by Marissa Langston, junior marketing student and marketing intern, Mike Cottrell College of Business
Senior accounting major (graduating May 2015) Sydney Smith is interning this semester at FinLogic, a small public CPA firm located in Cumming, Georgia. During her time at Finlogic, Sydney has completed multiple business personal property tax returns and filed with county governments for a national fraternity, which is one of the firm’s large clients.
“I originally never would have looked at a greek organization and thought, ‘Wow, that’s a legit business!’ or realized all of the typical business functions they deal with on a daily basis.” Sydney has completed business personal property tax returns for multiple states across the US; she says this has been a challenging task due to some inconsistency in the forms, even within the same state. However, Sydney also says that she is utilizing the opportunity to gain workplace knowledge and experience. “Classroom instruction doesn’t incorporate as much on accounting software, yet in the workplace, we’re pretty reliant on it. The returns I’ve been filling out are populated based on a report from a program we use called Fixed Asset Solutions. I can’t imagine the time that would go into gathering the information without this program! It’s all been really eye-opening.”
Sydney has generally shied away from public firms in planning her career path, but says that FinLogic was initially appealing to her when she learned about the firm at the Accounting Career Reception. “It is a public firm that handles multiple clients, but you’re often managing the internal financial affairs of one particular client, almost as if you worked solely for them in their accounting department. It’s a really good mix.”
One of the biggest challenges Sydney has faced as an intern is transitioning from textbook problems to real-world situations and responsibilities. However, Sydney says that everyone at FinLogic has been “really responsive to [her] questions and helpful in explaining how everything works.”
Upon graduating, Sydney is still not sure if she wants to work in the public or private sector of accounting, or even in something entirely different. “The accounting profession offers so many opportunities. I’m still trying to find my niche and figure out what feels right. The knowledge and skills I’ve gained from the Mike Cottrell College of Business and my time at FinLogic are highly transferable, so I’m prepared to go wherever I want and know I’m providing a service people need.”