Class Year: 2009
Major: Accounting (minor in Law)
Position: Senior Tax Director
Company: Peloquin and Company, LLC
I started thinking about my accounting career when I was in high school. I started off by scooping ice cream in high school, which lasted for a few summers. I could’ve kept doing that forever (it was a blast and the ice cream was delicious), but decided to get into the accounting world by interning at a local machining manufacturer in their accounting department. Learned a lot about the whole “office” atmosphere and various accounting systems there. Did that for a few winter breaks and a summer while at Bentley. Summer before senior year I interned at PwC in Boston, which really kick-started my career. Accepted a full-time offer and worked at PwC for 8 years. Great experience all around. Left in October 2017 and joined my dad’s accounting practice back in my hometown. So in a way I guess you can say I’ve “come home.”
I became interested in accounting from a young age.My dad has owned his accounting practice for over 40 years, so I’d have to say the interest and curiosity started with him. But I’ve always been and math and numbers guy coming up through school. I was definitely in some of those geeky math competitions and really enjoyed those challenging experiences.
I find the most rewarding aspect of my position is when someone appreciates all of the hard work and thought that goes into helping them. Also surprised (ecstatic) reactions when someone gets a tax refund they didn’t expect. And the magical “ah-ha” moment when a missing accounting entry is identified that makes everything perfectly balance.
I find the most challenging aspect of my position is managing the opposite of what I find most rewarding – the problem children. It’s never a good feeling picking up the phone to give someone bad tax results, all of which can generally be avoided with proper tax planning. But some people don’t want to properly plan, and then it’s up to me to manage the client relationship and turn a bad situation into a learning opportunity for the client (and, sometimes myself) going forward.
The most helpful advice I have for someone preparing for this career is to get ahead. Look, you’re going to be qualified to do your job in an accounting career coming out of Bentley. But sometimes doing the work is not enough. As you move up, you’ll be required to take on more responsibilities at your job. You’ll need to be able to review work at a higher level. You’ll need to be able to manage client relationships. So here’s my advice: be proactive (it’s never a bad thing to get ahead), pay attention to detail (don’t be sloppy), and build personal relationships where you can (it’s easier to work with clients if you know them on a personal level).
The Bentley specific resources I would recommend to someone pursuing this career are networking events. Take advantage of as many networking events as you can, not just the career fairs. Business connections are a real thing. You never know who you’ll meet down your career path. Some people say that when one door closes, another one opens. The connections you make at Bentley today could help open that second door down the road.
The person that was most helpful in getting me where I am today was really a group of people. I can’t pinpoint just one professor or administrator. Rather, I’m going to have to say my roommates, who are still my core friends and, at times, a big support system for me. There were quite a few times right after college when we’d need people to vent to about our jobs. It was always nice knowing that I could text any one of them to meet up after work for a drink and they’d be there. That support system got me through some difficult weeks at work, especially starting off when you’re completely new and bound to make a few mistakes at the office.
Be sure to connect with Jeff on LinkedIn if you want to learn more from him about accounting, taxation, small businesses, and more!