Kim Elm

by Kim Elm, Administrative Assistant/Marketing Strategist
December 14, 2022

Public accounting is a highly rewarding career. Not only do you get to decipher numbers and solve problems but also you can make a difference in people’s lives. Yet beyond giving you an opportunity to help others, an accounting career gives you an opportunity to grow personally and professionally.

At JAK + Co., a big part of our culture is developing accounting “rock stars.” In other words, we want our staff members to find their own song and turn it into a chart-topping hit.

Intrigued? Here’s how you can become a rock star in your public accounting career.

Learn your instrument.

The best thing you can do for your accounting career is to learn everything there is to learn. This means saying “yes” to any training opportunity. It’s also wise to learn both the tax and audit side, so you can determine which you enjoy most. (This is why new hires at JAK + Co. get a taste of all areas of our firm, including business consulting.)

Form a band.

It’s hard to make it in public accounting as a solo act. You need mentors both within and outside of your firm. At JAK + Co., we pair each new hire with a buddy—someone who’s worked at our firm for two or more years. This person acts as a guide, making sure new hires have access to all of the tools at their disposal.

Later, we assign our staff accountants to a mentor who is either a manager or director within the firm. Mentors hold mentees to their goals and helps them grow as quickly as they want to grow. Our mentors also help to create each team member’s Personal Development Plan. Our administrative team provides additional support by facilitating continuing education and training.

Write and sell music. 

This is when you get to do the work. We give staff the chance to take more ownership on projects, whether that’s preparing complex tax returns, tax planning for a client or running the planning meeting for the project team of an engagement. We also encourage staff to work directly with clients and continue to learn and grow in their careers.

At JAK + Co., we support team members throughout their career and not only in the early stages. Working on YOU—developing your skills and furthering your knowledge—is the best thing you can do for our team. It’s also how you can become the expert clients look to as a resource; their go-to person in a time of need.

Build a fan base.

The best way to build a fan base is to be a great networker. This means attending professional association events, such as the ones put on by Minnesota Society of CPAs or an industry-specific group, and serving on these organizations’ boards and committees.

Establishing an external network allows you to become more well known in the community. The goal is for professionals such as bankers, financial planners, and estate planning attorneys to look to you as a trusted resource for their clients.

Take the stage.

Learning all you can, surrounding yourself with supportive people, doing the work, and building your network will help you identify your strengths and where you thrive, whether it’s in a certain technical specialty area or on the business development side.

At JAK + Co., we encourage our team members to find their niche and own it. Once you do, let that light shine. Share your expertise via blogs, videos, and podcasts to promote yourself and your JAK + Co. teammates, including those who are just learning their instruments.

Rock on! 

Sometimes public accounting means helping a business owner boost their bottom line; other times it’s reducing a client’s tax liability or financial-related stress. It’s hard to beat the feeling of making a client’s day! If you’re ready to become this kind of rock star, we’d love to help you make it happen. We’re a team of fun-loving professionals who are here to help you make the most of your public accounting career. To learn more about life at JAK + Co. and check current openings, visit our Careers page today.