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Showing posts from September, 2007

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…