Spring 2017 Accounting Newsletter

Spring 2017 Accounting Newsletter

Spring 2017 Accounting Newsletter

In this issue:

Greetings from the Accounting Program!

Dr. Ashutosh Deshmukh

Dr. Ash. Deshmukh, SP17 Accounting Newsletter welcome

Image: Penn State Behrend

Welcome to the spring semester.

The professional prospects for the new accounting graduates remain excellent. However, the skills required for a successful accountant have undergone a tectonic shift. You must have all the traditional accounting, auditing, and tax skills but in addition you need to be technology savvy. Statistical and computing skills are becoming essential as not only accounting data but accounting rules and auditing routines are locked within the giant databases residing in the cloud across the world.

There have been many exciting developments in the accounting department. We held our first advisory board meeting. Public accounting leaders from the region agreed to serve on the board and were generous in sharing their time and talent. Big Four and local firms continue to recruit in our school. We have graduated our first master’s class and have begun recruiting for the third class. Join accounting clubs and seek leadership positions, find substantive internships and work hard, and choose electives that will help you in your career.

Dr. Ash Deshmukh, Chair, Accounting and MIS

 

What’s up with Accounting?

The good news is that as long as people keep making money, or even if they are not, they will need accountants to assist them. According to statistics from 2016 (Money, U.S. News & World Report), accountants are ranked number six in best business jobs. The accounting field has a high upward trend for opportunities in career advancement and salary, and the flexibility is considered to be above average. Technology such as marketing automation, lead generation, firm improvement and development software, and collaborative learning communities has been changing the lives of accountants today. With a new president in office, we will begin to see other changes, as well.

Faculty Spotlight

LeAnn Davids

Lecturer in Accounting

Leann Davids, Faculty Spotlight

Leann Davids, Faculty Spotlight

Image: Penn State Behrend

Background Information:

I was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University. I worked for nine years in public accounting as an auditor and four years as a controller at two power-sports dealerships. I aspired to become a college professor shortly after graduating from college and I am very excited to be starting my journey at Behrend in the accounting department.

Are you married/have kids?

Yes, I’m married with a 7-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.

Why did you choose Accounting?

I originally started college with plans to become an occupational therapist. Due to job changes in that profession I had concerns about finding employment after graduation. I have always felt strongly that I wanted to be trained in a field that would allow me to take care of myself, without depending on anyone else. For this reason, I decided to take an intro to accounting class, as it is a secure profession and I had always enjoyed working with numbers. After taking the class, I decided to make the switch to accounting, as it came naturally to me and I felt it was a solid career path.

Did you have internships? Where?

I had an audit internship at Arthur Andersen in Pittsburgh the summer going into my senior year that led to a full-time offer with employment to begin after I graduated. Due to the Enron scandal and the fall of Arthur Andersen, I lost my full-time job before I even graduated college. Therefore, I decided to go back to get my Master of Professional Accountancy degree. The summers leading up to starting my full-time job at Deloitte in Pittsburgh, I worked at a local accounting firm Seachrist, Kennon and Marling in Wheeling, West Virginia, as an audit intern. 

If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

No regrets. 

Word of advice to accounting students?

Try to get an internship at an accounting firm or a business to gain experience on how businesses run. Also, it is very important to be aware of when the accounting firms recruit on-site each year, as it is very early in the fall semester. 

What are your future goals/ambitions?

If asked this question five years ago, I would have described exactly what I am doing today. Moving forward, I want to further develop my teaching methods, and I want to continue to find ways to bring real-life experiences to the classroom, as I feel it enhances the learning experience.

Alumni Spotlight

Kelsey Schupp ’15

Kelsey Schipp, Alumni Spotlight

Kelsey Schipp, Alumni Spotlight

Image: Penn State Behrend

Did you choose a minor or double major route?

I decided to double major in Accounting and Finance.

Why did you choose Accounting?

Sounds a little cliché, however, I originally chose accounting because everyone kept telling me I would be really good at it. Once I did a little research, I was completely sold on the major because it gives you unlimited options for career paths.

What are some of the daily tasks you perform on the job?

