During our editorial meeting on Monday, Adrienne jokingly told me that, because I reported on the top accounting school rankings from Study.com and College Factual recently, I’ll now have to write articles on rankings any schmuck puts out. She’s probably right about that. Well, this week’s schmuck is U.S. News & World Report. The publication […]
Earlier this month we posted a list of the top 50 accounting schools in 2019 from online education platform Study.com, and based on the comments we received, I think many of you guys thought Study.com’s rankings sucked. There were a lot of schools traditionally known for their top-notch accounting programs that were omitted, like Bentley […]
Psst. Hey you. Yeah you. Want some free money for school? The AICPA wants to hook you up. You have until March 1 to apply to become an AICPA Legacy Scholar, which includes not just bragging rights but cold, hard cash to put toward your education. Check out the following scholarships and see if you […]
Now, before you break out that Jimmer Fredette BYU basketball jersey from 2011 or start tomahawk chopping in front of your co-workers, keep in mind this isn’t U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the schools with the best undergraduate accounting programs. This ranking of the top 50 accounting programs in the U.S. is from […]
Last October, we published an article written by a former KPMG senior associate, which you guys seemed to like, on why accountants should have both a CPA and an MBA. But what the article really doesn’t talk about is the earning potential of having an MBA. Well, a new study from the Forté Foundation sheds […]
I dunno if you guys heard but the profession is getting old. Just in case all the liver-spotted Cryptkeepers haunting accounting firm halls didn’t give that fact away, we have almost daily reminders from the AICPA that CPA exam candidate numbers are down and future accounting grads are in need of new professors to take […]
What can you do to make yourself more valuable to your organization? If you’re an accountant or if you work on a corporate finance team, becoming a master in data analysis is a big step forward. But why? And what does data analytics have to do with accounting? Accountants use data analytics to help businesses […]
There’s a lot of upside to adding deep accounting knowledge and skills to your resume—impressive credentials, prospects for higher pay, and a chance to take your career to the next level, among other positive career boosts. If you already have solid work experience and have developed expertise in certain areas, adding accounting knowledge—and a Master […]
Those who believe accounting students are all buttoned-up introverts obviously haven’t met the Accounting and Finance Society at Dublin City University, which was suspended this month after word of their wild and crazy activities got back to school leaders. At an October 4 “initiation” for first-years, committee hopefuls were asked to engage in a variety […]
Accounting skills are helping the kids in After-School All Stars in Columbus, Ohio, turn a profit for local charities…and helping the organization’s director of operations maximize resources. Young students in Columbus, Ohio, are making a difference in their community, one penny at a time. By learning and applying basic business and accounting skills, the children […]
As a Big 4 alumna, when I saw the KPMG master’s degree program, I immediately thought, “What’s the catch?” But before we get to the catch, let’s look at the program itself a little more. The KPMG Master’s Degree Program Per Accounting Today, the cohort of 135 program participants for the 2018-2019 start class will […]
If you’re ready for a promotion, but your career isn’t, it might be time to consider graduate school. When you first went to work for your current company, it was pretty cool. Your friends and family were excited about your new job. You were excited. You were meeting new people, learning new things, making a […]
Successful accountants and business leaders who have mastered data analytics can provide unique insights, making them bigger assets to their organizations. “What do the numbers tell us?” “Let’s dig into the data!” “Can we analyze this in real-time?” It’s very likely that you’ve heard these expressions around the office. Big data. Data analytics. Data science. […]
Never trust anyone online wearing a hoodie. Good night, nurse, what is this: Executives at UHY Advisors are sounding the alarm about online scammers who have been impersonating recruiters at accounting firms, offering enthusiastic young job seekers new career opportunities and internships. All the applicant must do, scammers tell them, is sign an acceptance letter […]
The AICPA released its much anticipated 2017 Trends In the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits (“AICPA Trends” or “TSAGDPAR” for those of you who can’t resist an acronym) report today, and it shows two major developments: 1) A dropoff in enrollment for master’s in accounting programs; 2) Slower hiring […]
Please enjoy this sponsored content from Beech Valley Solutions. I’ve never been water-boarded (I keep begging my wife…), but I’m guessing it’s a lot like busy season. I’d say just about anything to make it stop…like, “maybe I should get my MBA?”. Should you? Maybe (probably not). It truly depends on a series of questions […]
