An accounting term paper can be a terrific way to practice what you have learned in the course. It can also, if approached properly, serve as your entrée to a pre-interview with prospective employers. The following tips may help make accounting term papers less onerous.
Use term papers in accounting to open doors:
Choose an issue that could be illustrated using a company in which you have an interest, or at least an industry segment that attracts you.
- Alternatively, choose a company that interests you, and find an issue to discuss through research
- Obtain all publicly available documents concerning the company or industry that is your focus of interest
- Crawl through the firm’s annual report and make notes of anything that could form the basis of an intelligent question
- Craft several searching queries that are not insulting, but which show that you have grasped the essential strengths and weaknesses of the firm’s financial position and strategy. You wish, in the case of a public accounting firm (chartered accounting firm), to demonstrate that you understand the clients they serve.
- Contact the firm and explain your situation. Ask whether you could meet with or have a telephone conference with someone in their accounting department. Outline briefly the sorts of questions you would are researching for your term paper in accounting.
- Dress and groom yourself as if for a job interview. Be polite, be brief, offer to send your interviewee a copy of the completed accounting term paper, and shake hands firmly.
- Use the results of your interview to supplement your research, and cite and reference your interviewee’s words with the same seriousness with which you quote scholarly articles.
- Follow up with a thoughtfully written thank-you note in which you:
- Refer insightfully to the content of your discussion,
- Indicate how impressed you are with the firm,
- Look forward to speaking with them again when you are:
- Applying for internships
- Graduated and looking for a job
Use appropriate style in accounting term papers:
- Your style should be formal but concise
- Watch word order; make sure that your noun is doing to the object exactly what you meant it to. In accounting, it matters!
- Use short sentences; avoid confusing subordinate clauses
- Use (correct) visual examples plentifully. This shows that you can not only read a balance sheet or statement of financial position, but generate them as well.