The interesting thing about being an accountant is that no two days will likely be the same. So, technically speaking, this article should really end here. But instead, I’d like to offer you an idea of some of the common things you can expect if you become a full-fledged accountant.

The first thing to note for the entire accounting industry is that your entire schedule is based on the time of year. Your day-to-day work life has the potential to be very cut and dry and, quite honestly, relatively slow, at least for the majority of the year. However, once tax season rolls around (approx. January 1 – April 15), things can get hectic. You’ll especially notice an uptick in work towards the end of the season, seeing as how a large majority of Americans wait until the last minute to file their taxes. This time is probably the most busy you’ll be all year, depending on the firm you’re working for.

You can expect work hours to range into the double digits on weekdays, and maybe even a few extra hours on the weekend. You’ll mainly be working on auditing and collecting the appropriate information. Don’t let that stress you out; once tax season is over, you can likely enjoy a nice long vacation, again, depending on your firm.

Now, outside of tax season, that’s when your daily schedule will vary drastically. For example, Certified Public Accountant, Amy Zhang, is the founder and CEO of her own firm, and as the CEO she has a variety of tasks to complete within the month. She regularly checks client emails in the morning, then moves on to keeping up with the industry by reading multiple publications in accounting for about two hours. Afterwards, she takes that information and disseminates it through the firm’s social media accounts, ensuring that the public knows that her firm has its thumb on the pulse of the industry. 

She will then spend another couple of hours in the day dedicated to networking and marketing. She does this by attending various conferences and meeting with clients, both current and prospective.

This is only one example of how a CPA’s day can look. Obviously, your mileage will vary. If you’re starting your career, then your day will have a bit more structure and, admittedly, repetition. But once you’ve earned your stripes, so to speak, then you’ll see some variety.