November 20, 2018

Big 4

kpmg china medical

KPMG U.K. Is Giving Up Non-Audit Work on FTSE 350 Clients. Will the Other Big 4 Firms Follow?

So, Sky News broke some pretty big news in the United Kingdom earlier this morning regarding the House of Klynveld: KPMG is to cease undertaking non-audit work for the FTSE-350 companies whose accounts it supervises, becoming the first of the ‘big four’ firms to make such a pledge in the aftermath of scandals surrounding the […]

Financial Reporting Council’s Skipper Is Jumping Ship

Stephen Haddrill, beleaguered chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council, the audit regulator in the United Kingdom, is reportedly to debark by the end of the year. No surprise. Haddrill has been a marked man since early this year, his agency targeted in Parliament as “toothless,” “useless,” and “ineffective” amid an outbreak of outrage over the collapse of the […]

How Did the Big 4 Do in Snagging New SEC Audit Clients in Q3?

Answer: Nowhere near as good as Marcum, which brought 30 new SEC audit clients onboard during the third quarter—21 of which were former clients of GBH CPAs, a Houston-based firm that merged with Marcum in July, according to Accounting Today. New York-based Marcum ended the quarter netting 22 new audit clients, more than twice its […]

Re-allocating the Big Audit Market in the U.K.—Or Perhaps Not

Regulators and politicians in the United Kingdom may well disrupt the Big Audit model—judging from inquiries launched recently by the Financial Reporting Council and the Competition and Markets Authority. The series that I began on Re:Balance on Sept. 25 and Oct. 8 started to address the misguided nature of the purported “remedies.” It is making […]

According to New Analysis, It Might Be Time For Big Law to Fear the Big 4

I still don’t get all this fervor around the Big 4 entering the legal market. To me, it would be like if Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo. started brewing beer. Yes, they’d have the brand recognition and tons of money to throw at the best people to run their brewing operations, but I don’t think AB […]

Changing the Big Audit Model: Where Might the Regulators Go?

In the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s litigation against PwC over its audits of the failed Colonial Bank in Alabama, Judge Barbara Rothstein has loosed a second blast—her decision of July 2 fixed damages at $625 million for the liability spelled out at length in her decision last December. Appeals will come, making premature any crystal […]

Big 4 U.K. Leaders Ready to Wine and Dine With Trump This Evening

Unlike some business leaders who are worried that attending an invitation-only dinner with President Trump later on tonight during his visit to the United Kingdom will damage their reputation, Big 4 U.K. leaders seem more than willing to break bread with the commander in chief. Trump, who has already arrived in the United Kingdom after […]

Deloitte’s New Greenhouse Experience Unfortunately Has Nothing to Do With Plants

As a former writer and editor for a national horticulture trade magazine, my interest was piqued when I came across the June 19 press release, “Deloitte Digital Launches New Deloitte Greenhouse Experience for Enterprise Clients.” I thought maybe Deloitte was cultivating a new variety of, say, Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) with the cultivar name ‘Punit […]

Squar Milner

What Next For the Big 4 in the U.K.? London Is Searching

A drunk, searching on hands and knees under a street lamp, tells the inquiring police, “I’ve lost my keys – over there in the dark alley.” “Then why look here?” they ask, perplexed. “Because the light’s better here.” In the city of London, where the modern audit profession was born in the Victorian era, no […]

EY Remains the Most Audit-y of the Public Company Auditors

Congrats to EY for once again having more public company audit clients than any other Big 4 firm. Of the 6,167 public registrants in the United States, EY audits 921 of them, or 14.9%, according to Audit Analytics’ Who Audits Public Companies – 2018 Edition. PwC is next with 658 public company audits, or 10.7%; […]

big 4 manager

Think You Need to Stay in Big 4 Until Manager? Think Again

One of the most common pieces of advice given to young Big 4 professional is to “Stick around until manager.” The thinking goes, you will experience a number different of clients and situations, as well as give you the coveted title that many employers want to see. Firms suggest staying until manager because there’s always […]

