Monday, October 26, 2009

Why They Left…Part II

Ok, I’m on a roll here. Just posted a new blog on the Big 4 and the recession, and now this. But then again, I’ll be taking a trip this week so it will not be possible for me to write new posts during the week. Plus, I just can’t help it, my fingers are itching to write this second part on the Why They Left post.

In my first post Why They Left, I wrote there the reasons I noted why my officemates (and ultimately, I) left. These are my readily-observable-very-true-but-safe reasons. I received a couple of comments on this one, the notable of which came from an anonymous poster and to quote: “Some people leave just because the job just plain sucks.....vouching 200 invoices a day can really make you wonder about your purpose in life.....and they wanna give something else a shot”. Hmmm, telling it for what it is, I see. I was curious. Evidently there are more reasons out there than those I covered, hence this part II post.

Someone wrote me an email referring me to another site: This site basically shows the reviews of various people (employees, both current and former) from all around the globe on their companies. Now, I know the site may be familiar to you but it is definitely new to me. So I browsed it. Of course, being an accountant / auditor, I promptly went and searched for the Big 4 auditing firms. What I found is quite…Er disturbing to say the least. All Big 4 firms have negative scores! EY has a -199 score, PWC a -26 score, Deloitte – negative 396 and KPMG has a -485 score! Wow! What negatives! Reading through the reviews opened my eyes to some of the possible reasons why these “reviewers” left (leaving the firm and leaving the negative reviews). Let me just summarize some of these reasons. A caveat first: these are based on the reviews I read and do not, by any stretch of imagination, pertain to my personal experience. So don’t quote me on this, okay?

Kiss @ss managers, bad @ss partners: Managers who retaliate because their juniors / staff do not worship the ground they work on. Partners who are being bad examples to their staff. Partners who have simply no heart and just give their staff their walking orders without so much as a by-your-leave. Managers or partners who have absolutely no ethics, who unfairly treat the staff and who do not seem to appreciate their staff’s work. Need I go on?

Not so good work environment: No work – life balance (even though this was one of the things promised when they were recruited). Stressful work atmosphere. Strict policies / stifling work atmosphere.This also includes bad technology, slow IT people, slow materials procurement, etc.

People problems: Other than the manager or partner, that is. Lack of young people working within the same office (the one who posted this may still be young and wants the company of people his / her same age). Rampant drug use (what the…? Hope this is not true). Brutally honest people (so brutal, they can reduce you to tears). Hypocrites who say one thing and do another (aren't these people found everywhere?).

Low pay. I guess I was too kind in my previous post. But some of the comments here are really negative when it comes to this aspect. Salaries / rates are too small. There are times when salaries were delayed (that hurts, you work your @ss off just to get your pay three months after!). Overtime pay virtually non-existent (this after working 7 days for the whole week!). And what about the benefits? Not so good and even sometimes, they suck.

There are some more reasons I no longer included here. Suffice it to say that the above are the most cited reasons. But they are also quite the eye-openers. I guess I was just lucky enough not to have experienced these things (except for the low pay but our benefits were okay).

Another note: This blog is not to discourage those who want to go into the Big 4. It just shows how it is inside BUT you don’t really want us who used to work in these firms, to sugar-coat it for you, do you? In my next blogs, I will write positive stuff about the Big 4, promise. Till then, bye and see you!


  1. I completely agree with the first reason. I work at a Big 4 in Risk and the partners are the biggest liars I have ever met. Hell, they are not even paying for my studies; despite the promises.

    If you want to join the Big 4, wait until the GFC is over and everyone who is sick and tried of the bullshit they pull are out the door; then you won't have a problem getting a job!

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