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Forty-two years ago I sat down to make an important life decision, my second in two years. The first was to go to graduate school instead of accepting a commission in the Marine Corps. The second was to join Price Waterhouse. Marriage would come later. I was the first in my family to go to […]
In a recent Journal of Accountancy piece, a bunch of people with way too much time on their hands to consider things that will never happen seem to think that drones are the next wave of innovation for accounting firms. Mind you, it was only a few years ago that one Big 4 firm made […]
Please enjoy this sponsored content brought to you by our graduate university partners. Googling online graduate programs can be a nightmare. First off, it will take a while to trudge through 25 million search results. Ugh… ain’t nobody got time for that. Why is it so hard to find a worthwhile program to make all […]
This is a sponsored conversation brought to you by Utica College. At some point in your career, you may have heard a self-deprecating quip from someone who claimed to be a "jack of all trades, but a master of none." It's a slight nod to the idea that someone couldn't decide what they wanted to […]
Have you considered changing your career track or expanding your skills profile? Please enjoy this sponsored content from Georgetown University about their Masters of Finance program. If you’re an ambitious accounting professional, you might have the title of CFO on your career bucket list. Chief financial officers are quickly becoming the most indispensable and sought […]
Please enjoy this sponsored content brought to you by our graduate university partners. Interviews are one of those things that you either walk into with a little moxy or you walk in terrified. Ideally, you've done your research and know almost everything and anything about the firm and the person you're interviewing with, your resume […]
If you're a college student studying accounting, prepare your gloat face. Starting salaries for accounting and finance positions are expected to go up 3%-4.3% next year according to Robert Half's new salary guide.
Monday marks the first day of summer so I suppose we should salute the young men and women who will invade accounting firms for the next couple of months. To the Twitter! BDO is excited to welcome over 300 summer #interns! Check out some tips from former #BDO interns: https://t.co/2pEUkFzabk — BDO USA Careers (@GetToKnowBDO) […]
“Lawyers, because they work for and with business people, think that they’re good at business. Lawyers are NOT good business people.”
Since 2011, the AICPA's Legacy Scholars program has put much-needed scholarship cash into the hands of worthy students. The program also "uses service work to help them develop the soft skills, including leadership and communications, needed to maintain a successful career," which is something every accounting student could use scholarship aside. Let's take a look: […]
It’s recruiting season on campuses all across America; that special time of year when accounting students get a taste of what it’s like to be a five-star middle linebacker — minus the “hostesses,” envelopes stuffed with cash, and any semblance of athletic ability. For you soon-to-be graduates deciding on your first employer, however, recruiting season […]
Because of course they are. Excited? About an exam? Seriously? Yes, seriously. As studious and determined people with big dreams and ambitious life goals, we’re used to being tasked with reciting formulas, choosing the best answer and memorizing large quantities of information in order to prove our aptitude in traditional school subjects. But how do […]
Alright, now this one definitely has to be a troll. From Reddit: As a student going through recruiting season, I can't help but notice that all the people I'm meeting, whether or not they are interns, associates, managers, or partners, seem to be extremely charismatic and attractive. The men seem like husband material (especially the […]
In FT's Test results can define young careers, we learn that EY will give you a chance even with a 3.0 if you can explain your crappy grades: At Ernst & Young, the global accounting firm, good grades are a key qualification for entry-level jobs and a reliable measurement of “technical ability and work ethic”, […]
Ed. note: U.S. News and World Report has issued a correction, stating they "incorrectly loaded peer reputation scores." The corrected ranking may be found below. Sorry, University of Illinois! RANKINGS. Love them or hate them, how else are we supposed to know who we're better than? The 30th edition of U.S. News and World Report […]
Well, this is interesting. Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan announced that it will guarantee employment for its accounting students. If, by some chance, someone doesn't get a job in six months of graduating, (s)he can get up to 48 more credits from the university, tuition-free. That's a value of nearly $30,000. Students would have […]
