Accounting as a Career: Q&A with Ben Katz, CPA, PCS Alumnus/Director of Accounting at Apex Global Solutions

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Can you tell us about your current position? How did the PCS Course prepare you for the workforce?  

After graduating with a master’s degree in accounting in 2009, I spent the first years of my career with the Audit practice of one of the big four accounting firms.  Audit was always of interest to me because it provides a great perspective to understand the core transaction flows of a business. Auditors often gain intimate knowledge of a company’s business processes, internal controls, as well as their financial information. During this time, I was exposed to multiple growth opportunities, was steadily promoted, and was able to leverage the professional and technical learning that I gained from the PCS course.  

Currently, I lead the accounting practice at Apex Global Solutions which provides financial controllership services for healthcare companies. 

Aside from the technical knowledge I gained at PCS, I received a well-rounded education in communication, leadership, and team building skills.

 

For whom would you recommend the field of accounting? 

Accounting is a broad field. A degree in accounting provides multiple career opportunities – whether audit, tax, controllership roles, IT, even forensic accounting, to name a few examples. It also serves as a catalyst for various finance and entrepreneurship job opportunities.

Accounting can provide an opening or furthering point for your career. Being the “language of business,” accounting skills allow one to practice in the field of accounting, or to utilize their knowledge to expand in business and other areas of finance.  

What is the advantage of a Master’s degree over a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting?  

There are some firms that might offer an incrementally higher starting salary for new hires with a Master’s degree. Stepping back, the greater difference lies in the professional skills, the leadership skills, and the quality of the faculty that the program brings to the students. These valuable skills enhance one’s stature as a professional in the workforce. It is the foundation of building workplace relationships and advancing in one’s career.

Anecdotally, I am often asked a similar question – “Do I need to obtain my CPA license?”

And while there are certain jobs which mandate a CPA for the role – more importantly, passing the CPA exam is a career milestone and the crowning culmination of one’s schooling and professional accomplishments. It demonstrates a certain level of pride and discipline in an accountant’s professional field.

What is the current job market like?  

The job market is incredibly competitive today and provides numerous opportunities for both those starting out as well as those who are looking to grow in their career. The foundation of success is a strong work ethic, superb communication skills, and a desire to succeed.

Preparation, networking, internships, and interview preparation were pivotal in obtaining my first position, and these foundational skills remain ever relevant today.

What skills will enable someone to succeed in the accounting profession?  

To be a strong accountant requires the ability to communicate well with others and understand and synthesize information. Some sectors within the profession require a good aptitude and understanding of numbers, but this is not necessarily required to be an accountant.  Lastly, to succeed in this field, it is important to focus on staying abreast of technological trends, consistently learning new skills, and soliciting and internalizing feedback on a regular basis.

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PCS is a non-profit division of Agudath Israel of America, and has been running the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)/PCS M.S. in accounting since 2005. With graduates in the top national firms, PCS maintains a 98 percent placement rate.

Rated Best University Fairleigh Dickinson (Forbes 2021) and Best Master’s Degree in Accounting (Eduniversal 2021), PCS/FDU offers a high quality Master’s Degree in Accounting with proven results.

Graduates have been placed in top national firms and as controllers and CFOs in local companies. PCS serves New York and New Jersey, with options for remote classes for out-of-town students, in addition to a new Israel program.

For more information about the PCS Masters in Accounting course starting soon, click HERE, or reach out to us:

Men:  [email protected] or 732-905-9700 x 630

Women: [email protected] or 732-367-1500

 


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