work because obviously there's company secrets and stuff. Is there some stuff that you can't zoom, record or take notes of? Because it's like confidential information, quote, unquote.
[05:51] Becky: Not that I'm aware of, because it helps me complete the task. And it's a company computer. It's not like I'm using my personal computer or anything. And I don't take handwritten notes, which I'll get into later just for work. If I'm in school, I handwrite everything, but not that I'm aware of. I just take notes on everything. I've never been told, you can't do this because it's impossible to try to get in my computer. I got a long password and everything is, like, protected, I guess you would say. I've never been told, you can't screen record this, you can't take note on this, all that type of stuff. Because if I couldn't take notes on certain things and I'd kind of be screwed for a lot of stuff because it has to do with very specific stuff.
[06:36] Norma: So do you think five weeks into your internship you're actually learning stuff or you're still going through the most for example, when I started doing, like, revenue recognition testing and things like that, the first time I did the test or the first two times, I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I was just kind of like, following instructions. But then after I did it, like four or five different times, I understood what I was supposed to be doing, why it was important and the significance of it. Which stage are you at in your job? Do you just do it to do it, or do you actually recognize the importance of it?
[07:10] Becky: I absolutely recognize everything I'm doing. So for you, you're always doing EVPs, whether it's for different customers or anything. But for me, because I'm doing all the internal accounting, honestly, every day I wouldn't say every day is completely new, but every day is a version of something else. So one of the big things I always do is I'm like, explain to me in stupid people terms what the importance of this task is, just because I want to be able to know what I am doing, and that way I can know if I'm doing it correctly.
[07:45] Norma: Do you mean that you tell them and ask them to tell you? In stupid people terms, I will literally.
[07:52] Becky: Go, can you explain to me in stupid people terms what it is I'm doing and the importance of it, just so I have an understanding? Like, I don't want to just go through the motions. I want to know what I'm doing.
[08:01] Norma: Okay, so what is it that you're doing? Because I feel like I'm still left in the dark. Like, I'm not too sure what it is that you're doing. Like, you say, I'm doing these transactions, but what are they?
[08:10] Becky: So, like, every day is a little different. And I don't want to go into too much detail, but I'm working on order completeness, making sure that warranty dates have been filed so revenue recognition can be correct. So one of the main things I've been working on for the past few weeks is order completeness, and there's a lot that falls underneath that umbrella. But one of the main things my boss and I have been working on is obviously not every automated system is perfect. So we go find the transactions that maybe got a little messed up in the automated process, and we have to go fix those and see what's wrong. Recently, I've been working on some warranty stuff where I have to make sure that the warranty begin date is correct. That way they can accrue revenue great and everything. And side note, this is so funny to me, but some of the other people in the Finance Leadership Development Program are in a different part of the accounting department. They are not in the revenue department like I am. And they had a question the other day about something that they were doing for a task, and they just were having a hard time understanding what was going on. And I looked at it and I go, no, you have to accrue it this way. And then I gave myself like two gold stars and a pad on the back because I was like, look at me using my college information.
[09:28] Norma: So what class would you say aligned with what you're doing at work, if that makes sense? Like, what topic or class that we have that you're basically using in principles that you're using and what you're doing for work right now?
[09:44] Becky: Oh, okay. I'm not even going to lie, honestly. Our Accounting 200 class, which was our very first accounting class that we ever took, it was like every single Eller student had taken, and it was Introduction to Accounting. So I remember we learned about accruals, deferrals, revenue recognition warranties, and of course, it's not as simple as we learned in Accounting 200. It's a lot more indepth. But I would just say those overarching excuse me. I would just say those overarching themes that we learned in Accounting 200, introduction to Accounting has definitely played a role.
[10:22] Norma: Do you think it might become more specific about, like, what we learned in 400 B, which was our Liabilities and equities class? Absolutely. Okay. Absolutely.
[10:32] Becky: I'm not saying that oh my gosh, you took an Introduction to Accounting costs. You can absolutely do my job. That's not the case. There are so many intricate details that you have to understand. But I'm just saying that the overarching idea of accruals, deferrals, warranty and revenue recognition is the first class that I could remember we did that in. And that's why I'm saying it just correlates.
[10:53] Norma: Okay, interesting.
[10:56] Becky: Trust me, if everybody could be doing accounting, everybody would be doing it. But it's a little difficult.
[11:03] Norma: So while Becky's given some updates on her life and her work. I actually have a few updates about school exams, all that stuff. So like I said in the last episode, I moved into my house a few weeks ago. Absolutely love it. In my roommate. I could just have a podcast about being an adult, like paying my own bills, my student loans, moving in. Because for me, I always lived in my sorority house. So I literally never had like, I guess independence in a sense, like never doing my own thing. So this has been a lot for me, but I applied to sit for my CPA exams. I hopefully hear back on September 8 from the Arizona State Board of Accountancy, but hopefully that's why I'm saying hopefully because I've heard some horror stories where people are still waiting. I would like to know soon because I need to sit for my exams. One thing that I wish that they had done in undergrad instead of waiting for you to start your Masters program was perhaps telling students how to sit and apply for the CPA exams because I learned that at my internship and when I had orientation the other day, they finally went over the Baker program and how to apply to your state for the CPA exams. But I wish I was kind of done in undergrad because I know people who started over summer and I know that I was considering starting over summer and I would not have applied to the State Board for my exams because I didn't know that. So I'm hoping if anyone at a university is listening to this, perhaps think about having this type of program or like seminar presentation for students and undergrad so they know what they're getting into. Because I didn't know that until maybe a month ago that I needed to apply. Just keeping that in mind.
