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CFA prep

I know this blog is primarily about public accounting and the CPA but I came across a very interesting blog by somebody studying for the CFA, and the challenges facing him during this arduous process.
From what I've heard, the CFA is harder than the CPA, and more expensive. It is also a global certification, and has more pull in the financial sector.

Here's the link to the blog

teaming with chaos

Ah, the pleasures and pains of constantly working with a team. They sit across from you all day, and it's a hit or miss. If it's a hit, then you're in good shape for the rest of the audit. If it's a miss, then you're just eff-ed. I've had my share of hits, and it's been good, but I recently had a miss, and that person made up for the lack of team hits I've been having over the past year. Heck, I was forced to go quite a few times to the gym just to blow off the steam I accumulate every day. I'm curious, how do these people right out of college manage to gather attitudes and arrogance, and think they know exactly what they're doing. This is audit, not physics. You can't learn this in college and then purport to be the all-knowing one. If you want to be an audit superstar, take the time to listen on your first two-three clients, and then you have the chance to argue every single point since you have experience to back that up. But that's o…

big 4 raises

This is in response to the question about raises.....
" I was told by an EY recruiter that they usually give raises between 8 to 15%. Does that sound correct?"

The recruiter at that firm is correct, but it's not just EY, it's the big 4...and maybe even the smaller firms....although 15% sounds a little high. That only might happen due to market corrections, which occurs once every few years. Sure, the raises are higher than at normal corporations, because the path upwards in the big 4 is so structured. Trust me though, as much as the raises are nice, big 4 employees work much more on average than most corporations. So, really, by the hour, it's not that different if you do want to look at it that way.
Back to raises, depending on your reviews, raises could range between 7-14%. Market conditions(a survey apparently gets passes around the firms to get a gauge as to how much they are paying) play a role in the percentages. No firm wants to be left behind in the salary r…

"busy season?"

The firms do a great job at telling that our "busy season" begins in January and ends in March. I call bull! It really starts in November and ends in April, and from May-October, there's plenty of "busy" weeks.
Got a taste of busy season this past week...our team and the cleaning folk were the only ones in the building at around 8pm, got out to the parking lot at 10 pm and our cars were the only cars in the 500 car parking lot. Ah, the wonders of our profession.

dealing with our superiors

Someone recently asked me how to deal with their superiors, sometimes we wonder how they get there. Everyone seems to go through times where they disagree with their superiors/managers.....
and sometimes it reaches the point where dealing with them is downright frustrating.
The issue here, is that you can't really be honest and tell them exactly what you want to. Why? Well, if and when you do leave the company, they're essentially your references. So I guess the question is...how does one be honest with the higher-ups, explaining to them that their way of managing is wrong, their way of scheduling is wrong, etc. etc...without essentially getting on their wrong side. Come review time, or reference time, they might still hold something against us. So - a) suck it up and just do what you are told b) Be polite and tell them that it could be done better. But when they just keep piling it on and on, you're just trying your best not to say much. Any suggestions out there as to how …

Learning more about our clients

This is in response to the question on how much we learn about the companies we audit.
This was actually a line of defense I used when defending auditing against tax to a co-worker. You really do learn a lot about the companies you audit. The smaller they are, the more you can get your heads around them easily. For the larger billion dollar companies, it takes time, but you will understand how they work. For example, I was on a software company and the client took the time to explain their product to me. I had to read through the accounting scriptures to see how software revenue recognition works, this is the most important accounting and financial aspect of the company. I had to look at the assets the company owns as part of performing audit procedures, and so I gleaned an understanding on what assets the company needed to own in order to function properly. And so on and so forth.
Now from my experience, you really get an understanding of your clients in your second year on any audit. …

drinking the kool-aid

Apologies for the infrequent posting, it's been getting real busy, as is expected this time of year...a pre-busy season warmup of sorts. I did want to blog about something that happened this week though... My manager, who used to be a really good senior a few years ago, has began to drink the company kool-aid. I saw this transition with my own eyes, and unfortunately am feeling the brunt of his kool-aid sipping. It's a really interesting company dynamic, wherein anyone up for promotion, or in their first year as a newly minted higher-up, whatever that position may be, starts delving into their work a little too seriously, taking things to the extreme....doing more than what is necessary. To me, this looks like a case of CYA (Cover your Ass) so to speak..so they can prove that they are actually worthy of this new position.
My manager started extolling the virtues of attending company presentations and such, saying that we really need to understand how the company's trying to…

which firm to choose from?

