The Accounting Twins weigh in on a Twitter thread about a student backing out of a signed contract at an accounting firm to take his dream job. Becky and Norma discuss how colleges push a job at the Big 4 accounting firms. The twins chat about generation Z's values, work ethic, and communication styles. Their countdown to graduation is down to 14 days!
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. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Accounting Twins podcast. My name is Becky. And I'm Norma, and our first episode dropped this past week. And we would love to thank all of you for all of your support. Support. We have actually gotten some feedback and to begin this episode, we actually got a tweet that we wanted to talk about this week. This is from Dr. Josh McGowan and he said a student signed a contract to work for a firm a year ago and they have not started yet. Recently, the student has received their dream offer. Student asked, is it okay to back out of a previous signed offer to take the dream job? What are your thoughts? So I was going to talk about this because I actually did the same exact thing about in August or September, I had accepted a job at a public accounting firm, a large public accounting firm in Phoenix. However, about October November, I kind of had a quarter life crisis and wanted to change my career path and change my whole path. I was questioning accounting, but I was questioning what I was doing in accounting. So I actually went ahead and applied for some industry jobs in private accounting, and I did exactly that. I went back and rescinded my offer from the public accounting firm and accepted the job offer from the private company. And so I just want to say, never feel bad about responding an offer. I don't think it's fair for an individual to have to sacrifice themselves just to make a company feel better about keeping a job offer. At the end of the day, you're working for yourself and you should be doing what is best for you. I personally had a hard time coping with the fact that I was going to be letting someone down. However, again, at the end of the day, this is all about you. The company was very understanding, and they wished me the best of luck. And at the end of the day, you want to be happy. You don't want to be lugging through your job if you're not enjoying it. So absolutely resent the job if you have to. The thing is, it's nothing against the other company. It's everything for you. You're thinking about yourself. You're thinking about what you want to do. So I just wanted to talk about that because never put yourself last to put somebody else first.
[02:35] Norma: Yeah. And I believe that Becky and I talked about this in our last episode where accounting firms are just giving job offers, or not even just accounting firms, but in the business world, there's being job offers given out way too early in advance. And I just believe that firms need to be going back and kind of rethinking this and probably waiting until a few months before to offer the internship or job offer. Like I know Rebecca and I previously said, our sophomore year, our second semester was when we got an internship offer for going into our senior year. And although it was a great experience and I enjoyed it, I still believe that was quite early for an internship offer. Especially because we hadn't even been accepted into the Eller College of Management for Accounting yet. We were still in that process. So what if we hadn't even gone down that path? I think that overall, just firms need to go slower and give these job offers maybe six to twelve months in advance, not 18 months in advance. I just believe it's kind of setting people up. It's not necessarily setting them up to fail, but it's not letting them explore other options, whether it be in the industry or just in the business world itself. And what if they realize, okay, I signed this job offer for going in, or I signed this job offer for twelve months from now, but then they find another job, but they're too scared to resend the job offer, so they go to their original job, they work, but they end up just resenting it because it's not what they wanted. I think it would boost morale and especially help the employees themselves just to kind of take that process and slow.
[04:17] Becky: It down a bit and moving on from that a little bit. I also found it a little hard to find a private industry job. I would say that I feel that colleges are very much pushing towards Big Four and public accounting firms and I don't really know why. And I understand that's because probably they get great reviews from them and Ella is a fabulous business school. I will never doubt that in my mind. However, every company needs an accountant. Everybody needs to do their debits and credits and look at their revenue and do their financial statements. So I wish when schools brought in companies to talk about what to do in the future, that they would start bringing in more private and industry firms. Because like I said, everybody needs an accountant. You can't have public accounting without private accounting.
[05:11] Norma: Yeah, I do agree with the fact that even in the public, when colleges are talking about public accounting, they are still emphasizing the Big Four. But someone like myself who wants a mid level firm or a mid sized firm, it was a little bit harder to use those resources. I'm lucky that my career counselor was absolutely amazing and had great connections to these mid level firms. But I just wish that going forward I didn't have this expectation set that I needed to do a Big Four accounting firm. Cause me personally, that doesn't fit the lifestyle I want to lead or the work or career life that I want to lead. So I think that colleges kind of need to reconsider how they're going about telling students about these different professions and jobs and give them a wide variety because otherwise we're going to be sending people into the workforce who don't like their job. Like for instance, if Rebecca had gone to work for the accounting firm or if I would be looking into Big Four instead of midlevel sized firms, I just don't think I would be enjoying my job as much.
