August 20, 2018

You Interned At Big 4 And Didn’t Get an Offer, Now What?

Let's face it, your mom is sick of hearing about your career troubles. Stop ruining her Sunday afternoons with your depressing phone calls and email us for advice instead.

Hi, I have a question! I interned with a Big-4 in the summer and didn't get an offer. I was wondering if I could apply to the other Big-4s in the fall, since this is when they recruit heavily. Do you know people who interned at a firm, then worked at another, because they didn't receive an offer?

Can you apply to other Big 4s in the fall? Sure. Will anyone want you? That remains to be seen.

Let's face it, as an offerless former intern, you're damaged goods. A reject. If public accounting were a widget factory, you'd be in the bucket with the rest of the deformed, unwanted widgets that didn't pass quality control.

Any chance you are obsessing over a Big 4 opportunity but are not quite Big 4 material? Now is the time to sit down and have a real talk with yourself about your future. You don't need to be top 1% in your class to fit in at Big 4 but you do need to be a very specific type of individual and maybe that's not you. It could be that the firm you interned with didn't have the room to hire you or the culture just wasn't a good fit for either party but the more likely reason is that you were either a really crappy intern or just not what they were looking for in a new hire. If it's the latter, applying to other Big 4s might be a waste of your time.

Now is the time to take the blinders off and broaden your scope a bit here. Have you considered second-tier? You don't really have the luxury of standing around waiting for the firms to come to you at this point so you'd be wise to get hustling for something, even if that something means McGladrey. It sure beats being unemployed.

Let's talk about that résumé item while we're here. Are you going to be honest about your internship or are you going to pretend like it never happened? Even without a full-time offer, you gained valuable Big 4 experience. Now, if you screwed up during your internship (you know if you did) and that's why they didn't offer you a job, perhaps there is a way for you to paint that in a slightly better light. Note: painting it in a better light and straight up lying are two different things. You want to stick with the truth, even if it's a slightly distorted version of it. Be honest – not too honest – and don't be tempted not to mention the internship at all as that's where you get into sketchy territory.

Remember that everyone knows everyone else so if you do fudge the truth, you might get found out.

So, back to the question at hand. Yes you can (and probably should) apply to the other Big 4s in fall (as in any day now…) but you should also be networking your pathetic little butt off and not simply playing Call of Duty until the firms start banging your door down. If your classmates got offers, they might get a referral bonus for hooking you up with the firm so ask around and see if anyone will help you get your foot in the door. Failing that, you can always go the recruiter route but let's try to exhaust your other options first.

In all seriousness, you're probably not a total loser and as long as you can figure out how to talk up your internship instead of focusing on the fact that you weren't extended an offer, you should do just fine. Be open to opportunities other than Big 4 and hustle, hustle, hustle.

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Accenture Would Have You Believe That There Are No Losers in the IRS Return Preparer Registration Program

The firm fka Andersen Consulting finally got around to announcing their latest gig for Doug Shulman & Co. today, landing the contract to develop the IRS’ return preparer registration (“RPR”) system.

Accenture has done big projects for the IRS in the past but that doesn’t mean they’re any less excited about this particular project:

“The RPR program is really a win-win-win situation in which the IRS will gain the ability to identify and regulate paid tax preparers, tax payers will have better information about tax preparers before selecting one, and tax return professionals will be able to differentiate themselves in this competitive market,” said Lisa M. Mascolo, managing director of Accenture’s U.S. Federal client service group.

If you assume that Accenture is going to make out all right on this deal, then it’s actually a win-win-win-win situation. That would be a quad-win for those of you scoring clichés at home.

Having digested Accenture’s POV on the sitch, we’ll remind you that there are plenty of losers in the IRS’ RPR, as Joe Kristan told us back in January:

When there are winners, there are losers. These include:

Small tax prep shops – A solo practitioner will have to manage the new bureaucracy alone, while his giant competitors will have full-time fixers. When a little guy’s competency exam gets lost by the IRS bureaucracy, he might lose a season’s worth of business; fixers and lobbyists will make sure nothing like that happens to the big boys. And of course the inevitable capture of the IRS bureaucracy by the big players will continue to squeeze the little guys.