big-4-punishment

U.K. Audit Regulator Encouraged to Slap Big 4 Wrists Slightly Harder

Despite what you might hear, Big 4 audit firms have it pretty easy when it comes to compliance. Yes, there a ton of rules to follow, but in the event that a firm, one (or several) of its partners and employees run afoul of those rules, the consequences range from a mild rebuke to a […]

audit-firms-women-partners

The Number of Female Audit Partners Is Terrible

A new study shows that women are drastically underrepresented as audit firm partners, averaging only around 16 percent for audit partners with U.S. audit clients. In some cities such as Washington, D.C. and San Jose, California, the percentage of female partners was around 10 percent. Yikes. The Big 4 firms performed a little better than […]

Boss-friends-social-media-med

How Should You Handle a Partner’s Facebook Friend Request?

Ding. It’s a friend request. You’re so popular. One problem. It’s from one of your engagement partners. Awkward. Now you have a dilemma. Are you obligated to say yes? Or, maybe, you let it sit in the unanswered request pile for eternity and pretend you never saw it. Weigh the options careful and may the […]

Big 4 Myth Busting: Staying Until Manager

It’s 2017 and the rules have changed. Taco shells are made out of fried chicken skin, the Syracuse mascot can get elected president, and you don’t have to stay to manager in public accounting to maximize your career.

Labeling Big 4 as Systemically Important Would Only Confuse Their Sense of Importance

Way back in 2008, a small hiccup in the United States financial system brought upon by an even smaller hiccup in the U.S. housing market led to the mild threat of the collapse of the world economy.

Big 4 Auditors Are Probably Looking Forward to More Amiable PCAOB

Michael Rapoport reports in the Wall Street Journal on the waning James Doty era at the PCAOB and that he will probably exit with unfinished business: Mr. Doty, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, may only have months left to pursue his wish list, including a change that would require auditors to tell […]

Hey Look, Some Bay Area Big 4 Senior Associates Aren’t Happy With Their Pay

While I was on the road last week, a thread from r/accounting dropped into my inbox: Big 4 Bay Area office thought it would be a good idea to screw seniors with one of the worst raises since 2008 and whoa boy: They thought an $85k cap on all Seniors, regardless of performance, was a […]

For Once, a Burned Out Auditor Wrote an Honest Answer to a Stupid Question

A large part of any accountant’s job is to write boring answers to boring questions. Most people meet an accountant and think, “Oh, you’re good with numbers,” and while that’s a safe assumption, what really lurks underneath is a masterful chronicler of complex rules in the most banal language possible.

Are Big 4 Firms Getting Stingy?

The benefits to working for a Big 4 firm can be embarrassing sometimes. It’s just not things like weeks of PTO that you’ll never use or pet insurance, but also the day-to-day perks that come along with carrying the water for a behemoth professional services firm.

Brace Yourself for the #AuditorProud Social Media Blitz

Ding. Ding. Are you ready for Round 2? It’s the second annual #AuditorProud day. Hey, wait a second. Wasn’t it in December last year? Actually, yes. At least we know now that the folks over at the Center for Audit Quality took a haphazard approach when selecting the day and it’s totally random. But hey, […]

Reminder: The Big 4 Are Big, an Accident Waiting to Happen

James Ulvog published an excellent post this morning that puts the size of the Big 4 firms into context. Some of these you've likely heard us mention before:  If the next three firms after KPMG merged, the[y] would be just over half the size of KPMG. To surpass KPMG at #4 revenue, the next 9 […]

“Rise of the Robots” – It’s Time for Accountants to Be Afraid

“They’re coming – for your job.” That’s the ominous message for everyone benighted enough to believe in job security under the Big Audit model, as delivered by Martin Ford in last year’s Financial Times business book of the year, Rise of the Robots. Ford’s book brings focus to the question posed here at Going Concern […]

Here Are a Bunch of Horrible Big 4 Anthems for Your Listening Pleasure

When I die, I want my Wiki to say: Hooper had amassed the world’s largest collection of accounting music and literature, which is now kept in the Hooper Memorial Museum of Accounting. Even accountants are too embarrassed to visit it. While my contemporaries are out collecting Pokemon to dull the pain of working in public, […]

