Hello from the Other Side - My Internship Experience


By Jessica Chin

Finding an audit internship was my number-one goal starting this past year of college at Robert Morris University. Going into my final year, I applied to multiple firms in the Pittsburgh area and had many interviews. I got to meet with people from the different firms and learn a little about each of them. During the office visit interviews, I knew Schneider Downs would be somewhere I would be happy and comfortable to work. Everyone I met and talked to was so open and friendly. I also talked to my professors about different opportunities, and they highly recommended Schneider Downs. Throughout the whole decision process, I really appreciate that Schneider Downs did not place an expiration date on their offer. I had applied for some scholarship study-abroad opportunities and didn’t make a final decision until early spring. I was very excited to accept my offer from Schneider Downs for an internship.

Because of this summer audit internship, I have been able to experience an audit from both sides. My sophomore year of college I was hired as an accounts payable student analyst at RMU. For the past two summers, I have worked in the AP department, helping with the year-end close process. Soon after year-end close, auditors from a public accounting firm would come to complete the audit for the school. I would pull invoices and checks for the auditors to use for their testing. I helped document the university’s new AP procedures when we switched accounting systems. I also watched my manager walk through her administrative role in the AP process with those auditors.

During this internship at Schneider Downs, it was interesting viewing this process and an audit from the other side, through the auditor’s perspective. The documents we are requesting to view from clients are some of the same types of documents I have had to pull for auditors in the past. Now I am learning exactly how auditors use that information from clients to perform audits. I have been able to assist with a walkthrough that I previously witnessed in my AP role. With the internship, I can see why auditors perform the walkthroughs and why they need certain documentation. I have gained a further understanding of the different types of testing auditors perform.  My background knowledge with AP has allowed to me make connections with the audit work and has supplemented my learning experience.

Additionally, it was interesting learning the actual procedures of an audit during client work versus learning the theory behind auditing in a classroom. Being able to actually work with staff and seeing their procedures made the topics covered in class about controls, assertions, and testing much clearer.  The education I have received completing client work far exceeds the knowledge I gained in the classroom.

Looking at my schedule on the first day, I was excited to find that I would be working on multiple clients and different types of audits during my internship. I am glad to have the opportunity to work on various clients, and learn more about different industries. Starting client work, I realized how much responsibility Schneider Downs gives to their interns. While we are still training and gaining experience, we are given important roles to complete during an audit and are contributing to the team. Everyone I’ve met and worked with so far has been very helpful and knowledgeable throughout the learning process. Not only have they shown me how to do a task or procedure, they have also explained why the task is important.  In the past five weeks, I have learned so much that I will use in my professional career, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to intern with a top public accounting firm in Pittsburgh. This internship has been extremely valuable, and I look forward to continuing to learn new skills and to working with more amazing people throughout the remainder of my internship.

Contact us if you have questions regarding the Schneider Downs internship opportunities.

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