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Accounting Internship Report

Accounting Internship Report

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Published by santhigolla_2002

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Published by: santhigolla_2002 on May 17, 2010
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Internship Report
Presented By: Kevin P. SuhanicAugust 15, 2003
You would think that three years of school, half a dozen accounting classes and aboutthirty business courses would prepare someone pretty well for an accounting internship. While Iwill admit that I may have missed a few classes, I doubt that is why my time at Cohen &Company taught me more about accounting and business than anything I have taken in school. Iworked on tax research. I worked on large, complicated tax returns. I helped audit a non-profitand a 401K plan. I worked on litigation support projects. I helped pick software for a niche project. I had a huge variety of experiences and was fortunate to get the opportunity to work with so many different (and extremely talented) people. But the most important part of all this isthat I was asked to do important tasks and given challenging assignments across this broadspectrum of experiences. That is what sets Cohen apart for me, and it is what made myinternship special – Cohen & Company will challenge you to take on as much as you can, even if it means making mistakes the first time around.With little over a week under my belt at Cohen, Steve Wank took me out on a 401K planaudit where I tested to make sure the plan had accurate records of participants and had followedthe plan document in allocations, loans and other issues. I asked Steve a lot of questions aboutwhy we did certain things, and even more questions that had nothing to do with the part I wasworking on at all. Each time Steve made sure I understood his answers, and that I grasped thewhole process instead of just telling me how to do my part. As we worked, issues came up thatneeded the controller’s clarification, and after our first set of questions, Steve just told me to goask about any issues I had on my own. I thought it was really trusting of him to let the newintern just ask what I felt was appropriate, and while it may shock those with cubes near mine, I became a bit unsure about myself raising issues about the plan with a controller who had nearlyforty years in age on me.
I also was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to do substantial work on a non-profitaudit with Kathleen Murphy and Darcy Aldous, and I completed significant portions of the audit program, especially on the assets portion. It was really neat to work on a small entity, because Ireally got a feel for how each part of the financial statements gets audited, assets & liabilities,revenue and expenses. This audit really helped me get the “big picture” as to what auditors do. Ialso worked with Kathleen on HUD compliance filings, which at first seemed like boring dataentry, but I soon had to learn a lot about government grants and subsidized housing as Darcyexplained the changes that had to be made. Yet again I found myself learning quite a bit about atopic that I knew nothing about before coming to Cohen!Another assignment that I spent considerable time on was doing Personal Property Tax(PPT) returns, which sharpened my balance sheet skills and taught me about the different typesof property that businesses held. I also picked up some miscellaneous PPT’s later on, because Iwas so familiar with doing them in Accountware. Most of the ones I did later in the summer were for companies with little or no taxable personal property, and they never exceeded the$10,000 minimum deduction. When I saw the new Ohio Tax Bill repealed the filing requirementfor companies whose property did not exceed this minimum deduction, I thought it was verysmart to reduce this unnecessary paperwork and cost to companies. It was a rare thing for me tosee a change in filing requirements have a direct effect on my life. (Although the sales taxincrease has had a lot more effect on my checkbook.)During a few weeks things got kind of slow, and Kevin Noss gave Tricia and I a projectinvolving researching State of Ohio business tax incentives and loan programs. While it did notseem to be a great assignment when it was given, I think it was a good exercise because in the

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