Meet Ashley: My Experience in the Accounting and Payroll Program

Ashley Benish first developed an interest in accounting while working in customer service at a bank.

She really enjoyed working with numbers, solving problems, and helping clients with their banking needs.

When she became a mom, she stepped away from the work world for a few years to focus on raising her children. But she always intended to get back into the accounting field.

And when her kids got a little older and the time was right to upgrade her skills, Ashley chose the Accounting and Payroll Administrator program at Herzing College.

We spoke with her recently to see how she found the whole experience.

Here’s her story.

Q. Let’s start with some background. What were you doing before heading back to school?

Ashley: I was a customer service representative at Scotiabank for a while. But for the last six years, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom to my two daughters.

I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the accounting field once my children were in school full time. With my youngest soon heading off to kindergarten, I decided it was the right time.


Q. What made you choose Herzing?

Ashley: I researched many college programs offering accounting/bookkeeping courses and found Herzing College to be the best fit for me.

I compared the length of the internship, student reviews, cost, and course descriptions across a variety of colleges.

Herzing was highly recommended by previous students and the cost of the program was very reasonable.

I also liked that Herzing offered a six-week internship, because real-world experience is important. Internships also provide you with an opportunity to network and are excellent references on your resume.


Q. What was it like to balance school and family?

Ashley: It was a challenge to manage my household responsibilities and take care of my two daughters while working through the course.

I found the best way was to schedule time to work on the course and then focus only on the course during that period. Evenings and weekends were the best times for me to work on textbook exercises and assignments.


Q. What new skills did you develop in the program?

Ashley: I learned the fundamentals of accounting, such as debits, credits, assets, liabilities, and equity. I also learned how to use QuickBooks and Sages, which made it easy to pick up other accounting software used in my internship.

Before beginning this course, I was familiar with Microsoft Office. But the courses in Excel, Word, and Access have still proven useful. I have used many of the formulas, sorting, and filtering taught in these courses during my internship.


Q. Tell us about your internship. What kind of things did you do?

Ashley: I did my internship at J.R. Accounting here in Winnipeg. My responsibilities included:

  • Creating and modifying Excel spreadsheets
  • Categorizing expenses in accounting software
  • Importing bank statements into accounting software
  • Reconciling bank and credit card statements to accounting software
  • Year-end adjusting entries
  • Recording GST and PST on expenses and income

Q. How did you find the accounting and payroll program overall?

Ashley: I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this program.

Sandy Graham is an amazing instructor. She truly cares about her students and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure you understand the course material, even if it means finding other resources like YouTube videos or websites to help explain the concept in a different way.

I completed my program online, so communication with my classmates was done through Teams meetings or student forums. But the general vibe of the class was positive.


Q. Would you recommend studying at Herzing College?

Ashley: I would recommend continuing your studies at Herzing College because of the flexibility, support, and education provided.

There are different course delivery options to suit your schedule. I chose to do my program online as that worked best for me. But there are other options such as classroom training or Flex-Ed, which is a combination of classroom and online.

The instructors and student advisor are excellent sources of support when you need help or are struggling with course materials.

Best of all, the programs are career-oriented. There are no filler courses; all the material you learn will be useful in the workplace.


Q. What advice would you give someone thinking about studying at Herzing?

Ashley: The best advice would be to just go for it. There will never be a perfect time to further your education. There will always be something life throws at you.

Herzing offers flexibility and real-world experience through internships, so you can make your education and career goals a reality!



The accelerated Accounting and Payroll Administrator program at Herzing College Winnipeg is just 10 months long and includes a six-week internship at a local business.

Training is available both on campus and online. You can even choose to do a bit of both.

Click below to get full details on the program and connect live with an Admissions Advisor who can answer your questions.

Explore the Accounting and Payroll Administrator Program

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