• Big 4

    A/P Clerk Would Like to Know How to Best Use $30k to Get a Job with a Big 4 Firm

    By | November 12, 2010

    From the mailbag:

    I have been working as a Accounts Payable for 3 years. I don’t want to waste your time of explaining my disadvantages. One of my advantages is money. I have a large savings. I would like to give $30,000 to anyone who get me a job in Big 4. I am not talking about [a] bribe. I wish to know how to use advantages [sic].

    Just don’t sit there, give the man some suggestions. All options are on the table. Bonus points for creativity.

    • Decentralize This

      I am PwC.  What is a decentralized audit approach: screw any methodology and test items that aren’t material and waste your time detail testing areas where we say their controls are effective?  Cause that is what PwC is about.  Or at least some of the whacked-out managers in my office.

      • Bitter Audit Manager

        That was our old approach – our new approach is to pretend, in writing, that we are taking a risk-based approach, but ultimately our audit approach on a given engagement is hijacked by the same spastic shithead(s) who want to over-audit the same unimportant shit as in prior years.

      • Bitter Audit Partner

        I don’t know what a decentralized audit approach could possible be.  They adopted something called the New Audit Methodology using a template that the PCAOB insisted be used (because the PCAOB screeched it was too hard looking at all those workpapers).  The first step is to identify what areas are “significant matters” or “significant risks”, and then complete a template that lists all the what-could-go-wrongs and the audit response, integrating control and substantive testing.  Every engagement did this, and it added about 8% in cost to each engagement and ruined everyone’s summer, including the partners and managers.  Who knows if this will please the all knowing people at the PCAOB, but that is doubtful, as they clearly remain annoyed at D&T for reasons only understood by the regulators.

        In summary, every one worked liked donkeys in a attempt to make life easier for the PCAOB.  So if the donkeys are not pleased, then go take a dump on the regulators.

        • Guest

          The PCAOB can suck my a**.  They are ruining (have ruined) this profession

    • Guest

      Utilization at Deloitte in the audit practice was higher this year than it’s ever been in the firm’s history (even higher than first year of 404).

    • Chris Swollenballs

      We are getting screwed at D&T. No two ways about it.

    • Ex-Deloitte Senior

      Let me break down Deloitte for everyone so there is no confusion concerning that disaster of a company.  I’ll be speaking about the audit side of things as that was my home before I got the fuck out.

      Leadership at Deloitte consists of handing out $100 Applause awards and sending emails boasting about the amazing performance of the company and how thankful they are for the hard work of their faithful servants who crank out one fraudulent unqualified opinion after another so that they can maintain their fixed revenue stream.  We have one “All Hands” meeting each year at which Leadership side steps any important question (ex. staffing concerns) b/c they have no answer for the mess that they created.  

      Speaking of staffing, the best they could come up with is shipping over people from South Africa (they have the opposite busy season as ours so lucky for them they get a year round busy season – but hey who doesn’t really) and from India to do the work of all of the seniors who wised up and quit. Shipping work to India will never and has never been successful.  It takes hours to write the directions, respond to the 50 review notes they leave “open for audit team to check” and their constant “inquiries”.  Also, I can’t fucking understand you no matter how hard I try so just write me and email and stop calling me at midnight.  

      Additionally, there is now a summer starting class, two starting classes in fall, and one in January so shipping in fresh first year retards straight off the college campus is also a high priority.  At least this actually makes sense since 2/3 of the new hires will quit by the time they are seniors.  So at best, staffing shortages will continue for 2-3 years until the cycle fixes itself with these fresh faces.

      Audit quality is another area that is a disaster.  Being an auditor has taught me one thing – do not rely on audited financial statements.  There has never been a “variance” aka an error that couldn’t be fixed in time to get those all important 3 paragraphs of unqualified opinion.  In my experience, every question about an error might as well have been answered with, “Well, we’re just going to need to get a bigger rug!”.  

