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Out of periods

The more I stay in private, the more I realize how much auditors waste time on certain things - like out-of-periods, for example. At the end of the day, unless it rises to the level of a restatement, or affects a measure that investors/analysts care about, these out-of-periods are really just not worth the amount of time spent. Sure it's a requirement, I get it; but there's so much more value that the auditors can add instead of wasting time on these matters. And then they'd have to consult up the chain, and that's a few more people wasting time when everyone knows the ultimate decision is that most of the time, they don't rise to a level of restatement.
Recent posts

Lower attrition rates

Word on the street is the attrition rates are actually going down, since the Big 4 are doing a better job at improving work-life balances. This is causing less individuals to look outside the Big 4 and thus fewer promotions that used to be taken for granted. Is this true?

Weekends Big 4 vs Private

Man there is such a big difference between being in Public vs Private when it comes to weekends. In public, you're always on call - and always have to keep checking your email. Okay, maybe you don't need to, but it's implicit that the best performers invariably end up with work on their mind - all it takes is one email from the client to piss you off or take up the rest of your day.

In Private, I'm still checking my emails frequently during the weekend, a habit I wasn't able to get rid of. But it's so radio silent since almost everyone else in Private truly takes the weekend off. I almost feel guilty shooting an email, and that's a good sign.

How to stand out in Private Accounting

In private accounting, what do you think is the most important thing someone can do to make sure their voice is considered in the planning stages of a project and not just brought in at the last moment for a "heads-up" as described in your article.

There are a few factors at play here. 

1) You always have to do well in your job. This helps establish your rep. All you need are a few rumors flying around, and you're done.

2) You have to have a good mentor who has influence - one who is willing to talk you up to other groups. This will get the other groups to come to you directly for questions, if any.

3) If another group comes to ask you a question, prioritize it if possible. You'll be judged on the limited interactions with them.

4) Whenever you get a chance, instead of emailing them, swing by their offices and discuss your questions with them, this helps build rapport.

5) Put yourself in their shoes whenever the groups battle with each other - see if you can work out a com…

Personality or Quality - what matters more in the Big 4?

 In your experience how much of "getting on a partner's good side" do you attribute to consistently completing quality work versus getting lucky and happening to connect with someone on a more personal level? Did you feel the people receiving the partner's attention were those who deserved it?
Great question - at the end of the day, the quality of the work will always win. This is what partners are judged on. If they know that you have it taken care of so they can spend time with their kids, work on their book of business,or go golfing, that'll always win out at the end of the day. Now, they may not take you golfing with them, or spend a quality amount of time mentoring you (since they may not have a personal connection with you), but you'll be the first one they go to when they have complicated engagements that they need some top talent on, especially in the PCAOB world

Let's compare a few different individuals-

Alex Smith crushes audits. He is the type …

Private vs Public politics

So how do you view the politics in the private as compared to the public? 

Great question, made me want to post again. I realize it's been six months, time flies when you don't need blog therapy anymore. On to the question - there's a lot of politics in public and private. On a high level, there's more red tape in public and in private.

Public - The Big 4 firms are big organizations - so it's much harder to cut through and get what you want. If you want to get on a particular engagement or industry, it's not as simple as going through the schedulers. The key is to get on the good side of partners, who can then make it happen. While that's simple enough, the issue is that it's not like there's just one partner..while the partners have a lot of power, there's a more concentrated group of partners that have even more power. Now it's a battle of trying to latch on to the right partner so he or she can win a battle against other partners. That'…

Promotion in Private

Working in private can be better although it can also be hard as a staff person. I'd wait for the manager title and 5 years of experience. That way you can have staff people under you. You don't want to be a staff in private because you'll be doing the work for a lot longer in your career. It's much harder to get a promotion in private.

Agreed, a lot of individuals who switch from Public to Private (especially after 3-4 years) struggle with the idea of not getting promoted every year when they switch to Private. It's absolutely true that you will not get promoted every year, especially if you're average. It's not like a factory where people go in and out all the time, there just aren't enough slots. Stay until manager in Public, then switch to Private if you don't want to be partner. It's a common trope that the Big 4 put out there, but it's somewhat true. The way to succeed in Private is to quickly be good at whatever you're doing, and t…