Surveys, we love 'em! The latest Mergis Group Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index has come down from its highest level in four years, decreasing 5.2 points to 52.6 in the second quarter of 2012. Fret not, the news is still mostly good. The 184 employed finance and accounting professionals surveyed seem to be mostly […]
That is, in case you were worried. Reuters reports that Richard Fleming, the Head of Restructuring in the UK, said that “It’s still a large number. It’s still billions,” but so far things are moving quite nicely. “Our strategy this morning has been … where we have clients whose position is reconciled, and are due funds, then that money will flow.” Keep truckin’! [Reuters]
You may remember that the Big 4 have BIG plans to go on a hiring binge here in the States and around the globe over the next few years. Just last year, Deloitte announced that they were adding 250,000 new employees over the next five years (although we were a bit skeptical as to what the final numbers would actually shake out). The latest in job creation PR, comes from PwC who has announced that they will be adding 15,000 new professionals in Hong Kong and China:
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers plans to hire 15,000 graduates and experienced professionals over the next five years in China and Hong Kong, it said Tuesday, as it capitalizes on growing business opportunities in the region, particularly mainland China.
The Big-Four firm said the new hires will be “across all lines of service,” adding it hopes to recruit more than 2,000 university graduates in the coming months in Hong Kong and China. The company is conducting campus recruitment in Hong Kong and three mainland Chinese cities this month.
Adding to this glowing news was Fitch Rating’s vote of confidence in the Big 4 who “should inspire confidence in terms of corporate governance” in Chinese companies. Right. Because it’s been clockwork so far.
Today’s edition of “Accounting Career Couch” brings us an experienced and passionate auditor who has been out out public accounting for spell, getting ready to back in the game. He’s looking at PwC or Deloitte but is worried that his non-Big 4 background will hold him back.
Have a question about your career? Concerned that your CEO may be making debatable statements and want to disavow yourself from the comments? Are you a CFO that’s going through auditors like Don Draper goes through dames and n ? Shoot us an email at [email protected] and we’ll dispense some wisdom.
Back to our passionate public accountant:
I worked for 6 years at a national top ten firm (Non Big 4, Non Grant Thornton, Non Mcgladrey, Non BDO). I have a lot of passion for public accounting, and really loved the work. Last April I feel victim to the downsizing present at our firm and was let go. I just made manager the year before, and reviews were very solid, I transferred to the Mergers and Acquisitions group from Audit and we all know what happened to that group. 80% of our group was terminated and we were not allowed the option to transfer back to audit.
I have been working contract work for the past year and a half, and am looking re-enter public accounting. I am looking at PWC and Deloitte as they are hiring for audit positions but am concerned that I might not fit in and my skill set won’t be advanced enough to adapt to their methodology.
I have managed audits of companies which range from 10 million to a 1 billion, both public and private. I am also concerned that the culture might be too cut throat and a new person would be thrown to the wolves. My firm was sophisticated in terms of our documentation but not as technical as I imagine the big four would be given a lot of our clients were private.
Any thoughts from your readers here?
“Passion” and “public accounting” are not words that often collide in the same sentence, so we obviously have a special breed on our hands here. Let’s do our best, shall we?
Your experience sounds pretty solid. A top ten firm will provide good experience and while methodologies at the Big 4 firms are more rigorous, your background should be good enough that you’ll be able to adjust accordingly. Also, your M&A experience is something that many Big 4 auditors won’t have, so that’s also an advantage.
You’re shooting for PwC and Deloitte, which many will argue are the top dogs. Personally, we think you’re capable of making in there but not with your current attitude. You sound like you’re selling your experience short just because it wasn’t with a Big 4 firm. If you have managed audits of the size you claim and have the M&A experience both of these firms will give you a serious look. Big 4 firms have plenty of private clients that your experience would be perfect for.
As for your concern about the cutthroat environment, we feel it’s a little overboard. Will it be competitive? Yes. Will there be unscrupulous people that will step over their own grandmother to get ahead? Of course. But do you know of any company that doesn’t have people like this? It really depends on the market you’re in; if you’re in NYC, Chicago, L.A. San Fran, etc. things will drastically more cutthroat than if you’re in Oklahoma City or Portland. If you’ve navigated politics and assholes before, you can do it again.
Regardless, when you meet with the firms talk up your experience, passion and your accomplishments without being self-deprecating. Learning a new methodology and culture isn’t like learning Mandarin. New jobs always mean adjustments and if you’re determined and ambitious, there’s no reason you can’t kick ass inside either PwC or Deloitte.