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audit clients

This is in response to the most recent blog comment. First off, thanks for the question since I was running out of topics to blog about.

-How many companies do you audit a year?
Personally, I average around seven clients a year, including two public companies. But it really depends on one's schedule. Some of my co-workers only work on 1-2 big clients a year, whereas some work on as many as 10. It's kinda like an audit valley, in terms of numbers. As a staff/associate, you start off on quite a few clients, ranging from one-two days on jobs to four-five months. But most entry-level auditors work on a variety of clients. Once you hit the senior level, you assume more responsibility and thus reduce your client load (although your workload increases) to 3-4 (on average, but it really varies by schedule.) For the survivors, the Johnny and Annie Audits who hit the managerial level, the client load increases 2-3 fold. This is because you don't spend as much time on certain companies as you do when you do become a senior. Partners also usually have quite a few clients, but then again, if they have two or three big public clients, they might just have those three clients, but if most of their clients were private, they could have upto 10 clients.
When I first started though, I personally asked my client scheduler to put me on a variety of clients since I had no idea what I wanted to specialize in. For those coming in, I'd recommend doing the same. This will really give you a good understanding about industries you definitely don't want to be on, and industries you want to learn more about.

Paraphrasing - Is it possible to change the companies you audit in the following year?

Yes, I've asked to get off clients. I've been successful at doing so, I've also failed at doing so. I've asked to be put on certain types of clients, and again, won some and lost some. The longer you are on certain clients, the harder it is to get off it since your manager/senior will need you since you're familiar with a lot of the grunt work so far. Some of my co-workers are concerned about talking to the higher-ups about not working on their clients anymore since they feel like they might be burning bridges, or because they feel bad for the managers. It's a futile argument, when my co-workers literally cry about being on certain clients, but vehemently refuse to get off it so as not to piss people off. Note to such people: There is a guarantee that within a year, everything goes back to normal. The client will not drop the auditors because of you, and the audit team will find a replacement for you before you can say "Shit, I'm an auditor."

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thankyou for the excellent reply
Anonymous said…
Hi

I always hear about the excellent training people at the big 4 recieve. Apart from what you recieve informally whilst working what formal training do you recieve and do you have a choice as to what you can learn?
Jared said…
I think you could write a topic simply on these terms: billable/chargeable hours, utilization, realization, and so on and so forth.
Anonymous said…
CPA bonus policy....

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