Drug Testing at Public Accounting Firms Redux

From the mailbag:

Hi Caleb, I have a question about accounting firms in the Mid-West and whether or not drug testing is done pre-employment or on a random basis. I have searched the internet as well as Going Concern and have come up with a 50/50 mix of yes and no. It's a tough question to find an answer to, and I can't exactly ask around if you know what I mean. Seems like an appropriate question for Going Concern right?

Thanks,

Worried Man

It is an appropriate question, my fretful friend. Unfortunately, it is one that doesn't have a definitive answer. Back in my House of Klynveld days in New York I worked on-site at a large investment bank that perilously close an amazing 'shroom burger. This particular client required a drug test for all on-site contractors. KPMG did not require a drug test and I do not recall if employees were subjected to random testing.

As the headline suggests, we've covered this topic before, around this time last year. To my knowledge, no other Big 4 firms require a drug test as a condition of employment but clients are on a case-by-case basis. My suspicion would be that the second tier (i.e. GT, BDO, McG) would not require a test for condition of employment but anything's possible.

Regionals are probably more of a crapshoot. Generally, it seems rare that a service-oriented business would subject anyone to drug testing since there isn't any heavy machinery or children (aside from man-babies) around. In fact, we've all been privy to those co-workers who seem to be capital market servant rockstars when they're unusually FOCUSED. Similarly, those that choose to fire up AK-47 after a rough day rather than pop Adderrall in the loo aren't causing any harm.

My opinion is this - drug testing isn't necessary for anyone until it starts affecting other people. Of course the policies of these firms are seemingly fluid, so if you've been subjected to a test randomly or just to walk in the door, let us know in the comments.

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