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toll

When people say that every year in this practice feels like 7 human years, they really are right. Busy season just takes a heavy toll on you - physically and mentally. The amount of caffeine and unhealthy food that you ingest and digest is just borderline dangerous. Life just stops for 3 months, you start questioning why you're doing this, whether it is really worth it, you start getting sick of people since you see them for 12-14 hours every single day, your room gets dirtier, errands stay unfinished, you get into fights with your significant other because of a lack of time for life...and on and on....

 Much respect to the lawyers and the bankers of the world putting in crazier hours than us, don't know how they do it.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I can't agree more with your blog post. Thumbs Up! It totally describe how I felt when I was an auditor 2 weeks ago. I extended my last working day for another month to help out the team due to shortage of manpower. Days and months of junk food, unhappiness, darkness (don't get to see much of the sun), stress, 4 hours of sleep, triple workload are all gone. I can't bear to see my better half suffering in silent so I threw in the white towel with a very heavy heart. Perhaps it is better for the relationship, physical and mental health.
All the best for your peak! :)
Tony said…
Great blog. I will be heading into recruiting season in the fall and am hoping to land a job in the Big 4. I attend school in a different part of the country than where I am from because I am currently in the Air Force and attend school in the city where I am stationed. I will be ending my military tour with degree in hand (hopefully a job in hand as well), but, how do I go about landing a job back home, or in any other location for that matter? I do not want to live where I am but it seems that the recruiters will be trying to find candidates to work in the area, and not go out of their way to help someone land a job on the other side of the country. Should I try to interview where I want to work? How would I get in contact with those recruiters as the whole process seems to happen through the University? Is it possible to go through the recruiting/interviewing process in more than one city?
epm solutions said…
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Sara said…
Great blog. I just bump into it by chance and have been laughing my eyes out for the last half hour. I worked for a Big 4 company for four years and started in 2007 just like you. Everything you describe happened to me, except taking the CPA certification which I refuse to do so because I felt it was pointless.
Finally I decided to leave the company and start a new carrier at a corporate level. I'm still an auditor, but now internal auditor. Try explaining that to people, it's not an easy task.
All the best and hang in there, it gets worst before better, don't panic ;)
Anonymous said…
Why do you do it then? I'm currently a college student looking to pursue the accounting path. The first question that comes up is Big 4 versus other tiers. I read your other blogs comparing the two, but for you personally, why do you choose to get beat up at a big 4?
Anonymous said…
What's your take on an MBA after a couple years of audit experience? How often do your peers or auditors you know move their career forward into business school?
Anonymous said…
@ Anon, I'm in my first yr of MBA program. Was in audit for almost 5 years. In my experience, I haven't seen many people do it, but in my case, I think it's a great idea. Definitely doable.
happyhoney03 said…
Man..I'm a senior associate at one of the Big 4's myself serving out what seems a self imposed life sentence to busy season. I'm at the point during the season where it's starting to get to me.I guess that's how I found this blog: Googling auditor in combination with other terrible words. I liked the comment someone left below asking why do it then. Like to see if you have an answer. I couldn't think of one.
Hey, i am doing a research on accounting and one aspect is an Auditor, and i see you are, is it possible if you can contact me on, braedenretallick@hotmail.com and i could ask you some questions?
Anonymous said…
pervasWow, it's amazing how things change but stay the same. I started with a Big 8 firm in 1973. There have been many improvements in audit technology but my experience was remarkably similar to the present day. 12-15 hour days, living with a team for 4-6 weeks, junk food, leaving the sig other on Sunday nights, testy clients, just amazing.
yesman said…
hi..i just found your blog and i find it interesting..
i am 20 years old now..turning 21 in 4 months.. now i have decided that i want to go in accounting.. do you think i have a shot at big four if i get good grades at school +work part time.. what is average age of entry level audit/tax staff? is 24-25 too old? thank you
notfordisplay said…
22-23 is the average age, 24-25 is fine, there are entry level individuals above 25 too, but you might find it tough to be taking orders from people your age.
Gordi said…
I have a few comments about this post and the comments on this post.

Firstly, have you been in audit since 2007? If so then I'm sorry but you've made some bad life decisions.

Secondly, to all you humans who are interested in becoming an auditor, my advice to you would be rather become a tramp. I honestly think tramps are happier than auditors.

And before you judge me, I must say that I am currently an auditor. And God know's I hate this company and this job with the fury of one million suns. And I'm only doing it to qualify as a CA.

If I had to liken an auditor to a soldier, he'd be the guy who rolls in after the battle and shoots the wounded. He's basically pointless.

Auditing is genuiely for people with zero imagination.

When the big 4 come your way, run for the hills.
Gordi said…
As the above comment was quite rude I felt it right to display how I feel about life.

In here you'll find my real views about life and my job. And you'll find out a bit about music.

gordi9.blogspot.com

If you bored read it.
depressedone said…
Can you please discuss:

What you should do if you have been assigned back-to-back busy seasons as a first year staff in a Big 4? Specifically, 3 busy seasons without any breaks. Is this considered normal? How many busy seasons should a first year staff be given?

Thanks. My life is turning upside down right now. Actually what am I saying? I don't have a life anymore...
I decided to leave the company and start a new carrier at a corporate level. I'm still an auditor, but now internal auditor. Try explaining that to people, it's not an easy task. thanks
Anonymous said…
I'm in Big 4 tax. During the busy season I feel like I don't live anymore. Life doesn't stop for 3 months... wish it did and waited for me. Instead it just goes on without me, zooming right through me, past me, and around me. Every Friday I wake up surprised: how could this be a Friday today? Wasn't it only Monday yesterday? OMG another week passed me by and I haven't LIVED at all. Scares me a little sometimes.
Big 4 Guru said…
Great post. I think you and your readers would be interested in my book "Working for the Big 4: The First Year All-Star." Here is a preview of the first chapter free:

http://big4guru.com/Big4Guru.com_First_Year_All-Star.pdf
Anonymous said…
I first thought auditing is the right thing for me. Now I definitely know it's not. I rather earn less than having no life.
Ian Morton said…
I was considering working in auditing, but i had no idea how busy it was. This definitely made me reassess this possibility.
Really it is an outstanding post you were written here regarding the an author life thanks for posting or sharing with us ..

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