Welcome to the Friday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies (aka: why doesn’t anyone want to poach me?). In today’s edition, an E&Y audit staff has HAD IT with her trade. Problem is, she’s concerned that she might be doomed for “long hours and boring work.” Plus, she’s already has passed the CPA exam and needs to meet the hours requirement. Is her career doomed to boredom and lack of certification?
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Back to fed-up-auditor du jour:
I am currently working at EY in auditing at the staff 2 level. I am miserable in audit and have been trying to stick out my time here until at least senior status, but I’ve come to realize that I just cannot take 9 more months of this work. As such, I am currently exploring my options as to what else is available out there for me.
I have already passed the CPA exams and the only thing holding me back from obtaining my CPA is the CPA hours requirement. Can you recommend a transition job that will get me AWAY from audit but still allow me to put the work hours towards my CPA? I understand that financial advisory is one option and I am considering looking into such positions at Deloitte (because of their large FAS practice). However, the problem is that I’m not sure how different the nature of the work will be in financial advisory. Will I be met with long hours and boring work, similar to audit?
Can you PLEASE help a sista out?
– Concerned About My Own Going Concern
Dear Concerned Sista,
Will you “be met with long hours and boring work?” If by, “boring work” you mean “Microsoft Excel” and by “long hours” you mean, “more than 9 to 5” our response is “possibly” and “HELL YES.” We will not address the question about “long hours.” That is a matter of record all over this site. As far as the work, if it’s the nature of auditing you find dull, you’ll be glad to know that advisory services has many interesting practice areas but think about it, you have an accounting degree (presumably), for crissakes. There will be numbers and spreadsheets involved (if that’s what you find boring). What, exactly, were you expecting? Flip cup tournaments broken up by 2 hour lunches?
The good news is, the season is ripe for people looking to move to another Big 4 firm. However, you might be a little short on experience to jump over to Deloitte FAS. These practice areas are very specific and with only a couple years under your belt, it will be a tough sell. Obviously, this shouldn’t dissuade you but you’re officially on notice that it’s an uphill battle.
As far as your CPA is concerned, many states allow work experience in areas outside public accounting so unless your state has very specific requirements for licensure, you’ll be fine. This means you should take a hard luck about what you do like about accounting and make a decision from there. Keeping in mind that this could mean getting out of the Big 4 altogether. Good luck.