Let’s Welcome Public Accounting’s Summer Interns

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) […]

Layoffs Watch: Big 4 Texas

Here's one from the mailbag: Big 4 in Houston and Dallas have been laying staff off due to "performance reasons." I wonder if this is going to trickle down to other regions as well given the declining oil market. Good question! Here in Colorado, big names like Anadarko and Encana have shed jobs but there […]

It’s Only a Matter of Time Before Big 4 Firms Offer Legal Services in the US

One of the topics that we occasionally discuss around here is the Big 4 expanding into professional service areas that you wouldn't expect for an accounting firm. In the US, we've seen PwC and Deloitte build enormous digital agencies and just last month, EY announced a partnership with Adobe that will "expand [the firm's] digital […]

Big 4 Firms Still Getting Used to This Whole Regulation Thing

Sometimes I get the impression that the Big 4 don’t fully appreciate what the PCAOB is supposed to do as a regulator. Now, please don’t confuse “appreciate” with “like.” The Reuters report from yesterday makes it perfectly clear that the firms don’t like what the PCAOB does at all. What’s become obvious, though, is that […]

Law Firms Need Not Worry About the Likes of EY Law, Says EY Law Guy

This is amazing. The head of EY Law Global Leader Cornelius Grossman is saying — with a straight face, presumably — that firms like his won't pose a threat to law firms. Saying that accounting firms providing legal services doesn't threaten law firms is like saying Uber doesn't threaten taxis, but okay!  "The threat of […]

Big 4 Firms Are All the Same

Oh sure, these accounting firms have different names, leaders, team colors and one has a giant amusement park disguised as a training facility but judging by the feedback collected by Vault and parsed through by eFinancialCareers, it's hard to tell the difference. Observe the pros: PwC: "most prestigious," "very smart people," "frequent and thorough training." […]

Deloitte US Will Definitely Not Practice Law, You Guys

Soon-to-be official Deloitte U.S. CEO Cathy Engelbert is sure making the rounds on the interview circuit these days. This is a good thing, as it allows everyone to get to know her before she begins her term next month. In an interview with Forbes contributor David Parnell, Chatty Cathy makes it clear Deloitte U.S. will […]

The SEC Folded Like a Cheap Lawn Chair in Its Settlement With Big 4 Chinese Affiliates

As you know, the much-awaited SEC settlement with Big 4 China affiliates hit the pages on Friday. This particular dust-up came about over some workpapers the SEC has waiting on since the Ming Dynasty or thereabouts. Here's the TL;DR ICYMI: The Securities and Exchange Commission today imposed sanctions against four China-based accounting firms that had refused to […]

The SEC Finally Got Around to Sanctioning Big 4 Firms in China

The SEC has been pretty busy lately, what with tongue-lashing the PCAOB about their duties and all. But somehow they found time in their busy schedule to get around to that whole sanctioning Big 4 affiliates in China thing: The Securities and Exchange Commission today imposed sanctions against four China-based accounting firms that had refused […]

Which Big 4 Accounting Firms Offer the Best Perks for Parents of Adoptive Children?

The last time we dared to bring up the controversial topic of paternity leave, someone suggested breeding is great and all but what about the adoptive parents out there? "Many of you will be dads one day" And what about us who are gay? And for the dumbass who is going to ask – most […]

Let’s End the Big 4 or Bust Myth Once and For All

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 […]

EY Admits They’ll Still Take You Even if Your GPA Sucks

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”, […]

Three Out of Four Big 4 Firms Made the Working Mother 10 Best Companies List

The 2014 Working Mother 100 best companies list is out, and you can expect several self-congratulatory press releases to follow over the next few hours and days. The list itself is in no particular order, but Working Mother does break out a list of the top 10 companies. See if you can spot the familiar […]

Which Big 4 Firm Audits the Most Large Accelerated Filers?

This is a question you've probably never asked yourself but now that you're here, you're dying to know. Our friends over at Audit Analytics broke it down and figured out not only which of the Big 4 audits the most large accelerated and accelerated filers but also how many of those filers are audited by […]

Which Big 4 Firm Makes More From Consulting Than Audit and Tax Combined?