[06:16] Becky: Speaking of lifestyle, I know normally I've talked about this before about why we.
[06:19] Norma: Chose our jobs because of the lifestyle.
[06:21] Becky: However, this past week we actually read an article about how Gen Z doesn't want to go into the labor force. It's not in their rear view mirrors or in the front mirror. It's kind of just there, I guess you would say, and I'm not going to lie, I would agree with it. I think that with the way that Gen Z was born and raised and with how technology is going, especially with influencers, and I'm not saying anything about against them, if I could be a social media influencer, I would love to, but I don't have the Instagram feed for that. But what I'm trying to say is I think a lot of us kind of just want to sit in bed all day and make money, which granted, that would be so fun to do. However, we have to have a job to be able to do things. I think that Gen Z is just kind of not wanting to do as much as previous generations have. And I think that we kind of need to grow out of that funk. It's kind of reminding me of the movie Wally where they all just sit in chairs and they just go around. And recently, because of this new job that I have found, I have absolutely loved wanting to work. I think that Gen Z has this idea that you have to find the perfect job, which I kind of agree with. Like if you want to love your job and you want to love what you do, that will make you want to work, that will make you want to be in the labor force. And I think Gen Z just has a hard time finding what exact direction we may want to be pushed into.
[07:46] Norma: Yeah, I agree. I don't necessarily think that Gen Z is becoming lazy or just wants to lay in bed all day. I think they just see how much our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles are working. And it's more than a 40 hours work week. People are going and making their career their life. And I understand that some people love having their careers in their life. I think Gen Z is getting more of that. I want my career and I want my life. They need to be different things. I want to be able to work my 40 hours work week, but then go away for the weekend without having to log onto my computer and working. I don't think it's necessarily that Gen Z is lazy. I think they just have different expectations and like everything. I think that society just needs to grow and accept that. And I think people are enjoying their work more if they're not expected to log in on the weekends. I think that people want to have their career and their life separated. Don't you agree, Becky?
[08:46] Becky: I do agree and I do like what you said. Gen z is not lazy. I absolutely disagree with the fact that we're not lazy like some other generations might say through the pandemic. I have really seen how hard our generation works to be able to not only have a job, but be happy with our job. And I think recently that Gen Z has realized you should be happy with your job. And we're not lazy. We're really hardworking. We're hardworking for the things that we want to do. And it's just hard these days to find a job where you're fully happy. And like you have been saying, we want work and outside life separate, but we also want our work life to be happy. We don't want to just nine to five sit at a desk and then be completely different. We want to be able to still enjoy our job because we want to be able to be friends with our coworkers. We want to have some fun, like, we want to still be able to enjoy our life.
[09:41] Norma: Yeah. And I think part of the reason that Gen Z does not dream of labor is because expectations are constantly being increased and raised in school, in the workforce, and it's kind of just hard to meet all these crazy expectations. For example, if there's a benchmark, someone's going to want to go above and beyond that and everyone else is going to follow in their lead and then the benchmark is raised and expectations are just keep getting raised to the point where it's insufficient and students and employees are unable to meet these requirements. So they just are thought of as lazy because they're not meeting these requirements. Like, give an example of what was expected of students in five years ago versus now. I feel like as if the bare minimum that's accepted now would have been the average that was a few years ago. And I understand that it's good, it can be efficient and people can get a lot more work done and have better work. But I think people need to realize not everyone is going to be raising these bars and meeting and exceeding all these expectations. I think as a society we need to get back and realize, okay, not everyone can do everything great and better than what you thought. And if we don't accept this, I think more people are going to be thought of as lazy and not wanting to do their work when that's not the truth.
[11:01] Becky: We're not all perfect. As much as I would love to be perfect, it would be an honor to be perfect. We have bad days. Sometimes we don't understand things like, we're humans. Give us a break. I think that there's a lot of pressure on Gen Z. And going back to what you had said earlier about expectations in the bar being raised, I also want to talk about that with salaries and money, because the cost of living has gone up so much in the past few years, past 1020 years, salaries aren't really increasing that much in comparison to them. So we're not making as much money as we want to be able to live the lifestyle that the average human has. We're having to work our butts off for this. And so I think it's also just kind of burning people out, and they're like, I don't really want to work because I'm not making the money that my effort is showing, and it's not allowing me to get the lifestyle that the average person should have.
