"I am interning now, in audit. I have never been so bored in my life. I am getting plenty of work, but the work seems so meaningless and unfullfilling. Tic, Tie, copy/paste in excel, check this, check that. It is all so boring and lacking substance. I realize that as an staff auditor, this is what you do, but is the essence of auditing really just that? Wondering if Advisory tax or risk management would be more to my liking.."
I hear ya loud and clear. I did feel like that too during my associate years at the firm. Here's the thing; as an intern/associate..you are going to be the bitch. All the tick and tie stuff, looking at invoices, footing numbers, making sure numbers in one doc are in an another, that's part of the job, sadly, an important aspect of the job. Is it meaningless? Our adjustments, usually in the scheme of things, are pretty meaningless. But our very existence is like a check on the companies, because they do not want to get caught committing fraud. Without auditors, all the investors can do is trust the companies. And in this "greed is good" Gordon Gekko world, we really can't trust companies to state their financials fairly. So, in a nutshell, the economy needs auditors.
Is it unfulfilling? Well, we've got to look at this individually. It will never be fulfilling to you until you hit at least your senior year. When you reach a point where your client comes to you asking for help accounting for something, that's fulfilling. When you mentor staff associates and teach them how to account for certain issues, that's fulfilling. When you help companies create their financials and footnotes, that's fulfilling. When you manage entire teams successfully and wrap up audits, that's fulfilling. When you oversee the audits of private companies from start to finish, and hold the issued set of financials in your hands, with your firm's unqualified opinion, that's fulfilling.
Risk management is definitely something that's closer to a consulting role, so that's definitely something to consider. You just have to realize that your options after doing risk management are much more limited than when you spend 5+ years in the audit field. Because when those offers come pouring in after years of hell, I'll tell you one thing..other companies definitely don't think what you've gone through or learned during your years at the firms are meaningless.