      Staff that know nothing and generally don’t care + Shortages at the senior level + Managers who are managers strictly b/c they didn’t quit + Risk based audit methodology that requires you to use your brain and doubles the hours needed to perform the work + Reduced budgets/fees = Cutting Corners = Poor audit quality = Deloitte

      This brings us to the ROMMs (Risk of Material Misstatement) methodology.  The ROMMs would be what the original poster referred to as a decentralized audit approach (although I wouldn’t use that term – it’s a risk based approach).  

      In prior years they used MAPs (I don’t even know what this stands for..Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?) that was basically a super long checklist of everything that you would need to do related to a specific account balance (ex. fixed assets).  These MAPs are generated from industry specific PACKs which can be tailored by answer other questions in different planning documents, etc.  So the idea is that you read the MAP and make sure you’re testing covers everything presented.  In reality, the testing was done based on the SALY system, then the MAP was signed off on regardless of what it said b/c for the most part nobody reads through all of it (each step required initials making them incredibly tedious to fill out).  Long story short the PCAOB dinged Deloitte for being a check the box audit firm not focused on the risks. WHAT DO WE DO NOW????

      Along comes 2010 and RISK is the buzzword of the year.  In the new methodology (ROMMs) basically have 4 tabs: 1) The Assertions (completeness, existence, etc), 2) Controls, 3) Main Tab, 4) Substantive Testing Steps.  To be brief, you start with a “what could go wrong”, map this to the relevant assertion, map to the relevant control, map to how you tested control, map to the testing steps that address the risk.  Example:

      Area: Fixed Assets
      What could go wrong: An asset is recorded on the books that does not exist.  
      Assertion: Existence 
      Control: The somebody important reviews the fixed asset register and related purchase invoices monthly.
      Control Test: D&T is not relying on the operating effectiveness of controls and therefore did not perform testing.  
      Substantive Testing: Make selections, trace to any nonsense form of support the client gives you, conclude that it agrees without exception.  

      Ok, I’m already bored talking about this but you can see how it can get tiresome.  This is done for every single what could go wrong for every significant account balance.  Add to this that it is all done in an excel spreadsheet and each engagement team, manager, and partner does them completely different and places varying degrees of how important they think the ROMMs are and it’s a huge mess.  On my last two clients the testing was 100% complete and through review before the ROMMs had been reviewed.  We tested based on SALY (with minor updated) and then basically linked our testing to the ROMM instead of the other way around.  This is not uncommon.

      Additionally, when someone sees a good ROMM, we turbo email it to everyone and copy the steps – I mean how many things can really go wrong with Accounts Payable no matter what industry or company you are talking about.  And the best ROMMs..get this…use a prior year MAP that was saved from the previous audit file and converted into excel.  So we are linking MAP steps to Risks…HOW IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT THAN LAST YEAR!? That was rhetorical..I know the answer..It takes longer, it pisses everyone off, it’s more confusing, nobody agrees on the steps or what is “significant”, and you can justify doing or not doing anything you want.

      Auditing is a sham.  

      • Guest

        In response to one of your points:

        Would you rather trust unaudited financial statements? You know, because historically companies are completely honest when generating their numbers?

        Give me a break. There will always be a need for an external source to verify the reliability of the financials.

        The Auditing profession is not a sham, but some of the auditors within the profession are.

        • Ex-Deloitte Senior

          Don’t worry your sarcasm is not lost on me but your point certainly is.  Trusting or not trusting unaudited financials has nothing to do with what I am saying and drawing a parallel between the two doesn’t make sense.  Unaudited financials don’t claim to be free of material error.  Would I trust unaudited financials – no.  Do I trust audited financials – no.  

          I completely agree that there always must be some external form of regulation but the important point related to how effective that regulation is.  The whole profession of external auditing and the current audit model most certainly is a sham and is not effective whatsoever.  You have an industry dominated by 4 megahuge companies (to bad Arthur Anderson bit the dust after years of unqualified opinions to Enron or we could have thrown them into the mix to huh) that has the mandate of law behind the services that they offer.  The process goes something like this:

          You are required to get a yearly audit.
          You have 4 choices of who gets to audit you.
          You must pay your auditor a shit ton of money.
          You can change your auditors whenever you want so be sure to pick one that causes the fewest problems.  
          The work will be performed by sleep deprived kids fresh out of college who have a loose grip on auditing and no knowledge of the company or the industry besides what’s described in the planning documents.
          Your end goal is an unqualified opinion.
          The goal of the company is to maintain you as a client.