[12:00] Norma: Yeah, I agree. I just think overall, our expectations need to change, and not necessarily in a bad way, but we just need to recognize that Gen Z is not the same as the generations before us. If we don't adjust these thoughts and expectations, the business world is just not going to be thought of in this holistic light.
[12:21] Becky: Another topic about Gen Z, it's the way we communicate. Earlier, our boss texted us, and he goes, hey, girls, can we chat in a little bit? Dot, dot, dot. And Norma and I immediately text each other. We're like, oh, my God, what do we do? What do we do? We were freaking out. Norma and I get so anxious about those things. And it's also Gen z. We communicate over text.
[12:43] Norma: And so I was like, Hi, what.
[12:44] Becky: Did we do wrong? And then our boss responded. He goes, Nothing. I just wanted to talk about the podcast, and I wanted to just, like, get some work done. And then I called Norman, and I was like, oh, my gosh. And so Gen Z, we read into everything. I don't know about you guys, but Norman, I text each other, and we can sense the change in tone over text. Isn't that right?
[13:04] Norma: Yeah, but that might also be just because we're twins, so we look into each other differently. But I would just say overall, there's so many different I can't say language barriers, but language differentiations between Gen Z and other generations. For example, this summer when we had our internship, I always felt like I need to have a smiley face at the end of a chat or some form of exclamation point or punctuation when I was communicating with someone, and if they responded with, like, okay, period, I was like, oh, ****, I did something wrong. They hate me. And I understand that we are going to have to learn the generations above us, how they communicate, and they're going to learn how we have to communicate. And we'll find this middle ground. It's kind of frustrating. But it's also absolutely hilarious just to think how there can be just the slightest miscommunications just from the simple way that we talk. Like when I text my dad and he says, K, I'm like, oh, ****, I'm going to get in trouble next time I go home. But it's like totally fine. That's just how my dad talks.
[14:05] Becky: My dad just caed me.
[14:07] Norma: Yeah. Or like when we text our boss, he always goes and usually like, my friend's mom, if I text her and she goes, I'm like, I can't tell what that means, but at this point, I've just learned to accept it. But it's just so funny how there's so many different communication and language styles between generations.
[14:25] Becky: Recently, I've been sending audio messages over text so people can get my tone of voice and enthusiasm and what I'm trying to say.
[14:34] Norma: I'll get started on this. I hate when you do that.
[14:36] Becky: You don't like when I do the audio stuff?
[14:38] Norma: No, I don't like when people send me audio messages because half the time I'm like, in class, I don't want to listen to them. But also, granted, I live in my sorority house, so if I play an audio message and I don't have headphones in, everyone hears it and there's like no sense of privacy.
[14:51] Becky: So that makes never told me this.
[14:54] Norma: I felt like I've told you so many times because I never responded an audio message.
[14:58] Becky: Well, that sucks because I'm going to keep continuing to do it. It's a lot easier than typing, so you got to suck it up, buttercup.
[15:05] Norma: I think it's just interesting to see these communication differences, and I'm interested to see how it's going to go forward now when generations younger than us are communicating differently. Like when Becky and I are 40 years old and it's just straight emojis or pictures or something.
[15:23] Becky: By the time we're 40, it's probably like someone thinks something and then they can send it in a message to us.
[15:28] Norma: Oh, my gosh. But then that'd be like reading minds and I don't want people to read my mind.
[15:32] Becky: That is my one wish. You know how everyone's like, what's your one wish? What would be your one superhero power? I want to read mine because I get so anxious wondering what people think about me, what they're thinking about. And I'm like, I would like to read your mind, but also sometimes I don't want to read people's minds. That would be just so weird. What if I'm taking an exam and I can read the person's mind next to me and they're thinking the wrong way to do a problem? I could never do that. I took two exams this week and I would hate to have heard the.
[16:02] Norma: People around me what they were thinking.
[16:03] Becky: Because I was so in the zone.
[16:05] Norma: Oh, my gosh, yes. This week was a lot for Becky and I. We had an exam on Monday, a presentation wednesday and an exam on Thursday on top of the senior week for a sorority. So we had some events going on with our families and with the sorority. So it has been so stressful. But honestly, it's now making I mean, this is just for me. I'm not sure about Becky, but it's making graduation feel a lot more real because now we're done with two of our classes and we have a final for our last class in two weeks. And it's kind of hitting home more. Like, I know Becky and I have talked about so much in every episode, how we're so burnt out. Graduation is coming so soon, but it's so soon now.
