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Showing posts from November, 2010

giving thanks

In the spirit of thanksgiving, I'd like to drink the kool-aid a bit and note the perks of working at a big 4 firm, perks that you can't get at most other companies -
a) Flexibility - If i wanted to, I could work from home unless i had a scheduled meeting somewhere or a commitment to be at a client. If i wanted to, i could "work" remotely, but be out at the golf course instead (Thank you, almighty blackberry). Granted, you won't get this your first few years at the firms, and you still need to put in the work (late nights to make up for the amount of time you slacked off), but a lot of ex-coworkers have expressed this lack of flexibility as the biggest intangible they miss. b) Recruiting - Yea, you can do this at every company. But because of the volume of college students we hire yearly (full time and internships), the opportunity to go back to college and participate in full fledged recruiting activities is something you have to appreciate. Looking at the changes…

audit rep

It's funny how perception/reputation is so important when it comes to scheduling. Don't get me wrong, I'm just as guilty working the gossip circles to try and find out the right team members to pick up. In a firm so big, your work in a team with one-two gossip hounds define you. They tell their friends who tell their friends who tell their friends. Next thing you know a minor mistake you make gets spun through the gossip world and that mistake turned into a story involving you lighting up these workpaper on fire. Audit reps are unfortunately important, because there is a lot of politicking in these firms. How do we tackle this? Sure, we can take the high road, work hard, and let our work speak for itself. I'd much rather prefer it that way.But scheduling is a game, and a lot of people love to talk up the amount of work they are doing. Can't stand it personally, but sadly, some people seem to buy it. Oh well, guess politics is part and parcel of the game in every en…

pwc ireland scandal

Okay folks,
I'm sure most of you have seen this by now, but if not, here's a good reminder to follow the Wall Street Journal Test, i.e. if you're not comfortable seeing an email sent through your work address printed on the front page of the wall street journal, don't send it.

The one I'm referring to (actual email and aftermath links) was one where a PWC Dublin guy ranked the top 10 most attractive entry level staffers and sent it to his co-workers. Look, it's funny, and if it's amongst your friends, that's fine, but make sure it never gets traced back to you, especially in this age. That's why you need to avoid using work email for stuff like this, especially in the current instant news environment.

audit culture

Can you comment a bit on the culture of the big 4s? I heard being a jock & drinking a lot is very important, especially in the first few years. Is this true? and what happens if the person's not a sports person or doesn't like to drink alot?

Not at all, it cannot even compare to the ibanking world. Just be yourself, and be social. Yes, I'd highly recommend socializing with your peers when you first start out, because it's a huge support system for you as you progress up the ladder. Drinking isn't really a factor, it's just an excuse to go out. I know plenty of people who go out and nurse 1-2 drinks the whole time. There's no real pressure from that perspective. Sports is just a topic of conversation in the conference room amongst the guys and the clients, but i'm sure you have enough interests outside of sports to keep a conversation going. Heck, half the big 4 is probably female, so there'll be more talk of television than of sports in the con…

Transition to banking

How easy/difficult is it to go from working in Audit at a big 4 firm to working for a P/E firm or to get into trading. Is this even possible? Would the easiest way to accomplish this be going into a fund accounting position and eventually leading into a different role?

Don't know much about the p/e field or trading, but I can go off of what I hear from my co-workers. It's very difficult to get into a P/E firm unless you went to a top 10/ivy league school or you have ibanking experience. Trading is much easier. Anyone can get into trading, as long as you know the right people. Ibanking is harder, not as hard as getting into P/E firms, but you can get into ibanking through public accounting, as long as you work towards other certifications (CFA,etc.) The key to get into ibanking is contacts, plain and simple. Fund accounting wouldn't really get you there unless you really differentiate yourself and make everyone aware that you're a superstar who needs to be put into their…