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Accountants: Do you like your job? - Page 11

post #151 of 273
I actually knew I chose accounting because it was what I wanted to do coming right out of college. I don't think I want to stay in public accounting as an auditor forever but it is a good first job out of college.
post #152 of 273
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
How many of the accountants here actually did it because they decided it was what they really wanted to do with their career? For me I basically ended up on this path through a process of elimination... law school admissions were too risky, I don't have the manual dexterity for med school (or the grades), I wasn't good enough with math for engineering, and getting a job in finance is dicey.... so next thing I know... I'm an accountant. Most people I know in the profession are in the same boat.
Sound about right, I switched in from engineering. The careers you stated above are eliminated, that's why my backups are all blue-collar jobs like the police, trades, postal work, etc. Everyone says its good background, but I'm still not sure for WHAT is it good background...more accounting?
post #153 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Everyone says its good background, but I'm still not sure for WHAT is it good background...more accounting?
FWIW, I've heard many stories of guys with well established businesses who want their kids to go through the CA program to prepare them to take over eventually. If only my dad had a multi-million dollar business... *sigh* I was actually having that same conversation with someone recently... what can you do that's not actual accounting, but where accounting gives you a leg up on everyone else?
post #154 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
How many of the accountants here actually did it because they decided it was what they really wanted to do with their career? For me I basically ended up on this path through a process of elimination... law school admissions were too risky, I don't have the manual dexterity for med school (or the grades), I wasn't good enough with math for engineering, and getting a job in finance is dicey.... so next thing I know... I'm an accountant.

Most people I know in the profession are in the same boat.

Now that my degree is proving to be useless (Economics), I've decided to enter a MAcc program. I'm looking for a stable career where the pay is decent, and I've honestly gone through the list of professions you've just listed 100 times.

Process of elimination is also the main factor for drawing me into the career.
post #155 of 273
Resurrection...

Do you guys feel that there are any other routes worth pursuing instead of the Big 4 after college and then moving to private accounting?

I'm in a little bit of a predicament. I transferred into my current college with a 3.6 GPA which did not carry over to my current school. After, working full time and taking some very difficult classes my GPA has fallen to a 2.92, .08 below what is required by Big 4. I am doing very well this semester and think I can break 3.0 again but I am trying to devise a "plan B" to cover myself, especially since I am about 15 credits from graduation.
post #156 of 273
Damn good luck Johnny...I'm actually curious about that too. I guess you can always consider the Medium size firms I'm starting my junior year next year. Anybody have experiences with Beta Alpha Psi?
post #157 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren G. View Post
Damn good luck Johnny...I'm actually curious about that too. I guess you can always consider the Medium size firms
I'm starting my junior year next year. Anybody have experiences with Beta Alpha Psi?

I'm in Beta Alpha Psi, honestly I just really needed something to put on my resume. At my school we have firms come in and give advice/lectures, so it also has benefits. There's only 25-30~ members at my school, so it's a pretty good chance to meet the Big 4 and other medium sized firms in a more personal environment.
post #158 of 273
FWIW, my brother is a partner at one of the Big 4 and he absolutely hates his job, despite the prestige and mid-6 figure salary. I planned on becoming an accountnant myself and he basically sat me down and said "do not make the same mistake I did". Never looked back since...
post #159 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawlin View Post
FWIW, my brother is a partner at one of the Big 4 and he absolutely hates his job, despite the prestige and mid-6 figure salary. I planned on becoming an accountnant myself and he basically sat me down and said "do not make the same mistake I did". Never looked back since...

