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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.


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