          How is the inherent conflict of interest built into the audit profession not a shame exactly?

          http://goingconcern.com/2011/03/report-nearly-20-of-financial-statement-users-think-the-auditors-report-is-worthless/

          • Yep

            You are so fucking dead-on it’s not even funny.  I work at a different Big 4 and your synopsis could easily apply to my firm, just as I’m sure it could apply to any of the rest.  While auditing is completely a sham, I’d say its 90% there.

            • cellobf

              Don’t worry those 50 YO controllers will never slip anything past our 24 yo Sr. Associate who is running the audit.

          • yep

            is not a complete sham*

          • pduberrrrrrr

            There are definitely certain aspects of the job that appear downright silly. It almost seems like you can document or change your testing approach out of any exception. While I wouldn’t go as far as calling audit a “sham”, there are definitely some serious flaws to the audit business as a whole. Quite simply, the fact that we are getting paid by the same people we are vouching for….never really made sense to me. Additionally we are providing a service to companies that really doesn’t offer much to their bottom-line, yet they require audited FS in order to even do business, so if I were a CEO I would just want to pay the bare minimum to get A-OK on my FS.

            Still, and this is a big still, at the end of the day, something is better than nothing and I’d much rather have audited FS than FS that no third party vouched for.

          • Bitter Audit Partner

            Then proposed a better solution, either here or to the PCAOB.  Always easy to bitch about a problem.  One of the issues you hear alot about is audit failure, but there are audit successes as well.  They happen everyday.  Audit success is not cool and no one writes about it.   Maybe in the eyes of many, including you and the PCAOB, we are failures.  If so, just shut us down, put 100,000 people out of work and everyone that has worked for a Big Four should not take any credit on their resume.

          • yep

            To bitter audit partner: It’s not necessarily that audit successes don’t exist.  It just reaches a ridiculous point where so many variances or audit differences are identified, and unless they’re outright fraudulent or monstrously huge, they get waived on just to keep the client happy.  It makes the people doing the grunt work feel like there’s almost no point.   That’s the problem with the profession, there’s almost no standing-of-your-ground on any issue unless the partner is sure it would result in jail time or huge sanctions.

          • Joe398s3

            This write-up is right on.

            Lot’s of backwards incentives in this system.  If I do a “good” job and identify errors all I get for my troubles is a bunch of extra work for the same amount of pay.  On top of that, I get to justify to about 100 people why the job is taking so long.

          • Bitter Audit Partner

            Yep – I suspect you have not been around long enough to know or perhaps you have known information that partners have engaged in inappropriate behavior.  Most of your negatives are impossibly precise without any factual data.(e.g.,  90% a sham?)  And I thought I was a bitter…Seriously,  if you and the staff you claim get overridden by the partner on important matters, then grow some balls and stand up within the Firm.  Or get the fuck out of the Firm before you lose your license and whatever self respect you and others like you might have.  I would not want to have folks like you associated with any of my engagements who bitch behind the scenes like this, this is supposed to be a profession.

          • Guest

            To BAP and other posters…if auditing isn’t a sham, explain this one to me….last busy season, my team had identified too many passable “errors” so that my audit was “out of scope” (i.e., errors exceeded materiality).  These were debits.  All I did was find a passable credit “error” and presto….passable errors no longer exceeded materiality and my audit was back “in scope”.  So to summarize….find me another mistake so my audit is valid.  Yep, makes sense to me!

          • Tex

            In response to Guest, who spoke of netting credit errors against debit errors to avoid blowing scope, there’s a simple explanation for this:  Two wrongs make a right!

