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Career case studies: Tax accounting

Laila Shetty

Laila Shetty graduated from Fordham with an MBA in Accounting/Finance and a Masters in Taxation. She joined Deloitte & Touche as a summer intern in the summer of 2010 and began working there full-time in January, 2011.

How did you get where you are today?

I was an economics major at Barnard and I’d never even taken an accounting course. In fact, I was headed toward a career in marketing and finance career when I realised that what I really wanted to do was something more mathematical. When I took my first accounting course I loved it and discovered that I had the disposition for a career in tax and accounting.

I then went for my MBA, but learned that the Big Four accounting firms recruit heavily out of a combined three-year MBA and Masters in Taxation program so I did that and it paid off. I got internship offers at KPMG as well as Deloitte, which was the company I really wanted to work for.

What kinds of skills are most sought after among tax and accounting professionals today?

A strong academic foundation and a desire to learn and work hard.  In public accounting, you need interpersonal skills because it’s a professional service organisation and we’re serving and interacting with clients.

What do you like most about what you do?

I like to research. I have to incorporate the law into my work, which means I have to stay on my toes and keep up with the current code, which is always shifting. Plus, working in tax accounting is rewarding because we’re helping companies and their investors save money.

How does the position differ from your initial expectations?

I guess I didn’t expect it to vary so much from client to client.  I had to learn to be flexible because I could get shifted to a new project at any time. Plus, client expectations are high and we’re constantly working hard to meet deadlines.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I’m working on a real estate client, two hedge funds, a few C Corps, and a large partnership…a little of everything!

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