Richard KorsakTell us about your work---what do you do? My company performs various accounting functions for small businesses from bookkeeping functions to the preparation of financial statements . We also prepare various tax returns for these businesses as required. We are often engaged to perform special services as well. Principally, these services are computer software consulting and business valuations . As president of the company, my duties include selling our services to prospective clients. What skills are needed? Generally, the skills needed are a financial background with an emphasis in accounting and tax . Also, people skills are a must. This aspect cannot be emphasized enough. What was your major? Accounting (undergraduate) and Finance (graduate). How did you get started in your career? I had a part time job in the accounting department of a small company while an undergraduate student. What experience do you need in this job? The best experience is working for a small C.P.A. firm for at least three years whereby you have the opportunity to work in various industries as well as many different clients. This is where the people skills are developed. Describe your "typical" workday: Answering and returning client messages, reviewing a never ending list of prospects, working on client engagements, supervising staff, and preparing for the next day. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The most difficult part of the job is to attempt to satisfy all client needs on a timely basis. The prioritization of client needs , both expected and unexpected, is the name of the game. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The satisfaction occurs at the completion of the job. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? I believe that a person should work in a C.P.A. firm at least until their first promotion, which is usually three years. This allows them to observe not only the workings of a C.P.A. firm, but also the various industries and their nuances. After this initial period is over, a person should be able to make a decision whether this public accounting career is for them. If a person begins in an industry environment, it would be difficult to go back to public accounting. Maybe my experience of working while a student is an alternative whereby a person can see an every day operation unfold.