Hate Public Accounting! Why do people do this?!?

This topic contains 56 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  NewGirl27 4 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 57 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #183024

    Anonymous

    I just started in public accounting at a Big 4 in September, and I despise it more than I thought ever possible. When it first started I instantly didn't like it but I brushed it off and said it was just because it was new. But no. My team is terrible as in they are just not interesting people or even that nice, the work is tedious and boring, we were originally only getting 20 minute lunches until the other staff 1 and I said something when asked what we disliked about the engagement, there is little to no guidance on EVERYTHING and the hours are just stupid. I just hate it. I mean I knew the hours would suck but now that I'm a week and a half into busy season they truly suck, and I just don't get why I'm putting myself through this, or why anyone does. It's stupid. And for what, some tick marks?! I wanted to stay until I made senior at the minimum, now I don't even want to stay until the end of this week. I know l know, this experience will do wonders for me eventually, but I just don't care. Why do I want to suffer now?? Can someone, anyone, say a little something positive? I knew I wasn't going to like this job all that much, I just didn't want hate it, and I certainly didn't want to hate it this much. Thanks for listening to me vent! It's been a really bad day.

    #522121

    Wendy
    Participant

    Just hang in there. It's bound to get better or at least manageable until you can gain the necessary experience and move on. Just keep your head down and do it. Kind of like how much studying for this exam totally sucks, and all the things we miss out on and sacrifice. We all do it knowing that the end game is totally worth the short run loss. You can do this!!

    #522165

    Wendy
    Participant

    Just hang in there. It's bound to get better or at least manageable until you can gain the necessary experience and move on. Just keep your head down and do it. Kind of like how much studying for this exam totally sucks, and all the things we miss out on and sacrifice. We all do it knowing that the end game is totally worth the short run loss. You can do this!!

    #522123

    Anonymous

    Wanna know the secret of how we put up with it? We drink.

    #522167

    Anonymous

    Wanna know the secret of how we put up with it? We drink.

    #522125

    Mayo
    Participant

    “We Drink”

    Truer words have never been spoken.

    #522169

    Mayo
    Participant

    “We Drink”

    Truer words have never been spoken.

    #522127

    Anonymous

    What drove you to become an accountant?

    #522171

    Anonymous

    What drove you to become an accountant?

    #522129

    Anonymous

    Do you hate PUBLIC ACCOUNTING, or is it the PEOPLE, or is it that particular POSITION? Making a blank statement can be foolish…it's just like me saying I hate all men because my ex is a stupid jerk.

    Figure out what it is that you dislike so that you can make in informed decision as to what to do.

    Good luck!

    #522173

    Anonymous

    Do you hate PUBLIC ACCOUNTING, or is it the PEOPLE, or is it that particular POSITION? Making a blank statement can be foolish…it's just like me saying I hate all men because my ex is a stupid jerk.

    Figure out what it is that you dislike so that you can make in informed decision as to what to do.

    Good luck!

    #522131

    MintsRGood
    Participant

    BobRoss speaks the truth!!! There's a reason my profile pic is a delirium tremens elephant!!! πŸ˜‰

    #522175

    MintsRGood
    Participant

    BobRoss speaks the truth!!! There's a reason my profile pic is a delirium tremens elephant!!! πŸ˜‰

    #522133

    Meowmix77
    Member

    I don't work for B4 but a large national firm (top 7 in revenue) for public. Your happiness is DIRECTLY correlated to how well you like your engagaement team. Sad, but it's true. If you have boring team members, don't listen to music/podcasts while you work, eat lunch together (while working but still eating together), you're going to hate your life.

    I have had in-charges who are fantastic and help guide me along my engagement setting up guidelines and expectations very clearly. This helps tremendously and I don't feel overwhelmed at all. Other in-charges just give you a section to tackle and let you read up on PY workpapers and figure things out, but let you ask questions whenever you run into issues. A GOOD in-charge will know that they are ultimately responsible for signing off on your work, so they will take the time to explain what you need to do to finish as efficiently as possible while producing quality work. You will end up learning what you need to do and you won't be scratching your head wondering wtf is going on.

    I can say I truly enjoy working with my team. They watch out for me and I enjoy spending my time with them. Sorry to hear you're on a bad engagement team.

