Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun Senior = Fun Audit. Nice Senior = Boring Audit.

There is a difference between a fun senior and a nice senior.

They are two completely different things, like the the difference between going out with a nice guy/girl and a fun guy/girl. I only think that you can have a fun audit if you have a fun senior. Nice seniors are not bad. They are better than mean seniors, which are better than ugly seniors. Those are the worst.

I really believe that the senior controls the tone of the audit, and no matter what personality you are, you absorb the seniors' personality during the audit like a sponge. This is especially true if you are a junior.

If you are normally a fun, playful person, and the senior is a nice but, "let's get work done" type of person, you will never get to show your personality. This is quite depressing especially in long audits. It is like you are trapped in a "mental prison" where you cannot fully express who you are.

If you have a fun senior, you will have a fun audit where you will learn a lot. The fun seniors are the seniors who let you into their life, and want to get into yours. They laugh at your screw ups and joke about their own. They challenge you and make you accountable for your own mistakes. They make themselves seem "incompetent" to the whole team, and in the process win your trust.

Nice Seniors are different. They will help you with what you want and explain things nicely. They won't be mean to you. They will be nice, even when you make the silliest mistake. However nice seniors are boring. They don't let you into their life, and don't want to get into yours. They just want to get the audit done. They think by being nice "their audit team will perform optimally." Their audit team turns into a "What do you want me to do next?" robot.

Fun Seniors always are promoted faster than nice seniors.

The best audit engagements are the ones with a fun senior. You would rather work 9-8 for a fun senior than 9-6 for a nice senior.

When you become a senior, make sure you become a fun senior. It will mean that much more in the long run. Don't fall into the trap of being a nice senior. How do you become a fun senior? It is quite easy.

1) Don't be a mean senior. Those are the worst.

2) Get into your teammates personal lives as early as possible.

3) You can swear in your audit room. It actually makes your audit team more relaxed. Juniors, especially new juniors, tend to think seniors are perfect professional images. Show that its not true. People are most productive when they are at ease with their natural personality.

4) Make fun of your juniors. This is very important. If you are not making fun of your juniors, you are simply being a nice senior. Making fun of your juniors is like "flirting with a hot girl." If you ever want to impress them and make them happy doing stupid tasks, you must make fun of them.
It still amazes me how happy juniors are doing ticking and tying for the fun senior.

5) Sing in the audit room. If the juniors join in, you got them.

6) Help the juniors learn. If you make them more productive, your job will be much easier.

7) Make work fun. If you are having a bad time, most likely your juniors are having a worst time. No matter how stressed you are, never be a downer. You will destroy morale.

8) Free Timbits and Coffee always work

9) Always ask the juniors' opinion on things. It means the world to them even if they are wrong most of the time.

10) Don't fall into the trap of being the nice professional senior who is a "know it all." Express your weaknesses to your juniors. Show you are not perfect. Show your stress. Your juniors will
be so much more happy to help you.

Juniors view the nice seniors as a boss.
Juniors view the fun seniors as a friend.


  1. having been a trainee at big 4, i totally agree with this.

    Audit can be hard, but its even worse when the guys trying to figure out the problem with you isn't receptive at all... mean seniors are the worst, nice seniors are ok, but the fun and smart seniors are the best!

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