          • Bitter Audit Partner

            Hey Guest – your team then violated some basic standards.  But more importantly, if you believe that there is wrong doing and you did not have the professional courage to speak up and at least write a dissenting memo to the files, then you should be drafting a letter to the PCAOB calling this out.  As stated, the profession is full of little punk ass pussies like you complaining after the fact and not standing up and doing the right thing.  

      • DTAudit

        You forgot about IPE, that was my favorite.

        • Ex-Deloitte Senior

          I thought about including that but it was already too long.  I agree, the amount that they emphasized IPE was insane.

          • Stephen Sy Chen

            what’s IPE stand for again? it’s on the tip of my tongue but I forgot. Thanks!!!

        • Stephen Sy Chen

          hey what’s IPE stand for again? 

      • soon to be d&t manager

        What are you complaining for if you are an ex-D&T employee? You weren’t man enough to handle the hours and had to leave to go crying to your mommy, so now you troll the goingconcern articles to post pages of worthless complaints? Quit crying and get back to work at whatever little job you took because you left the firm too early!

        • Ex-Deloitte Senior

          Lol this is amazing.  I pray that this is soaked in sarcasm but I don’t think it is.  

        • Guest

          wow, big 4 brainwashing could give nazi germany a run for its money

        • Guest

          You are simply brainwashed if that’s your response to his spot on comment…

        • Bitter Audit Manager

          I love ’em bright-eyed and bushy-tailed …. I respect that you want to stick up for D&T, hell, I’ve stuck around this long. But come on … “whatever little job” you took on? Not “man enough” to handle the hours? What do you think we do?

          You are correct that the complaints here are worthless – because partners can find enough people like you to take the abuse. Simply being willing to take that abuse is more important to becoming a “star” than technical knowledge, people skills, or just about anything else. You may make partner, and in doing so, you would be vindicated (at least personally). But there’s a far greater chance you won’t make it.

          Either way, there will be more engagements looking for a manager spot in 3-4 weeks, as I am opening a spot for you. Goin’ to a “little job.”

      • Bitter Audit Manager

        I hope you got a good raise when you left, I would have paid to read that fucking post. Amen

      • lifer

        better than uncle ernie – he only gave me an applause without the $100 award

      • I could have copy+pasted your comments into my own rant about another Big 4 and been accurate (without material exception of course).

        • Soon to go

          interesting blog BTW

      • Guest

        been away from the audit side since NAM was implemented…thanks for catching me up on the enw methodology..uh..er..i mean i just recognized that nothing much has changed – MAP to NAM and complete testing and backfill the ROMM..so didnt quite get the issue – same thing, why spend so many additional hours? call a rose by any other name, smells as sweet, doesnt it?

    • Soon to go

      Looks like the usual flame war bewteen the lifers and soon-to-leavers, with no real data yet, which sucks. I can only add that my rumor mill has the senior managers still getting screwed (at least relatively) compared to managers, seniors and staff.

      I am leaving, personally, and I don’t know that I even want to wait around for the raise/bonus. I’m hoping my next employer will take this into consideration, but hey, if I can get a little more coin without this headache, I will take it.

      Here’s the thing, and listen up those of you who do the job DWB used to do: I will probably leave regardless of the raise, but there are little, NONMONETARY things that would have made the difference. I’m not talking about awards or more happy hours. It comes down to the way you treat people, and whether you wither under the stress of your own job or can show respect to your workforce, even when you’re dealing with this tough business climate. If you don’t know what I mean by that, it’s probably a bad use of time to try and explain it.

      • Soon to go…after you

        U hit the nail on the head!

      • D&T Senior Manager

        Agree on the senior managers getting the shaft again.  I haven’t yet really thought about leaving because I do love what I do, but It makes it hard to really care when I know that I’m going to be stuck with crappy raises for the foreseeable future no matter how good a job I do (I’ve never been rated worse than a 2 my entire career).  I really don’t understand it because the senior managers are the ones that really drive it all.  If anyone really thinks that a senior, or even a manager, can take a blank sheet of paper and truly figure out the risks and how to address them, they are deluding themselves. 
         
        Everyone is so concerned about the seniors leaving but that is only because they don’t want to have to stoop down and do that work. 

