REAL PROS: Samantha Pettis, Accountant

By Katelyn Allen on Friday, September 25, 2020

Samantha Pettis

Job: Senior Corporate Accountant
Employer: BSR REIT
Alma mater: University of Central Arkansas
Degree: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an Accounting emphasis

How did you decide to go into the accounting field?
“I remember taking the aptitude test in 10th grade, and it stated that the best job for me was bookkeeping. At the time, I didn’t know what a bookkeeper was, so I researched it. I decided to go a step further in my education to get my degree in accounting so that I can be eventually become a Certified Public Accountant.”

What’s a typical day-in-the-life like?
“What I like about my job is that my day is never the same. Some things we do every month, but we also have different projects that we do, which allow us to step away from the norm and do something different.”

Why do you love your field?
“Accounting is fun for me. I love numbers and [to] budget and see the differences year over year. Also, I sometimes get to be a little ‘Inspector Gadget’ to find an issue and figure it out. We have small projects that allow us to get out of the norm and do different things to better our accounting team, so no one day is the same.”

What would students be most surprised to learn about your field?
“All accountants are not boring people in a basement somewhere with a calculator stuck to their hands. Every accountant’s job is not the same. There are so many different aspects of accounting that many may not see. There are accountants that may be better with words than numbers, and they are the reporting accountant. There are accountants better at figuring out problems before they actually happen, that’s your forecast accountant. There are accountants that can find problems that someone is trying to hide. That’s your forensic accountant or auditor.”

Your advice for students interested in accounting:
“DO IT! Like I stated before, accounting can be very rewarding financially and allow you to gain a lot of experience. You can work in almost any industry. I work in the real estate industry as an accountant. Be ready to focus and study. Getting an accounting degree is not easy, but definitely worth it. Don’t be easily discouraged. Take it one assignment at a time and work/study your way through it.”


Why It's Hot
Accountants and auditors are the No. 5 “hottest” job in Arkansas per the Arkansas’ Demand Occupations Hot 45 List for 2020-21, and No. 7 on EAB’s list of “Top 10 Jobs of the Future (2022)” report.

The Degree You'll Need
A bachelor’s degree in accounting or related fields. Certifications for becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can widen your knowledge of the field and provide you with more job opportunities

The Paycheck
The median salary for an accountant is $71,550.

Sources:, Arkansas Workforce Centers