If you're into cut throat competition among the country's best and brightest accounting students, you already know what's up with the AICPA Accounting Competition. We write about it every year unless something far more interesting is going on, like a ginormous fraud or some shady partner giving insider tips to his golfing buddy. Or, you […]
This kind of reminds me of that very special Golden Girls episode where Blanche went to college to finish her degree and was propositioned by her professor to get some "extra credit." Even though she was a total slut, she was completely offended at the very suggestion. At least in that case, though, the professor […]
According to the latest AICPA Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits report (2013), demand for accounting grads is up. But we knew that. Also according to the report, demand for accounting grads with master's degrees is up. We knew that as well but did we know just […]
According to a study by the ironically named Take Charge Institute at the University of Arizona, more than half of young "adults" age 23 – 26 rely on their family for financial support. Half! Of those, nearly half of them are employed full-time. No worries though, it's just that Millennials are taking an extended break […]
June is a little late for schools to be thinking about filling up their freshman and transfer spots but the National Association of College Admissions Counseling says 470 schools — some of which you've actually heard of — are telling them they're in need of warm bodies: NACAC’s new 2014 “College Openings Update” list is […]
As we all know, firms of all sizes spend a lot of time and effort cruising campus to pluck the best and brightest from top accounting programs using all sorts of tactics like free dinner, tchotchkes, and even buttering up students' parents. Now, there is a new form of campus predator: your fellow student. We […]
NASBA's Center for the Public Trust is soliciting donations to sponsor a future leader, and boy is it a bargain. Cancel that $18 a month you're throwing away for the ASPCA and get on this, stat. If you want to make an investment that’s guaranteed to grow, buy some stock in the character index. Recent […]
Let's not all point and laugh at once now, kids. I did the math and I'm willing to go to school for 3 years after my undergraduate to make 6 figures out of law school. — Cadillactica Pimp (@RaganGotEm) April 21, 2014 h/t Law School Lemmings via ATL
Like most topics, we've discussed this ad nauseam but it's a slow Tuesday so why not attack it again? Here's our jump off point from CPA Trendlines: Bolstering reports of a suddenly surging profession with a high demand for top talent, CPA firms are hiring a record number of graduates. At the same time, the […]
Remember Part 1 of this where a few of you asked "what was the point of this post?" Welcome to Part 2, where I explain that very point. Let’s recall a few details from Part 1, as this article is really only relevant to two unique groups of students: Double majors who declared a first […]
In this week’s accounting issue, we're going to examine the void between requirements in a public university’s accounting program and their state’s CPA requirements. The equation should look a little like this: Seems simple enough; CPA requirements are set by the given state board of accountancy. Universities set their program curriculums. One might assume, of […]
You can go complain to the bartender about your problems or you can come over here and let us take a stab at making everything all better. No matter your trouble, we're here for you, just reach out. GC, So I interned at a Big 4 firm this summer in Advisory and was fortunate enough […]
This is the closest we'll get to a BCS ranking of accounting programs. Accounting Degree Review mashed together the lists of US News, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Public Accounting Report to come up with their own 30 Best Accounting Schools for Undergrads. I suppose we'll have to live with this until a playoff system is developed. […]
Profession, meet your future. Grading exams, I'm overflowing with confidence in the next generation of CPAs. @going_concern pic.twitter.com/OzFNkUStAN — Brad Kendrex (@bradkendrex) December 19, 2013
And then Jesse said, "YO! MR. WHITE! LOOK OUT!" Hahaha. No, no he didn't. But here's something interesting not related to Breaking Bad that we read on Twitter this morning: Spoke to @UChicago MBA students Sat. about patsy "rogues". Surprised when I said walk away from recruiters looking for "fit". #RedFlag — Francine McKenna (@retheauditors) […]
Found this gem on Reddit: I have a recruiters reception coming up soon where I will meet many recruiters from various firms. I'm only a student so my accounting knowledge is limited to textbook material. What type of questions do you ask? Although we've covered this before (repeatedly, at that), it is that time of […]
This Way to CPA has stooped to a new low, insulting children. Sure the little snot-nosed brats aren't very smart but do we really need to say that out loud? We all know the youth of America is pretty doomed as is but I'm fairly sure little kids saying they want to be CPAs when […]
