A Day in the Life of a GSE Co-op Student

Name: Allison

Position: Co-op Student (1st term)

Why did you choose GSE: I chose GSE because of the supportive team environment, as well as the Buddy/Mentor program. I was also drawn in by the fact that I would be exposed to many different types of engagements, including Notice to Readers (NTRs), Reviews and Audits; this is very useful not only for my future schooling, but also in helping decide what I will want to do for a future career.

What is a typical day like for you: I will usually start the day out by checking my e-mails. After that, I will get to work on any files that I have on my plate, whether they are NTR, audit or review engagements.  Typically, I will spend my day agreeing account balances to supporting paperwork and adjusting them as necessary, as well as preparing financial statements and corporate tax returns.  If I have a question, I will reach out to either the manager on the file or my mentor, and we will have a quick discussion through Teams (video call or messages since I am working remotely), then I will get back to work on the file.

What type of work do you find most enjoyable: The type of work I find the most enjoyable is expense testing in an audit engagement. I enjoy data entry, which is required to make sure it is clear which expenses are being tested by agreeing the appropriate expense account, date, vendor, invoice/cheque number and amount.  I also enjoy the task of agreeing the invoice amounts and making sure the company’s controls are being used properly.  Sometimes there are cases when the control isn’t working, or the invoice does not match, and this requires additional testing, which can be a fun scavenger hunt.

What type of work do you find most challenging: The most challenging thing for me are the corporate tax returns.  While I enjoy doing them since I appreciate a challenge, there are many different schedules and rules to know. This can make the process quite tedious to make sure that you have everything entered correctly, and I often have questions, but through some searching around I can usually figure out what needs to be done.  When I am unable to figure out the problem on my own, the manager on the file or my mentor can help me out and explain it to me for future reference.

What is one thing you have learnt that you think would be useful for someone looking to join GSE to know:

I have learned that no question is a stupid question when it comes to working on a file.  Especially if you are starting with no real accounting work experience, everyone is happy to help you out to make sure that things are done properly, and you can do it on your own the next time you come across the situation.  Even if you feel like you should know the answer, or it has been explained to you before, it is better to ask if you are unsure to avoid confusion and more work later.