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Public accounting is a passion for me. I love and have loved every minute with a few rare exceptions. Currently, I teach accounting students at Baruch College and try to pass on that passion. If they are like I was at their age, they ignore me. However, to prove my point, I present them with a “test” where they don’t have to believe everything I say and can figure it out for themselves. Here is the test.

I ask them to talk to anyone they or their parents know who is over 50 and works as a CPA in public or private accounting. The question they should ask themselves is: “Do you recommend [public] [private] accounting as a career?

Then they should listen to the response. I tell them that people who work in public accounting will talk about their career with passion. Those in private will speak as if it were a chore or something they did for a living. They must be guided by the answers.

I know I’m right, but I also know there are exceptions and not everyone will react the way I suggest and feel. Its good. These students won’t bet the farm on this “test”, but it will provide them with additional information to include in their arsenal of knowledge that they will have access to when they have to decide.

I also suggest that those reading this column decide how they would respond if asked this question. Anything less than passion means maybe you should rethink what you’re doing.

Fair enough?

Do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with your questions about practice management or assignments you may not be able to complete.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPA. He is on Accounting Today’s list of the 100 most influential people. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns”, co-authored with Andrew D. Mendlowitz, and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition”. He also writes a blog twice a week dealing with the issues customers have with with the Pay-Less-Tax Man Blog for the bottom line. He is an adjunct professor in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MBA program and teaches end-user applications of financial statements. Art of Accounting is an ongoing series where he shares autobiographical experiences with advice he hopes his colleagues can adopt. He welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 743-4582 or [email protected].