Accountants Are the Referees of Business, Says Guy Who Would Know
There’s another article about the accountant shortage today and this time it’s in Insider. There’s nothing in there you don’t already know — enrollments are down, boomers are retiring, the process of becoming a CPA is extra and sucks, kids need to be convinced that accounting is great, blah blah — but they did get […]
The Big 4, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Is it Just Corporate BS?
I am a Big 4 alum and I spent many years in the audit profession before I transitioned to academia. I teach accounting in the Southeast at a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), which means that at least 25% of the students are Hispanic. I am also Hispanic. I grew up at Deloitte, the same as Joe […]
Are Accounting Firms Accruing Management Debt Off-Balance Sheet?
Once again I found myself at a bit of a loss as to what to write this month. So to get some inspiration (read: procrastinate) I spent Sunday morning reading the latest on Going Concern. I read Caleb’s article, Bob Moritz Has Your Back, Millennials, but was most interested in the comments. I saw this […]
What’s the Deal with These Public Accounting Sophomore Leadership Programs?
Recruiting events and firm slogans may change over time — even year to year — but one thing is constant: competition for top talent. Long gone are the days when firms scrutinized a candidate’s grade in intermediate accounting to see if they could make the cut. Today some firms aren’t even waiting for candidates to […]
Is College That Guy on eBay Who Never Paid For the Crap You Sent Him?
Recently, I spoke to a group of accounting students in a Cost II class. One woman asked me a great question: “Do you regret anything?” The question came up after I told the students that I left my last employer (PwC) to start my own company after working only a few years. While I don’t […]
A Young Reader Requests the Lowdown on Santa Clara University’s Accounting Program
Are you considering wasting my time instead of wasting your own when you should be studying for the CPA exam? Do you get off on degenerates criticizing you? Just need a good old fashioned AG talking to? Get in touch and I'll help you procrastinate by answering questions you could ask Google. I was wondering […]
New Accounting Club President Needs Help Trolling Peers, Firms
Need help working on your office etiquette or lack thereof? Trying to figure out how to hit on your colleague without getting dragged off to 12 weeks of sexual harassment training? We've got your back, just get in touch. I've just been elected Accounting Club President! Any suggestions on how to best troll my peers […]
Ever Wonder What Accounting Firm Recruiting Seminars Look Like? Here You Go
The following slides were sent to us from a reliable source who works within public accounting in a capacity that does not involve actual accounting. Call that talent acquisition if you’d like, all we know is that our source sat in on an actual seminar about recruiting talent that included these actual slides. I don’t […]
Bloomberg/BusinessWeek’s Top Undergrad Business Schools of 2012 List Doesn’t Do the Top CPA Exam School Justice
Not to burst Wake Forest's bubble but Bloomberg/BusinessWeek just gave them 19th in their list of top undergrad business schools in America for 2012. (Notre Dame was #1) That's really sad but it doesn't change the fact they dominate on the CPA exam. Just for shits and giggles, let's see how Bloomberg's top 5 undergrad […]
Top Accounting Schools Had a So-so Year in Men’s Basketball, According to the Nerdiest Bracket Ever
For the last couple of years, our friends at Brigham Young University have put together a simulated bracket to see how the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament would shake out if the schools with the most productive accounting researchers were crowned winners rather than shooting a leather ball through a hoop. Exciting! Why do you need […]
Let’s *Try* to Have a Civil Discussion About Accounting Program Rankings
Every year, U.S. News & World Report bestows their storied list of best Colleges and Universities. It's a great opportunity to show school pride (unless you're a Penn State alum) or to make snide remarks because you went to a TTT and are mad with envy. Because we know that discussing loaded rankings such as […]
Northern Illinois Accounting Professor Is the Subject of the Nerdiest, Most Obscure Hitler Parody Video To Date
The Hitler outburst video meme has long run its course but every once in a while, a new one emerges that is mildly amusing. Rarely are these videos centered on accounting-related matters and even if they are, they tend to be quite unfunny. Today, We received a link to the latest offering and yes, while […]
In Honor of CPA Day, Let’s Talk Maryland Colleges’ CPA Exam Results
Contributor note: I'm in Annapolis all day with Tom Hood and the amazing Maryland Association of CPAs for their annual CPA Day. Follow #CPADAY12 on Twitter for live updates as Maryland CPAs storm the State House! Though no one has asked for these results, it's only fitting that I cover Maryland CPA exam performance from […]
Here Are a Bunch of Opportunities for Accounting Students to Get Free Money
Alright so it isn't hundreds of thousands of dollars but if you're trying to scrape together a few bucks for school, try this super handy list via This Way to CPA. Just some examples of the scholarships listed: Accounting students in Pennsylvania can snag up to $15,000 from the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs; New Jersey […]
Do You Know an Exceptional Accounting Educator?