Did you wake up this morning and think "gee, I really would love to know how much Big 4 firms make from consulting as share of overall revenue!" Boy, are you in luck. A recent report called Cheques and the City by the non-partisan but totally hater-y High Pay Centre looks at the top accounting […]

Russia Will See Your Sanctions and Raise You a Ban on the Big 4

On Tuesday, some parliamentary officials called for a law barring the world's top accounting firms from "aggressor countries" from doing business in the country after officials opened a health probe into McDonald's last week, and rolled out possible trade restrictions on Monday on fruit from Europe and chicken from the U.S. for alleged sanitary reasons. […]

Groundbreaking Study Discovers Big 4 Partners Tend to Be Hardworking, Male, and White

What makes a Big 4 partner? Chris Carter, Crawford Spence and Claire Dambrin (academics, natch) set out to find that answer, looking specifically at partners in Canada, France and the UK. You will not be surprised by the results. First, they discovered that only about 2-3% of those who start out at Big 4 make […]

Big 4 Fears of Social Unrest in Hong Kong Were Totally Overblown

So, not only did fans of democracy have a successful protest in Hong Kong yesterday but the Big 4 — who felt compelled to take out an ad warning against assembly — were totally wrong about downtown festivities clogging up the center of business! OK, first of all, July 1st was a local holiday. So […]

Big 4 in Hong Kong Will Not Let Democracy Get In the Way of Providing Exceptional Client Service

As you may have heard, the Big 4 found it within themselves to unite in a recent advertisement taken out in three Chinese-language newspapers warning against pro-democracy protests that would clog up downtown and make it really hard to lube up the capitalist machine with trust and reliable audit opinions. Thanks to our pal Professor […]

Reddit Philosopher Asks “What’s So Great About Big 4 Anyway?”

Actually, the question our philosopher pal posted was a bit more hostile than the question in the headline above. It was more like this: Who the hell told all you kids in school that Big 4 is the only employer you should ever think about? [A public service announcement.] Every single post in this sub […]

Let’s Talk About the Accounting Firms Talking About Flextime

You will recall an article Colin linked to in ANR yesterday that boasts of KPMG's generous flextime policy. I will quote the original article linked on that link for your review: "We have a firm-wide flextime policy as part of our approach to flexibility," says Barbara Wankoff, KPMG's national director of workplace solutions. Wankoff estimates […]

As Luck Would Have It, Big 4 Partners are Pretty Much Just Like You

This kind of goes with the article we shared last week, which quoted one Jacob Soll as saying accounting as a profession has been de-elited and made Midwestern (which is another say of saying pedestrian and not all that special). Side note but you will be happy to know Jacob reached out to us, tried […]

Big 4 Dominance Bad For Audit Quality, Says Research

Well this is fascinating research from across the pond. Do you mean to tell me the fact that four audit firms basically rule the roost is bad for audit quality? I'm shocked. Here's the scoop from Economia: According to the YouGov research which was carried out for the Financial Reporting Council, “Overall there is a fear […]

The Big 4’s Spurious Independence in One Chart

Mark O'Connor of Monadnock Research wrote an epic post over at re:The Auditors yesterday on the Big 4's advisory performance for 2013 and the resulting "conflict metrics." The whole post is worth a read but this chart sums things up well.                                […]

Is There an Auditor Exodus in the Works Or Is It Just Business as Usual in the Big 4?

Finally, a somewhat challenging "question" has found its way into the tip box: Hello Going Concern! I am writing to you because I have come to the realization that there is a bubble forming and it is on the brink of erupting, and no I am not talking about the internet bubble–I am talking about […]

Audit Fees By Industry, As Presented By Audit Analytics

Audit Analytics puts together some great data points from time to time, and this latest on audit fees by industry is no exception. Let's take a peek: In this entry, we investigated the relative audit fees of Russell 3000 companies on a broader industry basis (using the NAICS classification system), looking at audit fees compared to […]

The Important Questions: Do You Self-Identify as a Hippie?

