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post #166 of 273
Thread Starter 
Fidel and Millionaire, what type of accounting do you do? Public, prviate, tax, audit, financial, etc. And Fidel, why are you sticking with it even though it sounds like you hate it? What else would you do if you could go back?
post #167 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Fidel and Millionaire, what type of accounting do you do? Public, prviate, tax, audit, financial, etc.

And Fidel, why are you sticking with it even though it sounds like you hate it? What else would you do if you could go back?


I did three years in public (auditing) at the big 5 five firm that dissolved (making it the big 4). Spent the last 8 years at a few different large investment banks. Have worked in line of business reporting, budgeting and forecasting, and currently regulalatory reporting. I would say LOB reporting was my favorite. The downside to working in a corporate function at a large firm like mine (I work for one of the biggest banks) is that you spend so much time reconciling all the different reporting systems at the expense of actually learning more about the products. There is also the belief that corporate functions make less than LOB functions (even though the work is generally harder/more annoying). To clarify, when I refer to corporate I mean the groups that report the SEC/Reg reports for the ENTIRE firm vs LOB functions where you are reporting internally on a specific line of business (IB, Retail, Asset Mngt, Treasury, etc). Mind you, I am only referring to financial firms. I have no clue how it works at other types of firms. If you have a choice, I would take the LOB route (AFTER you do your time in public).

One last thing...speaking for myself, I found it really hard adjusting to going from being a revenue producer in public to being "support" when you go private....kind of a silly ego thing I guess.
post #168 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by millionaire75 View Post
I did three years in public (auditing) at the big 5 five firm that dissolved (making it the big 4). Spent the last 8 years at a few different large investment banks. Have worked in line of business reporting, budgeting and forecasting, and currently regulalatory reporting. I would say LOB reporting was my favorite. The downside to working in a corporate function at a large firm like mine (I work for one of the biggest banks) is that you spend so much time reconciling all the different reporting systems at the expense of actually learning more about the products. There is also the belief that corporate functions make less than LOB functions (even though the work is generally harder/more annoying). To clarify, when I refer to corporate I mean the groups that report the SEC/Reg reports for the ENTIRE firm vs LOB functions where you are reporting internally on a specific line of business (IB, Retail, Asset Mngt, Treasury, etc). Mind you, I am only referring to financial firms. I have no clue how it works at other types of firms. If you have a choice, I would take the LOB route (AFTER you do your time in public).

One last thing...speaking for myself, I found it really hard adjusting to going from being a revenue producer in public to being "support" when you go private....kind of a silly ego thing I guess.

With my friends who went the public ==> private route, it's been a mixed bag, but overall positive, i think. Also, some of them are now the only ones making real money in this economy. Huge part of it seems to be landing in the right place, with the right boss, right company, etc.
post #169 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flambeur View Post
With my friends who went the public ==> private route, it's been a mixed bag, but overall positive, i think. Also, some of them are now the only ones making real money in this economy. Huge part of it seems to be landing in the right place, with the right boss, right company, etc.

Truer words never spoken, my friend.
post #170 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
Fidel and Millionaire, what type of accounting do you do? Public, prviate, tax, audit, financial, etc. And Fidel, why are you sticking with it even though it sounds like you hate it? What else would you do if you could go back?
I'm doing public audits for a big4 firm. I'm sticking with it because I'm close to getting my designation, so I may as well finish it up before I move onto something else. I'd like to find my way into something more operational, but I'm still trying to figure out how that would work and where I would be able to get in. If I had to do it again, I'm not sure what I would have done, maybe if I had studied harder in school I would have went for engineering, law or med. I know people in all of those fields who graduated at the same time as me, and they all seem to be doing better than the other accountants I graduated with, including myself. I have a friend who's an engineer who told me how much he loves his job because he gets to go on trips to different countries, make presentations, look at areas where finance and engineering overlap, etc.. All I could think to myself was "I've never got to do any of that." I guess when I started working for a big4 firm, I thought the nature of the assignments would be more glamorous. I thought I'd be talking about major operational issues with business owners and be able to provide feedback into the process. But now that I've been at it for awhile, it seems like we're on the sidelines of all this and relegated to figuring out what journal entry is needed to record it. If ever there is a really interesting issue they need help tackling, they bring in someone from another department to deal with it. The more I think about, what I really want is to make an active contribution to the direction of a business instead of just figuring out how to record what happened in the past.
post #171 of 273
I'm not in accounting, but reading these threads made me think of a hilarious yet serious novel by Robert Coover, The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. The protagonist is an accountant who hates his job and finds solace in his fantasy baseball game/society.
post #172 of 273
I'm currently studying accounting at UK and seriously reconsidering my major :/
post #173 of 273
Fidel you have your CPA right?
post #174 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren G. View Post
Fidel you have your CPA right?

