Sep 10, 2019 in Interview

Interview with the Professional Accountant

Introduction

I have conducted an interview with the professional accountant who works in this field for more than 18 years. She currently works for national non-profit organization. General scope of questions was about her experience in the area of accounting in various corporations that she used to work for; and we discussed the activities that she is doing now.

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Besides the fact that she is quite knowledgeable in all of the financial and accounting areas, she also has an excellence record in the area of management. Her main duties include interpretation of financial performance indicators and the organization’s financial reporting. She also works on the interpretation of data regarding the cooperation with potential partners and donors. Moreover, at the end of every year, she is responsible for budgeting for the upcoming year in close cooperation with that organization’s CEO.

The accountant has graduated from Siena College majoring in Accounting and Business Law (2014). She is convinced that the received education provided her with an opportunity for both professional and intellectual development. The existing curriculum allowed her a lot of flexibility in order to study both business and accounting disciplines.

I have asked about particular knowledge or skills that are needed for her to contribute to each company. The accountant was positive that the main skills that are necessary for her performance are numerical computations that require a lot of detailed analysis. As she has used to work for various companies with different donors, she has a solid background in conducting financial analysis of their investments and prognosis of the company’s expenses.

Every company requires a special approach in cooperation with possible donors and their investments. Working as a financial advisor additionally, she has also participated in various meetings with donors. Thus, she has also experienced fundraising job responsibilities.

One of the most important things that I learn from this interview is about the necessity of understanding the people in a corporation. It is essential to be able to define leader from the manager. The accountant presented me a couple of practical examples about their qualities. I have understood that leadership is different from management.

Despite the fact that the relationship between the aforementioned notions may seem quite close, and many people tend to use them interchangeably, these are the separate terms that should never be misunderstood. For example, according to Myers (2014), the terms are very similar as many dictionaries delineate since both management and leadership are about controlling or guiding a particular group of individuals in order to achieve a certain goal.

When we take a very close attention to those terms, we can notice the ideas that bring many contradictions. Some of them include their functions in society. For example, when we consider organizational change, leaders are those who create it. At the same time, managers are responsible to react to that change.

Moreover, leaders are those who inspire others, ask various questions, whereas managers’ function is to plan and discover various faults in the work of their subordinate employees. However, it is essential to note that very often the aforementioned functions can intermingle. Thus, the qualities that usually characterize a leader can be easily applied in management.

The aforementioned point of view during the interview has inspired me to discover the topic of leadership and management more closely. The accountant mentioned Sanborn’s (2012) idea on the main difference between the terms. Therefore, the author presents nine differences that can define leaders and managers, which are quite controversial.

The main idea of the differentiation lies in the direct responsibilities of a manager and inborn skills of a leader. The accountant proved that on the example of their non-profit organization. However, she mentioned that it is not typical behavior of a manager within the frames of taking the responsibilities of both, which is typical characteristics for a non-profit organization.

The interviewee explained that non-profit corporation is more about enthusiasm and personal desire to make a change. Moreover, it is about cooperation with various volunteers who do not get compensation for their time spend for some job. Thus, in the case of non-profit association, depending on the situation, managers are usually the same leaders.

I have also learnt that nevertheless which level of the management position a person occupies in the company, there is always one rule that is needed to be followed: it is all about the cooperation with people. However, the accountant admits that it is much easier to cooperate with people in a non-profit organization.

The interviewee mentioned about the necessity of having a solid knowledge of business law in her accounting profession. She mentioned about some of the examples from her practice, especially in business corporations where that knowledge was an inseparable instrument in her accounting operations.

One of the brightest examples that the respondent mentioned was about planning a budget for a big business corporation. She was occupied as an accountant at that company before coming to the current position. They had a very solid board of directors who wanted the company’s budget to have particular parts for expenses, which was a bit controversial to the existing regulations and accountant practices. However, bringing up her previous knowledge and analysing the existing situation based on the school materials and current legislation, she was able to prove to the directors her initial point of view.

The interview went quite smoothly and time passed very fast. The respondent was a welcoming interlocutor who tried to provide as many practical examples as possible. I have realized that an accounting profession is both very interesting and risky profession. Thus, it is essential to have a good understanding of the job and all the responsibilities that are to be carried.

Based on the interview, I became more convinced about the neccesity of studying business law in accounting practice. It is considered to be a professional discipline within the frames of legal studies; however, it does not train a person to become a lawyer. At the same time, the most essential, in this case, is the possession of necessary knowledge regarding legal rights, remedies, and transactions. All of the aforementioned aspects are vital in the management area during various situations while making decisions.

The interview gave me a chance to analyze my position within my field of study from a different perspective. The accountant was able to translate all of the studied material into practial life situations, which I consider as the most essential. After the interview, I realized that accountants deal not only with numbers, budgeting and transactions, but they influence directly the overall success of a company.

Conclusion

To conclude, this interview made me learn about the internal accounting processes. This half an hour time spent with the real professional inspired me to study hard in order to become the same level professional and help companies to progress. The only thing that is needed to achieve that is constant practice and great courage not to be afraid to fight possible challenges.

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