This tip box entry may or may not be a serious question, but since it's the Friday after a holiday and all, let's allow it to be asked anyway: Do a lot of ex-Big4 or Big4 professionals self-declare as Hippies? I consider myself a hippie. And I may or may [not] have worked for a […]

How to Choose Between Two Big 4 Offers When You Have No Clue What Either Involves

In this week’s accounting conundrum, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed accounting student is mustering up the courage to click “accept” on one of two offers: Big 4 Business Valuation vs. Big 4 Supply Chain Consulting: Hey guys, I just started reading your website and it has so much helpful information about the big 4. I'm in […]

Why Referrals Mean Nothing If You’re a Nothing

Ed. note: There's another new face around here and though his name might make you think he should have been a lawyer or, possibly, a comic book villain instead of an auditor, we hope you'll welcome him with open arms. Andrew Argue is a CPA and the founder of Ten Key Heroes, a freelancing platform […]

Someone With Lots of Spare Time Has Doodled Big 4 Stereotypes

Like 'em or not, stereotypes exist for a reason. For example, guys like Colin are always riding around on their bicycle and using high brow words to show how obscure their compendium of knowledge is. And cat ladies like me are always sporting cat hair on our t-shirts and talking about what our cat did […]

Deloitte Is the Biggest Accounting Firm in the World Again (No Thanks to Its Audit Business)

If you recall, Chez Salzberg put up a good number, $32.4 billion in global revenues to be precise. PwC, as we mentioned this morning, came in at $32.1 billion so yes, that puts Deloitte on top of the Big 4 heap again after it's one-year wonder back in FY10.  In such a tight race, every […]

EY Confused on Meaning of “Competitive” as All Four Big 4 Make Working Mother Best List

The interesting part in PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte making the 2013 Working Mother 100 Best Companies is not that they all made the top 10, but this quote out of EY: As Karyn Twaronite, partner of Ernst & Young LLP and the EY Americas Inclusiveness Officer (EY has been on the list for 17 […]

Why Aren’t Big 4 Firms Aggressively Marketing Their CPA Exam Policies?

While the firms are busy trampling each other to recruit top talent with a salary/benefit/work-life balance pissing contest, many of them are missing one important component to their seduction strategy: CPA exam incentives. We already know some firms pay for materials, give you time off to study, and offer cash incentives for passing the exam […]

Let’s Discuss: Switching From Your Firm’s Audit Practice to the Advisory Practice

Last week during Caleb’s pseudo office hours, someone threw out the following question:

Have y'all covered the transition from Assurance to Transaction Services in GC?
Ahh, audit to advisory. The Holy Grail of internal transfers.

The Big 4’s Stranglehold on the Audit Market Is Worse Than You Thought

In a speech entitled "Accountability: Protecting Investors, the Public Interest and Prosperity," PCAOB member Jeanette Franzel shares some numbers:   Currently, about 2,360 firms are registered with the PCAOB, including about 915 non-U.S. firms located in 85 jurisdictions.   Not all PCAOB-registered firms regularly issue audit reports for issuers, but we inspect those that do […]

Ernst & Young Hired Some People

We like to call attention the competitive poaching that goes on behalf of accounting firms because they do such a good job of bombarding the world with that knowledge. It probably got started when we noticed that PwC was using KPMG as its farm teambut more so lately, we've noticed that Ernst & Young aggressively shouting about all the BSDs that are joining the Black and Yellow. 

Paternity Leave at Accounting Firms Better Than Getting a Tie for Father’s Day

Sunday is Father's Day, so our friends at Vault have shared the results from their working parent survey that cover the dear ol' dads and accounting firms faired pretty well:  [S]urvey respondents who work in accounting rate their firms highest when it comes to how accommodating they are for working fathers (survey respondents were asked […]

Mid-tier Accounting Firms Have Much Brighter Futures Than the Big 4

One of the more interesting Vault rankings is the "Best to Work For: Business Outlook" list. All of the BtWF rankings have 20 firms listed, and that seems like overkill. Really, they could cut it off at ten and I think the list would have a more exclusive air to it, so that's what I'll […]