I work at Lockheed Martin as a proposal analyst associate for the Missile and Fire Control line of business. I work specifically on the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor Apache program. MTADS/PNVS are considered the eyes of the Apache helicopter. The Apache fire-control system provides weapons targeting capability to the Apache helicopter.

My team and I price and negotiate proposals with the U.S. government and international customers. Each day is different, depending on which proposal I am working on and for which customer. I work with not only finance, but also product support, procurement, production operations, contracts, and program management to price fair and compliant proposals.

Do you have your CPA?

I do not have my CPA, and as of now I do not plan to pursue my CPA. Although I strongly recommend everyone to try public accounting and earn their CPA, I knew after a year as an audit intern at BKD, LLP that it was not my long-term career path. However, the experience is something I carry with me every day in my job.

I am currently studying for Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst Exam.

What would be your advice to other accounting majors?

The best advice I can give to anyone in any major is EXPLORE! There are so many different career paths you can take with an accounting degree – it is the language of business. In college though, I felt I was only exposed to the few traditional jobs, with the main one being public accounting with a CPA. There are so many other options for those that don’t find that interesting – I like to think my job is a pretty good example. I work for military programs, working with engineers, managers, and the legal department each day.

So, whether you explore through internships, research, or talking with alumni (I always welcome questions!), learn about as many different jobs as you can. This will make preparing for the decision of “life after graduation” so much easier.

Also, be well rounded. Yes, it is wonderful to have perfect grades but as soon as you move that tassel on graduation day those things don’t matter a whole lot except for the knowledge you take from the classes. Employers were more interested in the competitions I participated in, my internship and other work experience, and even what I liked to do for fun. Employers don’t want number crunching robots, they want a personable human being who will get along with a diverse team and get the job done.

Where do you live now?

I live in Orlando, Florida.

If you could go back and change anything about your time at Behrend, what would it be?

I wish I had been involved in the National Organization of Business and Engineering (NOBE) sooner. For anyone looking into corporate accounting/finance and especially manufacturing companies –this is a great club to get involved in! I work with a variety of different engineers every day in order to do my job. I remember so many of my classmates in accounting and finance found engineers frustrating to work with, so starting to integrate with them early in your college career will be very beneficial.

What are your future plans/goals?

Although I haven’t decided what type –whether an M.B.A., M.P.Acc., or something else – I plan to start a master’s program in 2018. As of now, I think I will continue my professional accounting/finance career in the defense industry or government sector. And who knows, another location move might be in my future!

Junior Spotlight

Justin Araki

Justin Araki, Junior Spotlight

Justin Araki, Junior Spotlight

Image: Penn State Behrend

Background information:

Justin is from Utica, New York. He has served five years in the Marine Corps, is married, and has two children.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of school and work?

Justin has played rugby for twelve years now, and is the chief financial officer of the Presque Isle rugby team. His team has played on two continents, in four different countries, and five states. In addition to playing rugby, he is very passionate about weightlifting, and he is a member of the weightlifting club here at Behrend.

Why did you choose Accounting?

Justin chose to study accounting because as a father, “flex time and a dependable career are important for raising a family. I am also a big numbers guy.”

What classes do you feel were most beneficial to your success?

Justin felt that Intermediate Accounting I (ACCTG 371) with Dr. Chuck Brown and Intermediate Accounting II (ACCTG 472) with Linda Hajec were especially useful. Also, Dr. Flora Dong’s Federal Income Tax class (ACCTG 310) was helpful for his VITA Internship.

Do you have any current internship lined up? Where?

Justin is currently an intern at Erie Free Taxes sponsored by United Way for this year’s tax season. He provides income tax assistance under the VITA program for qualifying individuals.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Justin is planning on studying to earn his M.P.Acc. and taking the CPA exam.

Senior Spotlight

Stuart Enterline

Background Information:

Stuart is originally from Pennsylvania, and has previously attended Penn State University Park for a double major in Economics and Finance. He will be completing his Accounting degree at Penn State Behrend in one year.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of school and work?

When Stuart is “off the clock,” he enjoys weight lifting, playing guitar, listening to music, and watching college football and college basketball in his spare time. Stuart is also the vice president of the Market and Economics Analysis Fund here at Behrend.