    #522177

    Meowmix77
    Member

    I don't work for B4 but a large national firm (top 7 in revenue) for public. Your happiness is DIRECTLY correlated to how well you like your engagaement team. Sad, but it's true. If you have boring team members, don't listen to music/podcasts while you work, eat lunch together (while working but still eating together), you're going to hate your life.

    I have had in-charges who are fantastic and help guide me along my engagement setting up guidelines and expectations very clearly. This helps tremendously and I don't feel overwhelmed at all. Other in-charges just give you a section to tackle and let you read up on PY workpapers and figure things out, but let you ask questions whenever you run into issues. A GOOD in-charge will know that they are ultimately responsible for signing off on your work, so they will take the time to explain what you need to do to finish as efficiently as possible while producing quality work. You will end up learning what you need to do and you won't be scratching your head wondering wtf is going on.

    I can say I truly enjoy working with my team. They watch out for me and I enjoy spending my time with them. Sorry to hear you're on a bad engagement team.

    #522135

    neika822
    Participant

    I was in your shoes and quit after 9 months. It was tough, and I temped for a bit until I got my act together and found a good accounting job.

    HOWEVER, looking back, I wish I had just stuck it out until at least a year, or maybe until senior. Your opportunities will be better and you will honestly learn so much.

    #522179

    neika822
    Participant

    I was in your shoes and quit after 9 months. It was tough, and I temped for a bit until I got my act together and found a good accounting job.

    HOWEVER, looking back, I wish I had just stuck it out until at least a year, or maybe until senior. Your opportunities will be better and you will honestly learn so much.

    #522137

    acamp
    Participant

    Sounds like your team needs to spring for a happy hour this Friday πŸ˜€

    Self proclaimed: Highest ratio of Replies to Others v. Posts Created on A71

    California CPA - Big4 Aud Manager Alum - Private Accounting at Startups

    FAR, REG and BEC with Ninja Notes + WTB Only

    #522181

    acamp
    Participant

    Sounds like your team needs to spring for a happy hour this Friday πŸ˜€

    Self proclaimed: Highest ratio of Replies to Others v. Posts Created on A71

    California CPA - Big4 Aud Manager Alum - Private Accounting at Startups

    FAR, REG and BEC with Ninja Notes + WTB Only

    #522139

    tough_kitty
    Member

    Boring is better than drama. It's a job. No other place will be any better. You gotta change your attitude and make the best of what you have.

    I hated my job too and moved to a different department after 1.5 years but it wasn't any better so I came back to my old job with a different attitude and I love it now. Of course it helped that some of my co-workers changed in the meantime πŸ˜‰

    #522183

    tough_kitty
    Member

    Boring is better than drama. It's a job. No other place will be any better. You gotta change your attitude and make the best of what you have.

    I hated my job too and moved to a different department after 1.5 years but it wasn't any better so I came back to my old job with a different attitude and I love it now. Of course it helped that some of my co-workers changed in the meantime πŸ˜‰

    #522141

    TXgurl
    Member

    Not all public accounting firms are the same, of course. And not all jobs within the public accounting arena are the same. (No duh) I worked in a large regional firm in tax in Philadelphia, and then a small local firm, and now as controller for a small non-profit.

    My favorite job is the small local public accounting firm situation. They let me be the “soup to nuts” accountant for small businesses, so I did financial statements and tax. Pay was great, I got to learn a lot and gained a lot of skills, hours around 50 during tax season. And I really liked my team.

    The controller for the small non-profit is okay, but it's a little boring. I like the variety that a small public accounting firm offers.

    On the flip side, I also had a job where the partner broke into my locked desk at night to see what I was “hiding”, he made people cry, he accused me of “stealing” his clients. He was totally insane! But I really needed a job, and I sucked it up for two years.

    So the upshot of this post is – what did you like to do? If you want to be an accountant, there are so many options out there. Concentrate on learning whatever you can on current the job, and prepare to move on.

    #522185

    TXgurl
    Member

    Not all public accounting firms are the same, of course. And not all jobs within the public accounting arena are the same. (No duh) I worked in a large regional firm in tax in Philadelphia, and then a small local firm, and now as controller for a small non-profit.

    My favorite job is the small local public accounting firm situation. They let me be the “soup to nuts” accountant for small businesses, so I did financial statements and tax. Pay was great, I got to learn a lot and gained a lot of skills, hours around 50 during tax season. And I really liked my team.

