Skip to main content

clients' perception

This article has been ragin' through forwards amidst big 4 employees across the nation...thought i'd link to it for those who haven't seen it yet...

http://www.examiner.com/x-3040-Minneapolis-Life-in-the-Cubicle-Examiner~y2009m3d10-PWC-Deloitte-EY-and-KPMG-Big-4-employees-modern-indentured-servants

A lot of it is sadly true. No real good comeback here, other than the fact that the author of the article is probably a fund accountant and really can't claim to be in a better position.
(Update: Dudley Dawson, the author of the linked column, noted in the comments section here that he wasn't a fund accountant. So he probably is in a better position. I take it back.)

Comments

Anonymous said…
So, career prospects-wise, is working at a Big 4 significantly better than working at a mid-size firm? Can successful employees at mid-size firms move on to more lucrative jobs outside of public accounting?
Thanks for much for linking my article. Truly appreciate it!

Not true on the guess about the author of the article. I wrote that article (Dudley B. Dawson) and I do not work in accounting.

However, I did use to work for Accenture which has many of the same problems as the Big 4 when it comes to long hours, but on the technology side.

I no longer work for Accenture, worked there 2 years. It was terrible, now I make double the amount of money and work half the hours.

The article was sparked by me seeing these people everyday looking miserable and never leaving the office.
notfordisplay said…
Guess I was being presumptious about your field, Dudley. Thanks for responding. I noticed that the comments section in your column flared up, and it looks like you pushed a lot of buttons. Keep at it. I will say this though, there are a lot of benefits to this job that don't get attention because they are outweighed by the disadvantages, because they're just talked about more.
Anonymous said…
Notfordisplay,

Can you make a blog post about the positive aspects of auditing? It's the field I'm heading into and I'd like your take on the benefits of a career in audit (skills/knowledge attained, opportunities, etc.). Thanks, regardless of whether you do or don't.
Kel said…
That article was highly entertaining. I got to be one of the "lucky souls" who fetched the food (also got to leave earlier than the real workers.) And yes, we usually ate lunch together at our desks.

However, somehow my coworkers did manage to watch some TV shows, even though I, too, suspected that they lived at the office.

I agree with the comment about maybe a post about the positives of working in public accounting, compared to other jobs out there.
krupo said…
Nothing better than taking a full lunch break. The hidden upside to busy seasons? Slow season. Good times. :)

Popular posts from this blog

career progression

"What can you tell me about the different possible tracks a person would take at the Big 4 in regards to tax vs. audit? Is there a difference in career progression among the two specialties? How about career potential? Workload?"

Loaded question. In terms of career potential, they're both pretty potent. Audit leads you to controller/accounting manager/ VP - accounting positions at companies if you choose to quit. Tax can lead to tax manager positions at various companies/firms..to help them minimize taxes and exploit tax loopholes. It's a pretty important position in many companies...I'm not an expert on tax careers though, so you might want to ask somebody in a tax related position.
In terms of career progression, it's the same as audit...start off as a staff associate...move to senior..manager..snr mgr..partner.
In terms of workload, my friends in the tax department seem to work two busy seasons...in the fall and in the spring. So I think they work more than i…

Boomerangs

As a big four employee, lately, I've been hearing a lot about "boomerang" employees. Those who, for some reason or another, decide that leaving work when the sun is still out is not for them and alas, return back to the firm. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, however, is this trending upward or about the same as it always has been? I think, also, that the firms really do a good job in highlighting those that do choose to return to make it appear more common than reality. Can you please speak about how you've seen the trend of "boomerangs" amongst the big 4? 

Good question. A boomerang, as the commenter pointed, is one who quits a big 4 Firm and then decides to return (or boomerang) back to the Firm after getting a taste of work life in the non-public accounting world.
I have seen a few return this past summer, but didn't really notice a trend until you mentioned it. It's definitely been higher than past years, but not enough to s…

auditing vs consulting

I was wondering if you could break down the career opportunities in auditing and consulting (in a big 4). I know that consulting pays more in a big 4 and has more interesting work, but it seems that auditing has extremely good exit opportunities (Financial controller, CFO etc). Any thoughts on which is better in the long run?

Well there's different consulting services offered by public accounting companies - the most popular being IT consulting and risk consulting. There are also other consulting services offered, but these two hire the most. Do they pay more? Yes, but not by much. Not enough for you to say: Shoot, the $$ is a huge reason for me to move over. Is the work more interesting than audit? Yes. You're actually looking over a company's processes and telling them what to do instead of what not to do (audit). Everyone I know who's made the switch likes it waay better than audit.
In the long run though, choosing audit vs consulting really depends on what you want t…