Formal Report For Business Correspondance Class
I need to write a report on MIS certifications for the Business Correspondance class. Following is the topic:
Many students like you are post-graduate study to receive an MIS certificate in advanced database management, advanced network design, data warehousing, or systems analysis and design. Which of these or other certificate programs are most valuable? Is certification worth the money? What programs would you recommend? Why?
Attached is an example of what the report should look like and the guidelines required by the instructor.
- Use at least three primary and three secondary sources in researching your topic.
- Base your report format on Figure 10.25 located on pages 329-338 in the text. The report model uses MLA documentation style with single-spacing.
- Front Matters will include: Title page, Letter of Transmittal, Table of Contents and List of Figures (at least one figure is required), and Executive Summary.
- Body of Report will include: Introduction, Discussion of Findings, and Conclusion/Recommendations. Please refer to page 327-328 for a detailed explanation.
- Supplementary Parts of Report will include: Work Cited (required) and Appendixes (if applicable)
A grading rubric and student example (received an 80%) is available for your reference. I encourage the completion process of this assignment to occur each week, as daily as possible. This assignment is meant to be a meaningful example of your writing skills and strategies obtained since the beginning of the course; it is not an assignment that can successfully be completed in a week or two. Citing and documenting sources is of importance.
As in any course, plagiarism is not acceptable and will be reviewed as stated in the course syllabus. In short, credit cannot be offered for work that is not your own.
Examining what students seek in accounting internships
and how companies can meet these Their needs
Prepared for Comment by Miller, Casey: XXXXX, I am thoroughly impressed with your report. You not only presented information, but provided valuable conclusions and recommendations. Would you mind if I keep your report as an example for future students? Again, job well done!
Ms. Casey Miller
College of DuPage
December 3, 2015
December 3, 2015
Ms. Casey Miller
Accounting Department Manager
425 22nd Street
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Dear Ms. Miller:
The attached is the report that the accounting department has requested in order to consider revising our company’s internship program. It is believed by providing this report and its recommendations we will be able to reshape our own internship program to better appeal to the top students at universities.
The research of this report was conducted to provide information and an understanding of what students are looking for and what the top public accounting firms are doing to attract these students. The report focuses on the following areas:
· An understanding of what students’ want
· Further examination of internship programs at large accounting firms
· Feedback on internship programs
Primary research consisted of a survey conducted by a professional firm of over 65,000 undergraduates in the U.S. and reviews made on Glassdoor. This allowed us to get feedback on a larger scale through unbiased parties. Secondary research sources included online articles discussing common trends in accounting internship programs and various other articles discussing what students seek in internship employers. Results of this research, discussed in more detail in this report, provides insight into ways of improving our own internship program.
We would be pleased to discuss this report and its recommendations with you at your request. Thank you for your trusting my team and me in researching ways to further improve our internship program.
Table of Contents
Letter of Transmittal ii
Executive summary iv
discussion of findings 1
What Students Are Looking for in Internships 2
Opportunity for Employment 2
Job Orientation and Training 3
Good Employer Reference 3
Internship Programs at Large Public Accounting Firms 3
Three Month Long Internships 4
40-Hour Work Weeks 4
Extensive Training 4
Competitive Hourly Wage 4
Reviews of Existing Programs 4
Conclusions and Recommendations 5
Works Cited 6
List of figures
1 12 Things Students Value Most in Internships – Universum Survey 2
2 The Big Four Like to Hire Interns 3
Company XXX would largely benefit from reshaping its internship program as it would help to recruit the strongest students right out of college. The company would see benefits for both its own company and its interns. By committing to a strategic internship program, Company XXX would be more likely to have a large pool of applicants to pool from and also train future employees at a much lower cost. Comment by Miller, Casey: Excellent paragraph.
The recommendations in this report are based off of research conducted by examining what students value most and what the top accounting firms are offering within their own internship programs. Reviews and feedback from former interns, along with articles discussing these large internship programs have help to push to make these recommendations.
Analysis of the research conducted and the recommendations provided were pulled from these three areas: Comment by Miller, Casey: Since you mention three, you could list 1, 2, 3.
· What Students Are Looking for in Internships: Developing an understanding of what students want is the first step in how to improve Company XXX’s internship program. Ensuring that the company meets the needs of these students is the most important thing.
· Internship Programs at Large Accounting Firms. By understanding what other successful firms are doing, we can learn ways of improving our own. We also are able to create a competitive edge when recruiting the top accounting students at universities.