In response to the question about which firm to choose from...yeesh, that's a good one.
Base salary wise, I'm surprised that you said that KPMG pays the highest. It is dependent on the region I guess. I'm assuming KPMG has some key clients there and has a big branch in that particular city. Is it smart to follow the money? In this case, I'm assuming there's only a $2-3000 difference at most...so unless you're really desperate for that extra $1000 (after taxes), money should be secondary. You have to think long term. What type of industry do you like? If it's government oriented, KPMG is definitely the right fit since the firm has a lot of government clients. If it's real estate, EY and PWC pretty much audit most of the real estate industry. And so on and so forth. Deloitte has a huge consulting arm (the other 3 sold off their consulting arm), so if you're looking to branch into consulting, Deloitte could potentially be a better fit for you. I'd s…

offers

In response to the question about negotiating with the Big 4....
it depends on the level you're starting at. If it's an entry-level position, odds are the offer won't change. But if you tell...say...KPMG that PWC is offering more for the same position, KPMG will have an answer for you, be it paying for your masters, benefits, etc.
The reason it's hard to negotiate for such positions is that they hire so many people, and their concern will be that if one falls through the cracks, everyone else will follow.
But if you do have work experience and have the offer for a position other than the entry-level one, you can definitely negotiate.
Other factors that can affect this process are the market you're in (Is it hot right now? At least recently, Dallas has been struggling for clients and New York has been struggling for resources), and the size of that particular branch of the firm you have the offer from. The smaller it is, the better your odds of negotiating.
Will it hurt …

layoffs,firings

"Could you tell if someone quit or was fired? Are there many layoffs at the big 4?"

Similar to other companies, the gossip wheels churns with the best amongst the auditors. If we work 10-12 hour days, people are bound to talk, and provide some semblance of entertainment at the expense of others. It takes a lot to get fired though. Outside of arson, sexual acts, blatant lack of productivity, and fraudulent work, there aren't too many reasons I can think of.
Layoffs, yeah, it happens,but rarely. Due to a lack of commercial growth in certain regions in this country, or the inability to bring in new clients, people who are not staffed regularly and are not assigned on most workdays, tend to get laid off, or "counseled out."
"Counseled out"..this is the new lingo being thrown around these days. From what I understand, it basically means that HR conveys to your counselor that your services aren't needed much, and your counselor (everyone gets one, the titl…

CPA bonus

$5000!!!
$5000!!!
That's the amount two of the big 4 (PWC and EY) are paying new hires if they pass the CPA in their first year of eligibility. KPMG and Deloitte don't pay anything yet. Although KPMG did present a check for $1,000,000 before game 4 of the world series to some charity, so they do have the money.
Note that these figures may well be wrong, and please correct me yet.
Now that's a pretty darn good incentive to buckle down and study. Heck, if this was the case earlier, most people my level would have been bogged down in their becker and bisk books to get through the exam. The firms realize that this is the best form of motivation for their pencil pushers. There is a huge shortage of CPAs in this country and it's difficult to find time to study the further you are in your career, so not only did some states change the rules so you could sit for your CPA while you're wearing diapers, but the firms have started offering some really good incentives to their min…

people skills

One thing that really pissed me off this week was the apparent lack of people skills shown by some higher-ups. I know structural promotion by experience is well and good, but bloody heck, being a manager doesn't just mean reviewing workpapers. You have to manage teams, you have to learn how to negotiate, how to be flexible. Don't just promote any hobo who makes it through a set number of years. If anything, organize mandatory people skills workshops. Make them take mandatory online web-based learnings classes. This can extend to seniors too. As much as structured promotions account for very good job security and such,it pains me to see seniors, managers and above, display an utter and total disregard for interpersonal skills.
Another senior quit this week, one who dealt with the very same manager I'm talking about. Wonder why?

