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

Types of work:

  • Prepare individual, partnership, corporate, gift, trust, estate, and nonprofit tax returns
  • Update fixed asset schedules and prepare depreciation reports
  • Prepare estimated tax payment vouchers for individuals
  • Prepare extensions for various types of tax returns
  • Prepare LIFO calculations for dealership clients
  • Attend applicable in-house CPE training sessions

7:00 – 8:00 am

  • Arrive at the office
  • Catch up with coworkers, get some coffee, tea, or breakfast from the breakroom
  • Read through emails for firm updates, important tax updates, or information from supervisors
  • Review and check for any updates on statuses of projects currently assigned
  • Contact Resource Manager and Tax Managers when workload is low to ask for more assignments
  • Establish a priority list of all assignments

8:00 – 12:00 pm

  • Work through the priority list of returns to prepare and other projects to complete
  • Begin preparing tax returns by organizing information from PDF work-papers provided by the client and entering calculations into the tax return software
  • Compile a list of questions that arise when working through the return
  • Research the tax treatment of unfamiliar topics
  • Request to meet with the AIC (Accountant In Charge) of return to review list of compiled questions
  • Communicate with supervisors about progress and status of current projects
  • Contact supervisors or clients for missing information to help keep projects moving

12:00 – 1:00 pm

  • Get lunch at one of the many restaurants downtown with co-workers or coach, or eat in our firm lunchroom

1:00 – 3:00 pm

  • Check email or other communication tools for answers to outstanding questions from clients or supervisors
  • Update tax returns and workpapers as needed with new information
  • Once all applicable client information has been keyed in the tax software, generate a draft of the return and complete a thorough self-review
  • Sign-off on the draft return and submit to the reviewing supervisor

3:00 – 4:00 pm

  • Go through the list of review-points from reviewing supervisor and update the return as necessary
  • Seek out clarification on any review-points that are unfamiliar
  • Clear the review-points by updating the tax software with corrections, sign-off on the second draft, and send back to the reviewing supervisor

4:00 – 5:00 pm

  • Review statuses of current projects and update priority list items as needed
  • Update supervisors on the status of current returns
  • Enter and submit daily timesheet to include billable and non-billable hours worked

After Hours

  • Study for CPA exams as often as possible!
  • Enjoy catching up with co-workers at our monthly firm happy hour
  • Meet new CPAs and prospective clients at WSCPA and other networking events
  • Assist with on-campus recruiting activities, such as attending Beta Alpha Psi meetings
  • Participate in one of our many sports teams – softball, dodgeball, basketball, beach volleyball

Best Part of my Job

There are many reasons that I enjoy being a part of the team at Peterson Sullivan. First and foremost, the people at our firm are some of the best and brightest– professionals who are driven to excel in their careers and still make time to help others excel as well. Another aspect that I value is the fact that PS is a mid-sized firm. This means we have the chance to work with a variety of clients and have access to an abundance of resources, while still enjoying a culture where each individual is valued, respected, and rewarded. In addition, PS gives employees of all levels the opportunity to work on interesting and fulfilling projects. Of course, the work can be extremely challenging, but being able to work through the challenge, learn from others, and grow as a tax professional is very gratifying.

Beyond encouraging hard work and continuous learning, PS also fosters a fun work environment! I really like the creative events planned by our Culture Club because they promote collaboration and camaraderie. Whether it’s playing Busy Season Bingo, dressing up for Spirit Saturdays, voting on the best signature cocktail at our firm happy hour, or playing putt-putt golf throughout the office as a fundraising event, PS offers plenty of opportunities for us to balance our hard work with a little fun.

I am motivated to come to work every day because each day at PS is an opportunity to work with amazing talent, learn something new, and gain personal and professional fulfillment.