Enrolled Agents – Now that the IRS will be creating a new lesser level of licensing, these professionals will have a harder time distinguishing their much higher standards to a confused public.

Consumers – The most obvious result will be an increase in prices, both to pay for the new compliance costs and because the rules will run smaller preparers out of the market. Supporters of the regulations will say that it will be worth it because the new standards will improve quality. That’s a pipe dream. A bozo test and a few hours of CPE won’t turn a quack into a brain surgeon.

Low income consumers will, of course, not have to pay for the fancy “licensed” preparers. There will still be plenty of folks with pirated copies of Turbotax preparing unsigned returns in their cars and apartments, and the higher prices of the licensed competitors will send them more business. Other consumers will either struggle through their own returns without benefit of CPE or drop out of the tax system entirely.

Obviously there has to be some losers. A win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win (an octo-win) situation would be ridiculous.

Accounting News Roundup: Signs That You Should Quit Your Job; District Court Issues Order in Wesley Snipes Tax Case; LarsonAllen Moves Into the Northwest | 08.06.10

BP Completes Cementing Macondo Oil Well From Top [Bloomberg]
“BP Plc completed a cement plug at the top of its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, sealing off the source of millions of gallons of oil spewed into the sea after a drilling rig exploded in April.

The procedure completes the so-called t stage for BP is to finish a relief well to inject cement at the bottom and ensure there’s no leakage inside the 13,000-foot-long (3,962 meters) well bore beneath the seabed, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said yesterday.”

Ten Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job: The Finance Edition [FINS]
Check yourself for some of these symptoms: “You’ve been holding back from voicing your grievances.”; “You have no clue where the company is headed.”; “You start to believe you can’t do better.”

And that’s just in the first five listed.

Altus completes PricewaterhouseCoopers deal [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
PwC sells their real estate appraisal management for, what we can only assume to be, a decent chunk of change.

H&R, Jackson Hewitt shares fall on new IRS rule [Reuters]
“Shares of top two U.S. tax preparers H&R Block Inc (HRB.N) and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc (JTX.N) fell Thursday on the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to eliminate debt indicator for tax-refund loans.

On Thursday, the IRS said starting with next year’s tax filing season it will no longer provide tax preparers and associated financial institutions with ‘debt indicator,’ which is used to facilitate refund anticipation loans (RALs).”


PKF Pacific Hawaii completes purchase of Grant Thornton Honolulu office [Pacific Business News]
Name goes official on Monday. Here’s our original report from back in May.

Two UHY LLP Partners Recently Named to Prominent Standard-Setting Implementation Groups [Market Wire]
“The national CPA firm of UHY LLP announced today the recent appointment of Houston-based partner Ana Denena to the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) Small and Medium-sized Entities Implementation Group. In a separate appointment, the firm announced that Maryland-based partner Jennine Anderson was named to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) resource group on non-profit entities.”

PCAOB Adopts New Risk Assess. Stds; Issues Release on Failure to Supervise [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
As we mentioned yesterday, the PCAOB has been busy. Francine McKenna guest-blogged over at FEI and gives the rundown.

Fannie Quarterly Loss Is Smallest Since 2007 [WSJ]
FTW? “Fannie Mae posted a $1.2 billion net loss for the second quarter, the smallest loss in three years, amid signs that the massive wave of souring loans that brought down the mortgage-finance giant may be easing. But Fannie still asked the U.S. government for an additional $1.5 billion.”

District Court Issues Order in Snipes Case [TaxProf Blog]
Just when you thought it was over.

If you’re not getting cloud computing you’re a loser [AccMan]
That is, you’ve got almost nothing to lose by going for it.

Midwest accounting firm buying LeMaster Daniels [Spokesman-Review]
LarsonAllen brings its business to the northwest by purchasing Spokane-based LeMaster Daniels.

Deloitte leadership race reduced to two hopefuls [Accountancy Age]
“he contest to replace John Connolly as leader of Deloitte in the UK will involve just two members of the firm’s board.

The contenders vieing for the top job are Martin Eadon, head of audit, and David Sproul, head of tax. Sproul joined Deloitte when the firm acquired Andersen in the UK on the back of the Enron crisis

Both candidates gave presentations at the firm’s partner conference on 6 July but no further campaigning is expected.”