big 4 trainings

This is in response to the question about trainings that we receive...
most of what we learn about auditing comes from on-the-job training. The formal trainings, honestly, sucks. Don't get me wrong, I love the formal trainings, but the only reason I do is because it gives me a chance to catch up with my peers. During our formal trainings, I'm either on the internet, playing pc games, or, if they make us shut down our laptops, I have no choice but to zone out. And trust me, I am not alone, so is 60-75% of my class. Funnily enough, I look at our trainings as a break from auditing and so I love it. The best ones are the offsite ones...Chicago, Orlando, etc. Imagine putting a bunch of 20 somethings in a hotel for a week, it's usually a blast. Once you get your CPA though, these trainings actually count for something since they count as CPE credits and thus keep your license active.
How periodic are these trainings? Probably around 2-3 weeks a year. Since it actually costs them m…

audit clients

This is in response to the most recent blog comment. First off, thanks for the question since I was running out of topics to blog about.

-How many companies do you audit a year?
Personally, I average around seven clients a year, including two public companies. But it really depends on one's schedule. Some of my co-workers only work on 1-2 big clients a year, whereas some work on as many as 10. It's kinda like an audit valley, in terms of numbers. As a staff/associate, you start off on quite a few clients, ranging from one-two days on jobs to four-five months. But most entry-level auditors work on a variety of clients. Once you hit the senior level, you assume more responsibility and thus reduce your client load (although your workload increases) to 3-4 (on average, but it really varies by schedule.) For the survivors, the Johnny and Annie Audits who hit the managerial level, the client load increases 2-3 fold. This is because you don't spend as much time on certain companies…

classic email

For those of you who haven't seen this classic email from a German KPMG partner who was in the US at that point (2005), enjoy (For those who are wondering, this is definitely true and made the email chain throughout the big 4 and further. He meant Jeans):


On behalf of the partners, I would like to thank each of you for your diligence and hard work in serving our clients and contributing to the success of our office. With the audit busy season drawing to a close and tax not far behind, we wish to show our appreciation by designating Fridays as "No Pants Day" in the office starting March 18 through April 15.
There are a few protocols that we must follow as we are a professional services firm. "No Pants Day" is limited to personnel on site at KPMG's premises. While we would like to extend the privilege to all, we must respect our clients' dress codes for those of you working off-site. Similarly, if you have client meetings scheduled in our offices, we ask th…

Frustrating Cliches

One thing that "grinds my gear" ala Family guy -
is the constant use of cliches by upper managment -
tee this up
par for the course
etc. etc. etc.

Seriously, I am a big sports fan, but just stop with using these phrases while describing work.

CPA preparation

This is in response to a recent comment asking about how I found time to study for the CPA while working as a full-time auditor. I didn't really have a set plan unlike some individuals. I didn't take the classes, but if a classroom setting helps you focus, then definitely go for it. I spent quite a few hours with the Becker cds, and this gave me more flexibility since I could study when I had time to. In a nutshell, I took about two months to study for FAR, and a month each for Regulation, BEC and Audit. I essentially got back from work around 7-7:30ish and either studied at a Starbucks, in my client location, at the library or at home sometimes. I aimed for about half a lecture a day and probably studied about 5 days a week. I lacked focus so it took me more time to study, so for those of you who actually can focus and not get too distracted, you should be in good shape. I did go out on the weekends to keep my sanity during the studying process, but I tried to stay away from …

compensation

This is compensation meeting season....and apparently the markets are not that hot, so the raises are not that hot from what I've heard. But I heard a really good point from a manager that I wanted to put out there..."the staff get overpaid, senior get underpaids, but managers and above will always get overpaid."

best place to jumpstart your career?