Public Accounting Winter Intern Full-time Offers, Round 2

Today, there are a lot of dazed tax interns walking around, wondering what happened to the last three months of their lives. However! They aren't so out of it that they can't help but wonder what their full-time offers look like compared to their peers around the country. We've had a couple of requests this […]

Vault Survey: Male Big 4 Partners Most Satisfied; Female Senior Associates Least Satisfied

Our friends at Vault will release their Accounting 50 ranking on Monday, but if you simply cannot contain your excitement until that day comes, they've got a little teaser in this post that reveals Big 4 men are happier than Big 4 women. Is this a shock or is it more predictable than a creep […]

Despite Entering a ‘War Zone’, the Next Auditor of Herbalife Should Find Solace in All the Fees They’ll Earn

Part of the reason this KPMG resignation is such a conundrum for both Herbalife and Skechers is that the firm withdrew its audits back to 2010. The clean-up crew for each company will have its work cut out, and according to Georgetown professor James Angel, Herbalife's new auditor, especially, will "be walking into a war […]

Here Are Some Possible Outcomes of the Papal Conclave If a Big 4 Firm Counted the Votes

As you may have heard, some guys in funny hats are trying to find a new leader to ride around in a funny car. No, it's not Barnum & Bailey's clown troupe; of course I'm talking about the College of Cardinals and their quest for a new Pope.  It's quite the serious affair, as a billion or […]

Hiring Needs of Portland Accounting Firms Suggest There Are Lots of People with Unemployable Degrees Biking Around

The PBJ reports that KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, Grant Thornton, Moss Adams and a whole gaggle of other firms are looking for people that have graphic design backgrounds. Ha! No, that's a lie. They want accountants. Everything from staff right out of school to senior managers that work in assurance, tax, and even consulting. As long as […]

Vault Survey: Accounting Firms OK with Gay

According to responses thus far on Vault's annual Accounting Survey (which you can take here if you haven't already), it appears as though the largest 100 accounting firms are pretty darn gay friendly: [W]ith respect to diversity, one question in the survey asks accountants to rate their firm’s initiatives with respect to lesbian, gay, bisexual, […]

KPMG Appears to Have the Same Eligibility for Admiration in Massachusetts as the New York Yankees

A tipster came across the following poll from the Boston Business Journal in their LinkedIn feed: Intepret as you see fit. We're trying to get in touch with someone at BBJ to get some insight. In the meantime, the results, so far, are as follows: I guess this makes E&Y the Orioles? Discuss.

MP Really Disappointed with Big 4’s Life Choices

Margaret Hodge, chairman of the House of Commons public accounts committee, told specialists from PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG that their skills ought to be directed to nobler ends than minimising tax bills for big business.“What really depresses me is you could contribute so much to society and the public good and you […]

Big 4 Firms Performing Quite Well in the Self-Preservation Department

If you are able to find Google's homepage and have a couple of functioning digits, it isn't difficult to find news of Big 4 audit firms settling lawsuits over the past few years. Satyam. Countrywide. Bear Stearns. Sino-Forest. There are others. There will be more. In the UK, regulators have been grilling the Big 4 over […]

Blind Item: Which NYC Accounting Firm’s Holiday Party Was a Little Too Light on the Liquor?

Here's an unconfirmed account of a holiday party from last month:  [Well-known firm] NYC party on [date] at the [fancy place] was not up to snuff. While the venue was sleek, and the band was good, – the food, and most importantly the booze was not.  The bar only served one choice of white wine and one choice […]

SEC, China Will Probably Compromise Over Big 4 Chinese Affiliates Someday, Says Guy

The SEC's move against the Big 4's Chinese affiliates on Monday has people all worked up. On the one hand, yes, if the SEC were to delist a lot of Chinese companies that would make a lot of people sad. Also, if fewer Chinese companies were to consider accessing U.S. markets because they aren't so […]

SEC Finally Gets Around to Losing Patience with the Big 4’s Chinese Firms

China has been a thorny issue with the SEC and the PCAOB over the last couple of years. You see, there's been some concern that some Chinese companies have accessed U.S. markets through dubious means and then provided financial reporting and disclosures that weren't accurate in material respects. Audit firms charged with providing an opinion […]

Recruiting Season: Is Inter-Big 4 Romance a Relationship Killer?

