GJM Staff Go “Back to School” to Help Dispel Misperceptions of Accounting Profession

GJM accounting careers presentation PerrysburgIf you’re looking for a profession that’s all about people, community and service to others… may we suggest accounting? That’s right, accounting. Gilmore Jasion Mahler, the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, recently launched a high school initiative to help area young people better understand what the accounting profession is all about.

The firm is taking professionals into area high schools for presentations on trends and opportunities in the field. The program is in conjunction with an initiative from the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA), aimed at educating high school students about the abundant opportunities and highly competitive salaries in the accounting industry right now.

“I have talked with accounting students who sometimes have five to six offers for full-time employment upon their college graduation,” says GJM Recruiting Manager Carrie Giannetti. She’s overseen recruiting for GJM for about five years, but has been recruiting in the accounting industry for two decades. “Most skilled accountants who present themselves well will have no problem finding a job, whether it be their first job out of college or making a change with some experience under their belt.”

Recent numbers from the Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting & Finance show that salaries in public accounting continue to increase, with 2017 compensation (entry level to 3 years’ experience) ranging from about $50,000 to $90,000 a year, depending upon the size and geographic location of the accounting firm. The study shows that professional certifications and graduate work can further increase compensation by about 15%.GJM accounting careers presentation Bowling Green

Giannetti is coordinating GJM’s high school initiative. She says competitive salaries certainly are a factor for young people in considering a career, but so are opportunities for professional development, company culture and other factors. A key focus of the GJM presentation is to help students understand that accounting may be a real option for them as a potential career... and what they think accounting is… may not be the reality at all.  

“What I find is that a lot of people have a misperception of what accountants actually do,” she says.  “Most people think of money, taxes, and sitting at a desk all day when they think of a career in accounting when in all actuality, people are our business. There are also many more aspects to accounting other than taxes, such as auditing, IT, and consulting and many accountants are barely in the office. Rather, they’re working out at the client site, establishing networks within our community, and helping others which can be very fun, social, and rewarding.”

The GJM high school presentations kicked off in the fall of 2017 with visits to Perrysburg, Bowling Green, and St. Francis De Sales High Schools. The firm plans more scheduled visits toward the end of the school year in May, 2018. GJM staff members helping with the presentations so far include Alex Spieker, Matt Cavanagh, Nick Jackson, Matt Hoverman and Krista Huff. Matt Cavanagh, a graduate of Bowling Green High School, even had an opportunity to visit his old locker the day of the presentation. Krista Huff helped with the Perrysburg High School presentation and is also part of GJM’s recruiting team, which engages quite a bit with college level accounting students at The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.GJM accounting careers presentation Matt Cavanagh

“I think it’s a great idea to educate high school students about accounting because I know at that age I didn’t know anything about the career or the opportunities it can offer,” she says. “Getting in early and introducing them to the industry is really a win-win for everyone. They can better prepare for their future and we can get even more excited and interested candidates in the future.”  

GJM also hopes the sessions will help address a lack of diversity in the industry, exposing students to a career path they may not have considered and one that can serve them well.

“No matter what type of business or industry you might want to pursue, whether you want to be an entrepreneur or work in management or supply chain, accounting will always be the most valuable subject to learn in order to be successful,” adds Krista. “Many people get discouraged by accounting because they think it’s difficult and heavily math-based and that is very much a misconception. Accounting is definitely difficult, but the opportunities and success that can come out an accounting degree and career are certainly worth it.”

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities. Learn more about GJM opportunities at GJMLTD.com/careers.

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