And the marketing machines of the Big 4 churn again....for those of you who didn't catch the news plastered on Yahoo! Finance's homepage (businessweek story)...this story is about how the big 4 are amongst the best places for one to jumpstart his or her own career. Check it out.
I actually agree. The Big 4 are definitely a good place to jumpstart one's corporate career. Jumpstart being the operative word.
I would like to point out a few quotes from the story:
"This year accountants became sexy." Well, yay? Our jobs are sexy, I'm glad the outside world thinks of us in that way.
"Why did the accounting firms do so well? Enormous demand. Across industries, there is a mad scramble to recruit the best and brightest of a new generation, the much-maligned, heavily scrutinized Gen Y. Nowhere is the pressure more intense than in the Big Four. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has so greatly increased the need for their services that the firms are facing an epic talent shortage.…

Audit Planning

We just had our “planning meeting” the other day, i.e. the meeting where the senior and above in an audit team get together and go through the big issues that need to be tackled for the upcoming audit. I must have zoned off at least 5-10 times during the meeting. It can go head-to-head with boredom at times, but it gives you an understanding of what the partner really cares about. The way I see it now (sure it might change down the road), Partners only care about the hot topics that either the client might be violating or needs to be in accordance with. These hot topics are always in the internal documents circulated to the higher ups to keep them abreast of the happenings. Their capital,i.e. their finances are on the line, so they have an extremely vested interest in making sure the firms don’t take a hit. This pressure then descends onto the senior managers/ managers, who want to make partner and so need to impress the current partners since the partners vote to approve new members …

Conspiracy of Fools

Jumping off my negativity track in this entry, this past week has actually changed my perception of this job, well…at least a little bit. Dealing with/Understanding slightly more complex accounting issues is much better than ticking and tying pieces of paper. Sure it can be tough to put your head around what companies do at times, but the frustration that accompanies staff-level work is just as painful, but not as stressful.

Also, I’d like to recommend the book “Conspiracy of Fools” by Kurt Eichenwald. It’s a book that details the rise and fall of Enron. For the .02% of the auditing populace who don't know, the Enron debacle changed auditing forever.
And trust me, this is not a dry read. I’m barely through with the book, but it is so engrossing that I find it hard to put it down at times. This is a book you have to read as an auditor, especially for those who don’t like what they do. It has honestly made me respect my job more, at least for the time being. The accounting tricks the…

blog

Now I can find stuff on the internet pretty easily, but it's not easy finding my own blog. Just curious, how did you come across this blog and how do you access it periodically without hitting google's hits counter.

Fall

Labor day weekend is here. The summer of '07 is slowly coming to an end. What a crazy summer! Now, I'm feeling a little queasy about the Fall. Last fall was no fun - I had to study for the CPA, I had too way too much audit work on my shoulders, and also had a ridiculously audit-eccentric senior manager. Apparently, one's second year in the firm is supposed to be the best - since you have an idea as to what you're doing, and you don't have the responsibility of a senior auditor yet. To me, it was probably worse than my first year. More responsibility meant more hours, but the pay was the same. When a manager I know hit a few midnights at work, I asked her how she did it, and she quoted a phrase that she heard in the Spiderman movie - "With great power comes great responsibility." That's swell and everything, but where's my great power?
This Fall's going to be interesting, I do have more experience under my belt, maybe this will turn out to be m…

audit vision

Got off at 7pm today, I saw the sun outside. Got another goodbye email. Good times.
On another note, I want to blog about our constantly deteriorating eyesight, which a comment touched on earlier. I had near-perfect vision when i started in this field, and now i can't even watch tv properly without glasses. That's just sad. I battle with my glasses everyday, tried all sorts of color combinations on my little portable laptop, but I guess I can't really correct my vision back to near-perfect without getting lasered. I guess I have "audit vision" now, good enough to see a computer, bad enough to not drive back home without glasses
Take my current audit team for example. It's 5 strong - and only one doesn't wear glasses. And he told me that the next time he goes to the eye doctor, he's probably going to get a prescription since his eyes are getting worse too.
First - your time, then - your mental health, now your physical health? What's next -your sanity…