      • Bitter Audit Partner

        This should  not be about the flame wars, the real issue is whether people have backbones or not.  Most of the peeps with their little stories appear to be spineless jellyfish.  What the great unwashed jellyfish don’t understand is that Controllers and CFOs face this issue every day, as they get pressure from the ops people.  Most of them cave in as well.  My point is that is does not matter if you are in auditing or working for a company in accounting – what does matter is your personal reputation and integrity and I see alot of complaining but few taking a stand.  That is why the profession as whole has become a concern to the media and the regulators.

        • WTF?

          Maybe you should get back to work and stop posting on this blog…Oh wait, you are a partner, right? So you do no work…

          • Cowtown

            Hurray!!!

        • Ex-Deloitte Senior

          Seriously..gtfo off these boards.  You haven’t made a single point in all of your posts except calling people spineless for stating the real life experiences (our “little stories”) that we all have had.  Have you ever heard of “tone at the top”?  You aren’t commended for finding errors at the Big 4 firms.  Your findings are met with an immediate discussion of how we can get around this error..I mean problem..I mean variance ..discrepancy?  And your solution is to have the “professional courage to speak up and at least write a dissenting memo to the files.” HAHAHAHA..YES!..let’s write a memo..Mr. Partner can you please sign off on my dissenting memo so we can go ahead and file.  THX!  Having the courage to even report errors to the partner should be commended and you think that someone a few years removed from college who is only trying the get a resume boost is going to A) give a shit and 2) have enough power to pressure a partner into doing the right thing.  

          25+ years of experience vs. 3 years of experience is not a fair fight and the partners will always win.You don’t become a partner by adding value to your clients even if this means restatements, control changes, etc.  You become a partner by sweeping away problems and justifying why they aren’t material so you can reach your revenue growth goals.
          I’m starting to think that you are an actual partner because your sense of importance and your holier than thou attitude is spot on.  You are not important.  That’s a fact.  The client doesn’t respect you and your staff for sure do not respect you.  You talk about not wanting people that complain behind the scenes on your team and yet the irony is that every single person on your team complains..daily..behind your back..ever notice how it gets real quiet in the room when you walk in the room?I can 100% understand, however, why you take the stance that you do.  You have spent your entire life slaving away truly believing that you are important and what you do matters and it’s impossible to come to terms with the fact that it was all for nothing.  You make a decent sum of money, your kids hate you, your wife is boning the pool boy, and your expertise is in a field that is worthless.Enron, WorldCom, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Citigroup, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, on and on….unqualified opinions. I know I know..they followed GAAP and it wasn’t your responsibility blah blah blah.  Good job.

          • Bitter Audit Partner

            Coward, go home and cry to your momma.  No one here has facts.  Give us some facts and let deal with it.  If you understood the basic policies of all the big firms, there is a process for disagreements.  I suspect very few posting on this board would have the courage to stand-up.  I’ve done it several times in my career.  With respect to your second paragraph rant, you don’t know shit about me.  I will say that I have posted too many times here today, but I am stunned by all the crying and complaining by you young people.  I am simply stating take a stand or get the fuck out.  And for the record, I’ve been around a bit longer than 25 years, both in and out of the Big Four, and I do make a shit load of dough and my work-life balance has always been great.  Your job is what you make it, you idiots are letting your job define you.  

          • Ex-Deloitte Senior

            In response to BAP:

            Once again you ignore everything I write and harp on the same message.  You lost all credibility when you said “my work-life balance has always been great”.  
            BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

