Why did you go into accounting?

Accounting for me is the definition of hard work and dedication. My accounting journey began in 2011 when I started my technical professional course in the Dominican Republic, which had the purpose of giving high school students the opportunity of being exposed to the accounting world before getting into college. At first, I didn’t really know why I was doing what I was doing, but after I took some courses and understood the importance of accounting for every company, I realized that this was the career I wanted.

Applying my accounting knowledge to any organization allows me to fully develop a comprehensive idea of how the company works. Also, I have developed important skills such as detail orientation, creativity, innovation, time management, and teamwork, which can help you succeed in anything you want to accomplish. That’s why I chose accounting to be my career, my passion, and an essential part of my professional journey.

Who were your influencers?

My first influencer was my brother, who is an accounting professional with 11 years of experience. He has developed his career in the Dominican Republic and, when I was young, helped me understand what accounting was through reading his materials. Another one was my first accounting professor in college. He taught with so much passion and determination, which inspired me to work harder. He saw so much potential in me that he decided to recommend me to work as a student partner with a major CPA review company.

What do you think about accounting as a profession?

Accounting is about understanding the financials of a company. It is also about knowing external factors that can affect the production of the company, involvement with external institutions for future projects, and knowing the internal and external structure of the company. The profession allows one to fully develop a broad idea of how a company operates and to solve current and future problems that the company may face by utilizing soft and technical skills that can create an impact on the organization. Accounting professionals increase every year because companies’ need for accountants is increasing as well. Even with the increase in the use of artificial intelligence and tools like blockchain, intellectual thinking and innovation will remain essential skills for accountants.

Do you know what CPAs, CMAs, CGMAs, and CFAs do?

CPAs are licensed accounting professionals who provide accounting services such as auditing, financial analysis, tax preparation, governmental and financial accounting. This license allows professionals to provide assessments and audit on financial statements of different companies. CMAs, or certified managerial accountants, have a global accounting certification. These individuals provide decision support, strategic thinking, data analysis, and planning analysis to help companies get to the next level. CMAs’ focus is on the management accounting and financial management fields. With the accounting profession evolving, CMAs’ skills are critically needed in all organizations.

CGMAs, or chartered global management accountants, are individuals whose goal is to promote management in accounting on a global basis. This designation was created by the AICPA and the CIMA to satisfy the needs of professionals with a more expanded skillset. CFAs, or chartered financial analysts, are investment and financial professionals. Professionals with CFAs focus on investment management, private equity, fixed income, and financial analysis, as well as other areas related to finance.

Which areas of accounting are you interested in?

I am interested in taxation. I believe the constant change of tax regulations allows me to maintain a diversified understanding of tax law and motivates me to develop old and new skills to become a more successful individual. I am also interested in audit. I have always been a detail-oriented individual, and based on my experiences in audit, it is something I look forward to working on. Knowing FASB codifications as well as IFRS guidelines for international accounting has helped me develop a better understanding of accounting. I did two years of accounting in the Dominican Republic, and learning IFRS was not an easy task, but it was definitely worth it. I can now compare the differences between companies that use GAAP and those that use IFRS.

Technological progress is not a disadvantage to the profession; it represents new tools we can use to evolve.

I am also interested in investments, equity and assets, and wealth management. I plan to get exposure in these areas on different internships to also incorporate those skills into my professional portfolio.

Do AI, RPA, and other technology advances make you concerned about the security of your career?

I believe accounting, like any other profession, needs its professionals to evolve with the times. We, as the future generation of accountants, need to work on skills that are going to be needed for the upcoming years. As I mentioned above, intellectual thinking and innovative ideas will always be in demand, but we also need to constantly update ourselves and learn about technological changes so we can be as attractive as professionals as we have always been. These new technologies will only make the work more straightforward for us, allowing us to focus on our critical thinking skills more. Technological progress is not a disadvantage to the profession; on the contrary, it represents new tools we can use to evolve, develop a more extended skill set, and become more successful in our specific fields.

Where do you want to go after graduation, and why?

After graduation I plan to work for a big accounting firm in the tax field. I want to apply all the knowledge I have learned in school and in my different internships, as well as develop my skills as a young accounting professional. I believe working for a big firm can help me integrate my values into their culture, build my professional portfolio, and apply my international and national knowledge.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?

In 5 years, I plan to be a manager or working for a management position in a big company. In 10 years, I plan to be a senior manager or partner while working on building a succession plan for my own business. In 20 years, I want to be the CEO of my own firm, providing accounting and financial services to small and midsize companies.

Carmen Nuesi Peralta is a sophomore pursuing a BBA in accounting at Baruch College. She currently serves as a tax manager for a small company and as an auditor in a medical office. She is the former vice-president of the NABA (National Association of Black Accountants) chapter and former president of the ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) chapter at York College. She is also a CPA Ambassador for Wiley CPA Review, as well as a discovery intern at Deloitte, where she is doing a rotational internship. She is passionate about motivating others through public speaking and her goal is to encourage young accounting and finance students to never give up, no matter what obstacles they face. Carmen will graduate in 2021, and she plans to take the CPA exam while pursuing her master’s in accounting.