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Introduction and Induction

What went right (or wrong) during your placement? Note that reflecting on issues which go wrong may be even more valuable than reflecting on the positive experiences.

A reflective journal is basically the reflection of thoughts and experiences of an individual in a certain context. A reflective journal basically includes the experiences and feelings of a person regarding a certain position or condition. The main aim of this reflective journal is to present my experiences and what I learnt during my internship with Townsend & Associates. I worked as an intern with the Townsend & Associates from 4th December 2014 till 7th January. Townsend & Associates is a nationally recognised recruitment and staffing firm that is established in 1999. The organisation has a reputation to comply with and go beyond the expectations of the clients and they are diversified. The organisation has achieved the competitive advantage in the industry with the help of quality service that is provided by the organisation to its clients. The company is diversified in a various industries and they learn about the business of their clients and then take various actions for the provision of a better service (Townsend-associates.com, 2015). The organisation evaluates the processes, environment and the culture of the clients and then it offers them the talent that is high calibre. The main aim of this company is to become the staffing firm that will be selected by the professionals and the clients first. There are several core competencies of the organisation and these are the continuous improvement in full time placements and project staffing (Ptai.com, 2015)

Now some of the key staff or members of the organisation and their position can be stated here.

  • Phillip Townsend (Chairman and Founder)
  • Barjor M. Dastur (CEO & the President)
  • Dave Bohmbach (Vice President)
  • Kevin p.O’Donnell (Managing Director)
  • Kathleen Blumenthal (Chief Administrative Officer)
  • Jennifer Welch, (Chief Information Officer)
  • Daniel Compte (Division Manager) (Fdtownsend.com, 2015)

The internship started with the induction programme that was conducted by the organisation. The induction programme was conducted by the division manager and in that induction programme, the information about the organisation and its achievements were provided. In the introductory session, the operations of the company, their role and position in the industry were discussed along with the type of services that are provided to the clients. After that we were addressed to give our introduction and the services that we were interested in. Now the entries can be provided covering each day.

Day 1:

The first day was the introduction day. The induction programme was conducted on the first day. The managing director of the company greeted us. After that the manger started the induction programme where the details about the organisation were given. The operations of the company and the kind of services that are provided by the company were discussed in the programme. After that we were addressed to provide our introduction and educational background. I informed them about my area of interest and the expertise that I required. They had given us the introduction about the staff members of the organisation and how the organisation maintained the core competencies within the organisation. After that we were given a tour of the organisation. I saw how the organisation was operating and learnt the roles and responsibilities of the staff members.

Learning about Personal Tax System

Day 2:

On the second day, I learn about personal tax system and how the company provides services to the clients in this department. Townsend & Associates provide the personal tax service to its clients. It is known that the company has the efficinecy in the provision of the service to the clients. I had knowledge regarding the personal tax system and how it is imposed on the income of an individual. I knew about the tax structure that exists in the economy and the tax bases as well. During the internship programme, I learnt other information about the personal income tax like the exemption conditions and also how to process the legal documentation. The application processes and procedures for the individuals and how they can be processed by the organisation. I also learnt about the issues that can be faced by the clients and how they can be dealt with as a professional.

Day 3:

On the third day more information was given on handling the personal income taxes of the clients. On this day, a practical application of the system and how the issues were dealt with were discussed. I learnt about the entry of tax bases for the clients and also gained more knowledge and expertise about various softwares that can be used by the organisation for the accounting practices. Here I learnt about using the excel function and advanced excel options that are used for the personal tax system. The managers and the staff in the organisation were very helpful. They shared with us their practical experiences and how they deal with the clients. They also informed me regarding the issues that can be occurring with the clients and how they need to be dealt with. The staffs were very cooperative and they also answered the queries that I had raised regarding the process.

Day 4:

On the fourth day I learnt about the company tax and how the company provides services to the clients in this department. Townsend & Associates provide the services related with the company or corporate tax to its clients. I had knowledge regarding the corporate tax system and how it is imposed on a company. I had knowledge about the tax structure that exists in the economy for the corporate entities and the tax bases as well. During the internship programme, I learnt other information about the tax like the exemption conditions and also how to process the legal documentation. The application processes and procedures for the companies and how they can be processed by the organisation. I also learnt about the issues that can be faced in terms of dealing with the clients by the organisation. On the fourth day I also gained the practical knowledge regarding the corporate tax laws and the implication of these laws for the companies. The staffs were very cooperative and they answered to all my queries that I had regarding the operations.

Day 5:

On the fifth day I gained experience of the quick book system. This was a unique experience for me as I only had the knowledge and some information about the QuickBooks. I knew that the QuickBooks are accounting software that is used by many organisations. It can be said that quick books are very important for increasing the efficiency of the accounting system in an organisation (Quickbooks.intuit.com, 2015). The QuickBooks can help in managing the finances and it can also perform several daily tasks like invoicing, billing and bookkeeping. The taxes can be estimated by tracking the sales and the expenses with the help of the QuickBooks system. How the QuickBooks can help an organisation in managing their accounting process was also shown. The application of the QuickBooks system was very new for me and I learnt a lot from the organisation and its existing staff.