Why did you choose Accounting?

 “Accounting is a hard skill set to acquire, but it will pay dividends over the future.”

What classes do you feel were most beneficial to your success?

Stuart states that any finance classes that have accounting concepts mixed in were very helpful, as well as classes such as Intermediate I (371), and Intermediate II (472).

Do you have any current internship lined up? Where?

Stuart has previously interned at Lefavi Wealth Management in Salt Lake City, Utah, over the summer as a financial adviser. He realized after his internship that “financial advising was not for him.” Stuart also had an operations role at J.P. Morgan Chase financial services company. Currently, Stuart is working as an intern at a company sponsored by Penn State Behrend, which partners with growing companies, called Innovating Through Collaboration (ITC).

What are your plans for after graduation?

Stuart is planning to take the CFA exam in June, and is networking with major banks.

Meet the Advisory Board

An advisory board has been established for the Accounting program at the Black School of Business, comprised of accounting business leaders from the region. 

On December 7, 2016, the Accounting Advisory Board met for the first time to meet each other (or get reacquainted) and discuss the purpose of the board. All accounting faculty were on hand to discuss our undergraduate and graduate curriculum, philosophy and goals. We also talked about the type of outreach we are currently pursuing in the community. The newly founded advisory board provided feedback on what they are seeing in the workplace from Behrend graduates, what they think we are doing well, and what they would like to see added or more strongly encouraged in the classroom. 

We are fortunate to have strong support from partners and management at global, national, regional and local firms, as well as management in the business world who can not only provide us strong feedback, but also ideas and resources to strengthen our program. As a result of this first meeting, accounting faculty are talking about integration of soft skills and improving students’ ability to transition into the work place, interdisciplinary skills such as accounting and MIS skills that cross paths in the workplace, and increasing students’ awareness of end-user needs so that financial statements aren’t just something that we prepare to be in compliance with GAAP, but that are something to be prepared understanding that they will be used for decision-making by many different readers. Our advisory board members include the following, and have been very generous with their time and energy devoted to our accounting students. We thank them for their commitment to us, and to you!

Brad Phillips

Brad Phillips

Brad Phillips, vice president and chief financial officer, Manufacturer and Business Association

Image: Penn State Behrend
Mitchell Kalkhof

Mitchell Kalkhof

Mitchell Kalkhof, managing director, BKD

Image: Penn State Behrend
Angela Hudak

Angela Hudak

Angela Hudak, tax partner, Ernst and Young LLP

Image: Penn State Behrend
Bill Finnecy

Bill Finnecy

Bill Finnecy, tax partner, BKD

Image: Penn State Behrend
Justin Buschman

Justin Buschman

Justin Buschman, chief financial officer, Wire Weld Inc.

Image: Penn State Behrend
Ross Lockwood

Ross Lockwood

Ross Lockwood, manager, Kreider and Company LLC

Image: Penn State Behrend
Joseph C. Ledford

Joseph C. Ledford

Joseph C. Ledford, principal-in-charge, Hill Barth and King

Image: Penn State Behrend
Shannon Ongley

Shannon Ongley

Shannon Ongley, manager, McGill Power Bell and Associates

Image: Penn State Behrend
Tom Lally

Tom Lally

Tom Lally, partner, KPMG

Image: Penn State Behrend

Meet the Accounting Club Officers

I am a junior with a double major in Accounting and Management Information Systems and a minor in Finance. I previously interned at Deloitte & Touche and will be interning there again this summer. I am on the executive board of three clubs: president of Accounting Club, vice president of Circle K, and the treasurer of National Society of Leadership and Success. Currently, I am working on an ITC project for the Black School of Business and volunteering for VITA.

Brianna Riley, President

bdr5144@psu.edu

I am a junior Accounting major with a minor in Management Information Systems, and my family recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. I am planning on completing my Master of Business Administration at Behrend and receiving my 150 credits to sit for the CPA exam. I am the president of Circle K, a community service club, as well as the business director for the student run newspaper, the Behrend Beacon. I am a student assistant with the Black School of Business and the major newsletter organizer. I had two internships with BKD CPAs & Advisors and Junior Achievement. I will be interning with Bank of America this summer in New York City.