Would love to hear why he hates it (most likely the hours I'm guessing). The thing about the profession is there are so many different types of accounting (working in public, regulatory reporting, budgeting/forecasting, line of business reporting, etc) and so many different levels of success (partner at a public firm, controller of large firm, bookkeeper, tax preparer, etc). It's hard to come up with one definitive answer on the industry. I've seen so many cases where you take two people (same GPA, same school, both CPA's) whose careers have gone in such different directions. So much of it depends on what industry you go into (if you leave public accounting, working for a financial firm usually pays the best for an accountant), what kind of manager you end up with and what kind of group you end up in (there is a BIG difference in many firms between top level corporate accounting vs line of business reporting). A lot of times this is just luck as you may not know what is the best group. A lot of public accountants who leave after their typical 2-3 years just go to the first job a headhunter offers them where they are making $20k more than in public. That all being said, accounting is a very safe job in general with "decent" pay. The downside is the work is very dry and the hours can be long. I know some of my friends in sales/marketing who can't even fathom that I sit behind a spreadsheet for ten hours a day while they are working 9-5 in jobs that allow them to go on client dinners, business trips, etc. Just my two cents...sorry for rambling.
post #160 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_5 View Post
Resurrection...

Do you guys feel that there are any other routes worth pursuing instead of the Big 4 after college and then moving to private accounting?

I'm in a little bit of a predicament. I transferred into my current college with a 3.6 GPA which did not carry over to my current school. After, working full time and taking some very difficult classes my GPA has fallen to a 2.92, .08 below what is required by Big 4. I am doing very well this semester and think I can break 3.0 again but I am trying to devise a "plan B" to cover myself, especially since I am about 15 credits from graduation.

Well obviously push the plan A. So you can't combine the GPA like we've talked about? Sucks.

There are obviously other ways.. But seriously, you REALLY want at least the 3.0 GPA for everything in general, trust me. Even if it takes staying for an extra semester or something. It's a cutoff for so many things. Are you going to have enough classes to qualify for the CPA by the way? Cause that matters too, obviously.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bawlin View Post
FWIW, my brother is a partner at one of the Big 4 and he absolutely hates his job, despite the prestige and mid-6 figure salary. I planned on becoming an accountnant myself and he basically sat me down and said "do not make the same mistake I did". Never looked back since...

This happens, I know people in this situation who are happy and make the best of it, and those who really do hate their job. Many factors, from the people you work with to your practice area and all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by millionaire75 View Post
Would love to hear why he hates it (most likely the hours I'm guessing). The thing about the profession is there are so many different types of accounting (working in public, regulatory reporting, budgeting/forecasting, line of business reporting, etc) and so many different levels of success (partner at a public firm, controller of large firm, bookkeeper, tax preparer, etc). It's hard to come up with one definitive answer on the industry. I've seen so many cases where you take two people (same GPA, same school, both CPA's) whose careers have gone in such different directions. So much of it depends on what industry you go into (if you leave public accounting, working for a financial firm usually pays the best for an accountant), what kind of manager you end up with and what kind of group you end up in (there is a BIG difference in many firms between top level corporate accounting vs line of business reporting). A lot of times this is just luck as you may not know what is the best group. A lot of public accountants who leave after their typical 2-3 years just go to the first job a headhunter offers them where they are making $20k more than in public. That all being said, accounting is a very safe job in general with "decent" pay. The downside is the work is very dry and the hours can be long. I know some of my friends in sales/marketing who can't even fathom that I sit behind a spreadsheet for ten hours a day while they are working 9-5 in jobs that allow them to go on client dinners, business trips, etc. Just my two cents...sorry for rambling.

This is all very true. I have at least 10+ close friends who are/were in public accounting and all of this pretty much applies. Also, the industry is just so damn weird sometimes - people wouldn't believe some of the shit that goes on behind the closed doors.
post #161 of 273
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by millionaire75 View Post
Would love to hear why he hates it (most likely the hours I'm guessing). The thing about the profession is there are so many different types of accounting (working in public, regulatory reporting, budgeting/forecasting, line of business reporting, etc) and so many different levels of success (partner at a public firm, controller of large firm, bookkeeper, tax preparer, etc). It's hard to come up with one definitive answer on the industry. I've seen so many cases where you take two people (same GPA, same school, both CPA's) whose careers have gone in such different directions. So much of it depends on what industry you go into (if you leave public accounting, working for a financial firm usually pays the best for an accountant), what kind of manager you end up with and what kind of group you end up in (there is a BIG difference in many firms between top level corporate accounting vs line of business reporting). A lot of times this is just luck as you may not know what is the best group. A lot of public accountants who leave after their typical 2-3 years just go to the first job a headhunter offers them where they are making $20k more than in public. That all being said, accounting is a very safe job in general with "decent" pay. The downside is the work is very dry and the hours can be long. I know some of my friends in sales/marketing who can't even fathom that I sit behind a spreadsheet for ten hours a day while they are working 9-5 in jobs that allow them to go on client dinners, business trips, etc. Just my two cents...sorry for rambling.