Deserted parking lots

I was walking out from work last night at about 8:30 pm and there were only four cars in the company's huge parking lot - mine, the mgr's, the senior mgr's, and the security guard's. Our Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans dominate the visitor's parking lot and are pretty much there longer than employee cars. Which is ironic since visitors parking lots are really designed for 2-3 hour parking since they're right in front of the office. They should have a separate parking lot for auditors and call it "Live-In" Parking.

High churn rate in the audit factory

It's that time of year...when we start getting a flurry of goodbye emails. Headhunters are aggressively filling up our mailboxes. This time, with $ included in the voicemails too.
We are initially surprised by our friends/co-workers leaving, then filled with curiosity to try and find out where these folk are heading. A little later, it sets in, another one of us is leaving, our class is dwindling. We're still here. Why? Because - a) We think it's ideal to stay until a certain level and then leave b) We don't mind this job and will see where it takes us c) We just don't know what else to do.
I'll be honest, when people leaving for normal jobs that may pay more but are pretty boring (Controller, etc.), I couldn't care less...but when they leave for bigger and better jobs (in my opinion at least)...I just think..shit! And apparently, from talks with my co-workers, I'm not alone.
A manager once told me that during his training a few years ago, everyone was ask…

resistance to change

Most people are resistant to change, and this is clearly seen in our field. The older they are, the more resistant they are to change, especially anything electronic. It’s really painful that in this technologically oriented age, we’re probably using more paper than ever. Printouts after printouts for the managers and above just because they’d rather see something on paper. If somebody does a study on which profession uses the most paper, the public accounting field will be up there in the rankings.
We can also manage to turn the cleanest room ever into a mess, almost like letting little kids let loose. Papers everywhere, files everywhere, all sorts of food items on the table, the phone probably hidden under piles of files. On top of that, our little hubs and internet cables make it look like a tech playhouse. It’s really something else.

Auditing Payroll

Seriously, what's the problem with showing us your payroll? You really think we'd care enough to publicize those ADP reports showing us hourly rates? Making us sit and watch HR show us instead of us getting our hands on the paperwork is not the best way to do it.

Qualifications to become an auditor

Why come up with sophisticated descriptions describing jobs in public accounting? This is really what it should be -

We are seeking students who graduated from college with an Accounting Major. That's really it. We don't care what your extracurricular activities were.
Responsibilities include-
a) Tying out numbers, i.e. making sure a number in one "authentic" sheet is the same as the number in company records
b) Ticking numbers,i.e. adding symbols next to numbers showing that you have looked at the number and then adding legends explaining what those numbers mean.
c) Working around 45-50 hours a week on average from April-December and 55-65 hours a week from January-March. PS: This doesn't include lunch.
d) Going to company warehouses, counting 25 items and making sure they're on some company sheet, and then looking at the sheet and making sure 25 items on the sheet are on the floor.
e) Mailing out confirms, i.e. letters to banks asking them how much your client has…

What is an auditor?

Looks like our good friends at wikipedia helped out with this sarcastic and sadly sometimes true definition of an auditor...

http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Auditor

Here's an excerpt -
Auditors are a species of nomadic mammals who came to Earth from the planet Debitor in the 1960s. Auditors are paperivores and hunt in packs known as audit teams. Each audit team is part of a bigger tribe. There is much tribal rivalry and situations are subject to change as large tribes seek to exterminate one another, but at the time of going to press, the ruling tribe in the audit world was PWC (Pricks With Calculators).