CA, Canadian equivalent of the CPA
post #175 of 273
Oh okay.
post #176 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
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.



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


Believe me, having to do the bolded for a living also sucks big time beyond a point.
post #177 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
CA, Canadian equivalent of the CPA

What firm are you with, and in what city? I can put you in touch with some people who may be able to help.
post #178 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
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.

fwiw I'm not sure how accurate this part is. I work at a small firm and as soon as students finish writing the UFE, headhunters from the big4 immediately start calling them for interviews (they don't apply). In general I've found turnover quite high - qualified students/managers leaving to bigger firms and senior managers arriving from bigger firms (no students).

I'd been talking w/ my cousins re: moving to a bigger firm - I would like to work in a different country for the exposure - (I've got 2 CA cousins). One cousin (senior manager at e&y london) also confirmed with me that once you've qualified you can move in and out of firms quite easily and to just stick with it.
post #179 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viktri View Post
fwiw I'm not sure how accurate this part is. I work at a small firm and as soon as students finish writing the UFE, headhunters from the big4 immediately start calling them for interviews (they don't apply). In general I've found turnover quite high - qualified students/managers leaving to bigger firms and senior managers arriving from bigger firms (no students).

This is all true, I didn't mean so much w/ regards to mobility to big firms. Of course once you pass the UFE, it's much easier to get into a big firm. I meant moreso in moving into industry, particularly for jobs with public companies, they tend to look for big4 names. I've even heard of some ads that state"x years of big4 experience required" depending on what it is.
post #180 of 273
I'm a UK charterered accountant and I've had a few jobs, some of which I liked, some I did not. Here is the basic rundown of my career to date:

- BSc Accounting & Economics at university.
- Job 1: 3 year chartered accountancy training contract for mid sized accounting firm. Very enjoyable, working with some great people, lots of responsibility to run my own small clients. Mix of real accounting, accounting systems implementation, tax and audit work.
- Job 2: audit in a big 4 firm in south west UK, joining as a newly qualified assistant manager. Totally boring, tedious, risk averse, hierarchical place to be. Loathed it, lasted 2 years though.
- Job 3: move to senior manager corporate finance role in same firm but in the large London office. Loved it. Huge variety of interesting work, dealing with very senior clients who are usually doing the "deal of a lifetime", great team of bright young guys who worked hard, played hard.
- Job 4: 2 years in corporate finance in Sydney, Australia, for same firm, as Assistant Director and then promoted to Director. Fun but starting to take on a lot of responsibility.
- Job 5: return to London as Director. Starting to get serious now. More time selling than "doing". Invited to start partnership process but decide to try something else.
- Job 6: Head of Financial Analysis for global insurance company's UK ops. Bloody terrible job. "Head of trying to make sense of utter garbage from broken and decrepit systems which have never been upgraded" is a better description. Lasted 18 months before invited to apply for:
- Job 7: Head of business development & strategy for UK operations. My current role, based in head office of the same insurance company in Paris. Fantastic job. Interesting, diverse, challenging, empowering, well paid, working with a number of geniuses on a daily basis. Best by far.

So that's my potted CV. What's next? No idea.
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