Accounting Alumna Lands Job at Schneider Downs Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Soon after graduating, accounting alumna Rosemary Coombs began working as an internal auditor for Schneider Downs, a top 60 accounting, tax and business advisory firm.
Meet Rosemary Coombs
Job title and employer: Internal Auditor, Schneider Downs
Degree earned: Bachelor of Science in Accounting with minors in Business Management and Information Technology
Graduated: Spring 2010
Hometown and current residence: Pittsburgh, Pa.
What inspired you to study accounting?
When I was in high school, I took an accounting class and enjoyed what I was learning. The teacher was very helpful in giving me information which only pushed my interest more.
What are some of your key responsibilities at Schneider Downs?
I work in the internal audit department and have completed several internal audit engagements as well as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) management testing. My job is to evaluate a company's internal control structure which prevents or detects material misstatements in their financial statements.
For each internal audit/SOX engagement, I must develop an understanding of the client's processes and key controls and evaluate whether the controls are operating effectively. I am also responsible for developing document requests, documenting all relevant testing information, performing tests of design and operating effectiveness for selected controls. My overall main responsibility is to assist organizations in streamlining their controls to help mitigate risks in the future.
Why did you decide to take the CPA exam? In your opinion, what does it take to become a CPA?
I decided to take the CPA exam because it is a prestigious designation and widely recognized in the accounting profession. To even come close to a passing score, it takes many, many hours of studying including both learning and memorizing. Exam candidates should be motivated and dedicated to pass the exam - and should not get discouraged! Taking the CPA exam, for me, was about testing my knowledge and pushing myself to be the best I can be in my field.
Why did you choose Point Park University and how has it helped you with your career goals?
I chose Point Park because of the urban campus location and the strong culture and diversity of the student body. The small class sizes were also a major selling point for me. As a result of having smaller classes, I was able to build close relationships with my professors. They were all very helpful in pointing me toward job opportunities as well as being great references.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
While I was at Point Park I was very involved in the Student Accounting Association, serving one year as president. During this time, I was able to help incoming students network with accounting professors and the senior members of the club. I felt like I was making a difference by helping guide incoming students and being available to answer their questions.
How would you describe the professors you had at Point Park?
All of my professors, especially Cheryl Clark, had a vested interested in my future success. They all wanted to see my classmates and I succeed in both the classroom and in the workforce. These are people who are very accomplished, well known and respected in their profession.
What are some of your future career goals?
One goal I have in the very near future is to obtain my CPA designation. Just recently I have completed and passed all four parts of the CPA exam and am currently working towards fulfilling my experience requirements, which are two years of practical work experience under the supervision of a CPA. After I have completed the requirements for the designation, I would like to work on obtaining the Certified Internal Auditor designation.
What advice do you have for individuals who are looking to pursue the field of accounting?
First and foremost, I would tell them to get involved on campus with the Student Accounting Association. This club helped me to network with many individuals and companies I would have never met on my own. The support from the professors involved in the organization is invaluable. They all have certifications and practical experience in the field they are teaching and have established contacts at many local companies (due to their work experience and networking) that enable them to assist students in their job search. There are many different accounting job opportunities in the public, private and government industries. Accounting jobs are always in demand - every business needs somebody to account for their money!