June 18, 2018

Accountants Suffer from Choice Overload

choice overload accountants

Job security isn’t something most accountants worry about. Everyone needs an accountant. Even with technology doing more of the grunt work, someone needs to be able to turn that garbled mess of numbers into decision-useful information. Yay, go us. We don’t need to worry about paying rent.

But, having more choices does not equal greater happiness. In fact, I argue that too many choices make you less happy and more overwhelmed. I remember when I started looking for jobs after I left public accounting, recruiters bombarded me. I was dumbstruck that so many people were looking for CPAs. I know, it doesn’t seem like it’d be a bad predicament to have, until you live it, and have to go to all the interviews and try to decide what to do with your life.

Even within public accounting, the options are daunting. Once you start to question if public is right for you — usually midway through your first busy season — the floodgates of indecisiveness open. Do you stick with audit, tax, or advisory? What about random subcategories like risk consulting or mergers and acquisitions? If you transfer departments, will your life get better? Will you enjoy going to work more?

There’s some evidence to support that choice overload is a legit problem. In one study, shoppers were judged on whether they purchased jam more often when there were 6 or 24 jam options. Here’s what happened:

At times, the display showed 24 varieties. At others, it included only six. Iyengar found that, yes, 60 percent of customers found themselves pulled to the large display while only 40 percent stopped at the small one. But with 24 possible options, consumers questioned themselves and only 3% made a jam purchase. At the small display, nearly a third of consumers who stopped by bought a jar of jam.

Psychology Today cast some doubt on the concept of choice overload, pointing out the flaws in the research. Regardless, I think we’re onto something here. My “first job after college” hunt got a lot easier when I decided to go all-in with public accounting recruiting and eliminated industry roles right out of the gate. I even remember getting the advice to narrow the list of firms down to three or four, and then apply to only those firms. That way, when offers come around, it’s less intimidating to make a choice. (Of course, that assumes you get more than one offer, so take that advice with a grain of salt.)

Bottom line, all this choice leads to a bunch of restless accountants, ready to job-hop for a raise and better work-life balance (the unicorn that it is). So is the grass greener on the other side? And which pasture do you choose if there are 10? Or 20? Or 30? Who knows! But happy hunting. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Image: Photo by Letizia Bordoni on Unsplash

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Job of the Day: RBC Needs a Senior Audit Manager

RBC is looking for a Senior Audit Manager to lead a team to provide independent risk assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of risk management practices, internal control and corporate governance processes in the Capital Markets Finance areas

Requirements include a CA or equivalent, an accounting degree and experience working in financial services with an in-depth knowledge of both U.S. and Canadian GAAP. This position is located in New York.


Company: RBC

Title: Senior Audit Manager

Location: New York, NY

Description: In support of the Senior Manager, Capital Markets Finance, provide independent, objective risk assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of risk management practices, internal control and corporate governance processes in the Capital Markets Finance areas. Work with management in achieving business objectives by creating solutions to improve business operations, while remaining objective and independent. Key stakeholders include senior management, external auditors, and regulators. Results ultimately impact shareholders, employees and customers. Engagement is defined as a specific assignment, task, or review activity, such as: an internal audit, design review, fraud examination, or consultancy. An engagement may include multiple tasks or activities designed to accomplish a specific set of related objectives.

Responsibilities: Leadership/People Management – Lead a team of senior managers and professional auditors responsible for complex and large engagements in terms of product, location or client relation. – Direct, counsel, and instruct staff assigned to the engagement and review audit plan, findings and reports for sufficient scope and for accuracy. – Provide leadership, coaching, performance management and personal development support. – Ensure that we have competent and sufficient engagement resources, with relevant skill sets to meet each audit and our annual plan. – Raise the technical knowledge of the group through various courses, seminars and in-house training in the areas Capital Markets Finance and related risk management framework, compliance and audit techniques. – Back up for primary Senior Relationship Manager Audit & Planning – In concert with Senior Manager, Capital Markets Finance develops the annual Audit Plan for Capital Markets Finance ensuring that audits confirm to regulatory and internal audit requirements – Provide input and participate in the IAS strategic planning process.

Qualifications/Skills: In depth knowledge of business and key functions of Capital Markets Finance – Project Management – Proficient in auditing principles and techniques – Must have the ability to quickly understand the risks associated with new services and/or routines, products and to formulate practical audit procedures to adequately monitor new risk and ensure adherence to limits. – A understanding of management principles that enable recognition and evaluation of materiality and significant deviations from good management practices – In-depth knowledge of US and Cdn GAAP, complex accounting, auditing standards, business processes – Minimum 10-15 years banking/audit experience.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: All I Want for Christmas Is a New Job

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for hire me2.jpgIf a new job is on your list to Kris Kringle, then you’re in luck because we’re going to start throwing a job out there for your viewing pleasure on a daily basis. It’s up to you click the links provided. We can’t do everything after all.
Check out the details for a Senior Alternative Investments Accounting Analyst position at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, after the jump.


Company: Brown Brothers Harriman
Title: Senior Alternative Investments Accounting Analyst
Location: New York City
Description: The Senior Accountant – Alternative Investments will be responsible for the accounting, operational and administrative functions for BBH alternative investment products.
Responsibilities: The individual will be responsible for the core accounting and reporting (financial and tax) for these products, including maintenance of general ledgers, partnership capital accounts and unit prices for offshore share classes. The position will also be responsible for operations and administration of the products, including subscriptions, redemptions, cash management, investor reporting, and supervision of administrators. As well, this position will directly support the front office staff who works on the products. The individual will deal with front office management of BBH, product and portfolio managers of BBH, external relationships with external accountants, some external product portfolio managers and administrators as well as the Core Accounting group of Controllers.
Requirements: Bachelor Degree, Accounting Major preferred; 4+ yrs of relevant experience, preferably with exposure to alternative investments; Good knowledge of financial products, including alternative investments
See this job’s entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.