Skip to main content

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 first two years, and maybe around 20 leave after two years. so there are still 80 seniors. Say a whopping 75% of them leave before they hit the manager position, i.e. 3 years...that still leaves 20 managers...more than enough to replace the current crop of managers that would leave for controller positions and such.
This system has been honed over the years, and thus makes these firms a really good factory. I honestly have to give props. Money first, Employees second.


Popular posts from this blog

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.
In the long run though, choosing audit vs consulting really depends on what you want t…

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 …

Should I leave after 2 years as senior?

I'm currently working in KPMG Philippines, will about to start my fourth busy season and it'll be my second year as a supervisor/senior. I would like to know if it'll be a good idea to go work for a private company by this time. My only concern is that work outside audit may not be as enjoyable for me. However, I am starting to get tired of too much workload. 

At this point, stay until you get a year as manager under your belt and then leave. You could leave now and start as a senior accountant somewhere only if it's not a regular operational job where you'll do the same thing every time. Over the next few years, you'll pick up a lot of soft skills and technical skills that will be critical to your growth. If your only goal is a 9-5 workday and the money isn't all that important to you, then leave now, but if you can tolerate the workload for 3 more years, stay. It'll benefit you a lot long term.