Nicole Overby, Vice President

nmo5050@psu.edu

I’m a sophomore Accounting and Finance major from Erie, working towards my 150 credits to sit for the CPA exam. I enjoy being a part of the leadership of many clubs and organizations on campus, including Accounting Club, Chess Club, and Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. I am currently the campus representative of Wiley CPA Services for exam preparation and online courses. My long-term goal is to be a successful entrepreneur because there’s nothing I love more than being my own boss.

Mitchell Kay, Treasurer

msk5424@psu.edu

I am a junior Accounting major with a minor in Management Information Systems, and I’m from Western New York. I am working towards completing 150 credits upon graduating, and sitting for my CPA exam. I am a team player in Tone-Acious, an a capella group at Behrend, Lion Ambassadors, and a brother in Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. One of my goals is to become a partner in one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Carrie Brunacini, Secretary

cab6507@psu.edu

Student Activities

BUSINESS BLITZ

The 2016 Business Blitz was hosted in McGarvey Commons in October.Many of Behrend’s alumni and other professionals of different perspectives, career paths, and backgrounds attended. Students were given one-on-one experiences and received constructive criticism of their elevator speeches and resumes. Following the round-robin special, all participants and faculty enjoyed a casual networking social hour in celebration of the Business Blitz’s success yet again.

SENIOR PANEL

With graduation finally in sight, the Behrend Accounting Club decided to have a traditional panel of five of our very own seniors. This meeting featured Joseph Rock, Kevin Atkins, Kathy Grutkowski, Levi Sunderland, and Chelsie Zents. The audience was mentored during this meeting, as they were able to ask questions such as which classes you should take, things to take advantage of at school, etc. The seniors also shared their internship experiences and plans for after graduation.

CLUB SHOWCASE

CLUB SHOWCASE

 Mitchell Kay, left, Nicole Overby, Brianna

Riley, and Carrie Brunacini.

Image: Penn State Behrend

 

As shown on the left, the Accounting Club officers attended the spring club showcase on January 11, 2017. It was nice to see familiar faces and visit with other clubs. We created a prize-jar incentive for students to pay their dues. It is always important to join the club for your major.

FIRST ACCOUNTING CLUB MEETING

Our January Accounting Club meeting with Penn State Behrend alumna Lynn Swain from Rick Weaver Buick GMC shined a spotlight on the dirty secrets of interviewing.. Swain spoke on topics such as the question that every interviewee should ask, and questions that every interviewee should never ask. We learned about how to prepare prior to the interview, the day of the interview, and the first day on the job. Students came prepared with their most personal questions about the interview process, and left feeling prepared for the job search.

Accounting students attended a corporate day sponsored by Cohen & Co.’s human resource representative, Abbey Seman, and campus recruiter, Sierra Hollopeter. Hollopeter explained vital tips and questions for the interview process, and how to turn an internship into a full-time position. Meanwhile, Seman provided information about internship and carrer opportunities at Cohen & Co., and about its new office that has just recently opened in the Pittsburgh area.

Save the Date!

Monday, February 13, 2017, from 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. in 205 Burke

Calling all Accounting and Management Information Systems majors! Justin Buschman CPA and CFO at Wire Weld Inc., will be answering questions and sharing information about the benefits and importance of integrating accounting and MIS majors/minors at this meeting.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, from 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. in 236 Burke

This meeting will aid in professional development, as we will be meeting with the Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC). They will be able to help us just in time to prepare for the Spring Career Fair.

Thursday, March 16, 2017 – CAREER FAIR in Junker Center

Bring your resumes, references, and suits, and head on down to the Career Fair!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Erie Brewing

Kick back and relax at the Accounting Club networking hour with your professors and alumni.

Join us!

We encourage students to come to not only meetings to increase networking opportunities, but also to further their learning experience in exploring their career paths. Accounting Club focuses on the importance of taking the CPA exam and how to get you through it via study tools as well as other career path options that our alumni have taken, how to have a successful interview, and things that you can do now to open new doors in your life, so come on in!