Ed. note: Jim Peterson, a 19-year veteran of Arthur Andersen’s internal legal group, has been writing since 2002 about the issues and challenges confronting the Big Audit model, including as an occasional guest here. Since last winter, Jim has been covering the intense public criticism in the U.K. of the performance and business model of […]
Get a good look, people. Anyone interested in becoming a PCAOB member? It sounds like there’s a bunch of change coming, based on the public statement from new SEC Chairman Jay Clayton: I am very pleased that Chairman [James] Doty has agreed to continue to serve as the Chairman of the PCAOB as we commence […]
A few weeks back, we shared some of the witty banter from the SEC Fort Worth Twitter account. But then, late last week, we were referred to the SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis’s account, and it turns out, they’re holding their own. The account was created back in March but they seem to […]
The election of Donald Trump is likely to transform the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). While the PCAOB is technically a non-partisan private regulator, it will not likely escape Trump’s commitment to drain the swamp. Jim Doty’s term as PCAOB chairman expired in October of 2015. The PCAOB chairman is nominated by the SEC […]
The Big 4 has been attempting to bring sexy back to auditing for awhile now, with leaders talking about innovation this and technology that, data this and 100% testing that. And that's cool, auditing needed the confidence boost, since advisory's been strutting around getting all the attention for the last decade. So yeah, we've noticed […]
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 […]
Ed. note: The following was written exclusively for Going Concern by a Big 4 auditor who wished to remain anonymous.
The PCAOB is turning into our parents. Or at least they are using the same tactics in handing out punishment. “We know you were up to no good last night, so if you just tell us what you did we’ll take that into consideration when deciding how long to ground you.”
Ed. note: Have a question for the career advice brain trust? Email us at email@example.com.
I have a senior-level job with a regulator that has jurisdiction over accounting firms. (Don’t want to say much more, because it would be self-identifying.)
I think my credentials may be good enough to land a partner-level job with a Big Four to help with compliance and whatnot. I’d like to pursue this some time over the next several years.
But how should I make the approach? Should I contact the firms directly at the appropriate time? Or go through a headhunter? If a headhunter, which ones have the best contacts for senior positions?
Thanks for your help.
–Fence-crosser (sorry, I couldn’t come up with a witty name)
Give yourself some credit – your nickname is wittier than most (and by most, I mean people usually sign their first and last names and add their Social Security number for good measure).
After a quick (and confidential) search for your background on LinkedIn, I have a much better understanding of your seniority and depth of experience in the regulatory space. Very impressive. Considering your educational background (for those of you playing at home – very strong undergrad and advanced degree programs), I have no doubt that you’ve made your mark within the inner circles of both your industry and your city (major US market).
Before we talk about how to go about pursuing opportunities within the Big 4, let’s talk about this so-called “partner-like” level where you’d like to land. Without a CPA you cannot be a partner, however principals are a non-certified equivalent and directors are nothing to slouch at, either. You’d most easily transition into either 1) a firm’s internal professional practice, helping decipher government regulation and how said firm’s practices are affected by changing laws or 2) a firm’s advisory group, aiding clients with the same issues. The upsides – both monetarily and network-wise – would be in advisory. But do not overlook being an internal expert; they are paid handsomely for their work.
When it comes to seeking out the Big 4’s interest in your particular skillset, I suggest starting with their in-house Experienced Hire recruiters. All of the firms are hot to hire people with your experience. Look into their publicly posted opportunities first; either you will find something in line with your background or at the very least find a name to contact. Check out last week’s post for links to each firm’s experienced hire pages. Your skillset would be an exceptional value added to a firm’s compliance/regulatory departments. Best of luck in transitioning.
Readers – are you familiar with this kind of transition? Have you made the move yourself? Email Caleb and he’ll connect you with Fence-crosser should you be able to help. Are you a recruiter at one of the Big 4? Do the same – contact Caleb and make this happen.