'Nuff said.

audit lingo

Terms that might hold in most accounting firms -

1) P-track/Partner Track: Some folk are designated as being on the "partner track" when others believe that they like the job and plan on sticking it out to make Partner.

2) Johnny Audit: Guys who take their job seriously and perform thorough and substantive work

3) Annie Audit: Female version of Johnny Audit


Feel free to comment below and add other terms you may have come across.

different perspectives

Enough negativity...one advantage of being in the audit field is getting the opportunity to go to a variety of clients. I started to observe office cultures, environments and such to see how different they are. One technology company for instance, had a free vending machine, free snacks, magazine racks in the restroom and even a dartboard. Study groups were using the office as a study area in the evenings, harmless blowup dolls everywhere. It was a wonderful environment. Contrast this with a warehouse-turned-office I worked in. You can almost smell the products from inside the office. The company wasn't doing well, the office is half-empty since it went through a spate of layoffs. The kitchen area was another story. One of my team members last year came in to work one day and said..."I get depressed by just driving here and walking in every morning." Talk about day and night. Sure, there are several middle grounds, but if I were to start/work in a company, I would place …

CPA

The Certified Public Accountant, or CPA for short, is an interesting certification. It certifies that you can check beans within a reasonable variance? To become a Certified Public Asshole, sorry, Accountant...one must pass four sections...Financial Accounting , Regulation (Law and Taxes),Business Environment and Concepts (Economics, Cost Accounting) and Audit. Now, I passed it on the first try. Was studying for it painful? I felt the pain towards the end of the fourth exam. The worst part about it was auditing during the day and studying about it at night. That's straight up painful. Now that I have it, what's next? Well, I can't put it on my business card or my email signature because Big 4 firms, or atleast the one I work for, don't allow that. I'm not going to argue against the reasoning because it makes sense. Most clients expect public accountants to have CPAs, so it wouldn't be favorable to the firms to have their employees distinguish themselves from th…

stress balls

What a week! Every co-worker I know has had audit dreams, some have a lot of them. An audit dream is when you go back to bed after auditing the whole day...and dream about auditing the very workpapers you worked on. Not good, not good. I rolled around in my bed because that's one of that last things I wanted to dream about.
Now, why did I have an audit dream? Try auditing till 10pm and sleeping by 11...your brain gets so wired that you become an audit robot even at night...except you're not really working. This just increases the number of customers going into Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts every morning.
You know it's bad when your client admits that the accounting system is inferior and needs to be improved.
I ran on fumes most of the week, it isn't fun. As much as I like the rush aspect of work, this just wasn't one of those weeks, it was more like a mental beatdown week.

so, what do you do?

"So, what do you for a living?"
I hesitated, struggled to come up with an answer, then said that I worked for a certain Big 4 firm. "Nice, so what exactly do you do?" Damn, looks like that didn't answer the question. "I ummm...I audit." It has been historically proven that there is a 98% chance the person has no idea what auditing really entails. I have to try again. "Accounting..Public Accounting."
"Ahh..",the person goes," taxes and such." What a douche. "Umm...yea..sure, taxes."
Then there are times when I actually feel the need to explain it to them. "No, well, see...you know how companies have financial statements. Now, we have to look over and make sure everything's okay." At this point, I'm spoonfeeding them, hoping that they get the gist. If they don't, I'll just give up and say..yea, taxes.
Seriously, come on people, you have to know what auditing is. If you want US Weekly type sca…

charlie and the audit factory

I was conversing with a co-worker the other day and we realized that the public accounting was a well-oiled machine, a factory of sorts. Our reasoning was this - the firms go out and pick up as many clients as they can, without thinking too much about their resources to handle an abundance of clients. Why? Since they know they can just beat their current resources to death. The seniors and above on these jobs somehow end up feeling morally obligated to stay on at least until the completion of the audit in question. If they leave after that, that's okay, they'll just give the person one level below them additional responsibilities, albeit at the same pay rate. Now, to replenish the bottom of the resource pool, they go out to colleges and woo them with their reputations and with carrots that look good to college students. PWC and Ernst & Young have been hiring around a hundred plus entry-level staffers a year in recent years. Now, 80% of them become disgruntled in their firs…

