What’s a Day in the Life of a Typical Audit Intern?

The New Jersey Society of CPAs has a breakdown of an average day for an audit intern, and by average we mean very average. As in, arrive at the office at 9am and leave promptly at 5pm. Do you remember those days?

Let's see:

7:30am: Wake up, eat breakfast and get ready for work. 

8:20am: Leave the house and hope to not hit traffic. 

9:00am: Arrive at the client site. 

9:30am: Check emails and download up-to-date client files and binders.  

10:00am: Work on any assignments from the day before or any new assignments from your senior, such as typing out 10-Ks or updating engagement letters.  

11:00am: Send a message to other interns to see how their clients are going and to talk about the upcoming intern Olympics. Now is also a good time to start thinking about what you and your team want to eat for lunch. 

12:00pm: Finally, a place has been decided. Time to go out for lunch with your engagement team. 

1:00pm: Return to work and discuss your progress with your senior and ask any questions you’ve accumulated during the morning projects. 

1:30pm: Start creating confirmation letters, planning documents or any other assignments from your team. If you have free time, watch training videos to learn about different industries that may interest you.  

2:30pm: Email members of your intern case competition team to start thinking of ideas for your group presentation to the partners.  

2:45pm: Email your mentor with your client progress and fill out your upcoming goals.  

3:15pm: Organize files and make some copies for your team (after fiddling with the copy machine and printer for a few minutes). 

3:45pm: Work on Excel spreadsheets, check numbers, review work papers and learn all of the keyboard shortcuts you forgot from school.

4:30pm: Update your notebook with all of the tasks you completed today and create a “to-do” list for tomorrow. Also, fill out your time sheet ensuring you charged the client accurately.  

5:00pm: Pack up, go home for the night and get ready for tomorrow.

Assuming this is what you want to do with your life, make sure to focus on asking smart questions and "fitting in" — meaning if you're invited out to dinner with your team, go, even if you have a WoW raid scheduled for that evening. And if you're asked to go fetch a box of tickmarks, don't fall for it.

Really, you're going to be doing a lot of lunch-ordering and confirmation-sending, so the important thing if you're gunning for an offer is to be the best lunch orderer ever. After all, if you can't even manage to order lunch correctly, how are you going to work on a multi-million dollar audit?

If anyone has any tips for frightened interns or input on this schedule, go ahead and let 'em rip in the comments.

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Comments are closed.

Related articles

Talent-Strapped PwC Is That Desperate Ex Texting You With ‘WYD’ After You’ve Moved On

Leaving public accounting is rarely an easy decision, even when the choices are “stay or have a crippling nervous breakdown.” It’s not that the decision itself is hard, rather the consequences of taking an oftentimes necessary leap can lead to difficulties in securing subsequent employment if, as your accounting professors would have you believe, walking […]

Grant Thornton Auditors Are Just Showing Off Now

It’s fair to say Grant Thornton auditors are no longer on the struggle bus. From 2010 to 2015, the Purple Rose of Chicago had an average audit failure rate of 44% in its PCAOB inspection reports during that time frame, including a whopping 65% worth of screw-ups in the firm’s 2012 report, which gave GT […]