David Peters

David is a graduate of Hillsdale College

Week 1

While recruitment was sort of a blur, I remember my visit after the Candidate Reception at the Skyline Club and thinking “I want to work here.” Between the fun atmosphere, the genuineness of each employee, and the overall professionalism of the firm, I crossed my fingers as I sat through my interviews hoping one day soon I would be on the flip-side of the table.

Clayton & McKervey impressed me my first day with their attention to detail during training. My name had been personalized on everything and my assigned “buddy” took great lengths to answer my administrative questions. During my year before starting, I had held C&M to a very high standard in my head and I think they exceeded that.

I was surprised immediately by everyone’s patience with the new hires. My first day I walked back to the wrong desk and the senior there asked me if I was lost and then we just laughed it off. I am looking forward most to getting some experience with client work and connecting with the C&M team over the next few months and years.

One Month

My first month with C&M has been challenging yet also rewarding. I am surprised at the number of clients and the variety of projects that I have been able to work on in my first month. Whether it’s a tax return, quarterly estimate, or research project, the tax department and the rest of the C&M staff respects my “learning curve” as I continue to understand each process better and better. I am starting to connect with the entire C&M staff more and it is nice to come into work every day and enjoy the people you work with. Even though I spend a majority of my time in tax, I feel like I am gaining a better appreciation for the entire accounting field, as a whole.

If I had to choose one think that I like most about working at C&M, it would be the overall atmosphere during the day. Lately I have been staying late to study for the CPA Exam and everyone makes it a point to stop by my desk before they leave and wish me “Good Luck.” Working and studying can make for some very long days, but having friends and colleagues at work who encourage you makes it so much more bearable.

One particular moment that stands out in my first month is when all the new hires in the tax department went to the Spirit of Halloween after work so we coordinate costumes for the Halloween Lunch.  We all dressed up like Harry Potter and I drew the short straw of the bunch and had to wear an absolutely hideous red wig as Ron Weasley. (What a way to make a first impression with the shareholders)

Overall, I have enjoyed my first month with C&M and look forward to learning more as I prepare for the upcoming busy season.

Six Months

If I could describe the last six months in one word it would be “development.”

I do not know if I would say I have a mastery over one area, but I have started to learn the ins and outs of partnership taxation. Whether it be K-1s, basis calculation, state and local treatment, and balancing the Schedule L and M-1, working on partnership returns give you exposure to both individual and corporate tax while combining the two together. If I had to put my finger on one skill it would be “insight.” In my first few months, I honestly at some points had no clue what I was working on and what the next steps were. Now, during planning meetings and projects, I am beginning to picture the next step and ask insightful questions before they are asked of me.

The advice I would give someone starting out in their public accounting career is, “Create a game-plan for the CPA Exam, work, and life.” When I started the exams I went into them head first without first understanding “Why I am doing this and what do I want to get out of it?” Regardless of your educational background, you will spending several hundred hours with the CPA Exam material. It will be a big time commitment and will stretch you thin at points, which is alright if you are prepared for it ahead of time. Just create a strategy before you begin your first minute and you’ll be fine.