Company: The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
Job title: Revenue Recognition Accountant
Began as: General Accounting Intern
Time with the company: One year
Could you describe one of your typical workdays for me?
Typically my day consists of reviewing various customer orders for correct revenue recognition. We have several products ranging from single-use software licenses to consulting services and large bundled agreements. Each of these has a different standard by which we can appropriately recognize revenue so I perform various reviews to help correct any items that are not working properly. I also work with our IST department to implement automation within my team. Copy and paste is a great tool, until you are trying to copy literally millions of data pieces into excel. I help import data more efficiently, saving time for our team and allowing us to focus more on analytics rather than data acquisition. My other daily task is to assist with the external audit. January through May, we prepare and review large amounts of information for our external auditors and filter through several hundred audit requests and get the information to the right people.
What do you wish you’d known before you entered this field?
The most difficult learning curve from school to workplace is dealing with BIG DATA. In school, we only worked with a single data set at a time. What I thought was a “big excel sheet” turns out to be not much. It is difficult to deal with large amounts of data and really get down to what you are looking for. My eyes run over literally tens of millions of cells of data every single day. Getting to the information I need in an efficient manner is essential to my daily work. It is a difficult thing to teach in school because there are not massive data sets readily available, but the skills like filtering and using pivot tables are right there in front of you. Use them and master them in your homework because you will need to do it all the time once you deal with big data.