· Reviews of Existing Programs. Examining feedback from former interns gives us the opportunity to not make the same mistakes other companies made. Learning from the experiences of others will help us to improve our own program. Using the positives to add to own program and learning the negatives to avoid will create an effective program.
Based on these findings, it is recommended the company provides internships only if they are able to provide full-time positions. The possibility of receiving an offer of employment is one of the most valued things to students. Using this, as well as providing job orientation and training and competitive pay, will keep Company XXX’s program competitive with larger firms. They must also not overwork their interns but still provide them with a realistic experience. Overloading interns with work could cause them to regret an offer of employment so the company must set limits to create a positive experience. Comment by Miller, Casey: What an excellent point!
Recruiting talented individuals is the key to success of a growing company. As turnover is inevitable in any industry, finding new, skilled talent is highly important. One way that Company XXX can succeed in recruiting the best possible talent is by having an appealing internship program for students. Currently, their accounting department’s internship program is lacking in some areas. Creating a valuable program for students will benefit the students and the company. The company must be aware of what students are really looking for. The largest public accounting firms have a pattern of recruiting the top accounting students at universities. By reviewing their practices in their internship programs the company may find ways to improve their own.
The analysis of elements students are seeking in internships and internship programs at large public accounting firms has been conducted to develop an understanding of how well firms are meeting the needs of students. A survey conducted by a third party company asked over 65,000 undergraduate students, specifically in the U.S., what they identify as the top three things they look for in employers when finding internships.
Based on the elements identified as what students want, it was compared those with what each of the Big Four public accounting firms offer in their internship programs. The firms reviewed included Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC), Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG. The report also examines the feedback from these programs through an unbiased company, Glassdoor.
By extensively examining all elements of the research conducted, recommendations for improving Company XXX’s program have been provided and are included in the findings of this report. These recommendations are based on the positive aspects of each of the large public accounting firm’s internship programs as well as feedback from students on what they look for from employers.
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
The results of this research indicate that large public accounting firms seem to be aware of what students want in internships. They are meeting the needs of the students which provides them with a large pool of candidates when hiring employees each year. The research findings here fall into three categories: (a) what students are looking for in internships, (b) internship programs at large public accounting firms, and (c) reviews of existing programs.
What Students Are Looking for in Internships
Regardless of the profession or major of a student, research shows that generally speaking, undergraduate students in the United States are all looking for similar things in internships (“10 Internship Characteristics…”). In the beginning of 2014, Forbes Magazine released an article examining 12 things students value most in internships. Their article was based on findings from a survey conducted by a global research and advisory firm, Universum. A total of 65,679 undergraduates in the United States were asked to identify the three things they valued or wanted to see an internship employer offer (findings are summarized in Figure 1).
Based on these findings, it can be assumed that the most important thing to students is the opportunity for full-time employment. Job orientation and training comes at a close second with 42%. Finally, good employer reference fills our final top three spot with 29% (Smith).
Opportunity for Employment. Considering that the economy is always changing and job opportunities can often minimize for undergraduate students, this item seems expected. Providing interns with the opportunity for employment can provide for higher retention rate and also lower training cost for full-time employee new hires (“10 Internship Characteristics…”). Developing a strategic internship program that allows students to gain experience within a company can help to ensure that these students will take a full-time offer and already have basic experience under their belt. The chances of that student being a good fit for the company is much higher as they will already have a strong understand of the company and its culture (Smith).
Job Orientation and Training. Students want internships that allow them to learn outside of the classroom. Providing a well developed orientation and training program will ensure they are fully capable of completing tasks on the job and also applying classroom knowledge to real-world situations. Whether they are offered or choose to take a full-time position with a company may depend on various factors, but students want to feel that they got a positive learning experience from an internship regardless (Smith).
Good Employer Reference. A strong reference from a previous employer can make or break a job application. If a student leaves an internship and decides to not take an offer of employment or does not receive an offer, they still want to leave knowing they left a good impression (Smith). Especially interning at a large accounting firm, having that experience on your resume can lead to even greater opportunities.
Internship Programs at Large Public Accounting Firms
It is important to note that internships are so important for students because they can put students at an advantage when getting a job after graduation. As noted in the previous section, opportunity for full-time employment is one of the most important things students are looking for in internships. With this being the case, when looking at the four largest public accounting firms’ internship programs, the rate at which they hire their interns is extremely high, as summarized in Figure 2.
With such high percentages of interns being hired at these firms it is clear why the top accounting students at universities are recruited for these large firms and often seek internships there. By reviewing the internship programs at the four largest public accounting firms, the report notes key elements that each of them have in common making them so successful.