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 [email protected]   All right, boys and girls, this is the last recruiting season post before we spill all the salary details on you. […]

Recruiting Season: Looking for a Firm with “Longevity”; The Big 4 Toss-up; Opportunities Missed

Welcome to Rock the Recruitment Season. We'll be winding up the 2012 series very soon so if you still have a question about recruiting season, email us at [email protected] with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. The recruitment season questions have slowed to a trickle, so you best get them in while you can, […]

Recruiting Season: Best of Big 4 in Beantown; Underwhelming Salaries; Second-tier Stepping Stones

Welcome to Tuesdays with More Anxious Accounting recruits. Have a question about recruiting season? Email [email protected] 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 […]

Russian National Is Feeling Rejected By Big 4

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 […]

Recruiting Season: Going Concern’s Guide to the Cultures of the Big 4 and Other Public Accounting Firms

Welcome to Tuesdays with More Anxious Accounting Recruits. Have a question about recruiting season? Email [email protected] 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, […]

KPMG Will Probably Jump Ernst & Young in Revenues This Year

This week, Ernst & Young and PwC both released revenue numbers for their most recent fiscal years. Along with Deloitte, who announced their numbers in mid-September, all three firms saw double-digit increases in their advisory/consulting (YEAH, I SAID "CONSULTING") businesses with more modest growth in tax and assurance. KPMG's fiscal year just ended on Sunday, so if […]

Election 2012: Here’s Who the Big 4 Are Throwing Their Money Behind

One of my many ultra liberal friends was yammering on about presidential campaign contributions last night and I, being the skeptical libertarian I am, decided to dig a little deeper into the numbers to prove that be it Republican or Democrat, you're still getting pretty much the same thing. It's sort of like picking a […]

Let’s Compare the Big Four Accounting Firms to the Four Houses in Harry Potter

Career conundrum got you down? Want someone to tell you how to spend your bonus? Need gift ideas for your secret workplace lover? Email us the questions that burn deep in your loins.  Do you think that the Big 4 are comparable to the 4 houses in Harry Potter?   Deloitte: Griffindor [sic] PWC: Slytherin […]

Report: The Best Time to Leave Public Accounting Is Within 3 – 6 Years

Though most of us consider the 2 year mark the perfect time to leave public accounting (it would be 3 or 4 if CPA licensure rules required that much experience, surely), a new report from Minneapolis-based recruiting outfit Coenen Brothers suggests that the real sweet spot is somewhere between three and six years. “During those […]

Look, It’s Okay, The Big 4 Doesn’t Want You

Sometimes the world looks perfect, nothing to rearrange. Sometimes you get a feeling like you need some kind of change. If you're not quite standing tall on the wings of your dreams, get in touch and we'll let you crash on our couch while you figure it out. Hi All, First let you know I […]

Is It Shallow to Choose One Accounting Firm Over Another Based on Prestige?

If you have a problem that your spouse, friends, or Labrador can't seem to fix, why not ask emotionally detached accounting bloggers who can barely run their own lives to help? Email us your questions and we'll pull it together just for you. Dear Going Concern,   I know you get a lot of these […]

Inexperienced Audit Associate Is Curious What Happens Once Work Starts

What did public accountants do 20 years ago when they had to face a new career on their very first day without the guidance of the entire accounting community on the Internet behind them? This is why partners drink as much as they do nowadays. You're still allowed to drink but instead of heading to […]

(UPDATE) Is It True You Get $20,000 From the Big 4 For Getting the Elijah Watt Sells Award?

