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Showing posts from July, 2008

client communication

I just got an email from a 3 am...good feels refreshing to know that there are people on the client side who are working harder than us. Usually they check out mentally by 2, are on youtube until 5, and hit the streets right after. The gems that do stay later and work efficiently and know what they do, those are the ones who I'd like to communicate with, and not need a translator. I've had a controller of a software company once stop me midway through a conversation and ask me how SOP 97-2 (software revenue recognition in english) worked. Keep in mind that this was for a public company. After biting my lips trying my best not to laugh/cry, I explain the software guidance and hustle back to our conference room. I looked at my team and told them we were in big (bleeping) trouble. If the controller of a software company doesn't know how to recognize software revenue, we'll be spending more hours in the conference room than the hours egyptians spent b…

pseudo busy season?

Client delays led to a long day (10 pm) at the office yesterday. Not used to working late in the summer time, don't want to get used to it. Clients sometimes have these ignorant mindsets wherein they whine about giving us documents 'early', and then at the same time want our comments back earlier. Give me a break, most of you do nothing anyway most of the time and then scramble around trying to finish stuff during crunch time. Oh well, guess I'll leave the schedule game to senior management.

right time to leave the big 4?

Following is a question in the comments section on my post about my manager leaving -

"Are clients just allowed to offer auditors jobs whilst they are working on the client? Whats the etiquet[t]e with leaving Big 4, can you leave when ever you want?are employees frowned upon when they leave during certain times in the year?"

Good question. Now this relates to audit only. I believe tax and consulting services have no real barriers. Usually, as part of their "engagement letters" to clients, firms make companies sign something saying that they will not offer jobs to anyone on the current audit team. Now this could vary by engagement, but from my experience, this is really the general engagement letter condition. There's also usually a 1 year cooling off period that enables auditors to move to the other side. For example, if this manager had an inkling that he might be offered something on a particular client and he really wants to work for them, he can ask to get o…

next thing you know, they're gone

So I'm just recovering from a bombshell dropped by my manager. I've literally been working with him since I began, and he's essentially my point of contact for all accounting related questions, regardless of the client I'm on. He's also my buffer to senior management, i.e. takes in their bs and only drops a little down to me.

Following is a recollection of my conversation.

8:30 am
Manager (after walking in, while standing up) - So there's no other way to tell you this, but I just got an offer.
Me - umm..ok.(We get offers every week, so I brushed it off.)
Mgr - Wow, that was easy. I wasn't looking forward to telling you.
Silence. I stare at him. He stares back. None of us blink.
Me- Wait, an offer offer.
Mgr - Yep
Me- So you're considering it??
Mgr - Yep
Me - How seriously?
Mgr - Pretty seriously
Me - You're not going to actually take it are you
Mgr - Blank Stare
Me - No F**king way. No No No..You can't..F** No shot. You serious?
Mgr …


Inventory...the one part of our job that is actually tangible, literally. How does it work? Well, we usually send out a staff associate to do a "sample count", i.e. counting a sample of the company's inventory and matching it to what the company has a listed in its count sheet. And then we look at their count sheet, select a sample, and make sure that it actually exists on the floor. Obviously, the procedures differ by firm. But man, do we count some weird shit sometimes. People have counted gold bars, sushi, oil, massage chairs, semiconductors, vegetables, dangerous biochemicals, gym equipment..shit, I can go on. We've walked into warehouses, freezers, shipyards, etc. etc. etc. It's fascinating, and I kinda like it, just because you get to see what exactly the company sells and how the whole inventory process works.

This is also a complex audit account, one that the senior auditor usually works on (not the count), and boy, it is a pain to audit. I'd rather co…


"the type of education most people have at the Big 4? What types of degrees and what level e.g. undergrad, postgrad?"

Most of the staff associates and senior associates have a Masters degree in accounting, along with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Managers and above usually have a bachelor's in accounting.
The main reason the staff and seniors have Masters' degrees is because some states require that CPA candidates have a 150 credits. So the colleges decided to offer Masters degrees (30 degrees) in order to meet this requirement and thus give candidates another degree.

Either way, it really doesn't matter. All that does is whether you have a CPA or not. Most staff associates are studying for it. Some seniors have it. And, with very few exceptions, all managers and above are required to have it. Whether you have a master's degree or not really doesn't matter, it's basically a way to get you to the 150 credit requirement.