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Showing posts from November, 2007

"busy season?"

The firms do a great job at telling that our "busy season" begins in January and ends in March. I call bull! It really starts in November and ends in April, and from May-October, there's plenty of "busy" weeks.
Got a taste of busy season this past week...our team and the cleaning folk were the only ones in the building at around 8pm, got out to the parking lot at 10 pm and our cars were the only cars in the 500 car parking lot. Ah, the wonders of our profession.

dealing with our superiors

Someone recently asked me how to deal with their superiors, sometimes we wonder how they get there. Everyone seems to go through times where they disagree with their superiors/managers.....
and sometimes it reaches the point where dealing with them is downright frustrating.
The issue here, is that you can't really be honest and tell them exactly what you want to. Why? Well, if and when you do leave the company, they're essentially your references. So I guess the question is...how does one be honest with the higher-ups, explaining to them that their way of managing is wrong, their way of scheduling is wrong, etc. etc...without essentially getting on their wrong side. Come review time, or reference time, they might still hold something against us. So - a) suck it up and just do what you are told b) Be polite and tell them that it could be done better. But when they just keep piling it on and on, you're just trying your best not to say much. Any suggestions out there as to how …

Learning more about our clients

This is in response to the question on how much we learn about the companies we audit.
This was actually a line of defense I used when defending auditing against tax to a co-worker. You really do learn a lot about the companies you audit. The smaller they are, the more you can get your heads around them easily. For the larger billion dollar companies, it takes time, but you will understand how they work. For example, I was on a software company and the client took the time to explain their product to me. I had to read through the accounting scriptures to see how software revenue recognition works, this is the most important accounting and financial aspect of the company. I had to look at the assets the company owns as part of performing audit procedures, and so I gleaned an understanding on what assets the company needed to own in order to function properly. And so on and so forth.
Now from my experience, you really get an understanding of your clients in your second year on any audit. …

drinking the kool-aid

Apologies for the infrequent posting, it's been getting real busy, as is expected this time of year...a pre-busy season warmup of sorts. I did want to blog about something that happened this week though... My manager, who used to be a really good senior a few years ago, has began to drink the company kool-aid. I saw this transition with my own eyes, and unfortunately am feeling the brunt of his kool-aid sipping. It's a really interesting company dynamic, wherein anyone up for promotion, or in their first year as a newly minted higher-up, whatever that position may be, starts delving into their work a little too seriously, taking things to the extreme....doing more than what is necessary. To me, this looks like a case of CYA (Cover your Ass) so to speak..so they can prove that they are actually worthy of this new position.
My manager started extolling the virtues of attending company presentations and such, saying that we really need to understand how the company's trying to…

which firm to choose from?

In response to the question about which firm to choose from...yeesh, that's a good one.
Base salary wise, I'm surprised that you said that KPMG pays the highest. It is dependent on the region I guess. I'm assuming KPMG has some key clients there and has a big branch in that particular city. Is it smart to follow the money? In this case, I'm assuming there's only a $2-3000 difference at most...so unless you're really desperate for that extra $1000 (after taxes), money should be secondary. You have to think long term. What type of industry do you like? If it's government oriented, KPMG is definitely the right fit since the firm has a lot of government clients. If it's real estate, EY and PWC pretty much audit most of the real estate industry. And so on and so forth. Deloitte has a huge consulting arm (the other 3 sold off their consulting arm), so if you're looking to branch into consulting, Deloitte could potentially be a better fit for you. I'd s…

offers

In response to the question about negotiating with the Big 4....
it depends on the level you're starting at. If it's an entry-level position, odds are the offer won't change. But if you tell...say...KPMG that PWC is offering more for the same position, KPMG will have an answer for you, be it paying for your masters, benefits, etc.
The reason it's hard to negotiate for such positions is that they hire so many people, and their concern will be that if one falls through the cracks, everyone else will follow.
But if you do have work experience and have the offer for a position other than the entry-level one, you can definitely negotiate.
Other factors that can affect this process are the market you're in (Is it hot right now? At least recently, Dallas has been struggling for clients and New York has been struggling for resources), and the size of that particular branch of the firm you have the offer from. The smaller it is, the better your odds of negotiating.
Will it hurt …