I can remember when the start of my career was far, far away – so far away that I had not begun to consider it – further away than the Statue of Liberty was when Fabrizio joked to Jack about being able to see it in Titanic.
Now I ascend twenty-one floors and work at Five Times Square every day – overlooking the “Crossroads of the World”, working for one of the world’s four largest accountancy firms.
|The view from my desk on the 21st floor of Five Times Square.|
|The nameplate on my cube. As you can see, it says, "Scott Neumann".|
I need to give you more information about the department:
The Department of Professional Practice is the national group charged with knowing everything about accounting and its implications for the firm and for our clients. Senior managers, called “residents”, are on three-year-long rotations here. They specialize in specific accounting subjects and industries, publish the equivalent of academic books and papers related to those areas, and consult with audit teams all over the world on technical accounting matters. Partners, some here permanently and some temporarily, do the same.
I am obviously neither one of those things. I am one of seven level-one staff members, called “researchers”, responsible for responding to requests for examples of public filings and for supporting the department in its other endeavors. The department is divided into seven topical teams to which each of the seven researchers has been assigned. I am on the generalist team which covers leases, comprehensive income, discontinued operations, accounting changes, oil and gas, and many others. Even in my brief time here, I have been exposed to the depth and complexity of the accounting standard setting process and to the intellectual curiosity and understanding that surrounds it. (Seeing a missed call from the Financial Accounting Standards Board was just plain cool.)
|(A missed call from Norwalk, CT, location of the headquarters of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Seeing that number between two calls from my mom was funny, cool, and surreal. Also, "ICE" stands for "in case of an emergency.)|
Three out of seven researches have started, including me. Will Geeslin is from Peachtree City, Georgia, is a graduate of Auburn University, and is working on the business combinations team. Caitlin Kirio is from Honolulu, Hawaii, is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and is working on the SEC Regulatory Matters team (that is, the Securities and Exchange Commission, not the Southeastern Conference). We have enjoyed working together and are looking forward to a great year. The four other researchers are starting in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the researchers from last year are rotating out. They have been a tremendous help to Will, Caitlin, and me in becoming acclimated to our respective roles. We owe them!
|The view of Times Square from my desk on the 21st floor at Five Times Square|
The "N" there is the "N" in "Ernst".
|The view of Five Times Square from the intersection of 42nd Street and Broadway|
My windows are to the left of the "N" in "Ernst".
The global nature of this department is striking (and strikingly awesome!). Not only do I work with folks from all over the United States, I have found myself shoulder-to-shoulder with folks from all over the world: our global exchange intern is from Quebec City and a capital markets resident is from Tel Aviv, Israel. I am a few miles from my days at Baylor Line Camp in 2007 when I met non-Texans for the first time, and that is a good thing.
Being at Ernst & Young isn’t just a job or work. It is the start of a career about which I am excited and uncertain. Excited for the possibilities yet uncertain about the direction to which the Lord will lead me. Through it all though, “I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so / Wherever He leads I’ll go.”