Per BAP: FYI: We made the Annual Meeting video private until we get a version with standard music. The music on the first version is copyrighted. Thank you for your patience. Here's the video proudly posted on Facebook on August 14th: And then the oopsie news two days later: Yeah, that's only slightly embarrassing. But […]
Not only is KPMG trying to help their interns dress better at this year's National Intern Training in Orlando, they've got to brag about it on Facebook: "To make things even better for our Summer 2013 Interns, KPMG gave each male a $200 giftcard to Men's Wearhouse and each female a $200 giftcard to Ann […]
Hey, INTERN. Yes, you there wearing your hangover like a scarlet letter on this lovely Friday. Down your third gatorade and listen up. This is everything you need to know to not completely waste your summer away in your internship. You earned a coveted internship, but I am not going to stroke your ego […]
After getting on a MTV show more or less because she had sex with a dude with a bad overbite and then getting paid $1.5 million for having sex on camera, it only makes sense that Farrah Abraham would pursue an academic path that involved auditing of assets. In an e-mail interview, Abraham, 22, […]
I haven't written anything for academic purposes in quite some time, but it's nice to know that some of the profession's future have some creative thoughts bouncing around the grey matter. The following was sent to us from a student who told us that "one of my buddies who was able to slip in a […]
With an average starting salary of $53,300, the class of 2013 might have to endure some envious snipes from their Class of '12 co-workers: The average starting salary for accounting graduates this year is $53,300, up from $49,700 in 2012, Andrea Koncz, employment information manager for the NACE, told AccountingWEB. In 2011, the average starting […]
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, any burgeoning debit and credit artists out there would do well by attending one of the following schools for their undergraduate studies: 1. Brigham Young (Marriott) 1.067 2. Notre Dame (Mendoza) 1.076 3. UC Berkeley (Haas) 1.081 4. Cornell (Dyson) 1.089 5. Illinois – Urbana-Champaign 1.116 6. Tulsa (Collins) 1.118 7. […]
Sorry, winter interns — it's just that we've been, ya know, busy. Just like those senior associates who haven't had the time to take you to lunch. Or that manager who you thought wanted to get to know you better. Or that partner that never pronounces your name correctly. There's no shortage of love, just a […]
~ UPDATE includes updated salary info after a flood of new submissions. Thanks to everyone that wrote in. Welcome to the final recruiting season roundup for 2012. Thanks for all your questions and freak outs this fall. If you ever encounter any interesting situations or simply have something on your mind that you want to […]
This week's Recruiting Season post is brought to you by the letters C, P, A and by numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. Have a question about accounting careers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, boys and girls, this is the last recruiting season post before we spill all the salary details on you. […]
Welcome to Tuesdays with More Anxious Accounting recruits. Have a question about recruiting season? Email email@example.com with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. Just a friendly reminder – if you have received an offer from a public accounting firm, by all means, share your excitement with us. We've received a fair amount so far, but we are […]
Welcome to a special Friday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. Since Frankenstorm might sweep a lot of us out to sea early next week, let's get in all the good advice we can before the world ends. If you're having a career emergency and still have a charge left on your phone while you're waiting […]
You'd think I made this up but I swear I didn't, it comes from an actual recruiter who attended an actual MTF and encountered the following actual horrors. Let's open the floor on what NOT to do at Meet the Firms momentarily: How about an open thread for recruiter horror stories at Meet the Firms […]
When your cat no longer listens to your troubles and your friends aren't answering your calls because they know you're just going to dump all your nonsense on them at the bar, go ahead and email your friends at Going Concern for a little advice. It's cool, we weren't doing anything anyway. Depending on the […]
Welcome to the latest Recruiting Season Q&A. This is where we answer several questions from anxious accounting students. Remember, you won't know if your question is stupid unless you ask. Email your query to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Recruiting Season Question" in the subject line. Just a reminder – we're compiling the starting salaries for new associates […]
Welcome to the latest edition of Recruiting Advice: Take it or Go Screw Yourself. Have a question about recruiting season? Email us at email@example.com and put "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. One programming note – for those of you who are on the hunt for full-time offers this year, be sure to email […]
