Day 1: “Looking” for Work

One of the strangest things about being the lowest person on the totem is that you have zero control over your schedule. So, for those times where you are not scheduled to be on a client, you are supposed to “look for work”, which entails circling the office, asking harried managers for work. The problem with that is that managers know that in our inexperienced state we are incapable of doing anything but the simplest of tasks for them. In fact, most of the time, I have been told they would rather do the work themselves than have to explain how to do it, answer all the questions and then check and correct the work. My suggestion: contact your scheduler, tell them to book you on as many engagements as possible. This will increase your billable hours and make you look like much more of a superstar than the 20 minute filing jobs one can find hanging around the office.

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10 Responses to Day 1: “Looking” for Work

  1. Krupo says:

    Careful there, you’re not a manager yet. There’s a difference between chargeable and billable hours. 😉

    Enjoy the slack time before you’re put on real jobs – before you know it you’ll have more work than what you know what to do with. Your utilization rate will correspondigly sky-rocket.

  2. That’s interesting Krupo – I’d never considered the difference between chargeable and billable. I’d assumed billable was what lawyers say and chargeable is what accountants say.

  3. audit says:

    Neither did I. Could you elaborate please?

  4. I would assume that billable hours are charged to the client…while chargeable hours are billable to the audit firm. At my firm billable hours are king…chargeable hours are looked at if you miss your billable hours quota for the year…but they do not carry as much weight. I’ve been told that I better be improving billable hour productivity (by creating a new workpaper template or some such thing) in order for my chargeable hours to be worth anything in the eyes of the partners.

  5. Krupo says:

    It took forever, but my elaboration is complete.
    http://krupo.ca/archive/2006/10/12/hours.aspx

    Detoured Economist had the right idea, but I went to town on it.

    I probably could’ve written with some more nuance about how it’s done in various firms, but you’re all welcome to fire in comments with your own specific differences. 🙂

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  7. Brennan says:

    wow accounting sucks! change fields!

  8. Michael Tim says:

    I love your site!

    _____________________
    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

    • Jose says:

      I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the UK veosirn? Batch invoicing, yes! Multiple companies open, yes! Those two grab my attention from a strictly personal point of view, but I can imagine many people liking all those new features.

  9. private says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I am ex-big4 and can inform you working for my particular big4 was the worst career move I ever made. I was brought in as a specialist in my field and, as such, was shifted all over the country wherever my expertise was required. The problem was, when my skills weren’t needed I was required to spend time seeking (grovelling for) work.

    As I was not a traditional auditor, I was not given financial work and therefore spent long periods in the office with my utilisation down to x% – not my fault – my managers – yet I still got the kick because of it.

    I have a big resentment towards my Big4 and the way they treat staff. The company model is to employ young university leavers, work them to the bone (I was told be a senior manager ‘you need to work 12 hour days’) and take no consideration for use of internal ‘experts’.

    The companies internal strategy is to play staff off against each other so, meritocratic, or, to put it plainly; whoever can kiss the managers a**e the most and spend 14+ hours a day working will get promoted. As an already qualified professional this was against my ethics.

    I left, with a golden kick. And have started my own audit business providing specialist expert services. I’m glad I got out and will never recommend my particular big4 to anyone.

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