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Accountants: Do you like your job? - Page 13

post #181 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
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."

as an engineer i can tell you its not all beer and skittles. in the upstream oil industry at least, most of those countries are nightmarish warn torn, uninhabitated deserts/frozen wastelands or worse; houston. the presentations are usually ignored by management who dont understand them.

engineers usually also feel like they are forced to make bad decisions at the behest of accountants

i must admit though, at the end of the day the actual technical work is great. even if it only makes up 30% of my day.

as a side note, most big E&P companies will send their finance workers on basic engineering courses if they request it. often overseas.
post #182 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by PipPip View Post
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.


Man, that's all I do all day.
post #183 of 273
I wish my dad was around so I could get a better idea of how he transitioned from public accounting to corporate. It can be done, he went on to be the international operations CFO for a large company before being CFO of smaller biotech firms. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, he drank and ate very well.
post #184 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallr View Post
Most financial advisors are just salesmen in disguise.
This is correct, some before are car salesmen before become "financial advisor!"
post #185 of 273
Much person who work in public audit want to make transition after few year to private internal audit. Big 4 audit is up or out. MBA is not so useful for public audit. Usually for Big 4 and other, one must to start in audit, then maybe in some time can change to tax practice or other thing.
post #186 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
I wish my dad was around so I could get a better idea of how he transitioned from public accounting to corporate. It can be done, he went on to be the international operations CFO for a large company before being CFO of smaller biotech firms. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, he drank and ate very well.
There is really nothing complicated or secret about that... You get your X years of experience at Big4 and find a corporate job. Obviously you better put in some work and have some good credentials to make it to the CFO level, but otherwise that's it. it seems like large multinationals in particular always have a lot of positions you can leverage out - I have a couple of friends doing regional/country controller/cfo stuff and so on. Some of them also drink and travel well but hate their lives. But many love it.
post #187 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by PipPip View Post
- 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.
This sounds exciting to me. I was having a conversation with someone today talking about doing a CBV designation (Certified Business Valuator) which helps clients these issues. This seems more exciting to me. What kind of background/experience/skill sets do you have to have to succeed in this field? If you go that route, are most of the jobs working for firms? I would eventually like to work normal hours for a private corporation.
post #188 of 273
With much Ponzi scheme and other financial fraud discover today forensic accounting might be good area for make pursue if you must to do something with accounting
post #189 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by hws View Post
With much Ponzi scheme and other financial fraud discover today forensic accounting might be good area for make pursue if you must to do something with accounting
i know people who went into this field only to find they barely had any work to do (at least around these parts)
post #190 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


Yes, you seem a very bitter man. Sorry to say Now quote me again.
post #191 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corniche View Post
Yes, you seem a very bitter man. Sorry to say Now quote me again.

post #192 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
i know people who went into this field only to find they barely had any work to do (at least around these parts)
Maybe this will be interest to you for reading: http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazin...udbusters.aspx
post #193 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by hws View Post
With much Ponzi scheme and other financial fraud discover today forensic accounting might be good area for make pursue if you must to do something with accounting

Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
i know people who went into this field only to find they barely had any work to do (at least around these parts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hws View Post
Maybe this will be interest to you for reading:

http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazin...udbusters.aspx

This is still a small area where people end up because they are already good at it. I knew two people who periodically did financial fraud investigations, both were college professors who handled those cases once or twice every few years when they were brought to them. One worked with FBI for about a year or two investigating some complex case and teaching their staff. Another fell into it via accounting systems route and investigating small embezzlement cases and frauds because he was the only one at the time who knew both the IT and accounting sides of it.
post #194 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
This sounds exciting to me. I was having a conversation with someone today talking about doing a CBV designation (Certified Business Valuator) which helps clients these issues. This seems more exciting to me. What kind of background/experience/skill sets do you have to have to succeed in this field? If you go that route, are most of the jobs working for firms? I would eventually like to work normal hours for a private corporation.

You need to be extremely confident, able to digest information on the spot and find the killer questions, you need to be someone with whom extremely talented senior execs of clients instantly build rapport and trust. Typically in the UK, and I hate to say it as its not me, you need to be a product of the private school system. Corporate Finance jobs are in accountancy firms, investment banking (far better pay/bonus but you had better be good, and tough and forget about life outside work) or in larger businesses. You will NEVER work normal hours in corporate finance and even making the statement that you would "like to work normal hours" tells me you will never work in Corporate Finance or if you do it will be short lived!
post #195 of 273
I love my job. That said, I hated studying for it in college. There really is no math involved, as computers handle everything and it doesn't go beyond add, subtract, divide, multiply. What makes it a tough gig isn't the numbers, but being persuasive, dealing with a ton of smart people from different groups, keeping up to date with your FASB's, being able to hold conflicting ideas, and explaining all this to clients, sales, legal, marketing groups in laymen terms. You really have to be a people person (which I initially wasn't) the further you move up the ladder. I'm currently in Tax M&A. I advise investment banks whether it makes sense to enter a deal. Tax and accounting used to be seen as something after the fact by outside people looking in, but with the economic environment and current trends it's one of the leading indicators whether a merger or acq will even take place. The investment banking industry (and buy-side boys of hedge funds/private equity up in Fairfield, CT) look highly on the CPA designation and Big 4 experience, despite what your finance friends will tell you. "High finance" is very accounting intensive and it's no surprise that top Portfolio/Asset Managers come from Accounting backgrounds. If you are the type to care about what people say about your profession, then I urge you to jump on the bandwagon notion that Accounting is "boring," and not to enter the career path. Less competition for me on my way up.
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