My accounting job so far is pretty fun. It’s a lot less stressful than sales, but it’s not necessarily easy either. I’m currently in charge of accounts receivable (AR), but I’m eventually supposed to be fully trained in accounts payable (AP) as well. Besides my boss who oversees the whole department, there is only one person doing accounts payable (just like I’m the only person doing accounts receivable). Once I’m up to speed, either one of us can cover for the other if necessary.
Learning my basic everyday responsibilities was pretty easy; it took about two days, and those days weren’t all that busy. The real challenge (and the real fun) comes from working on my “AR Aging Report,” which is a list of all our customers who have outstanding invoices and how much they owe. I have to contact the customers with past due invoices and find out why they haven’t paid us yet. Of course, if there are invoices from six months ago (for example), there must be a reason why. The researching and investigating into the stories behind everything is really interesting. I love knowing things, and the research sometimes feels like a puzzle game. If and when a situation is resolved, I get to check it off my list, which is a great feeling.
On a related note, I think that working in sales for a while helps me appreciate and understand the accounting side of business more than if I hadn’t worked in sales. Our accounting department is in its own little world, off in the far corner of the building. If I hadn’t had exposure to other departments first, I would only see numbers going in and out. But since I’ve worked with our products and customers first hand, the numbers, orders, and invoices all have more meaning. The girl who works in AP only does accounting, so I don’t think she’s quite as excited as I am over everything (though she does have an associate’s degree in accounting, so she at least knows what she’s doing, whereas I’m picking it up as I go along).
Anyway. I feel a lot less stress throughout the day, and I find the work is fascinating. I worked late tonight because I was having fun researching for my AR Aging Report. It’s almost like when I was in college and used to do my math homework on Friday nights just because I was so into it (yeah I was a big nerd).
Disclaimer: I don’t think I’m doing real accounting just yet. It’s too early to tell whether I would want to become an accountant professionally. But for now, I’m having fun learning.