Have a question for GC's exclusive team of underachievers? Get in touch and we'll do our best to do the research for you. Hey GC Team (Adrienne/Caleb/MIA freelancer),   I'm a CPA candidate starting with the Big 4 this fall. I'm potentially in line to get the EWS award (FAR-94, AUD-96, REG-98, BEC on 8/14) […]

Disgruntled Public Accounting Grunts Take To Urban Dictionary To Vent

Perhaps these Urban Dictionary entries pre-date Going Concern – or, as some might call it, "the before time" – when disgruntled public accountants had few forums outside of Facebook or IM to vent about depressing working conditions, billable hours and treatment bordering on slavery. Notice each of the Big 4 have a similar theme going […]

If You Could Give a Public Accounting Newbie One Piece of Advice…

We have a reader question from a self-identified public accounting newbie: What is the best advice that experienced Big 4 employees can offer to new hires starting in the next couple of months? Thanks! Instead of long, rambling rants about not drinking the Kool-aid, I'd be curious to hear just one concise piece of advice […]

Questions You Might Get Asked During the Big 4 Hiring Process

Everyone should be familiar with the weird Google/Microsoft interview questions like "why are manhole covers round?" and "how many golf balls can fit in a school bus?" but how many times have you heard about the difficult interview questions asked at Big 4? Go ahead, take your time answering that. When Vault was busy putting […]

The Number of Financial Statement Audit Deficiencies Is Blowing Up

So says an analysis of PCAOB inspection report data: The Survey of Fair Value Audit Deficiencies was released Wednesday by Acuitas, Inc., an Atlanta CPA firm that practices litigation and business valuation services. The analysis found that fair value measurement and impairment deficiencies accounted for 52 percent of all the audit deficiencies cited in the […]

Restless Accountant Considers a Second Chance with a Big 4 Firm

Have a question on anything from career limiting moves to plausible excuses for blowing off a random Tuesday to identifying that odor in the audit room? Email the Going Concern Brain Trust with your queries. And remember, there's no such thing as a dumb question; just dumb people who ask questions.  So here's the deal. I […]

Big 4 Boomerang: Former Advisory Professional Has People Whispering Sweet Nothings in His Ear

Considering a change in cubicle scenery? Cooking up hypothetical situations for your last day at work? Recently thrown out of the house and need someone to pick out your work clothes? Email us with your questions and we'll manage a few sentences that resemble an answer. Going Concern:   There is a lot of information […]

Big 4 Firms Are Totally Down with China Locals Taking the Wheel

As you may have heard, the Chinese government has told the Big 4 that they only want homers running their audit firms that are located within the Big C. While you might think that this might be problematic – what with all the troubles over there – the Big 4 obviously saw this coming because not […]

Perhaps Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Should Start Sending His Résumé* to Accounting Firms

Yesterday we learned that Third Point boss Dan Loeb wasn't all that impressed with Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's credentials. It wasn't that he was all "meh" about Thompson's accounting degree, but rather that Scottie's computer science degree was not what one would consider "real." This has a lot of people pointing, laughing, judging, and Yahoo's […]

Comp Watch ’12: Sizing Up the Big 4

It's the last day of April, which means that hopefully you've tied up all the loose ends that were left over from Busy Season 2012 (aka the best one yet). The month of May brings flowers, drunken afternoons at the baseball diamond in your fair city, and speculation about your compensation adjustments. Of course, some […]

Analysis: Is The Going Concern Editor on a Power Trip?

Generally, we prefer that our tip box be used for actual tips (as previously stated, "eat shit" is not a tip) but every now and then, some non-tip makes its way through that we can't help but act on. I suppose the following "tip" is one such non-tip that I'm compelled to repost here. It's […]

Congressional Members Seem to Have Their Orders Re: Auditor Rotation

You may remember that last Wednesday I put my grown-up clothes on and attended the PCAOB's open meeting on auditor rotation. It was a good discussion (relatively speaking) and I got chat with some pretty smart people. I can't work a room of old white men like Adrienne (few can), but Chairman James Doty seemed […]

The Big 4’s Lobbying Efforts In Europe Make the Banks Look Like a Bunch of Amateurs

Proposed audit reforms in Europe, which include mandatory firm rotation and a ban on advisory services provided to audit clients, have been met with, shall we say, resistance: The Big Four are campaigning hard to stop many of the core changes from being approved by the European Parliament and EU states. Smaller auditors are urging lawmakers […]