            I now don’t believe anything you say and neither does anyone else.  I talk to partners, senior managers, etc and they all said this has been the worst year they have ever experienced.  They are all incredibly haggard looking and work like dogs.  My favorite partner would always complain about us “young people” and say that back in the day he always worked 80 hour weeks and it was standard.  NOBODY can claim that they have a good work life balance in public accounting.  Shit, they don’t even use that term in recruiting anymore bc even the college kids desperate for a job aren’t dumb enough to believe it!!”I am simply stating take a stand or get the fuck out.”If you haven’t noticed b/c you’re so far removed from reality..people are taking a stand BY LEAVING.  The voluntary turnover rate for seniors is more than 30% (please note this is from the mouth of the managing partner at our all hands meeting – figured I throw in at least one fact for you).  And it has nothing to do with being a coward of whatever other nonsense you wanna throw around.  Smart people leave, dumb people are forced out, and the average bunch sticks around for the automatic promotional structure of the Big 4.  Breeding mediocrity.  We comment on this site to share our experiences and make sure that everyone that goes to work for one of these companies knows exactly what they are getting into.  If you haven’t noticed..you’re views are the extreme minority.You’re drunk on the koolaid my friend and now you’re trying to sell it but we ain’t buying.  

            K, I’m done. No more retorts…you can slam me for being a dim witted pussycowardbitch who can’t handle the stress.  

          • Bitter Audit Partner

            If you bothered to read my post above, I know this was the worst year ever. Go blame the PCAOB because they wanted us to do something different.  And the leaders of the caved in.   And I agree that people that hate it should leave. Looks like you did, that is good for you.   I don’t want the crybabies here.  We can get more, we always do.  I know I’m in the minority, many people like you which includes partners, just sell out every day.  I work on my own terms, and I know a few others that do as well.  I try to get my people thinking the same way.  Life is way too short to let your employer rule your day.  People that have integrity and backbone are usually very satisfied people.  You on the other hand, resort to dragging my wife and kids into the discussion, which is so unnecessary but I guess meets your standards.  

        • three to five

          BAP, I think it’s somewhat reckless of you to call the employees of your firm “spineless jellyfish.” I personally took a stand when a partner was threatening to cave on a very material cash flow issue at one of my clients this year. I told the manager and senior manager that if we didn’t make the client do it right, I would be writing a dissent memo and removing myself from the engagement.

          The managers respected my decision, but told me to prepare my resume along with my dissent memo, as that would be the best way to get myself immediately fired. I also got the canned speeches that I’ve heard before…the partner has more experience with these issues than you do, in the end, it’s the partner taking the risk by signing the opinion, it’s really not THAT material, etc.

          In the end, the partner made the right call and everything worked out, but I was definitely willing to take a stand. However, when faced with the prospect of being fired, I can’t say that I blame anyone else in my position who backs down simply out of self-preservation. That doesn’t make someone “spineless,” it just makes them human.

          Based on your attitude, I think I’d like working on one of your engagements, but partners like you are few and far between. If you’re like me and stuck working with one of the bad ones, it can really make for a miserable career.

          I, for one, will be sticking it out for another year or so until I’m positioned better in the market, and I don’t plan on ever looking back. It’s a shame, because the firm has a lot of potential, but for someone in my position, there’s nothing Deloitte can offer me from a long-term career perspective.

        • Big4Mgr

          I agree with you (and actually side with you). Come on people, you love BAP when he’s ripping the profession. I will say I had backbone with a crappy manager once, and that manager zinged my ass good in my yearend evaluations. So to paraphrase one of your other comments, those with backbone and integrity sleep well … and I haven’t slept well.

          I know that’s not a client issue, but it is about integrity as well. I was given a disincentive to be forthright and honest with my team, and that is one reason I’m leaving. I will mention this to HR in my exit interview and start some place else.

          • Bitter Audit Partner

            You guys (Big4Mgr and Three to Five) give me hope, as your posts were logical and sensible.  If that was my manager, Three to Five, I would have instantly removed from the engagement for reasons that are obvious.  It is ok to dissent, but not ok to threaten or bully.  And, as I stated earlier, I know first hand that many partners sell out and/or look the other way, and even worse don’t support   (or even bother to find out) the positions taken by the younger staff.  As you can imagine, I call myself Bitter Audit Partner because my ways have resulted in me having few friends within the firm and shunned by the so called leaders.  And I’m Bitter because the PCAOB totally does not get it, and lastly I see way too many younger folks whining and complaining when in reality they are in position to create change.  So when you guys depart your Firms, what I would ask is that you have an exit meeting with the audit PIC and spill your guts.  If you don’t want the face-to-face meeting, then just write a letter and send it to all the so called leaders. This will be my last post on this thread, as I will resume my usual bashing of the profession from now on.

