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book-keeping to audit

I have been working as a bookkeeper for 4.5 years in both public and private accounting. I'm young, ambitious and confident in my accounting (not just bookkeeping) knowledge. I have recently completed the CPA exam. I graduated 2.5 years ago.I would like to become an auditor, especially for a Big Four. I have had difficulty finding an entry level auditor/staff accountant job. I am living in the Bay Area, CA. What would be your advise for finding an auditor job? Should I go back to school for Masters just so that I can get an internship? How difficult is it to get audit experience when somebody is no longer in school?

You'd want to seriously reconsider trying to jump into audit in your mid to late 20s. The audit culture, especially at the staff associate level, is usually not conducive to people at that age. Not trying to age discriminate here, but do you really want to be taking orders from 24-25 year olds? The relaxed environment that you worked at in the past will be nothing like the audit hours and lack of flexibility at that level, especially during busy season. This is probably why many recruiters are unfortunately not following up with you.

My advice, if you really want to be an auditor, is to apply to small regional firms. If you already have your CPA, there is no point getting a masters, save that $$$. If that doesn't work, befriend somebody who works for an audit firm, and get them to send your resume to the recruiters. This could help.


Anonymous said…
I think when I have kids I am going to scare them by telling them about busy season, one of the most feared things in this world... :-)

Thanks for keep posting Notfordisplay, you are really kind taking time to answer to reader´s questions.

Regards from Spain.

Anonymous said…
Hello Notfordisplay,

I really appreciate the time that you took to answer my question. Thanks a bunch!

Anonymous said…
I'm entering my junior year of undergrad (acc major) and about to experience my first recruitment season. I'm not extremely optimistic about scoring a public accounting internship for next winter or summer ( at least with the big4), since I've no previous accounting work experience and am just beginning upper level ACC courses, but I figure its worth a shot and will at least give me a leg up next year... I was hoping you could give some advice as far as pre recruiting mixers, office visits, and interviews go. What do you think makes a student stand out/look good, and what are some mistakes to avoid, etc during the recruiting process?
Anonymous said…
Along with this, I am wondering how difficult it would be to obtain the required work experience for CPA licensing, while working at a Fortune 500 company? Obviously it is easier to get the work experience working for a firm but what if you work for a Fortune it all that more difficult?
Yx Chua said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yx Chua said…
You're doing something i've always wanted to do (but never end up doing) - writing the life of an auditor. Keep up the interesting blog posts!
Anonymous said…
Out of curiosity have you seen any companies make deals with well-off parents to hire their children. In an unusual twist to unpaid internships, firms could theoretically profit from parental support and provide internships/foot in door/paychecks . My college student is a mediocre accountant and capable, but unable to beat out other interview candidates on merit alone. Are companies or firms willing to earn a bit of revenue to pass over the top ten for a middle-of-the-road student, who in turn can leapfrog to a coveted opportunity, get a fast track start with a future obviously based on performance.
notfordisplay said…
Not sure about whether working at the Fortune 500 helps with getting the work experience, but I'm assuming so. Should be on the AICPA website.
Anonymous said…
"Out of curiosity have you seen any companies make deals with well-off parents to hire their children. In an unusual twist to unpaid internships, firms could theoretically profit from parental support and provide internships/foot in door/paychecks."

What?! Are you suggesting paretns are paying big 4 recruiters to hire their kids? Very very unlikely.

"My college student is a mediocre accountant and capable, but unable to beat out other interview candidates on merit alone."

A mediocre student is always going to have trouble, even if the economy was good.

I'm not sure what you were trying to say at the end of your post - but the point is jobs are competitive period.
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Cristina said…
I am undergrad senior for accounting. I am 27. I have been told many times that the best thing to do after college is to land a job in a big-4 company. I am not sure if I am willing to put in 60+ hours a week for this “dream job”. If I don’t want to take the “ideal” path, what other options I have?
Lynn Webb said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn Webb said…
Thanks! Academics is overvalued sometimes. What is really needed is skill. That is something you don't take in stride, since that is what ensures that your finances are all in order. Irregardless of age.

Lynn @ OnCore Book Keeping
Tina Morris said…
Auditing is a much-sought after profession and a large number of business grads and finance students are picking up auditing as their work area. Today, a good auditing firm is the one which offers combination of services like tax management, bookkeeping and of course auditing. Firms like Fusion Partners excel in this.

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