Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Story about Astoria - A Staff Accountant's First Travel Job

Guest Blogger, Brent McKee, shares his thoughts on his first travel job.

Last Friday, I was thumbing through some confirmations for a job that I’m working on when my phone rang. It was Tricia, our Career Coach, inquiring to see if I was able to leave on Sunday to help out with fieldwork for a health care client in Astoria, Oregon. Despite the short notice I was excited and anxious to get my first taste of overnight fieldwork and the chance to work with two people from the Bend office who I hadn’t met yet: Brian (Manager) and Mathew (Senior Accountant).
I met Brian and Matt in Lake Oswego on Sunday and loaded my seemingly endless trove of bags into the back of Brian’s Land Rover. We rolled into Astoria that night and after checking into our hotel, were able to enjoy the first of what turned out to be a week of great basketball games on TNT.
Monday morning, we headed out to the client and set up in a small office just across the hall from the CEO and CFO. The client was a Federally Qualified Health Clinic, and was my first taste working with a client from the health care niche. The client’s mission is to provide health care to all persons, regardless of ability to pay. The people who worked in the office were very welcoming and courteous, not just to us but to their patients as well.
We headed to the client’s office very early on Tuesday as we planned to check out the local golfing scene later in the day. After making good progress, we headed out to Astoria Country Club in the late afternoon and bundled up to stay warm in the cool coastal wind. The head pro assured us that it was a great day to play because it wasn’t very windy. I’m pretty sure his judgment of “windy” was a little different than ours because we got out there and it was howling.  
We continued to work hard through Wednesday and Thursday and finally got ready to head home around two on Thursday afternoon.
I’m very glad I had the opportunity to work on this job.  It was the first time I have had the chance to work through most of the work papers in an audit even if I didn’t necessarily know how to complete them. Brian was very helpful as a manager in answering questions and getting me moving if I was spinning my wheels. I learned an immense amount in the last four days and look forward to applying the knowledge I have gained when I work on future clients. I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to work closely with the CEO and CFO of the company and being able to go directly to them for questions and clarifications.
Now, back to studying…

Brent McKee started at Jones & Roth as a staff accountant in January 2012.  He graduated from Northwest Christian University.  He is currently studying for the CPA exam and learning new technical skills.

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