Welcome to this week's roundup of baffled buckaroos. Each week we'll try to save some hapless accounting students from embarrassing themselves somewhere along recruiting trail. Have a question about recruiting season? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. We'll kick things off with a follow-up from last week when "Pissed […]
Good night nurse, we get a lot of emails during recruiting season. In order to answer as many questions as possible, we'll do a lightning round of sorts each week so none of the little grasshoppers out there feel left out. Have a question about recruiting season? Email us at email@example.com and include "Recruiting Season Questions" […]
Are you the parent of a future accounting student looking for guidance as you sort through hundreds of brochures in the search for the perfect accounting program for your future CPA? You probably shouldn't email us, we're a bad influence. But if you still want to, go ahead and get in touch and we'll try […]
It's that time of year again where U.S. News & World Report clings to relevancy by issuing their College Rankings List and, per usual, we'll present you with the top undergraduate accounting programs with indifference. The purpose of these rankings, as we all know, allows the alumni and current students of top accounting schools the opportunity […]
No more articles about how to dress for interviews. We see them every year, and we read them because the case for flat-front slacks is much more interesting than the case for private company GAAP. I successfully avoided Accounting Today's recent article, "Fashion & Finance: Do's and Don'ts for New Recruits." Then I got an […]
Is your career stuck in neutral? Looking for a way to convince your boss that Fantasy Football strategizing is legitimate billable hours? Need ideas for accounting-themed names for your two Pomeranian puppies? Email us your questions. Hi Colin, I'm going through campus recruiting as we speak and was curious what your opinion was on applying […]
Yes, Deloitte is counting on college students being impressed with stories of determination, hope, competition, blah blah blah while gawking at the Olympic quality bods of Abby Wambach, Cullen Jones, Mariel Zagunis, Jonathan Horton, and April Holmes. And as long at they don't have any of them say something as awkward as Apolo Ohno's quote in that […]
As fall approaches, Big 4 recruiting for next year's crop of capital market servants will shift into high gear. This means lots of handshakes at catered events where students will make small talk, laugh awkwardly, and feign listening in order to land that all-important first job. There's a lot of preparation involved for these students […]
Remember earlier this month when we showed you some images from the Ernst & Young International Intern Leadership Conference? It illustrated just how E&Y rolls out the black and yellow carpet for its interns from across the globe – charter buses, gorilla hugs, and a dude in a Big Bird Yellow tux. We've uncovered more […]
Sad news on the Indiana University campus as accounting professor Susan Keenan died from injuries suffered after a fall from the fourth floor of a parking garage: Susan Keenan, 51, survived a fall from a Bloomington parking garage at 7th Street and College Avenue but died in an Indianapolis hospital hours later. The Bloomington Police Department says witnesses […]
Last week we mentioned that many interns were doing happy dances after learning that none of their summer behavior warranted a one-way ticket back to whereverthehellyoucamefrom. Based on the comments, Ernst & Young seemed to have the jump on extending offers but now this week, it's the Xerox technicians at Casa de Moritz getting the […]
We've received a number of emails in the past 24 hours pointing to a recruiting video out of PwC Singapore that parodies an awful (yet, awfully catchy) song. I'm only sharing it with you because it deserves public worldwide scorn so this travesty will not be repeated by any misguided recruiting teams here in the […]
It seemed like only yesterday we were welcoming the summer interns to their first taste of capital market servitude. Now that it's August and they've sufficiently been pranked, pandered, and paid per hour, the full-time offers for interns are starting to roll out. Yes, you will be seeing many of those Xerox technicians back on […]
Suffering from Big 4 burnout? Want ideas for your Sarbanes-Oxley 10th anniversary celebration? Need help making a smart the least stupid choice at the vending machine? Email us your questions and let us feel your pain. Hi GC, Looking for some advice. I am interning at a small firm and I am 95% sure I will […]
There's nothing quite like an enthusiastic intern who wants to be prepared for their first day on the job. And when I say, "nothing quite like," I mean, "Nothing quite as barf-worthy." Make no mistake, the effort is appreciated young grasshoppers, but you should know that the senior associate or manager that you are corresponding […]
Have your colleagues quit taking you seriously? Are you a serial mismatcher of shoes and socks? Wondering if moving back in with your parents is a good idea? Email us your questions and we'll try to get to them before Labor Day. I'm currently set to attend a two-day summer program at a smaller office of a […]
