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Showing posts from July, 2010

levels of leaving

Given the volume of people leaving the firms for greener pastures, I started thinking about the reasoning behind why people at different levels within the firm leave. So let's give this a shot...
1) First year associate - You go, WTF is this job? You realize that this is not the career or field, let alone the job, for you. You realize your calling is nursing, teaching in an elementary school, running a store, or something on those lines. This is when you leave, or should leave.
2) Second year-third year associate - You complete two years at the firm. You cannot deal with the hours, and your main priority is a good work-life balance. You'd rather be an accountant at a company, and have your own desk and 9-5 hours. This is when you leave, or should leave.
3) First senior associate year- You now have senior year under your belt. You probably have your CPA by now. The offers are pouring in. You hate the salary you're getting paid. You went through a really difficult year and star…

ratings and compensation season

And here we go....We're in that time of year when rumors are swirling about compensation increases and ratings. Some firms have already told their employees. Their friends at other firms hear the increases and then gossip with their peers. It then filters up and down the ranks. The speculation you hear is non-stop and is noise for the most part. I've heard ranges as low as 5% and as ridiculous as 25%. Gotta love the staff associates during these times. The funny thing is that the firms have lowered the bar so much last year than even a 5-8% raise for staff associates would make some of them happy. Have to give credit to the firms for successfully pulling off this heist. Ratings are another big discussion point at the firm. It's funny how people sometimes try to glean information about ratings without being too direct. For the most part, you hear complaints about how people get shafted by the ratings committees. The primary complaint is that the reviews don't reflect th…

transfers to other groups

"I wanted to know if it is possible to join a different business stream if you don't like audit after a year or so. For example are there opportunities to move into Consulting or Financial Advisory? Also how closely do you work with other business streams, and do you end up having good working knowledge of what exactly they do?"
Good questions. Question 1 - If you don't like audit after a year or so, you'll just join many of the disgruntled associates who end up staying in audit for some more time. The way it's set up, you can only really transfer into other non-audit groups after 4-5 years in audit. As far as consulting goes, consider Deloitte, since the other 3 firms spun off their consulting groups after the whole Enron scandal. The other groups have an implicit understanding with their audit brethren so they don't steal employees within a year or two after they join. Put the time in and you have a better shot. There are exceptions, and they'll try …

fee negotiations

Sorry for the hiatus, been busy at work. Wanted to link to a really good article in CFO Magazine, this was a link pointed out by a reader. Touches on what I blogged about earlier on budgets, and how Companies now have the upper hand in fee negotiations. This is just not right, and leads to partners cutting fees and costs to be somewhat profitable. The audit teams end up getting affected by this immensely. Not only are our raises not decent, but the budgeted hours we're given to complete audits is absolutely unrealistic. We also end up taking clients we have no business auditing, since the firms have certain basic standards and expectations of clients, and many startups just do not have the accounting staff to achieve and maintain these standards. This is just a downward spiral, and hopefully, for the sake of the firms, they will gain the upper hand in negotiations in the near future, and focus on actually doing a better job auditing in the near future.