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Accountants: Do you like your job?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by longskate88, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Johnny_5

    Johnny_5 Senior member

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    Yeah, I assumed that you were in audit. What type of advisory were you doing?

    Transaction Services, basically mergers and acquisition consulting.

    Congrats on the offer. Be a team player and keep your gripes to yourself. Also, don't drink the koolaid or be fooled by high priced meals, happy hours, free breakfast/lunch/dinner while at the client. Play the game while you're there, and be polite so that when you do want to leave, no one can say bad about you. When you feel its time to move, the transition to Federal Law enforcement is worth examining. It was the best move I made and I actually look forward to going to work most days. A take home car, pension, and other perks make it a little easier on the pocket and allow you some additional money to invest.

    Definitely, I have no kool-aid in my belly, but am happy with my decision thus far. I had originally majored in accounting because I wanted to get involved in federal law enforcement. Maybe it's in my future.
     
  2. pistolero

    pistolero Senior member

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    We (the interns) did not exactly have a lax experience. Many of us worked A LOT of overtime and travelled to different states from projects. Last night I was in the office until midnight. I think what you have heard applies to audit more than advisory since summer time tends to slow down right after the audit busy season.

    Back when I interned in the big 4 (big 5 at that time) interns were paid hourly; not sure if that's still the case, but it sure was a lot easier to work until midnight when banking time and a half. Switching to salary after my internship ended was actually a pay cut per hour. And all those free happy hours disappeared...
     
  3. John00

    John00 New Member

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    I am not an accountant but I have studied some part of accounts in my MBA. I just don't know how people like it. One has to sail his/her boat always between credit and debit. I think this is subject which can interest only to those who are from commerce graduates.
     
  4. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    Accountants are unhappy people who never have anything interesting to say. They are passed by like nameless pedestrians in their office corridors without arousing any interest or good will from anyone.
     
  5. Johnny_5

    Johnny_5 Senior member

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    You sound like an accountant.
     
  6. raginberriodoom

    raginberriodoom Senior member

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    For everyone who said that they had a summer internship with an accounting firm, could you guys give a review (brief or indepth) about your experience?

    Was wondering about accounting as a future career after interning in Valuations, and all this thread does is provide mixed reviews and make me more confused. [​IMG]
     
  7. mjro88

    mjro88 Member

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    Auditing can be really boring at times and somewhat interesting at times. I am almost done with the CPA and approaching my 1 yr since starting in public - top 20 firm. I'm starting the thought process of moving into a more interactive/dynamic position, possibly corporate finance or really any position that involves insight, planning, and using my brain. I feel my business acumen/interest blows most of my co-workers out of the water and I really can't stand the repetitiveness of this job.

    I'd say the reason reviews are so up and down are because it depends a lot on your co-workers and your specific clients - stuff you can't control. The key, I think, is when you want to look for a new job - make a smart move and do not overreact because it can really set you back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  8. Texasmade

    Texasmade Senior member

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    As an audit staff your life sucks. Everything you do doesn't require any thought. Once you make senior, the work gets more interesting but a lot more stressful. I'm an audit senior in a big 4 and I never vouch or tickmark anything. I make my staff do all of the grunt work.

    Also, all the staff believe they have more business acumen than the others when in reality they're all about equal. I've only dealt with a few really really smart audit staff.
     
  9. gic102

    gic102 Member

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    Working in accounting is boring; in my opinion at least.

    Using accounting information as a tool to solve business problems, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. I was lucky enough to land a position in an insolvency and restructuring / bankruptcy trustee firm right out of school. Very interesting stuff and requires much more time pressure, resourceful thinking, negotiation, etc. We spar with creditors, debtors, and their lawyers daily.

    I do work at a small practice, but the upside is that the staff get a lot more say in the management of the firm. Now, I am working on my accounting designation (management accounting) after which I will pursue the bankruptcy trustee / insolvency professional designation which should open doors to interesting things in corporate insolvency such as viability assessments, turnaround management, receiverships, etc.

    btw, my firm also does pure accounting stuff (audit, etc.) and yes they are a very boring bunch compared to us insolvency folks. Their charge-out rates are also much lower. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  10. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    to answer the OP,

    financial advising actually has two aspects. yes it is indeed a sales job essentially, as a consultant working with clients you get to understand their financial goals, then recommend the best products.

    however, the financial consultant/ adviser works with other colleagues who do not interact directly with the clientele but perform the research and analysis instead i.e. the number crunching, model building, and calling up vendors to check on product details, etc.

