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Inside Job — 1 job, 3 perspectives

Rachel Bachrach

Some women are turning over their kitchens, others are taking off time from work to clean for Pesach, but a select few are spending the days leading up to April 15 — that’s Erev Shabbos Hagadol this year — working overtime in the office, not the kitchen. Meet three accountants who reveal the pluses and minuses of crunching your numbers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Abbie Baumwald, 25, is a senior tax associate at Philip Stein & Associates in Jerusalem, Israel. She’s been working as an accountant for two years.   People think it must be so boring to work with numbers all day. What they don’t realize is working with numbers, for me at least, is like playing a challenging game of Sudoku. It can truly be fun! It can also be really interesting. To fully comprehend the business activities of our clients, we obtain seemingly useless information about industry practices. We dig deep into each client’s industry and are exposed to all the strange things that go on. This allows us to better assess the taxability of the company in each state. In a single day, we can go from discussing a software company to a soil manufacturer to an oil well-drilling company.   The skill I never realized I’d need is writing. English was always my worst subject in college, and public speaking was a close second. But in the tax world you need to write memos, reports, letters to the IRS, you’re constantly corresponding with staff and clients. Having good, if not great, writing skills is vital for the job. You need to sound professional in your writing, communicate clearly with others, and know what you’re talking about. You also often need to present your work to fellow staff and clients, so public speaking skills are important, too.     My favorite office supply is my computer. I like to keep things simple, organized, and all in one place, so I hardly use any supplies other than my computer.   During tax season I survive by taking advantage of all the free food the firm provides during busy seasons, and by allowing my husband, who learns full-time, to do a lot of the cooking at home. 

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