[12:49] Becky: That just reminds me, colleges are always like, apply for FAFSA, apply for your extra exams that you need to do. Okay, well tell me how to do it. Like, you provide no steps how to do it. You say, okay, get to the end result, but we're not going to tell.
[13:01] Norma: You how to get there. I recently got my Becker material last week. I'm giving myself the first week of school off not to study, just so I can start building those good habits for school instead of studying for my CPA exams. But I'm really excited. I'm going to start studying upcoming week and then I'm really becoming a super planning gal, like planning out. So for example, it's the day before school is starting and I've planned out all the homework assignments that I have to be doing, but I have like a set time for them in my calendar. I have scheduled time off for myself like every Sunday night from eight to eleven. It's just called normal time. Non negotiable. Like I will not be studying. I will be with my roommate or I will be in my room just having my own time because I do expect some burnout this year because I'll be doing a lot, so I'm just playing a lot. I think it's going to go really well because sometimes I lose track of what I'm doing. So I recommend if you are someone who honestly just has too much on their plate, literally just plan everything out. That's what I'm doing. I think it'll be great. I also had my orientation on Friday, and to be honest, it did not make me as stressed out as I thought it was going to be. It really just told us how the program is going to be, what classes align with the CPA exams. So I'm just really excited. And I came into the school year thinking I'm going to try to take three of my exams during the school year. Like, knowing myself, I could do it. But then one of the directors of the program just kind of went on this little tangent about, yes, you do need to be studying for your CPA exams, but you're still in school. And given the route that you're going to be going in your profession, you're always going to be busy, for example, like busy season. So also just take the time to have a life and be a student for another year. You're in grad school for a reason. Don't just work. Study and study for the CPAs. Take advantage of the situation and still go out and hang out with friends. So I've decided I'm only going to study for one CPA exam each semester. So I'm only going to sit for two CPA exams during the school year because I want to give myself ample time to study, but also because I do want to enjoy the school year because Becky knows I stress out a lot and I never enjoyed myself until second semester, senior year when I had nothing to do.
[15:21] Becky: I'm not going to lie, I was like, really worried about you when you were telling me, oh, I'm going to work, I'm going to go to school. I'm going to study for my CPA. And I'm like, when are you going to have fun? Like, you're still in college. You should still be watching movies at 02:00 A.m. With your roommates, throwing popcorn at each other. You should still be doing those random things where you're just hanging out with friends after class and being like, I'll study for this exam later. It's fine. I want you to still enjoy college because honestly, I don't miss the school part, but I miss the social aspect of college.
[15:55] Norma: Yeah. So I think I'm going to enjoy the social life a little more. I know Becky and I said this in season one, but I am not going to get straight A's. That sounds horrible for my mental health. I'm not even going to try. I still want to perform well in my classes but I'm not going to overstudy to the sense where I'm experiencing a lot of burnout and stressing myself out and crying and in tears because I didn't perform as well on an exam. Maybe I got a B instead of an A. So I think it's also important to realize, especially now that I'm in graduate school, if I get my degree, I get my degree. It does not give two hoots or Hannis if I got B's or as or a mix or even A-C-I hope I don't get that CS get degrees. Well, actually, for the grad program, you have to have a minimum 3.02 P. So I really don't want to get A-C-B get degrees.
[16:55] Becky: I already know how I'm going to celebrate your first B. I'm going to get a cake and I'm going to put a ton of B's on it. Not the letter, but like, the okay, good.
[17:04] Norma: Because I was going to say if there was a lot of BS, it would be B for Becky and I wouldn't feel really happy.
[17:09] Becky: B for Borma.
[17:14] Norma: As we end this episode, I do want to ask the listeners, especially if you just took your CPA exams or still are taking your CPA exams, maybe you're in school and taking your CPA exams or you're working and taking your CPA exams. How did you deal with all that? Did you plan everything? I know for Becker that they kind of plan out day by day what you should and should not do for studying. How did you guys deal with it? Because even though I said I'm only going to take one exam a semester, I still anticipate something that is happening. So I would love all of your advice. So let me know. There'll be links to, like, Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, so just comment there and let me know. But that's it. This is going to be the end of season two.
[18:03] Becky: If you're feeling fun, you should leave a comment on what flavor cake you think I should get. Normal. When she gets her first bee, nothing is off the table.
[18:12] Norma: Please do that.
[18:13] Becky: Strawberry? We don't do strawberry.
[18:15] Norma: No, we don't like strawberry. But like I said, this is the end of season two. We thought, why not in season two right now? And it will start off with me starting school. Like, season three is going to be grad school. So I'm really excited for that. I might take a week or two off of just recording just so I can get in the mode, I guess you would say, of school and studying for Becker. And then we will be right back. You will be listening to our lovely voices. Yeah.
[18:43] Becky: I was told I have a really good podcasting voice and I felt so honored.
[18:47] Norma: Yes. Sometimes I listen and I'm like I hear my speech impediments when I was younger. I know I'm going off with a quick tangent. The episode wasn't too. I promise. Friends. I had speech impediments until the 8th grade. I was in speech therapy until the 8th grade for my Rs, w's, CSLS, all of that stuff. And sometimes I listen back and I'm like, dang, Norma, you might need to go to speech therapy for a hot sake again. Okay. Anyway, Rebecca yes? Honestly. That's it for season two of the Accounting Twins Podcast podcast. We hope to see you back for season three of the Accounting Twins Podcast while I navigate grad school, see PA exams and working. And when we get to hear more about Becky's work experience, don't miss us too much. Yes. Hope you all are doing well and we will see you soon. We'll hear you soon. Actually, you'll just hear us soon.
[19:41] Becky: We can't wait for that.
[19:43] Norma: Bye bye.
[19:52] Becky: This has been a production of the Accounting Podcast Network.