Want to know what it’s like to be a Tax Associate at Peterson Sullivan?  Ricky Shoker shares his thoughts on A Day in the Life of a Tax Associate.

Types of work:

  • Preparation of individual, partnership, corporate, gift, trust, estate, FBAR Filings and nonprofit tax returns
  • Update fixed asset schedules and prepare depreciation reports
  • Prepare estimated tax payment vouchers for individuals
  • Prepare extensions for all types of tax returns
  • Prepare LIFO calculations for dealership clients

7:00 – 8:00 am

  • Arrive at the office
  • Catch up with coworkers, grab iced coffee, water, and some snacks
  • Catch up on email for firm updates, important tax updates, or information from clients or supervisors
  • Review and check for any updates on statuses of projects currently assigned
  • Review notes left for me from the prior day
  • Contact Resource Manager if getting low on work to ask for more
  • Establish a priority list once information is gathered

8:00 – 12:00 pm

  • Begin plugging away on priority list of returns to prepare, emails, and other projects to complete
  • Begin preparing the tax return on top of the to-do list by pulling information from PDF workpapers and entering them in the tax return software
  • Update list of questions about the return as new ones come up and over communicate with supervisors about progress and status of current projects
  • Seek help from coworkers or managers, if/when I have questions
  • Contact supervisors or clients for missing information to help keep projects moving

12:00 – 1:00 pm

  • Grab lunch with coworkers, friends, my coach, a buddy, or on my own.

1:00 – 3:00 pm

  • Check email or other communication tools for answers to open item questions from clients or supervisors
  • Update tax returns and workpapers as needed with updated information
  • Once all information is entered for the return, complete a thorough self-review looking for any missed information or unanswered questions
  • Sign off on the return and submit a draft to the reviewing supervisor

3:00 – 4:00 pm

  • Go through the list of review “points” and update the return as necessary
  • Seek out clarification on any review points that you may not understand fully
  • Once review points are cleared, sign off on the second draft and send to the reviewer

4:00 – 5:00 pm

  • Take an inventory of statuses of current projects and your priority list items
  • Update supervisors on the status of current returns
  • Enter billable and non-billable tracked time in system
  • Leave any notes for yourself for the next day to not waste time the following morning

After Hours

  • Study for CPA exams – they don’t study for themselves!
  • Attend networking and recruiting events
  • Join coworkers for happy hour or other firm-sponsored events
  • Participate in one of our many sports teams like softball, dodgeball, beach volleyball or flag football

Best Part of my Job

Being a tax associate at Peterson Sullivan is very challenging but also extremely gratifying.  As an associate, I am constantly learning new things, and never leave the office feeling like I didn’t accomplish something that day.  One of the advantages of Peterson Sullivan is our varying types of clients.  Whether it be clients from different industries like auto dealers, construction, life sciences, technology, professional services, hospitality, real estate, to high net worth individuals or large corporations, there really is something different to work on every day.

There are many reasons I love coming into work but if I had to choose just one single reason, it would be because of the people I work with.  I enjoy coming into work every day and I’m grateful to call my colleagues my friends.  It makes for a fun, rewarding work environment when I understand my peers at a personal level and know that everyone at the firm genuinely wants to see me succeed.  I can count on coming into work each day knowing I will be working with close friends on projects we will all complete with integrity, respect, commitment, and expertise.