Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP
Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP has seen approximately 2,000 interns walk through its doors in the past 20 years, according to Courtney Thomas, CPA, director of recruiting for the firm. Dixon Hughes Goodman generally hires 90-100 spring interns and 90 summer interns for 25 locations in 10 states. The firm begins recruiting for the paid positions immediately prior to the internship session and targets specific college campuses. It also accepts applications via its campus careers website.
Candidates submit their resumes in order to be considered for a campus interview. The firm then pre-selects candidates to interview on campus. After the campus interview, the candidate pool is narrowed and students are invited into specific offices for another round of interviews. After the candidate’s office visit, a decision is made regarding the offer. The firm looks for candidates with qualities and traits that are a long-term fit with the firm. Academic aptitude, professor recommendations, personality, leadership qualities and commitment to the profession are all taken into consideration when evaluating a potential intern. “Our internships provide experiences similar to that of a first year associate,” Thomas said. As such, they participate in audit teams, tax compliance, and various advisory projects. The majority of our interns are “full-time” when they intern with us, with some exceptions depending on a school’s requirements and the market demands,” she added. Most of the firm’s entry level opportunities are filled by students who have interned with Dixon Hughes Goodman. According to Thomas, the firm actively communicates with interns during their experience in order to determine their interest in long-term employment.
Marcia C. Rhea CPA
Marcia C. Rhea, CPA, Charleston, is a sole practitioner that has worked with approximately 15 interns in as many years. She generally hires one intern every tax season and starts the recruiting process in January. The internships are paid and students also received college credit. Rhea works through the Accounting and Business department at Coastal Southern University and receives recommendations from the professors on students that excel in people and technical skills. She looks for candidates that want to learn in a real world environment. Students generally work 20 hours a week and learn to do research on a variety of tax topics, interact with clients, handle phone calls and organize client documents and files. They assist the manager in scheduling client appointments and making sure the office runs smoothly during tax season.
Brittingham, Brown, Prince & Hancock, CPA's, LLC
Kerry R. Brown, CPA, of Brittingham, Brown, Prince & Hancock CPAs, LLC in West Columbia, said the firm has always used interns as part-time assistants and normally has two on staff at any time. Paid internships are offered year-round so recruitment is dictated by turnover. The firm works through the University of South Carolina accounting department to find students. The firm interviews several candidates and then pares it down to two candidates. The student's schedule is of prime importance and the firm looks for interns that indicate some willingness to remain in public accounting.
The firm guarantees 20 hours per week and during tax season interns can work as much as their schedules and studies will allow. The primary responsibility is the assembly of tax returns and financial statements and when time permits interns also assist with light bookkeeping tasks. "We stress that while they might sometimes consider their jobs pretty clerical, the finished product is of the utmost concern to us and they are often the last hands to touch the product," Brown said. We offer full-time employment to interns as frequently as annually and like to hire young people who appear to be able to interface with adults" he said. Our eye is always to possible retention of interns as full-time staff when they have completed their education."
TD Bank has hired interns for several years now and normally has one to three summer interns. The company typically begins recruiting in February or early spring for the paid positions. TD Bank is open to finding talented interns through a variety of channels, ranging from referrals of candidates by current employees to recruiting on college campuses. "Our interns may work for “just” the summer, but we are still very selective, said Giavonni Gibson, senior vice president of human resources in South Carolina for TD Bank. "Every Employee at TD, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, must display a passion for providing legendary service and WOWing! our customers. It is far more important to us that interns are professional, have the ability to acclimate to TD’s culture quickly and immediately embrace our philosophy that the “Customer Trumps Everything” than hiring someone who has previous banking experience. We can teach them banking… they must LIVE customer service." While TD Bank has hired interns for support functions, most of the focus is on providing the stores (retail locations) with more resources to better serve its customers. The majority of interns work full-time hours during their internship.
Bernard N. Ackerman, CPA, P.A
Bernard N. Ackerman, CPA, P.A. has been using interns for over 20 years. In fact Bernie Ackerman, CPA/PFS, CFP, CDFA, said he believes the firm was the first in the state to to utilize an 11th grader in high school as part of the states "school to work" program working for a professional firm. Prior high school interns were used only in manufacturing jobs. "Our Winthrop interns have been very successful over the years," Ackerman said. "We have hired at least five of our staff members as permanent employees after they interned with us. "The firm generally has one intern at a time; sometimes two during the transition period. Their high school interns have stayed with the company for six years if in fact they go to a local university. The current intern, Julia Sweeney, is a senior at Winthrop University and has been with the firm since 11th grade in high school. Ackerman says she is an invaluable member and resource for the team.
Carolinas Campus Recruiting Manager Ashley K. Streeter said PriceWaterhouseCoopers has been using paid interns for as long as she can remember. The firm offers winter (typically January-early March) and summer internships (typically June to early August) and usually has 30 interns.
Recruitment is in the fall and interns are identified at target universities. During the selection process the firm looks at academics, work experience, extracurricular activities, leadership and community involvement. "Interns perform audit, tax and risk assurance tasks as they are ingrained as a valuable member of our engagement teams," Streeter said. Duties include completing tax returns, performing audit testing to meet client audit deadlines and performing internal audit work of system process reviews. "Our goal is to convert all interns to associate hires," Streeter said.