      • Another exKPMGer

        As many posts as there are, I doubt you come back and get to read this, BUT when I left KPMG I factored in my pay raise and bonus into my asking salary.  I asked for 26% higher than my current salary, and when asked to explain where I came up with my number by HR, I simply told them I was leaving money on the table by leaving my firm.  So I took my base salary, figured in the raise (on the high side of what was being estimated at the time), figured in a bonus for the year, rounded up, the added $10k.  Because I had a method to my madness, or maybe b/c this place is laden with cash, they didn’t bat an eye at my request and gave me what I wanted.  So if you decide to leave before cashing in, try factoring it in to your salary request.  It might pay off.

        • future ey gopher

          wow that’s hilariously awesome.

        • Soon to go

          Actually, glad I did come back to read this – heck, it’s worth a shot!

    • Disillusioned_Senior

      I work at a large mid-term, and by DT Senior’s description, there really isn’t much of a difference between deloitte and our top 15 sized firm. Kinda makes me wonder why the Big 4 is regarded so much more highly than than the other guys. But I digress, that is another discussion.

      I am a senior, and quite bitter just like DT Senior, and I just wanted to say that I WANT to do a good job auditing, and turn the trial balance into a set of financials that is clean as a whistle, but the managers and partners throw so MUCH SHIT on me all at once, budget me so tightly, and rape my ass sideways when I can’t handle all of my numerous responsibilities simultaneously while traveling 50% of my life, that I compromise quality.

      I come upon a potential problem, and I could fix it and dig and document until audit quality is great, but I think about how much time it would take to do it right and figure it out perfectly, so instead the following dialogue occurs in my head:

      “is it REALLY material? is it going to cause problems two years from now if I sweep it under the rug? No? Okay, I’ll sweep it under and move along so I might possibly catch up to my never ending work load and not get raped as hard by my managers on my evaluations, which, by the way, have been increasingly negative as our senior staffing levels have become increasingly strained lately. yeah, that sounds good. and maybe as added bonus, I’ll get to go home at a decent hour sometime this week… maybe even 6:15…. oh no… did I just think 6:15? better not let anyone above me know I dared to think about going home so early…. Going home before 7 is for people not good enough to make a lot of money….”

      So I change my audit approach, or my favorite method, I ‘document with ignorance’ as I type out a sentence pretending I am someone not intelligent enough to see what is really wrong with what the client did.

      Oh well… just a few more months and I pray my three years in public and my CPA licenses is good enough to land me a 40 hour a week gig with no travel and decent pay.

      • Former Pdubs

        I left public after 3 years as a Senior, now 5 years later I make $120k and work 35 hours in a tough week. I’m not special; if you’re smart, presentable, and comfortable around execs you can transition Big4 experience into the same gig.

        • Disillusioned_Senior

          In what type of company do you work? (Like market size and corporate form)

          • Former Pdubs

            Large Health Care Company. National market.

          • Currentpdubs

            What kind of role? Accounting? FP&A?

        • Tex

          I hope you’re telling the truth because what you have is exactly why I’m killing myself at B4 now.  I’m smart, presentable and comfortable around execs!  Employ me!

          And I have boobs.

          • dedraj

            Can I see them?

          • Guest

            I believe that.  I recently left Deloitte and my starting salary at my new company in the southeast (international insurance – mainly life insurance) including bonus is 80K.  Just a tad better than the 61k I was making with Deloitte.  And I get 40 hour weeks tops and 20 days vacation + holidays.

        • future ey gopher

          so you’ve been out of college for about 8 years now?  I am just curious lol but your work life flexibility sounds awesome….

          • Former Pdubs

            – future ey gopher. yep, 8 yrs.
            – currentpdubs. strategy. went from public, to internal sox work, to it strategy, to corp strategy.
            – tex. I don’t have boobs so you have a leg up on me. 

            that 120 is total comp btw. base is about 105, bonus 15. I could make another $30-$40k doing strategy consulting, but I like working 35-40 hours a week.

