Where the Blind Work
Finance Careers


Jessica R. Smith

What do you do on your job?

I am an accountant and serve as the external audit liaison for my organization, which means I process and track all audits conducted externally that involve my organization.  Processing and tracking audits entails:

Input and update all pertinent information related in our audit tracking database as well as on our shared drive so all interested parties (with authorization) can view the information at any time.

Notify the applicable business areas within my organization and our audit client executives of newly announced audits or issued audit reports; of any recommendations addressed to our organization that require our action. This then would require me to login due dates for a response to specific requests from the external audit agencies auditing our organization, such as responses to recommendations or requests for a point-of-contact (POC) to represent our organization, as well as input dates of upcoming audit-related conferences, such as in-briefs and out-briefs for which the functional POC(s) and other interested parties from our organization must attend.

Maintain both the audit tracking database and the shared drive to reflect the current status of audits and to include all audits pertaining to our organization, as well as the most current files that our business areas will need to perform their duties as a part of this audit liaison process.

Communicate with both the external audit agencies and our business areas to ensure site visits or conferences are arranged and answer any questions or provide requested information.

Another major duty for me is to inform the director of my organization of all audits I receive and subsequently process on a daily basis. This entails preparing daily reports that contain summaries of all newly announced audits and issued audits reports as well as comments from the business areas to which I assigned responsibility of the audit. (This assignment is based on the objective and scope of the audit.)

To what extent are you blind and what special adaptations do you use on the job?

I am completely blind, meaning I have no useful vision or light perception.  In performing my duties I use the JAWS speech software and Openbook scan and read software.

What are the qualifications to enter this job position?

The requirement is to have a degree from a four-year accredited school in accounting, business, or a related field. Also you can supplement the education requirement with sufficient work experience in these or related fields, usually three or four years.

What influences did you have along the way which aided you to be successful?

I had an excellent advisor as an undergraduate and a mentor. Both encouraged me to set high goals and to work hard to achieve them. I was always advised to outline my plans in detail and to think through my plans thoroughly and weigh the costs/benefits. (My advisor was a finance professor.)

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