Do the 10 hours behind the desk bother you? That's the biggest turn-off for me, I can't imagine that right now, being in college and moving all over the place during the day. Does meetings, visiting coworkers, etc break up the monotony, or is the work just so involved you get in lost in it and lose track of time? I'm hoping the 40 hour weeks at the IRS will be bearable if nothing else
post #162 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Do the 10 hours behind the desk bother you? That's the biggest turn-off for me, I can't imagine that right now, being in college and moving all over the place during the day. Does meetings, visiting coworkers, etc break up the monotony, or is the work just so involved you get in lost in it and lose track of time? I'm hoping the 40 hour weeks at the IRS will be bearable if nothing else

I didn't meant that I literally am glued to my desk for 10 hours a day. It's just that a lot of the work involves sitting there and looking at spreadsheets as opposed to a sales job, let's say, where you are making client calls, meeting with clients, etc....and yes, I know, there are a lot of negatives to sales jobs as well.
post #163 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_5 View Post
Do you guys feel that there are any other routes worth pursuing instead of the Big 4 after college and then moving to private accounting?
Try and get into other national/international firms like Grant Thornton or BDO. Big names make a huge difference when you're getting started. Even if you can't get into a big4 firm right away, if you work for someone like Grant Thornton for a year or two, it's very easy to switch over. When people in HR see that on your resume, even if they cold shouldered you the first time, they will give you a shot. A big name will always buy you instant credibility in this business, what school you went to and your GPA will be irrelevant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by millionaire75 View Post
I didn't meant that I literally am glued to my desk for 10 hours a day. It's just that a lot of the work involves sitting there and looking at spreadsheets as opposed to a sales job, let's say, where you are making client calls, meeting with clients, etc....and yes, I know, there are a lot of negatives to sales jobs as well.
The story of my life. I sit in my cubicle all day surrounded by papers and mildly starved for human interaction. If I get to go to a client lunch, I'm happy about it for days. There is one guy with a corner office within earshot who's an accountant by training but is in direct sales. It seems he is always going golfing with a client, taking them to a game in the corporate skybox, having lunch with clients, or picking out corporate gifts. If I were a salesperson by nature, I'd want his job. ---------- It occurred to me while at a clients a few days ago, accountants never seem to make the big bucks, they always seem to work for the guy who makes the big bucks. I wonder if there's something about being too stable a career that makes us afraid to go out there and take the big gambles which can pay off in spades and change lives. My only real solace at this point in time is that when I see clients, their controllers seem to have a more relaxed lifestyle with a better paycheck and get to take it a little easier at work. But even then... it's just the usual grind for the next 40 years of life. EDIT: I think this thread might be my silent cry for help
post #164 of 273
Thread Starter 
This is all very, very motivating for a college junior
post #165 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
This is all very, very motivating for a college junior
You should be thankful you're getting the straight dope. I've had this same conversation 100 times with people from other big4 firms. These are the same guys who put on a happy face and tell students that working for them is a dream job at recruiting events are pretty much all saying this stuff over drinks after work. Whenever I asked people what it was like to be an accountant they always gave me a response "yeah... it's OK... (insert optimistic comment about how they hope the future will be here)" If I could give any university students one piece of advice... do an internship at a firm for a few months first so you can see if you really want to do this before committing to it
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