    to get into the consulting side, you really need to be qualified i.e. have certifications and licensing. without the proper qualifications, you basically cannot talk to the client.

    in my understanding, both accounting and finance are very rewarding but can also be very tedious and overwhelming. the spectrum is very wide and dynamic. the thing is that most people who want to break into said fields tend to only think about the rewards, which tend to skew the many opinions offered by personal anecdote.

    if you enjoy researching, analysis, writing words and numbers and not so much being a "salesman" then certifications/licensing is not necessary although highly recommended to get more educated. on the other hand, to be the consultant and speak with clients, such certifications through licensing is a must. as a consultant, much of the "grunt" work can then be handed off to your partners etc.

    accounting/finance advisers are always in demand with people employed. most people cannot afford the time to actually look after their own finances having to work their daily jobs, which is why people pay advisers to look after their 401k/mutual funds/portfolios

    also, you do not necessarily HAVE to work for the Big4, a lot of boutiques do just fine and even allow you to use their own network, clientele, and office space for your own business once you get certified and become a consultant/adviser . . .
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  11. mkarim

    mkarim Senior member

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    Many accountants change careers after a few years complaining of stress and burnout.
     
  12. Harrymoto

    Harrymoto Member

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    Hey everyone,

    My first post, but this topic is relevant to me - I'm a Senior Associate in audit for one of the Big 4 firms. I haven't read through the entire thread, but I'd like to make one important observation: Audit and Tax positions at a public accounting firm are COMPLETELY different than an accounting position in the industry. The work product, culture, personalities and expectations are just not comparable.

    My clients are primarily in the asset management industry with a couple real estate jobs mixed in throughout the year. I've been able to audit some of the largest mutual funds and hedge funds around and the opportunity to learn is limitless, even though sometimes the work itself may be boring. It's really up to yourself to take away as much as you can from the experience. I personally enjoy my job enough to continue with it thus far, but its mainly because of the clients I work on. If I was stuck auditing manufacturing or insurance clients I may have quit a long time ago. It just depends.

    There are many ways to make 6 figures and public accounting is definitely one of those ways, plus the job security is pretty crucial. If you have senior associate experience at a big 4, you should be able to land a decent paying job when times are tough, and you can snag a great job when the economy is on the up.

    That being said, I am looking to transition out of audit, but to stay within professional services. My aim is an advisory or consulting position within the big 4 or similar consulting firm such as Accenture, Booze Allen, etc. I'm a CPA and CFE, and have taken the lsat's but have decided against pursing it further. I'm currently researching MBA programs as well.

    I'm more than happy to answer any questions you guys may have. From what I can tell there are a lot of younger people on this board who are about to enter the workforce, so I may have some insight for you guys.

    Take care, all, and excuse any spelling/grammar errors.
     
  13. Harrymoto

    Harrymoto Member

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    I'm quoting a very old post, but a fist year partner at a big 4 in my geographic region makes about $300k/year. He may claim he hates his job, but if hes a partner, he's had plenty of chances to leave and make good coin.
     
  14. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Well, yes and no - opportunities for high-ranking people at Big4 firms isn't always as boundless as they would seem. I just left a big4 firm as a senior associate and had this same conversation with a senior manager who was telling me about his own challenges job hunting. The higher you go - the the smaller the pool of jobs that will pay you a competitive salary are. On top of that - you are competing for VP Finance/CEO type jobs with people who have been in industry for years and actually have an operational background. It can be done - but it's the higher up you go the harder it can be to transition to industry.
     
  15. Harrymoto

    Harrymoto Member

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    Yeah, thats definitely true, but I think that's true in general for people with xx years of experience. I guess my main point was that you dont make it to partner without wanting it, and hate the job all you want but making $300k+ a year is pretty nice. haha.
     
  16. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    lol - you sound like me 3 months ago. I was an audit senior associate at a big4 firm and just bailed and went into industry. I just started a new job at a oil & gas pubco. I hated actually doing all the bitch work like vouching myself, and was actually pretty happy when I hit senior and could start pushing it off onto new guys to let me do the more interesting stuff like planning/completion/FS.
     
  17. Harrymoto

    Harrymoto Member

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    Get a decent % bump when you made the jump?
     
  18. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Yup about 35% - basically what I would have made if I hit manager at the firm in 1-2 years is what they started me off at - and that's pretty standard around here.
     
  19. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Agreed - at a certain point, it's just another guy who likes to bitch about work like the rest of us :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  20. pokey07

    pokey07 Senior member

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    Is the new job more enjoyable?
     

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