    The controller for the small non-profit is okay, but it's a little boring. I like the variety that a small public accounting firm offers.

    On the flip side, I also had a job where the partner broke into my locked desk at night to see what I was “hiding”, he made people cry, he accused me of “stealing” his clients. He was totally insane! But I really needed a job, and I sucked it up for two years.

    So the upshot of this post is – what did you like to do? If you want to be an accountant, there are so many options out there. Concentrate on learning whatever you can on current the job, and prepare to move on.

    #522143

    Anonymous

    Well, before I go all sunshine and rainbows on you, I will start by saying, public accounting is absolutely not for everyone. There are many people who work all the way through college and dream of a career in public accounting and do all the interviews with all the big 4 firms and sit through the people telling them about the long hours and say they don't care and get there and literally hate it, can't stand it and never make it a year. It happens, the job is not always fun. To me, it sounds like you have an awful team. I don't know if you've been on the same team the whole time and you just need a new team, or if you've been on several engagements since starting and you really just do not like public accounting, if it's the latter, I'd say it's likely not worth your misery to stay. It won't get better. If it's the former, I would promptly talk to your counselor or scheduler or someone and ask to be put on a new team, is there a job you know of that has an opening or just a big job that could need someone? Let them know you are really unhappy and need a change, this is not as scary or unheard of as staff seem to think it is…they've invested a lot of money in you and trust me they'd rather move you to another team than lose you, so if that's all it is and you think it would help then ask. To me, I love public accounting, I love auditing…and I've been doing it a long time now…I love my clients, I love that we are always on the cutting edge of the newest guidance, we get trained on it first and our clients ask us about how to implement it and they consider us the experts. I love that right out of college our firm trusts us to go interact with the people running fortune 500 companies, the CFO's, the controllers, and get exposure that really benefits us when we are ready to leave, that business savvy will serve you immeasurably in the future…and I can tell you of countless job offers my friends have received from cold calls from clients that wanted to hire them…without them ever applying for the job. The contacts you make in this career are great. Also, the best thing for me about this job is I have no idea what I want to do, I know I have no desire to go work in an accounting dept. somewhere with a bunch of old ladies doing bank recs every month, but what it is I do want to do, I have no idea…what industry I want to do it in…no clue…but working in public accounting I get a lot of exposure to different industries and different size companies and it lets me see what kind of company or industry I might want to go work in one day. Plus, the vacation and flexibility once you are not a staff is great, being able to work from home or come in late, work all of your hours in 4 days and take Friday off without charging a vacation day, if you need to is really great, those things can't be overlooked in my book. Plus I love the fact that I work with other intelligent people that are young and driven…and if I don't know something there is always someone I can ask who most certainly does. So yes, the job can be super frustrating, and yes, every single day I feel stupid at some point…but feeling stupid means I'm learning something new…which is great too πŸ™‚ So…if you're having a bad day, I say try to teach someone else something that may be struggling…maybe the interns just started? Help them out and see if you can change the attitude in your audit room? Ask the senior if you can institute a day where the team does something different for lunch that you want to do…or plays music at night…or something…make some suggestions for making it a better environment…I'm sure they would love to have their work environment not suck so bad too! Good luck either way!

