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    Career-boosting Internships
    The Vault

    Career-boosting Internships

    April 2024

    Accounting internships provide a career boost to graduate students, undergrads, and anyone with fundamental financial education. Anyone looking to get their foot in the door of the finance and accounting industry or a particular firm gets a leg up with an internship.

    Here’s what budding accounting and finance professionals can look forward to as a result of an internship:

    • Real-world, hands-on learning experiences to broaden and deepen their knowledge
    • A competitive advantage in their post-graduate job search
    • Hours of work experience required to sit for the CPA exam
    • Relationship and network-building opportunities

    Want to reap the many rewards an internship program offers? We’ll discuss the finer details of accounting internships below. Follow along for a better idea of what they entail and whether or not they are right for you.

    How to Get an Internship

    Many firms turn to local colleges to spread the word about internship opportunities. It’s a win-win. College students get real-world experience and a potential job opportunity. Firms get vetted, educated job candidates.

    College and community career fairs and your college’s career services center are the best starting points for finding internship positions. Check your college’s career services center for more information on career fairs or recruitment periods.

    The sooner you plan, the better. Looking, applying, interviewing, and waiting to hear back can be a months-long process. Also, you’ll need to consider the internship hours alongside your college course schedule. Meet with your advisor or begin an internet search to apply for internships for accounting majors.

    Intern Qualifications

    Do you have the qualities that appeal to firms with internships for accounting majors? Most prefer applicants with college transcripts geared towards accounting, finance, business, economics, or relevant degrees. Applicants must have good grades in their introductory accounting courses to prove they understand basic accounting and financial principles.

    With or Without Pay?

    Some internships pay an hourly wage or a stipend. Others are non-paid but provide invaluable learning, job, and networking opportunities. Consider your short- and long-term needs and career goals as you search.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Internships provide opportunities for interns to learn more about the industry and the daily duties required of an accountant. Interns gain supplemental education with hands-on experience as they support the accounting department.

    Let’s get into what you will most likely do during your internship, the skills you’ll need, and the ones you’ll learn on the job.

    Data Entry

    Interns manually and electronically enter data into a company’s systems for record-keeping, tracking, and reporting functions. You’ll learn what information to track and how that information is used in subsequent functions.

    You must have the necessary knowledge and skills to enter data by hand and through various software programs. While the company may use proprietary software your college courses didn’t cover, you can highlight your history of becoming proficient with multiple kinds.

    Administrative Tasks

    You’ll help licensed professionals maintain accurate company records. You’ll work with their software and office equipment to prepare invoices, update files and client profiles, and contact clients or regulatory agents.

    Completing Financial Forms

    Filling out financial forms is a large part of many accounting duties. You’ll complete some financial forms independently, without assistance.

    You will be responsible for reviewing, checking for accuracy, and filing forms as needed. In the meantime, you’ll gain experience filling out more advanced financial forms alongside a licensed professional, such as investment or tax documents.

    Ledger Maintenance

    The general ledger is the company summary of financial transactions and actions. Interns help licensed accountants maintain company ledgers.

    You will update expenses and income information, add notes or additional data, and verify its accuracy. Additionally, you can expect to research transactions, compare receipts and purchase orders, and reconcile overdue accounts.


    Interns may assist licensed accountants with scrutinizing the company’s financial activities, incomes, expenses, and loans in audit and assurance services. You will ensure a company’s accounting processes are adequate and complete and that general ledger data is accurate.

    Laws and Procedures

    You study laws and procedures in your college classes. Putting them into action in an internship role helps solidify rules and regulations in your mind for easier recall.

    Information Systems

    An internship gives you practice applying what you learned about spreadsheets and various computer programs to real-life situations.

    For example, you’ll organize spreadsheet information to be easily navigated and understood. You’ll compile varied information into a report, create formulas, and turn data into charts and graphs.

    Company Fit

    Interns learn the company culture and determine where and how they fit into it. This knowledge helps them decide whether or not they want to work there long-term.

    You learn company policies and procedures and get a feel for the environment. You understand the workload and the people you’ll be working with.

    This information gives you a competitive edge in the job market. You may be invited to work there long-term if you and the company are a good fit.

    Suppose the company isn’t a good fit for you. In that case, you have established a network of professionals who might help you gain employment with a firm better suited to you.

    The Role of an Accounting Internship

    Internships are so integral to the college graduate’s education and experience. They provide unparalleled opportunities to apply classroom knowledge within the accounting industry. They help aspiring CPAs earn the hours they need to sit for the exam. They aid entry-level professionals in getting their foot in the door of the industry or firm they’ve dreamed of. For aspiring accounting professionals, it could be your next big move.

    Consider checking with your college advisor or your institution’s career services center to find an internship. If you aren’t affiliated with a college, begin your search by typing in “internship accounting jobs near me” in your browser to find one in your area.

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