Passport 2 Audit: Top Five Most Memorable Moments

Summer is officially here! Hello, sandy beaches and road trips…

But before we all head out for summer vacations, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and recap Discover Audit’s first-ever Passport to Audit (P2A) events.

In April and May, close to 200 high school students in Baltimore and Miami participated in the P2A pilot program. The CAQ and its Governing Board (the largest eight U.S. public company accounting firms) hosted students from the National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academy of Finance Programs for a day to introduce them to the exciting world of public company auditing and give them a look at careers in the profession. Check out the top five highlights from the events.

5) Event Sites

To kick us off, we have to thank the host firms in Baltimore and Miami for providing students with an up-close look at public accounting firms. All the offices offered state-of-the-art, modern facilities in great downtown locations close to amazing restaurants and shops. We were blown away by some of the views from their conference rooms. Just take a look at this view from an office in Miami (though this picture probably doesn’t do it justice):

As part of the program, students had a chance to take office tours and see actual auditors at work. Since most public company auditors can be on the road quite a bit, it was nice to see where they consider “home base” for those working in that city and to check out the treadmill desks and other cool office perks.

4) Career (and Life) Advice

One of the best moments from the P2A events was the Pathways to Possibilities panel discussion where different types of professionals – who all started in audit – shared career advice and lessons learned from their high school, college, and professional lives with the NAF students, some of whom were hearing about audit for the first time.

I know the Discover Audit team walked away with more than we expected from the day, and we were told that the teachers and students did as well. One student even remarked, “I learned about what auditing really is. I was amazed at the opportunities that this profession offers,” while another said, “This definitely changed my view for the near future!”

3) Questions Answered from Real Auditors

Another great moment was watching the students get the opportunity to meet real auditors and hear from them about why they decided to become an auditor and what keeps them in the profession. The students had lots to ask and it helped to hear stories and get answers to all their burning questions—what courses did you take in college, what college did you go to, how did you survive the CPA exam, what’s your favorite part about being in the profession? The auditors were all so helpful!

2) Games and Mock Inventory

All the best events that took place throughout the day involved games and fun prizes! The games, from “Minute to Win It” (one group had to work together blow up balloons and make a hat out of panty hose – it was hilarious!) to “Jeopardy” with an auditing twist, were both educational and showed how auditors work in teams. They were a big hit with the students, as well as the Discover Audit team. “I’ll take Dynamic Profession for $600, Alex!”

Not only were the games fun, but so was the mock inventory. After hearing from real auditors about their experiences conducting inventories of cows, IT equipment, candy, and even milk and melted chocolate, the students had a chance to roll up their sleeves and learn basics of inventory counts. Some students had to count Lego blocks and candy, while others had to measure the amount of water in a container. The items varied by group and firm, but the students were challenged with determining if their count matched the company’s count, and thinking through what an auditor would do if faced with errors in their inventory assessments. Watching the students perform their own inventory count and listening to them think through these situations was definitely a highlight. We were quite envious of the group that got to eat the candy after their successful inventory count was finished!

1) NAF Students

Without a doubt, our top moment has to go to being able to meet the awesome NAF students! The students who attended the P2A events in Baltimore and Miami were some of the brightest and most thoughtful young adults we’ve been around. They asked such great questions—how was the profession affected by the 2008 financial crisis, what was something you wished you knew before deciding your career, and others. Most of the students didn’t come in knowing exactly what an auditor did, but by the end of the event, many of them were saying heck yeah! to considering a career in public company auditing. We were so impressed, and are excited to see what they accomplish in high school, college, and beyond.

The Discover Audit team had a blast working with the firms and NAF to bring this program to life and introduce young students to the exciting world of public company auditing. We hope to continue this program and bring it to even more cities in the future.

Did you attend a P2A event this Spring? What was your favorite moment? Tweet us at @discoveraudit to let us know! We’d love to stay in touch! 🙂