Technical Communication in the Accounting Profession

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Brian Dowis: CPA at Ernst & Young

Brian Dowis initially planned to study Cyber Engineering at Coastal Carolina University but after taking an accounting class, he realized that was the area he wanted to pursue his degree in. Dowis earned a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration degree from Coastal Carolina University where he was also a member of the tennis team. After completing his undergraduate degree, Dowis furthered his education at Clemson University, receiving his Masters of Professional Accountancy. Immediately after graduation from college, Dowis went to work at one the Big Four accounting firms, Ernst and Young in Charlotte, North Carolina. After completing two years of work at Ernst and Young, Dowis accepted a full-time job teaching accounting and taxation at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida for three years. He later moved to Ruston, Louisiana in pursuit of his doctorate degree, which he earned in two years. He is currently a full-time faculty member at Georgia Southern University where he teaches accounting and taxation.

 

Working in the Big Four

The Big Four consists of four of the largest accounting and auditing firms in the nation, which include: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. These four firms are responsible for the audits and accounting practices of most publically and privately traded companies. Dowis was offered a job in the taxation department at Ernst & Young where he was responsible for completing tax returns for corporations located in the Charlotte area varying in size, the majority of which were larger firms.

 

Typical Day of Work

Along with the name of Ernst & Young, comes big responsibility and an even bigger workload. A typical day for Dowis started at 8am, where he would immediately log on to his computer and pick up where he left off from the previous day’s project if all the information was available for completion. If not, he would begin a new project and work on it until the end of the day. Brian says, “You basically pick up projects throughout the day and complete as much as you can. Where you finish determines where you pick up the next day.”

 

Importance of Communication in the Profession

When asked about communication within the profession, Brian responded with, “Very, Very Important!” At Ernst & Young most employees communicate through email, discussing the project, expectations, and deadlines for completion. Reporting to superiors about project status was one form of communication, which helped to provide clear and concise answers for project related questions. The ability of communicating efficiently allows work to flow smoothly, leading to higher satisfaction from employees and customers, which all results in a more successful firm.

 

The Use and Benefits of Technical Communication

Within the business world, email is the primary means of communication internally and externally, which holds true for Ernst & Young. For quicker and more in-depth responses between customers, employees, and co-workers, phone calls are usually more helpful. Dowis explains, “When you communicate about an assignment or a project, making sure the person understands what they are doing is very important as you are trying to meet deadlines. Good communication is essential because it allows people to make sure they are on the same page in terms of expectations and deadlines.” Technical communication is vital to the person assigning the project as well as employees involved to ensure they are moving in the same direction.

Major Harris, guest blogger

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