Public Accounting — Year One
by KEITH E. JOHNSON Senior Assistant Accountant, Chattanooga Office
Presented before The Accounting Club, University of Chattanooga—October 1966
THANK YOU, Professor McLaurin. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to the Accounting Club on what may be expected during the first year of public accounting. As I was preparing this talk, I realized that I had not stopped to consider what I had done and learned in the previous year and whether or not public accounting was providing me with the opportunities for development I had anticipated.
Before describing what I have done in the past year, I thought perhaps
it would be beneficial to explain my reason for choosing public instead of private accounting and also to mention some characteristics tending toward success in public accounting.
PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE ACCOUNTING
Since interviews for employment began at a time when I was becoming
quite involved in my thesis work, I had almost decided not to interview public accounting firms. I had assumed, since I did have some engineering background and had received my BBA in labor and management,
that it would definitely be to my advantage to work in industry. I was so certain I would go with industry that I decided to have one or two interviews with public accounting firms only because they were first on the campus, and I thought the experience of interviewing would be beneficial. It was after these interviews and several with industry that I decided it might be wise at least to talk with more CPA firms, which I subsequently did.
The trips to various plants and firms that resulted from campus interviews ultimately proved to be the decisive factor in my changing from private to public accounting. It was not that the corporations I visited did not show a sincere interest in me or that compensation was not as good, since both public and private starting salaries were comparable
at the time. With these reasons for changing to public eliminated, there could be only one reason remaining: My chances for advancement
and for ultimate success were, in my opinion, far better with a public accounting firm.
I support this hypothesis with the following argument: I visited both large and medium-size industries, and it became quite apparent that, even in medium-size industries, the personnel currently employed by the company would, to a large extent, determine how far one ulti-