    #522187

    Anonymous

    Well, before I go all sunshine and rainbows on you, I will start by saying, public accounting is absolutely not for everyone. There are many people who work all the way through college and dream of a career in public accounting and do all the interviews with all the big 4 firms and sit through the people telling them about the long hours and say they don't care and get there and literally hate it, can't stand it and never make it a year. It happens, the job is not always fun. To me, it sounds like you have an awful team. I don't know if you've been on the same team the whole time and you just need a new team, or if you've been on several engagements since starting and you really just do not like public accounting, if it's the latter, I'd say it's likely not worth your misery to stay. It won't get better. If it's the former, I would promptly talk to your counselor or scheduler or someone and ask to be put on a new team, is there a job you know of that has an opening or just a big job that could need someone? Let them know you are really unhappy and need a change, this is not as scary or unheard of as staff seem to think it is…they've invested a lot of money in you and trust me they'd rather move you to another team than lose you, so if that's all it is and you think it would help then ask. To me, I love public accounting, I love auditing…and I've been doing it a long time now…I love my clients, I love that we are always on the cutting edge of the newest guidance, we get trained on it first and our clients ask us about how to implement it and they consider us the experts. I love that right out of college our firm trusts us to go interact with the people running fortune 500 companies, the CFO's, the controllers, and get exposure that really benefits us when we are ready to leave, that business savvy will serve you immeasurably in the future…and I can tell you of countless job offers my friends have received from cold calls from clients that wanted to hire them…without them ever applying for the job. The contacts you make in this career are great. Also, the best thing for me about this job is I have no idea what I want to do, I know I have no desire to go work in an accounting dept. somewhere with a bunch of old ladies doing bank recs every month, but what it is I do want to do, I have no idea…what industry I want to do it in…no clue…but working in public accounting I get a lot of exposure to different industries and different size companies and it lets me see what kind of company or industry I might want to go work in one day. Plus, the vacation and flexibility once you are not a staff is great, being able to work from home or come in late, work all of your hours in 4 days and take Friday off without charging a vacation day, if you need to is really great, those things can't be overlooked in my book. Plus I love the fact that I work with other intelligent people that are young and driven…and if I don't know something there is always someone I can ask who most certainly does. So yes, the job can be super frustrating, and yes, every single day I feel stupid at some point…but feeling stupid means I'm learning something new…which is great too πŸ™‚ So…if you're having a bad day, I say try to teach someone else something that may be struggling…maybe the interns just started? Help them out and see if you can change the attitude in your audit room? Ask the senior if you can institute a day where the team does something different for lunch that you want to do…or plays music at night…or something…make some suggestions for making it a better environment…I'm sure they would love to have their work environment not suck so bad too! Good luck either way!

    #522145

    evesocal
    Member

    Not everyone hates it. There is a HUGE difference from one firm to the next in public accounting as in any other profession.

    I've worked in 5 different firms over the past 30 years. All had pros and cons but I was happy enough at four of them and the last one, where I am now, is the best. I've been here for 15 years.

    I hated one of them and lasted just a few months there.

    #522189

    evesocal
    Member

    Not everyone hates it. There is a HUGE difference from one firm to the next in public accounting as in any other profession.

    I've worked in 5 different firms over the past 30 years. All had pros and cons but I was happy enough at four of them and the last one, where I am now, is the best. I've been here for 15 years.

    I hated one of them and lasted just a few months there.

    #522147

    Having never worked in a Big 4, I'm really not qualified to comment on it. However, from what I've heard from everyone I've met who has worked in a Big 4, I don't understand why anyone would ever subject themselves to that b.s. I work in a small firm (13 employees) and I absolutely love it. We all get along and everyone helps one another out. The partners and senior personnel are all very nice, patient and willing to pass down hundreds of years of combined experience.. Sure the hours are murderous during tax season, but that's the name of the game.

    If you hate it perhaps look into a smaller firm, you may enjoy it. Don't base your entire opinion on Public Accounting just on that one experience.

    #522191

    Having never worked in a Big 4, I'm really not qualified to comment on it. However, from what I've heard from everyone I've met who has worked in a Big 4, I don't understand why anyone would ever subject themselves to that b.s. I work in a small firm (13 employees) and I absolutely love it. We all get along and everyone helps one another out. The partners and senior personnel are all very nice, patient and willing to pass down hundreds of years of combined experience.. Sure the hours are murderous during tax season, but that's the name of the game.

    If you hate it perhaps look into a smaller firm, you may enjoy it. Don't base your entire opinion on Public Accounting just on that one experience.

    #522149

    jlough
    Member

    @OP— I'm going to assume this is your first real job out of college? If not, then disregard everything I'm going to say πŸ™‚ Your comments sound like issues that you'll have in any job- not liking your coworkers, doing boring work, having inflexible hours. It takes a year or so to adjust from being a student to working full time. I would give it a full year and see if it gets better.

    Even though you are having a hard time now, just think about the fact that the longer you stick it out in public, the better the opportunities will be down the line. I stayed in public for 3 years and I really wish I had gotten my license back then and stuck it out until manager. But hey, hindsight is 20/20, right? But if you really hate it after a year, don't stay. Life is too short to be unhappy 50+ hours a week.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 57 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.