Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why I Write About My Stint in an Auditing Firm

I’ve been writing in this blog for over a year now. I’ve received my share of comments and emails, some nice, some not – quite – so nice. But this latest email I received had me thinking. The sender was telling me something like he or she kind of find my posts funny because I seem to encourage people to work with the Big 4, at the same time, I seem to be scaring them from working with the Big 4.

Well, I know I kind of get this kind of reaction from the readers sometimes. I mean looking back on the things I wrote, I get it why I received this kind of email. In some, I’m telling people why I like working in an auditing firm. In the others, I tell people what are the not – so – good things about working in auditing firms. Funny? It seems so. Confusing? Well, for me, not really.

You see, just because I liked my stint with this auditing firm, my former employer, doesn’t mean I couldn’t see what was wrong with it. Before I started working for this firm, I already had a fairly good idea of what to expect. I mean between members of my family who worked for the same firm and a brother – in – law who is still working in the same firm, it was nearly impossible to ignore the negative side of auditing.

Unfortunately, not everybody is in the same boat as I was. The proof? I’ve seen some of my co – juniors (when I was still one) and my juniors resign after a short time (one even resigned barely two weeks after her first day) because auditing work was not the way they envisioned it to be and the auditing firm we were in was not the kind of employer they would have wanted to get. Oh I know they were aware at some level just what they were going into but, without personal knowledge really they didn’t quite digest this kind of information.

It didn’t help that during career orientation programs, the HR people (and even the partners) from these firms won’t really tell you the negative side of working with auditing firms. They will tell you how many public companies they audit, how many big companies they audit, how many people they have, how many branches, how many affiliates, how prestigious it is to work for this firm, etc., etc. They won’t really tell you that you will work until 2:00 in the morning or that you will work for 48 hours straight or that during the busy season, you’ll get an average of 4 hours of sleep every night and that you will work your @ss off even during the week-ends.

And during my time (that was more than a decade ago), there was no blog such as this (or such as those in the links below), or comments such as those we received here. And that is why I write these things. I know that new graduates are excited to get into auditing firms, let alone the Big 4. I also know that it can be quite disappointing when you see and experience stuff you didn’t expect to see and to experience. That’s why I’m writing about both the good things and the bad things. And that’s why I’ll keep on writing about the positive side and the negative side when you’re working for an auditing firm.

To the one who sent the email, thank you for sending that email. Hope you get to work in one of the Big 4 firms and good luck!


  1. Great post! Thank you for your hard work with this blog!

  2. I had almost given up on you with your last post, but this one hit it right out of the park! Great post...couldn't have said it better myself.

  3. Funny, I tell prospective new hires about the downsides they face - even at official events. I think that side has changed a bit at the better firms. ;)

  4. Great read and insight!

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