Practical Application of Personal Tax System

Day 6:

On the sixth day I continued to learn about the application of the QuickBooks system and how it can be used for increasing the efficiency of the client’s organisation. On the sixth day I learnt to use the system and also performed some random tasks that can be conducted in the QuickBooks. I also learnt that these systems can also be operated by using the mobile devices like iPad, iPhone and Android. How the data is entered in the software system and how the data is managed was also shown by the staff. The application can be used for knowing the where the business stands. It was also learnt that the profit & loss, the balance statement and other financial reports can be created in the QuickBooks. The staff helped with every process and answered my queries. While operating the system, I made a mistake regarding the entry process but they quickly rectified the mistake and resolved it. They also elaborated on the common mistakes that can be conducted in this system and the ways to rectify the mistake. It was a good experience of learning the system as it can benefit in my future.

Day 7:

On the 7th day I learnt about the payroll system. I had the theoretical knowledge about the payroll system before. Payroll is basically the sum of all financial records for the wages and the salaries of all the employees in an organisation. In the payroll system, the deductions and the bonuses of all the employees are also included and after accounting all these information, the wages are paid to the employees. In the internship programme, I learnt to use the software that can be used for managing the payroll system in an organisation. The payroll and the HRMS software operations were also shown in the organisation. I learnt the importance of the software and how this can provide the simple and effective solution for an organisation. The payroll management software can help in delivering the advantages to the clients and I also learnt that the software is flexible and thus it can also incorporate various changes in the policies for the payment system of the staff. I performed some common and basic tasks with the software system after watching the human resource personnel at work. He helped me immensely during the entire process. It was a bit difficult and confusing at the beginning but after watching the professionals for several hours operating the system, I understood the process.

Day 8:

On the 8th day, I worked at the accounting administration department of the company. It is known that accounting management is one of the crucial and important functions of an organisation. In the administration department of accounting basically helps in achieving the financial goals of an organisation by focusing on the management planning and by controlling. I experienced how the financial information are collected and by planning and controlling various decisions are made within the organisation. There were four people in the administrative department and I saw them perform various duties and activities. I also learn how to work with the finance for competing daily tasks within the organisation. I had initial knowledge about managerial accounting principles and activities related with the process. During the internship programme, I had difficulty initially but the staffs at the organisation were helpful and they helped in learning about the process.

Corporate Tax and Legal Documentation

Day 9:

On the ninth day, I learnt to prepare basic documentation for the clients. There are various services that are provided by the organisation to the clients. The job functions that are provided by the organisation include administration, auditor, chemists, business analytics, logistics, marketing, project management etc. The organisation provides the staffing opportunities to all the clients. There are some office work especially documentation process is related with the task. On the ninth day I learnt how the documentation process is conducted for the business unit. It is evident that documentation process is very important for operational process. The documentation process can be different for different organisations but the documentation process is very important for the operations of an organisation. I also learnt the importance of the process as a single mistake can lead to grave consequences. Thus it is necessary that the documentation is carefully conducted. The team working in the documentation department helped me learn the system and I also performed some tasks at the end of the day. The staff also complemented me on my performance.

Day 10:

On the tenth day I learnt to respond to phone calls in the organisation. It was an intense learning experience. It is known that in the service industry, the customers are very important and thus it is necessary that they are provided quality services. The organisation basically provides the staffing service to the clients and they have deal directly with the clients. On the tenth day I was given the instructions about dealing with the customers on the phone. At first I heard at the conversations of the professionals over there while they were conversing with the clients. I learnt how they answered particular queries and dealt with certain issues. They also gave me suggestions regarding the tone of speech that must be maintained while conversing with the clients. I also attended a few phone calls afterwards. I tried to deal with the clients as smoothly as I could but during certain queries I could not come up with a reply and the team helped me in that situation. After that I successfully answered some other calls and the team also praised me for my performance. It was a very good experience to directly deal with the customers.

Day 11:

On the 11th day I learnt to work on the spread sheet and data entry. It is evident that there are various services that are provided by the company and data entry and working on the spreadsheet is one of the necessary tasks that need to be conducted. I already had some experiences with the data entry and spreadsheet at the initial stage of the internship programme. On the 11th day I worked under the guidance of the professionals over there. I worked with the payroll, income tax, and corporate tax department with the worksheet. The team praised me for my performance with the spreadsheet and data entry. I also learnt advanced excel functions.

Day 12:

On the twelfth day I learnt more about the accounting process and how the professionals work in the accounting policies. On this day I learnt more about the book keeping and the accounting process from the professionals. On this day my shadowing for the accountant was completed. This helped me with my professional development process and it was very interesting and I also gained knowledge from the process.

Experience with QuickBooks

Extra Days:

I visited the organisation again in January for some extra experience and I also enquired about the queries that I had during the internship programme. The managers gave me additional information and suggestions in the professional domain. They also gave me feedback on my work and provided recommendations for performing better in a professional domain. They told me that I was very hard working and they were impressed by my interest in the line of work.