audit supplies

When we first walk into our hallowed offices, we are given an orientation of the office setup and certain relevant areas that might be helpful to us as we proceed along on the partner-track. I remember getting introduced to the supply closet, which is like a Bertie Botts gift shop for auditors. Swipe your badge, and you have access to a vast array of supplies that will enhance your arsenal while you audit a myriad of companies. Red pencils, blue pencils, green pencils, pencils, erasers, post-its, mini post-its, staplers, mini staplers, staple removers, rulers, erasers...and the list goes on. Apparently in other companies, people steal supplies from supply cabinets for their personal use at home. I'd honestly rather not. Dealing with these familiar supplies the whole day is enough, but if i see another colored pencil at home, i'm more likely to break it into half and throw it away. Tell you what though, you know there are some brilliant marketers when they can make auditing att…

salaries

It amazes me that the big 4 get away with such a ridiculous salary structure. Props to the accounting firms for perfecting such a structure. It makes sense though, they hire so many graduates now that replacing entry level employees is not much of a problem. Where it hits them is when seniors/senior associates and above start quitting. They can't be replaced immediately. The stress and number of hours they put in is not reflected in their salaries. That is why, sometimes, we are curious by and do not mind those myriad calls by recruiters with offers from "financial service companies" with offers 30% above our salaries and way less hours. That's when a work-life balance and higher salary requirements really kick in for us. I'm okay with the salaries offered to the staff associates for the first two years. But after that, the salary levels are absolutely dismal. By that time, most would have had or in pursuit of their CPAs, and thus are highly lucrative targets for…

tick tock

You sit there, staring at your screen for hours, staring at pieces of papers for hours, marking things on your excel sheet and on those papers that you sometimes want to curl up and toss into the nearest trash. Halfway through, you slump in your chair, not realizing that this might just destroy your spinal construction. But...it has to be done, these spreadsheets have to be documented, screw our back. And during our "busy season"...january-march officially, january - late april/early may for most, you absolutely destroy your back. Busy season hours usually average around 55 hours a week, sans lunch. That's right, we're not supposed to count our lunch hour, so our 8:30-6 days end up becoming 8-6 days, which per my mathematical skills, amount to 10 hours a day. But..oh no..you can't count lunch, so it's just 8 hours. So 2 hours of our lives are a waste every day just so our venerable partner can meet his budget so he can buy that additional condo near the beach…

company personnel

As much as companies hate auditors around the world, it would make it much easier if companies hired and trained personnel who understood what they were doing, as well as what auditors do. It is excruciatingly painful to deal with people who are clueless, people who make you grab and squeeze your stress ball till it breaks, or make you want to throw your computer across the hall. Seriously, train your employees, or atleast explain to them what we do. And employees, google us, wikipedia us, do something, but don't just think we're there solely to bug you and grab invoices from you. You'll make our lives easier and we'll make your lives easier if you educate yourself.

audit

I'm surprised that nobody's talked or written about the life of auditors, the very people loathed by companies, and loved by...well, not many. We're the ones who bug company personnel for invoices and documentation...and more documentation. We then ask questions that either make us look stupid or make the controllers and other accounting personnel look stupid, since they probably are clueless about how what they do affects the entire company. But, that's for another blog.
Now, how does one become an auditor? You know how kids grow up wanting to become astronauts, doctors, presidents and athletes. Well, nobody grows up wanting to become an auditor. We only major in accounting in college because people tell us that unlike art history or basket weaving, it will lead us to a guaranteed job, which means money. We then have the Big 4 - PriceWaterHouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernst and Young, and Deloitte and Touche - who pounce on college campuses across the nation and recruit some fre…