Three Month Long Internships. One commonality found with all of the top firms’ internship programs is their full-time internship positions. Typically, accounting firms will offer summer or winter internship openings that last around three months. This gives both the company and the intern the opportunity to get a better idea of it’s a good fit for both sides. Because the internships are extensive, interns get the opportunity to work just as a new-hire would (“Advance: PwC…”). Internships are offered specifically in the winter and summer for two reasons. The first being that it gives students an opportunity to participate in the winter which is the busy season for accounting firms. This is the time when companies need the most help and also when students can learn the most. Having the option of a summer internship also allows students who may not be able to intern during winter months to take interest in the companies as well (“Accounting Internships 101”).
40-Hour Work Weeks. All of the largest public accounting firms have their interns participate in 40-hour work weeks during their three month internships. This gives students the opportunity to truly experience what working at their company would be like (“Client Service Internships”). Especially for those who work during a company’s busy season, they can get a better understanding on whether or not this type of position would work for them.
Extensive Training. The large firms that invest money into these internship programs see the importance of training their internes extensively. Because so many of their interns are offered full-time positions, they see this training as a long-term investment (“Accounting Internships 101”). Full-time employees with previous intern experience are more likely to advance quicker and have a strong basic understanding of the position even before they start. Training the interns with great detail also helps the company because they truly use the skills of the interns as much as possible during the busy seasons. This helps to alleviate stress on all areas of the company by giving interns entry-level tasks.
Competitive Hourly Wage. The average hourly wage for an intern in public accounting is around $20. However, internships at the larger firms are significantly higher than average with hourly wages up to $25 for interns. According to salaries listed on Glassdoor, each of the companies had hourly wages of $25 to $28. The dollar amount can differ mainly depending on the service line an intern is working on (audit or tax). However, generally, all of the firms try to stay relatively close to the same hourly wage in order to stay competitive. By keeping this amount relatively, the same across the different firms, it offers the opportunity for interns to focus more on the culture and client experiences of a company rather than just how they are compensated.
Reviews of Existing Programs
Through examining the reviews on an unbiased company’s site, Glassdoor.com, this gave the report better insight as to how students really felt when working as interns at these large public accounting firms.
After looking specifically at reviews from former interns, it was found that the majority recommended the companies they interned with as they provided a great working experience by providing interns with a large amount of opportunities and real-world experience (“EY Reviews”).
Overall, the negative feedback from interns mainly focused on the long, tough hours (“KPMG Reviews”). Because interns are expected to work just as much as full-time employee, these hours can be tough on students. It can come as a shock, but the companies hope this will give students a full understanding of what holding a position at their company is like. However, some reviews did advise management to set certain limits for intern hours as to not overload them too much.
Conclusions and recommendations
An analysis of student surveys, intern feedback, and internship program information from large public accounting firms leads to the following conclusions and recommendations about how to improve and reshape Company XXX’s internship program:
1. The internship program should be set up with the intention of hiring at least one intern during the year in order to give interns the opportunity to receive a full-time position.
2. Orientation and training should be extensive enough that interns are learning real-world skills and the company can also use their skills to assist in tasks.
3. Hourly wages should be competitive, but still within budget. Assuming the company cannot provide the same compensation as the largest accounting firms in the country, they can gage our wages based on mid-level sized accounting firms to better suit it’s budget.
4. Commit to a program that offers an alternative to the busy seasons of larger accounting firms. With less extensive hours or full-time schedules, students may be able to participate in Company XXX’s program during the school year and then they would not be forced to compete with the larger firms in getting applicants.
On the basis of these recommendations, it is recommended that Company XXX adjust its current internship program to better fit the recommendations listed above. It is believed by doing so, Company XXX will see a better pool of applicants and improve the future of their growing company.
“10 Internship Characteristics That Attract Exceptional Interns.”Internships.com. Chegg.com, n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
“Accounting Internships 101 | The Complete Guide.” The Big 4 Accounting Firms. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“Advance: PwC’s Internship Program.” PwC. Pricewaterhouse Cooper, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“Client Service Internships.” Deloitte. Deloitte, n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
“Deloitte Intern Salaries.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015. Comment by Miller, Casey: A variety of reliable sources should be presented.
“Deloitte Reviews.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“EY Intern Salaries.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“EY Reviews.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“Interning.” KPMG Campus. KPMG, n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
“Internships.” EY. Ernst & Young, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“KPMG Intern Salaries.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“KPMG Reviews.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“PwC Intern Salaries.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
“PwC Reviews.” Glassdoor. Glassdoor, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2015.
Smith, Jacquelyn. “Internship Wish List: The 12 Things Students Value Most.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.