Summary and Conclusion:

I liked various things while taking internship in Townsend and associates. The personnel in this organization with whom I am directly or indirectly related, all assisted me immensely during my internship. The best part of this organization is their ability to go beyond their clients’ expectations. They work depend on their clients’ requirements or I can say their service is customer oriented. The organization works in a diversified way in different industries and understands that the clients’ business practices are supreme to their performance and this guided them to be in the top places in the market. All professionals spend necessary time to assess the process, clients’ culture, environment to offer the clients’ immediate access to superior quality talent. The core competencies of this organization are full time placement and project staffing and that are incessantly improved to maintain their superior status in the market. All the professionals are committed, motivated and passionate to offer the best experience to the clients. Microsoft Excel is a main program which is very much relevant in my field that is accounting administration, finance tasks etc. I was not well aware of this particular program, hence I have asked for assistance to learn more about the program apart from my internship project. The internal personnel were very much helpful that besides their respective job they have helped me enough that I have obtained confidence to work in Microsoft excel sheet. Initially my mentor use to send me to them to clarify my queries and I use to feel that he might be busy to properly guide me. But later I have understood that my mentor wanted to grow the capacity of teamwork inside me. Each personnel of this organization are very good at building strong relationships with their clients. Though people were very much helping in this organization, I have received negligence from few of the associated, as to them I am just an intern and asking for their help is a stupid thing. Nevertheless, overall I was very much happy while pursuing my internship in this organization.

I am agreeing with the fact that I have taken immense help from the internal associates of this company and also I have helped them in small projects that includes personal tax, company tax, accounting administration, basic documentation, spread sheet and data entry. I use to come first in the office and started attending the phone calls, I use to take notes and the important messages that I need to share with the respective internal associates.  I have earned good amount of appreciation. These made me feel proud that I have not only obtained their help but also serve them as much as it was possible for me. I am pretty good in all the financial and accounting calculations. One of my senior associate once stuck in a finance calculation and I helped him to solve the problem that helped that person to a greater extent. I felt good by helping the person. My mentor assigned me each day’s homework and scheduled me a date on which I had to submit the tasks. There was not a single day I have delayed in my task submission. I am very much punctual for what I have obtained immense appreciation. I always wish to work in a competitive environment. There were other peer mates, who were also pursuing internship along with me. I use to maintain proper work filing and a neat submission to my mentor. When my task was compared with others I always gained appreciation than my peer group mates. I already had a good theoretical knowledge on personal tax, company tax, accounting administration, basic documentation; spread sheet and data entry and while pursuing this internship I have learnt the practical application of these theoretical knowledge. I have tremendously encouraged because of my punctuality, neat task submission and helping nature to others.

I thank my principal immensely for arranging such a nice internship opportunity for me. I could have not learnt so deeply from my classroom, as these experiences can only be gained from practical experiences. I do understand the fact that classroom can never bring such opportunities to each and every individual students but can just provide general guiding information. It is the students’ responsibility to properly comprehend what the teachers are teaching us. It should be a mutual effort from the mentors as well as the students to get a chance to pursue such internship courses outside the classroom. This immensely helps individuals to gain experience in various areas that require for professional development, like: leadership quality, teamwork, ability to comprehend, implementing good innovations and improvement strategically and so on. Each and every classroom is assigned to contain certain number of pupil and the teachers are responsible to take classes within certain time frame. But in case of internship, individual come in contact with various people from different part of this world and have no such time restriction to gain practical knowledge. There is no as such teacher to teach us but teaching is present from daily experiences. Both in classroom and in an organization we may get good guides, but in an organization, one individual should take the responsibility to choose in what way or how he/she can obtain knowledge on a particular factor. I can say that classroom is a book but organization is a knowledge bank. I have understood the importance of building good quality inside us. For example: maintaining punctuality or finishing a task with proper responsibility has helped me immensely while pursuing the internship from this organization. I have also agreed on this fact that practical knowledge has much more efficiencies than theatrical knowledge in professional development though theoretical and practical knowledge are two inseparable elements. The most important and final aspect I would like to mention that in a classroom environment I have learnt to deal with friends in a friendly or informal manner but in a organization I have learnt to deal with my colleagues in a friendly way but with much formal manner, which is an important and required element for individual’s professional development. So, it can be said that it was a very good experience for me to complete my internship in the organisation.

References

Fdtownsend.com, (2015). Floyd D. Townsend & Associates: A professional tax and accounting firm in Newark, New Jersey: Services. [online] Available at:

Ptai.com, (2015). Phillip Townsend Associates: About Us. [online] Available at: 

Quickbooks.intuit.com, (2015). How To Use QuickBooks – Easy to Use Features. [online] Available at:

Townsend-associates.com, (2015). Townsend & Associates Is Leading NJ Staffing & Recruiting Firm | Townsend & Associates. [online] Available at:

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