[16:48] Becky: It's two weeks, two days from today.
[16:51] Norma: 15 weeks from now, we're going to be at Eller and like, a little ceremony instead of working right now. It's so bizarre to think about.
[17:01] Becky: My roommates and I have this white board up in the house and I wrote X amount of days until graduation. And I remember when it was in the then the now we're in the teens. We're almost in the single digits. Do you know how scary this is and how sad this is? I was telling my roommates and normal last night over dinner that it feels like we are graduating, but it doesn't feel like anybody else is becoming done with school. They sound so selfish, but it just seems like graduation is happening.
[17:30] Norma: It doesn't seem like the freshmen are.
[17:31] Becky: Becoming sophomores, sophomores, juniors, juniors, seniors. It just sounds like I am graduating. The world revolves around me.
[17:40] Norma: Yeah. And I know that I'm going to grad school next year, but at this point, graduation is all that I can think about. I feel like I'm going to enter the workforce like Becky, like I'm not coming back to study for my CPA exams or to go to grad school. It's just so bizarre how I just have tunnel vision of graduation right now.
[17:58] Becky: Tunnel vision is the perfect word for it because we've been planning our grad party, we've been getting our grad dresses, we've been sending our grad invites and all those things. And it's just straight tunnel vision.
[18:10] Norma: And like, even our professors are like.
[18:12] Becky: Only X amount more days until graduation, one more exam, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, wow.
[18:18] Norma: So, like, Becky and I said, we have finals in a few weeks in graduation. I think it would just be nice for Becky and I to talk about some of our study tips that we accumulated over the years. For anyone who's still in school studying, going to finals, especially if you're an accounting major, I think our study tips would be super helpful. Maybe. I know everyone studies in different ways, but this is just what Becky and I have done that made us successful and maintain good grades. I would say for accounting at least. Rewrite all of your notes. I'm the type of person where before accounting, I felt like I would make flashcards and just study them. But for accounting, I feel like I have to rewrite all of my notes just to understand it conceptually. Because if you don't understand a topic conceptually, you can't perform it. Like if you don't know what a debit in your credit is, you won't know how to do journal entry. Agreed.
[19:08] Becky: I would also say a huge tip.
[19:10] Norma: That normally I have done, which I.
[19:12] Becky: Love, is making a checklist.
[19:14] Norma: So let's say you're studying three chapters.
[19:16] Becky: I would write down rewrite notes, do recommended Homework, do in class problems, go.
[19:21] Norma: Over quizzes, go over exams. So then you would write that three.
[19:25] Becky: Times for chapter 1112 and 13, and then you check it off as you go. That way you're holding yourself accountable. And personally, what I like to do is I like to do notes of eleven. Notes of twelve, notes of 13. And then you go to Recommended Homework eleven, recommended Homework twelve, recommended Homework 13. That way you're not doing all of one chapter at once. That way you can actually see what you are retaining.
[19:47] Norma: Personally, that's what I like to do.
[19:49] Becky: Also, Norman, I've discussed this before, but we love to zoom each other when we study, even if it's just holding each other accountable. And she's like, hey, get off, TikTok. I know you want to watch those baby videos, but you got to be studying. And I'll be like, no scouting. Violet.
[20:03] Norma: No.
[20:03] Becky: The twins? No. The babies. And then she'll be like, no, you got to study. And I'll be like, okay.
[20:08] Norma: I know Rebecca mentioned how she likes to do chapter eleven notes, chapter twelve Notes, chapter 13, and then go do like the recommended hope for each. I read in an article, I think in our psychology class freshman year, how sometimes it's better to study different topics every day instead of studying one topic one topic the next. Sometimes you can retain information more. But in my opinion, I'm doing better if I'm studying like chapter eleven, one day chapter Twelve, and another day chapter 13. Whereas Becky is like, she wants to do all notes one day, all recommended homework one day. I think it's just important to note that the study tips might not be for you, or you might have to do them in a different environment or a different route than us. And that's okay. Everyone studies differently. But I think it's also important to figure out what's best for you. I didn't know how to study until sophomore year. I was overstudying. Like, you should have met me freshman year or sophomore year even. I didn't have a social life because I didn't know how to study, so I was over studying. Now I'm over studying just because I'm so overwhelmed with what to do, but I'm studying efficiently. You did have a social life freshman.
