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Day in the life of an Accounting Intern

Day in the life of an Accounting Intern

To get a sense of what a typical day is like for an Accounting Intern, take a look at a day in the life of Tara, who worked in the corporate office in Willmar, Minnesota.  This is an entry from her 9th week at Jennie-O Turkey Store.


7:30 a.m.

I log onto my computer and e-mail. I go through whatever e-mails I’ve gotten since I left yesterday to make sure I’m caught up on everything.


7:35 a.m.

I received an email from Jim, the manager of the Value Added department, about a quick test he wants me to run. I log onto our AS400 system to run a query so I can download cost/lb for items produced in one of our plants.  I do lookups in an excel document that contains our cost/lb to ensure that what we have calculated matches what the system has calculated.  Everything looks correct, so I email him back so that he can review my results.


7:45 a.m.

I continue working on a project I had started the previous day.  I am updating our Annual Operating Plan spreadsheet with budgeted tonnage for items produced at the Pelican Rapids plant. This information is already in our system, so I need to put it in our spreadsheet.  Once all tonnage is updated for all departments in our document, I make sure that the downloaded file matches our AOP file for total tonnage, and I also check that our Finished Goods pounds matches our master tonnage file, which totals Finished Goods. I then update our department overhead calculation files with tonnage for each of the items using lookups to the AOP file. I total the tonnage in the overhead calc file to see if it matches the tonnage in the AOP spreadsheet, and make necessary changes if I find differences.


10:00 a.m.

My supervisor, Sarah, stopped by earlier with a list of items that have discontinued, and we therefore don’t want to budget tonnage for any of them for next year.  I start checking to see if we have already budgeted for these items, and makes notes of those that we have.


10:30 a.m.

Jim visits me at my desk about another project he wants me to get started on.  I need to update waste factors for one of our plants located in Willmar due to increased waste of packaging materials that needs to be factored into our standard costs.  He shows me how to enter these in the system, and I return to checking the discontinued items.


10:45 a.m.

I return the list of items that have been discontinued and have tonnage budgeted for them so that Sarah can review them.  We chat about all the steps that need to get done before our budgets are due. It’s a busy time in our department!


11:00 a.m.

I start updating waste factors in the system.  I need to update the waste factor for each product or work in process step a product goes through that uses these packaging materials.  There are quite a few products and steps, so this will take me some time.


12:15 p.m.

I receive a call from Ernie, a plant accountant in Pelican Rapids, about a question I had emailed him about. He provides me with more information about some items so that I am able to make final updates to our overhead calculation spreadsheets for the project I had been working on earlier.  I make these changes and return to updating waste factors.


1:20 p.m.

I finish updating all the factors, and make notes for Jim about items he needs to review because I found that they need different waste factors than what were provided. I drop those off at his desk and check my e-mail when I return.  I received a reminder from my calendar that I need to change three of our financial reports to exclude a department that we had eliminated at our Barron plant.  I make the changes in Oracle and print the reports to make sure I get the output I was expecting.


1:30 p.m.

I grab my book and head to the break room for my lunch break.  Everyone can choose when to take breaks, so I usually take mine later when I’m at a good stopping point on what I’m working on.


2:00 p.m.

I return to my desk and check my e-mail. Sarah contacted me about deleting the discontinued items from a few of our files. I need to be very careful that I delete the right items, or we will run into trouble later.


3:15 p.m.

I receive an instant message from Sarah about a question I had asked earlier about our Raw Pack department.  We are budgeting for Finished Goods tonnage, as well as Work in Process tonnage, even though this is only a Finished Goods department.  She is trying to figure out why this is happening, so we discuss it a little. I return to working on my project.


3:45 p.m.

I head over to Sarah’s desk to make sure that there are no more files I need to delete the items from.  We try to keep our files as up to date as possible, and exclude all items we do not need so that we only have the information that is necessary to evaluate. Once all the items have been deleted, I need to make sure that our total tonnage and FG tonnage in our AOP files ties out to our download and master tonnage file.


4:45 p.m.

I start to clear off my desk and pack up all my things to go home for the day.  Since I only take a half our break, I can usually leave around 4:00, but this is our busiest time, so it will require longer hours to keep up with our timeline.  I make a list of things I should remember to do tomorrow and head out the door.