Many dewey-eyed accounting students dream of capping off their time in college with a job at a Big 4 firm. But getting that elusive offer isn't as easy as it seems. There are many ambitious candidates that would step over their own mothers to get an offer so some candidates want a little extra edge […]
Dan Black is Ernst & Young's Director of Campus Recruiting and yesterday, Forbes gave him the chance to say whatever he wanted about E&Y's campus recruiting efforts. Seriously, they should have just let him write a blog post. It's filled with platitudes about training, international opportunities, social media, and kowtowing to Gen Y types, etc. etc. […]
If you're like me, you checked out on earlier than normal this week due to the long weekend of bad decisions ahead. It's a welcome reprieve for those of you that are firmly entrenched in the day-to-day amusement park that is public accounting. However, very soon the latest crop of presumptive capital market servants will […]
Are you considering wasting my time instead of wasting your own when you should be studying for the CPA exam? Do you get off on degenerates criticizing you? Just need a good old fashioned AG talking to? Get in touch and I'll help you procrastinate by answering questions you could ask Google. I was wondering […]
Do you have a question about, well, anything but are surrounded by fools who couldn't possibly enlighten you? The sages of Going Concern are here to help. Email us with your questions. Dear Going Concern, I recently finished my winter internship with KPMG and I am not sure how I felt about it. On […]
The following slides were sent to us from a reliable source who works within public accounting in a capacity that does not involve actual accounting. Call that talent acquisition if you'd like, all we know is that our source sat in on an actual seminar about recruiting talent that included these actual slides. I don't […]
From the mailbag: Just a FYI most of the PwC winter interns should be receiving their full time offers this week. "Good news" is relative of course, as this news could very well mean that, by accepting this opportunity and turning down a similar chance with KPMG, the chances of making partner some day are diminished. […]
Not to burst Wake Forest's bubble but Bloomberg/BusinessWeek just gave them 19th in their list of top undergrad business schools in America for 2012. (Notre Dame was #1) That's really sad but it doesn't change the fact they dominate on the CPA exam. Just for shits and giggles, let's see how Bloomberg's top 5 undergrad […]
Your daily serving of vegetables, brought to you by GC. Subject: Advice: negotiating a starting salary GC,I am graduating in December from a masters in accounting program and I am currently interning at Big 4 firm in advisory. I am hoping to get an offer after the internship and join the firm in January. Is […]
Ed. note: Troubled this busy season? Email us your predicament at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the most part, the emails we receive seeking advice are genuine. We have struggling GPA’ers and struggling interviewers. Managers tempted by the partner carrot and the curious public-to-public hopper. And generally, you all turn out solid, noteworthy advice. This is not one […]
Allegedly, this stunt was pulled earlier this morning in a Big 4 audit room somewhere in the Boston area. If you'd like to claim responsibility for this stroke of genius or have other samples to share, email us.
This is our second intern-themed post this week, which gets me thinking that some of you are neck-deep in coffee jockeys. This can be a trying time for those of you that are A) impatient B) dicks C) control freaks D) all of the above. As such, the following has probably crossed your mind at […]
Ed. note: Have a question for the career advice brain trust? Email us at email@example.com with your problem(s) but only if you’re comfortable being mocked in an older sibling kind of way.
I know my question is somewhat specific but I just accepted an Internship offer for E&Y FSO Assurance in NYC and was interested in gaining some insight into the 3 divisions within FSO Assurance. First, I would love to hear your opinion on the pros and cons of each of the three sectors (Asset Management, Banking, & Insurance) including which EY is best known for. I was also wondering if there was a clear leader in each of those sectors in NYC and was wondering which of the Big Four was best nks so much for your help. I know I am still a year away from having to actually select one of those options but gaining people’s opinions never hurt. Thanks so much.
Congratulations on landing a sweet summer gig with Uncle Ernie. You’ll be working for a great firm in a great city making a great salary while fetching great coffee for your superiors. Cheers!
But really, welcome to New York. You’re smart in thinking ahead to the fact that where you start with your internship will lead to a fulltime offer with the same group. This is because internships are essentially training camp for your first year – make it through the summer successfully and you’re in the club. I did a little digging within my professional circle to uncover some of the EY clients that you’d have the potential of working on, as well as my own two Lincolns.
