Tips for surviving busy season

Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night during the holidays in a cold sweat, nervous that that bank confirmation was not sent out or that tax return was never done.  You may be suffering from pre-busy season anxiety! Read more of this post

Is E&Y to blame for the collapse of Lehman Brothers?

By now, many of you have heard quite a bit about the E&Y lawsuit (if you haven’t the Cliff Notes version is that Andrew Cuomo, the outgoing NY Attorney General, has filed a civil suit against E&Y for its role in the collapse of Lehman Brothers).

My question to the AG and everyone else is this – why are you surprised?   Read more of this post

Flash mobs…your firm may be next!

Yesterday, Blakes, one of Canada’s largest and most prestigious corporate law firms held a flash mob in a food court to ring in the holidays.  One has to wonder when other professional service firms will catch on to this trend.  Will we be seeing a flash mob at your next inventory count?

Why is it so hard to get work done at work?

Is it just me, or is the least productive part of the day the 9-5 portion?  I get my best work done from 8-9am and in the evenings when most people (namely your boss / clients are not around to disrupt your groove).  Here is a really interesting video describing the why so many of us actually need to get away from work to get our work done.  While some of it may not be applicable to those of us working in professional services, he does raise some interesting points and gets you thinking outside the box about the concept of work.


Where I’ve Been

“Does anyone here know what the anonymous accountant is up to these days? Is the anonymous accountant still grinding it out at a big four? Or did they leave? I can see that two months in they hated it, what about 2 years in? Can’t seem to find any recent posts, the most recent one is May 2009.”

I am back to answer that question.  To be honest, as those of you in Big 4 accounting know well, the combination of both studying for the UFE and working is brutal.  I kept on pushing off my post, thinking, ohhh well I’ll just post tomorrow…or the next day…

Then, I came across to a link during some random web surfing that brought me back to this site.  I saw all the comments and realized this site had really become a great resource for people out there who want to get in this industry / complain about it.

So I am back…hopefully for good this time.

Summer Reading

For me, the period following busy season (known to mere mortals as “summer”) is a great time to catch up on some reading.  As I get through them, I will post my thoughts and let you know if they’re worth the time.  My reading skews to non-fiction, mostly business (yeah, I know, I can’t leave it at the office), biographies, politics and history.  Feel free to share your summer reading picks, I am always looking for good reading material and I find there aren’t very many good places on the web to find reviews of business non-fiction.

First up on the docket – House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan

The CBV: What’s it worth

As someone who has been trying to figure out what to do once leaving the banal existence of auditing,  I have been doing my share of research.  I have been trying to find a balance between my knowledge of accounting and interest in finance.  The result?  The CBV may be the way to go for those who share the same interest.  Check out the article attached below for some more details.

Hot jobs: The valuation players

Why “Ask the Client” may be one of the worst things an auditor can hear

At the end of the day, an audit firm’s clients do not like us.  They tolerate us as a necessary evil, but in their defense, not many people would be able to tolerate us.  For those not in the profession, imagine this: a team of professionals questioning how you do your job, pointing out all the errors that you have made and going through all of your documents.  However, we auditors do not like our clients because they get annoyed by us pointing out their errors and demanding documents and explanations.  For those of you who would like to defuse some of the tension with your loyal clientele, I would refer you to a fellow bloggers’ post on how to get along with clients.  Could come in handy!  As for me, I will continue the cold war that has persisted for generations with our clients, only because it gives my day the occasional uptick in genuine humor. 

I’m back in business…

I have returned, wiser, with somewhat grayer hair and plenty of stories from the front lines of the accounting world to regale my readers.  Any of you who are currently at a Big 4 firm are probably in the midst of your own personal Dante’s Inferno, a.k.a. busy season.  To those of you who are still enduring, I salute you.  To those who have moved on to bigger and better things by leaving, I say congratulations!  While I plan on discussing, as always, the pros and cons (unfortunately, the cons seem to always beat out the pros!) of the Big 4 world, I will also be talking about the exit opportunities that I have seen presented to my coworkers over the last few years. 

27 Hours and Counting…

In the last two days, I have charged nearly 27 hours, meaning I actually was at work closer to 30. No time to study. Barely enough time to sleep. It really takes its toll on you. I have also just been told that for the next 2 weeks, I will be on a massive client’s audit, and to expect to work 8-9PM for 7 days this week. My suggestion to everyone who has to do school while working: avoid public companies, especially complex ones such as insurance and banks like the plague. They will occupy your every waking moment. In truth, at the early level, I don’t think you will learn more doing the cash sections on a bank audit than on working on the many sections of a smaller client. In fact, the inverse may be true, plus you’ll actually have a life!