    • Why I took my CA

      Well, I left the Canadian D&T office in central Canada as a 1st year senior making 45k with 3 weeks vacation + 3 flex days.  Moved into a role with 5 weeks vacation, 1 week christmas off, and 3 flex days.

      Did I mention they pay me 88k?

    • Guest

      I enjoy reading tangents, but how about getting back on topic, any word on potential raises and AIP bonuses?

      • Dtpartner

        Don’t get your hopes up on raises….AIP should be decent and better than last year

    • Another Ex-deloitte senior

      To Ex-Deloitte Senior –

      The best!! I thoroughly enjoyed the posts and would like to give credit where credit is due. Extremely articulate, well thought out and extremely accurate from what I’ve seen in my last 4 yrs as well. Keep up the good work. If you ever want to get beers let me know.

    • still around

      sad to hear all the comments about staff sweeping things under the rug.  in my relatively short career (11 years), i’ve never done that nor seen it done.  We always hunted things down to a level of detail that – even in retrospect – may have been too exhaustive.  I’ve given SDs, MWs, etc etc… and only worked on public clients.  I’ve had controllers tell me “thank you” for pointing out flaws in processes and errors.  Most clients know there is something amiss and have a hard time pointing it out politically.  we say it and it means more and saves them.  I can point to an issue each quarter where we have made a difference in the financial statements – for the better – that no one ever knows about b/c the client agrees.   Auditing isn’t about the opinion – it is about all the conversations that had to happen to get to the opinion.  Like it or not, we do drive change at companies.  I witness it first hand, all the time. 

      there is a lot of nuance i think most of the posters in this thread miss – about audit sampling, error projections and mistatement.  Probably also a lot of perspective on what materiality really means.  A staff auditor can’t be expected to know how the analyst community views a company… what the numbers are that they look at, what they don’t, etc etc.  Sometimes that experience is helpful.

      If there is one thing that was said in all of that crap above that is true – it is the people that count and how you are treated.  I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses.  Bad bosses – inconsiderate or condescending – make me question why i do what i do.  Good bosses make me want to work harder… and  the job is the same in both cases.  my guess is the guy on the tirade was ignored by his senior/manager/partner, disrepected and made to feel stupid.  It isn’t the work – entry level work sucks at every job, period – it is how your boss makes you feel about the work.

      some people get it, some don’t.  when you work for one that doesn’t, your goal should be to get away.  Listen to the bitter audit partner – grow a spine, speak to someone.  I’ve got 3 counselees and many more mentees.  I spend most of my time probing them on their engagement teams – do they really like the people they work with?  That is the driver of success and retention.  If they don’t, i want to know b/c i can fix it.

      anyway – hopefully some of the anonymous in this thread step out of the shadows and help improve the firm.  there is really nothing to be gained by sitting in silence, waiting to get a bad rating anyway because you are demotivated.

      • Bitter Audit Manager

        I like this post, but reserve my right to spew crap once in a while. It is the bad bosses who create that environment where some of these comments are coming from. I agree with the stepping out of the shadows, and there’s a lot of work to be done to fix the system. Some people truly don’t think they can voice their complaints except on GC (I voice mine on here so I can be more vulgar, but that’s another issue).

        I hear other managers talking about bitch sessions held with seniors and staff, and all they want to talk about is, “what a bunch of whiners, you’re only seniors, only staff,” etc., but then that’s likely the partners’ take on manager/senior manager complaints. It’s as though leadership at all levels (senior to senior partner) will not acknowledge some of the gripes might be valid. I know other businesses have shitty leaders too, but I really think our soft skills suck in the Big Four.

        Anyway, I got off track a little, but I agree you should get away from these toxic situations. I’m a perfect example, if you’ve seen the stuff I write on here after 5+ years in public. I have leaders who are so good, I would stay in public longer just to work with them. But they are an exception, so I’m putting in my notice very, very soon…

    • Guest

      any updates regarding DT comp this year? PwC thread shows pretty good numbers…