October 20, 2018

Disgruntled Accountants

Here’s Another Accountant Feeling Sorry For Himself Because He Doesn’t Know What to Do with His Life

Personally, I don’t know I have the energy for this shit today but here’s a sob story we’ve all heard before:

I was born to be a lot of things, but being an accountant isn’t one of them. In my heart of hearts I have always known this, but for some stupid subconscious reason, I have always ignored it.

Why? Well…um…err…I didn’t know what else to do.


Okay, I’ll jump in now – this just pisses me off. Why? Because I have the solution and it’s easy. Quit. Immediately. I don’t give a baker’s fuck if you don’t know what else to do; don’t wait, just quit your job. I spoke with a friend recently who has been with a Big 4 firm for over ten years. This person was in a similar situation as this guy, not sure what to do other than what they were doing right now (i.e. “auditing”). Then they decided that enough was enough. Forget the money. Forget not having a plan. They just up and quit without a plan. I was so thrilled to hear someone finally going with their gut rather than thinking about all the practical bullshit that ties people down. Speaking of, what’s this guy’s excuse?

You might be left asking, “If you hate it so much, then why don’t you just leave?”

I’m the first person to berate myself for sticking with it for so long. It never helped that accounting, and the financial sector for that matter, pays so well and instantaneously blindsides with dollar signs. I was always caught up chasing the next pay cheque, hanging around a few more months for a bonus and salary hike, and holding my breath for my well-deserved promotion.

The result always afforded me the trips overseas, a new car, the latest gadgets, elevation up the clothing-label food chain, gambling in a few shares here and there, and even a deposit on an investment property. Important things in a twenty-something year-old’s life, right?

It sounds like I’m making excuses. Well I am. It’s hard to walk away. But hey, if it pays well and the bills get paid, shouldn’t that be enough? And shouldn’t I just be grateful to even have a job in this economic climate?

First off, you’re using the money as the excuse. Money is a terrible excuse. Sell your car. Sell your investment property. For God sake, pull your money out of the casino that is the world’s financial markets. And the mantra “I should be grateful to have a job in this economy” is the biggest crock. Grateful for a job you hate? That’s like being grateful to be getting laid with a partner that’s lousy in bed and hates your guts. What’s the point? Go find something you want to do and never look back. Life is too short to be wasting it doing something you don’t want to do. This is not Earth-shattering advice but sometimes it bears repeating. Will your life change? You bet your ass it will and it’ll be better for it.

And that’s goes for anybody else. You know who you are. Don’t wait for this year’s busy season to come and go so you can see what the raise will be or to get another bonus. I assure you that you’ll still be miserable. Probably more so. There’s still time to save yourself. You’ll thank me. But you don’t have to.

Bonus Watch ’10: Some McGladrey Employees Are Getting Impatient

Last month, we shared some bonus news with you courtesy of McGladrey that included a couple of extra days off (including tomorrow), access to baby/pet/parent sitters and yes, there is money involved.

Maybe because there are only less than two shopping days, some people are getting impatient:

Well, it’s the morning of our last day of work before the holiday break and employees still don’t know if they are getting a holiday bonus. It was stated to us bonuses are back but no communication has been sent out. What are they waiting for? Many people are on vacation already since we are off Thursday and Friday. Is Santa going to deliver it to each of us individually?

You think they could communicate that. Or maybe you have to be a hot shot partner to get a bonus. I for one know I will be pretty pissed off if there is no bonus, especially after the company wasted all that money on a 144-foot cake that went to waste earlier this year.

They can talk about how great we all are and what we have to do in the coming years but it’s all hogwash if they don’t give us a bonus. I know one thing, Steve Tait [former President of RSM McGladrey] would have made sure we got bonuses…will C.E.?

– Disgruntled in McGladrey Land

We have three main points here:

• Ranting about “no bonus” after a lengthy email from C.E. Andrews and Dave Scudder explaining that there would be bonuses could easily misconstrued as “psychotically cynical” but perhaps there have been broken promises in the past. If so, we haven’t been made aware of this.

• The email C.E. and Scuds stated “the pool will grow based on our year-end performance,” and “In January, we will be introducing a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards,” so maybe “nice” is virtue in Minnesota but “patience” obviously isn’t.

• We hate to break this to you but Santa Claus will not be delivering your bonus. Santa Claus is not real.

Big 4 Auditor Respectfully Requests an Audit of Big 4 “Compensation Studies”

From the mailbag:

Hey Caleb,

So recently I was found out that KPMG will be conducting a compensation study as to whether or not we are in line with “market” and the effects of the results, if any, will be announced mid-January. This came as the result of the follow up on the Mid-America senior council meeting. Apparently the question was raised in this meeting about why KPMG employees weren’t receiving bonuses similar to the other firms [Ed note: We received the following message prior to the announcement of KPMG’s new bonus program that we reported on Friday.]. During the follow-up call it was told that a “compensation study” was being performed.

I always hear all of the Big 4 talking about how they did a compensation study and found out they were in-line with the market but obviously after all of the posts about compensation raises and bonuses nothing seemed to be consistent. My question to you is where are all of these supposed studies done by the Big 4? They say they perform them but do we actually see them? As an auditor I’m inclined to ask where is the supporting documentation? We don’t take our clients word that they have $50 million in the bank we have to agree that to something, so why don’t we get some proof of this study or in your experience with goingconcern have you actually ever seen results of these studies?

Thanks,
Disgruntled Employee

Dear Disgruntled,

We understand your frustration with regards to these so-called compensation studies. To directly answer your question, we have not seen any of these studies nor do we know how the firms commission them. (If you are familiar, get in touch.) The transparency of the process, as you rightly point out, is virtually non-existent. While your call for more information regarding these studies may get some attention and even a brief consideration, don’t expect any “supporting documentation” in the near future. Keeping the compensation sausage recipe secret is advantageous for the firms and since “in-line with the market” is another way of saying, “right in the meaty part of the curve” people have very little room to complain.

Now, if it appears that one firm say, PwC, is compensating employees in a more generous manner than say, KPMG, the only way to conclude that for certain is to speak to a recruiter who talks to employees from both firms. Sure you can mine the comments of posts here or read Bob Half’s salary report to get an idea of what’s what but if you want to know the actual compensation disparity between two firms (especially for your skill set), you’ll have to do a little digging for yourself.

So, do you have the right to be annoyed by the lack of information around these studies? Of course. But don’t expect an in-depth breakdown firm by firm to be presented at your next townhall or webcast.

(UPDATE/Correction) BDO Seidman New York Office

UPDATE, 10:37 am: A BDO spokesperson got back to us and everything seems to be fine over at 41st and Park with no evacuated BDOers. Our bad. Still probably a case of the Mondays regardless.