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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 fresh blood to make up for the yearly turnover. The lure of working for huge multi-national firms in big cities combined with decent starting salaries (at the time at least) makes it tough to say no to, especially if potential auditors have no idea what they are in for. For accounting majors, a job at the Big 4 was the holy grail, the rest join the other small public accounting firms. They would all be doing the same shit basically.
This is a blog about our work lives, the sometimes ridiculous intricacies of the audit world, and everything else that comes with it.

Comments

Anonymous said…
oh, seem like i hsd already fallen to this cat...meaningless small potato audit firm...LOL ! is alright... i do my smile & laughter

~~"
Anonymous said…
is auditing only for singles people?

is it possible to have a personal life/family life with auditing?
notfordisplay said…
You can definitely make time. Most individuals are in relationships at the senior associate level or above.

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auditing vs consulting

I was wondering if you could break down the career opportunities in auditing and consulting (in a big 4). I know that consulting pays more in a big 4 and has more interesting work, but it seems that auditing has extremely good exit opportunities (Financial controller, CFO etc). Any thoughts on which is better in the long run?

Well there's different consulting services offered by public accounting companies - the most popular being IT consulting and risk consulting. There are also other consulting services offered, but these two hire the most. Do they pay more? Yes, but not by much. Not enough for you to say: Shoot, the $$ is a huge reason for me to move over. Is the work more interesting than audit? Yes. You're actually looking over a company's processes and telling them what to do instead of what not to do (audit). Everyone I know who's made the switch likes it waay better than audit.
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should you choose to audit financial services?

I'm trying to decide whether to audit financial services companies or non-financial services companies. What would you say are the pros and cons of either industries? Do individuals who choose non-FS have less career mobility within the firm or if they decide not to stay with the B4 after a few years?
Really depends on what you'd like to do after (unless you really love auditing). If you want to a controller,etc. at a p/e firm or a hedge fund down the road, you'd want to go into financial services. The pay won't be too bad, especially if you get a share of the insane bonuses they dole out. If you want to audit industries with tangible products and want to get a better understanding of the operations of such businesses, then other industries are the way to go.In terms of mobility outside the firm, auditing other industries is the way to go since you have plenty of options when you exit the audit world. For example, in 2008, after Lehman collapsed, it was incredibly hard …

career progression

"What can you tell me about the different possible tracks a person would take at the Big 4 in regards to tax vs. audit? Is there a difference in career progression among the two specialties? How about career potential? Workload?"

Loaded question. In terms of career potential, they're both pretty potent. Audit leads you to controller/accounting manager/ VP - accounting positions at companies if you choose to quit. Tax can lead to tax manager positions at various companies/firms..to help them minimize taxes and exploit tax loopholes. It's a pretty important position in many companies...I'm not an expert on tax careers though, so you might want to ask somebody in a tax related position.
In terms of career progression, it's the same as audit...start off as a staff associate...move to senior..manager..snr mgr..partner.
In terms of workload, my friends in the tax department seem to work two busy seasons...in the fall and in the spring. So I think they work more than i…