[21:14] Becky: Year and sophomore year before Covet, but you learn how to study. Learn how to etch off time in your book to have a social life and all of that. That's what I've had to learn how to do, especially with senior year, because I graduate, I don't want to sit in my room all day. I want to be able to go out and I want to be able to hang out with my friends and enjoy the last few months of pure bliss. But another study tip that I will have best thing to me is go to office hours, go to review sessions. That is a big thing for me. I think review sessions are so important because you're just reteaching everything. And honestly, I believe that it's so easy for me to just relearn it in 30 minutes and completely understand it even more. It's kind of like the review sessions to me or them trying to explain it to you in baby terms because you've already learned it before.
[22:08] Norma: Yeah, I haven't been able to go to these review sessions as much just because I've had, like, life get in the way. And the one that I did go to, I found super helpful. So as much as you might not want to do it now rather than having to make up and cram for it later, like, I know when I'm studying, I'll be a little bit more stressed than Becky because I missed two review sessions and she's gone. So I think that's super important. I also think it's really important to have a good relationship with your professor. Not just because they will help you. But I think if I have a good relationship with the professor, I'm a little bit more interested in the class because I want to pay attention and be respectful to my professor. And then I learn more because for one of the classes that I have that I've been struggling in, I don't necessarily have a relationship with my presser. I don't talk to him, ask questions, which is my fault, and just therefore not really interested in the class. But for one of our classes where it was supposed to be the hardest class that we were supposed to take this year, I have a great relationship with my professor. I go and ask him questions. I know him on a personal level, I'm succeeding in the class. Like, I have 100%. So I think having a relationship with your professors equates to having a relationship to the class.
[23:22] Becky: That's a really good way to put it. I've noticed that the classes I've succeeded best in are the ones when I'm close with the professor. It's not like they're like changing my grade or anything or grading me easy. I think it's just because when I'm invested in the teacher, I'm invested in the class and vice versa. And also I've also found these professors to just be great content teachers. There are some professors who, you know for a fact, know the content inside and out, but I just have a hard time understanding how they teach. However, my favorite professors are so fabulous at teaching people who have zero clue about what it is when they're hearing about it for the first time.
[24:00] Norma: Yeah, I think those professors are just great. And I also think it's great to be close to your professors because they can help you with letters of recommendations, too. For example, I needed a letter of recommendations when I applied to grad school, and as we all know, in episode two, I was talking about how I'm broke and have no money for grad school. So they wrote me a letter of recommendations for scholarships, and I'm still hearing back, but they were great letters of rex that I think are just going to help me going forward. And I think you need to have a relationship, a really good relationship with a professor to get these things. I'm not saying you need to have a great relationship with every single one of your professors, because I don't think that's possible. I think you need to have one or two great relationships. It's not about the quantity, it's about the quality. And I know that there's three professors that come to mind for Becky and I where we're super close with them, and we can go to them for not only like, school and professional problems, but personal problems. When I was struggling to look for different firms for an internship of her job, I went to one of my professors, and not only did she help me professionally, but then there were some things going on in my life that she helped me with personally, and I think it's great to have just another person in my life who's on my side and supports me.
[25:14] Becky: Agreed. Earlier, when I talked about how I had been interviewing for a private and industry job rather than public, I really needed help with one of my interviews for the company that I'm now working at. I just had a hard time getting a head start, I guess you would say, on what I needed to do. So I just popped into her office one day unannounced, and we sat down for about an hour, and she helped me prepare for my interview. And I hadn't had her as a teacher for three or four semesters, but we still keep up. We still talk. Like, be friends with your professors because they're also a great mentor after college. Like, the people you meet in college, especially professors, aren't just there for four years, they're there for a lifetime. Make those connections. Make them your friends, make them your mentors. Like, talk to them. I still talk to my favorite fourth grade teacher. I sent her a high school grad card. I'm going to send her a college grad card, like, make relationships.
[26:12] Norma: I think that's it for this episode. That's all we have to talk about. Thank you all so much for subscribing and being. So proactive with our episodes that have just been released. We absolutely love hearing from you all and from our friends about just their opinion of the podcast. So don't forget to subscribe if you already have it.
[26:29] Becky: I'm going to go study for my accounting finals, as in two weeks.
[26:32] Norma: Catch you next time. Yes.
[26:34] Becky: Bye. This has been a production of the Accounting Podcast Network.