These classes gave me the foundational skills for data analytics - how to sort through large amounts of data quickly and efficiently using a variety of Excel tools and how to analyze the data and present the data in a concise and analytical manner. These skills can be applied to the tax work I do and the workpapers I help set up. Almost on a daily basis, I need to be able to comb through rows and rows of data provided by the client and manipulate that data into a format that is useful for my analysis. Analyzing the enormous amounts of data we receive requires me to utilize Excel shortcuts and tax software tools that automate processes to quickly find issues and present the data in a meaningful way.
Because our clients typically have a small accounting team, they often send us data that is hard to follow or contains thousands of cells. This data can be trial balances of many different companies reported under one consolidated entity, fixed asset files detailing each asset owned by a company, related party and intercompany transactions, apportionment sourcing revenue to state jurisdictions, and so on. Having the skills to put this data in an easy-to-read format and to make it consistent across our clients allows me to focus my time on analyzing the data for issues, and it allows my managers and directors to review my work more efficiently.
I view my role within PwC as having three layers - being the first point of contact for the day-to-day questions from a client, managing downward by working hand in hand with associates to manage their schedules and complete the deliverables, and managing upward by providing regular status updates and discussing issues with my managers. Because I work with so many people on a daily basis, being efficient is key to getting everything done. For me, efficiency stems from leveraging technology to clean up the data and processes and being able to focus my efforts on actually analyzing data.
Be able to adapt and think creatively. No matter how much you plan, unexpected problems will come up, and being able to identify the issue, brainstorm the best solution, and put your plan into action will go a long way in your career.
Attitude, hard work, openness to learn, and time management skills are four of the most important elements to be successful. No one expects you to know everything as soon as you join the firm, but what will set you apart is spending time to learn, not being afraid to ask questions, and bringing a positive attitude to the team environment. Knowing how to manage your time efficiently will also help as you get pulled onto multiple projects with different managers, all with competing deadlines.
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