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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 asked if they would like to make partner, and after some hands rose, he said that those who think they'll make partner are the ones who'll leave, and vice-versa. Case-in-point, the partner on my current engagement, who expected to only stay for three years and then leave. Back then, you needed three years of experience to qualify as a CPA. Then he decided to stay until Manager since he could potentially get better jobs then. Next thing you know, he became a senior manager, and the rest is history.
The Big 4 do a really good job spreading this belief that once you hit manager, the grass is greener, and not to quit before that. There might be some ounce of truth in there, but it's really intriguing that they would choose to spread this, basically acknowledging the fact that most seniors are put through so much stress at times for very little pay compared to others working the hours we work, and that these seniors are always being hounded by headhunters and are very susceptible to just get away from auditing. Seniors still leave, so do managers, but more are hired, it's a wonderful audit factory.


Anonymous said…
Your blog is great. 100% accurate, from the turnover stories to the excruciating back pain to the amazing supply closet to the "uh..I'm an uh...auditor" introduction. I think you should write a blog about how auditing makes one go blind.
notfordisplay said…
Absolutely agree, I'll write a blurb on it soon.
Anonymous said…
I am in training for staff1 at a big 4 and we were told today that we need to think about our long term career when choosing which area to audit. basically telling us that we will be leaving.

also there is this diagram for senior training that they showed us. they referred to problems as shit on a mountain. the partner is at the top of the mountain and they says "i don't have to deal with this shit" and the shit rolls down and goes to the manager, and they say "i don't want to deal with this" and the shit rolls past although they get a bit, and then there is a valley where the senior is and the shit fills up the valley so the senior is swimming in shit. the staff are slightly higher on the other side and protected by the shield of ignorance. there are very few staff who try to hide from the shit in a cave and the shit from the valley drains into it.

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