Insurance – Let’s start with this one because I have a feeling that the group consensus will be unanimous: DO NOT JOIN THIS GROUP. Sure, it is a small, “family-like” practice in the financial services industry, but you’re not coming to work for the warm and fuzzies (if you are, avoid public accounting altogether). You’re coming to make yourself a valuable asset to future employers – one, three, or ten years from now. Can you receive accelerated responsibilities and extensive interaction with your clients? Yeah, but that’s because your co-workers are jumping ship and no one within the firm wants to transfer to the Insurance group. Unless you have an absolute passion for the industry (which you don’t, since you emailed us), I would avoid this group. Stay in this group for five years (you know, to make the dream promo to manager) and you’re setting yourself up for a career working for an insurance (or re-insurance) firm.
Banking and Capital Markets – This group is bigger and more prominent than the Insurance group. It’s taken its hit in recent years because…ummm…the banking industry is in turmoil, but some of the pain has been buoyed by their growing Broker Dealer client base (also falls into this group). Potential clients include Bank of America (*gulp*), UBS Wealth Management (the shining star in the UBS sky), Icahn Securities, JG Wentworth, ING Financial Holdings, and Cantor “run for the hills” Fitzgerald. Sources tell me audit staff are constantly trying to take rotations to the asset management group, so take that for what it’s worth. Career advancement outside of public can take you to either a banking or hedge fund depending on your client exposure, but have you read the papers recently? Banking ain’t the hottest date to the prom to these days.
Asset Management – this is EY’s money train in New York when it comes to audit (and even tax) services. EY and PwC dominate this market in New York, and depending on whom you ask EY has a more rounded client base (blue chip and start ups). Premier clients include Eton Park, Reservoir Capital, Anchorage Capital, and Och Ziff Capital (do some Googling to get an idea about these firms). The exposure to different investment strategies and financial products you will see will be second to none. Don’t forget that you can count the relevant investment banks left standing on two hands, whereas there are thousands of hedge funds and private equity firms in the country (most of which are in the greater NYC area, too). Your easiest and most lucrative path out of audit and into the private sector will be with a background in asset management. Absolutely, positively, 100%.
So there you have it. As always, GC’er please chime in below with your comments.
Ed. note: Need advice on your career, the CPA exam or how to best enforce your firm’s dress code? Email the career advice brain trust at firstname.lastname@example.org for answers.
This past summer I worked as an intern with a Big 4 firm. Learned a lot, some decent people, long hours. Still felt relatively miserable considering most of the people I worked with were wound pretty tight. Fast forward to now, and I am considering “taking my talents to south beach” by switching to a different Big 4 firm. Yes, there is an immaterial amount of additional money on the table, so my decision comes down to (1) a more interesting client base and (2) a more exciting and open culture among the happier employees at the new firm.
To me “the Decision” has been made. How do I tell the firm I interned with (and accepted an offer with) that I won’t be coming to the party next year? Am I at risk of being “that guy?” Can you put me in contact with a cable network willing to run a one-hour special so I don’t have to tell them directly?
First, congratulations on one-upping your entry level status in such a dire market. It sounds as though your decision is a done deal so cutting the cord with your personal version of Cleveland shouldn’t be hard to do.
Being that it’s already November, you need to reach out to the firm you’re breaking away from immediately. They’re in the middle of interview season anyway, and knowing that they have an additional spot in their budget now rather than later is important (and fair to their process). Reach out to the recruiter that was your point of contact within the firm (and probably the one that presented you with the original offer). Leave them a voicemail at work stressing the need to speak about a “time sensitive issue” and follow up with an email stating the same. Should you not hear back from them in 48 hours, follow up with another call. If it’s another empty voicemail, follow up with another email (forward the original) and state then that you will not be starting with them after graduation. Explain the situation (using the “it’s not you, it’s me” angle usually works), and thank them for the positive intern experience.
In fairness to them you should try to speak to them live on the phone; however you’re not obligated to make a dozen attempts to reach them. Everyone has email in their pocket these days and it’s reasonable to expect a response in two business days.
And why are you worried about being ‘that guy?’ If by that you mean ‘the guy who left for better money, clients, and culture,’ I’d bet it’s safe to say many of us wouldn’t mind being that guy (or lady) too.