You've probably never heard of it (degenerates) but the AICPA Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award recognizes full-time college accounting educators distinguished for excellence in teaching and for national prominence in the accounting profession. The award has a dual function: to extend profession-wide recognition to the recipient and promote role models in academia. The third […]
Why Don’t More Accounting Professors Blog?
I’ll admit, I’ve trolled Tom Selling’s Accounting Onion. From what I hear, Tom doesn’t appreciate my potty mouth but that doesn’t mean I appreciate his salty opinion any less. He hates the idea of IFRS in the U.S., which immediately endears anyone to me, and I enjoy his candid (if slightly more boring than what you all are used to here on Going Concern) tone.
So when I was in full-on troll mode and saw Tom’s recent Why Do Accounting Academics Blog Less Than Other Academics? post, I had to tweet it. Short version of the eems like every bunch of academics except those in accounting seem to blog their bookish little butts off?
Well one blogging academic didn’t like that tweet (don’t shoot the messenger, bro, I am in enough trouble for my actual opinions, I don’t need heat on account of someone else’s *troll win*) and ended up writing an entire post in response *extra troll win*. Associate Professor and Chair of Accounting & Taxation at Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, Mark Holtzman, wrote the following on his Accounting Ethicist blog:
Last night I read the Accounting Onion’s latest post, asking “why do accounting academics blog less than other academics?” The writer, Tom Selling, offers a novel, if implausible theory:
We (accounting professors) rely on the Big-4 oligopoly to hire our students:
There are certainly tradeoffs to blogging, but they all seem to be roughly the same across academic disciplines, except for the presence of the Big Four. For some reason, that appears to be a net negative in relation to blogging opportunities.
Could it be that blogging by accounting professors is detrimental to the career prospects of one’s accounting students? I’m just asking.
I immediately tweeted that this post was not nice or true. (I then added, in a second tweet, that “Accounting professors don’t blog much because we are too busy with teaching, research and service.” That was admittedly a poorly-thought-out answer – Accounting professors are just as busy as English profs or any other area.)
First of all, Accounting Onion’s theory would suggest that somehow the Big-4 fuel an atmosphere of fear. Here’s a narrative: Accounting academics are afraid to say what they really think for fear of upsetting Big-4 recruiters, and that Big-4 recruiters would viciously retaliate against these academics by refusing to hire their students. That’s ridiculous. I think I can speak for my colleagues when I say that we’re not willing to lie (or withhold the truth) in order to get prestigious employers to hire our students.
Furthermore, I’ve worked for the Big-4 (or I should say the Big-8 and Big-6 – scratch that! I haven’t worked for the Big-4, have I?). In my capacity as a Department Chair, I know many Big-4 recruiters and employees. And we accounting professors do have a lot of far-fetched opinions. But I don’t know any recruiters or partners who would retaliate against students because of their professors’ far-fetched opinions. The Big-4 firms are very systematic about who they recruit and wise enough to hire our students in spite of us and our wacky opinions.
That said, how do we answer Accounting Onion’s question? Where are all the accounting professor-bloggers?
Here goes: I’m sorry to say that accounting doesn’t make for very interesting blogging. See any interesting tax footnotes lately? How ’bout that new FASB proposal? IFRS is already a joke – how many bloggers do we need to point that out? Here comes “Little GAAP.” Is there anything interesting to say about “Little GAAP?” And while I’m at it, have you ever seen the list of topics at a AAA meeting? There could be more accounting professor blogs, yes, but who would want to read all that [email protected]?
He goes on to point out that there are notable exceptions to the rule – Going Concern being one of them – but for the most part, the gist I got was that accounting is too fucking boring to warrant dedicating one’s time and effort to writing about it. Thanks for crushing my lofty career goals and any pride I had (if I ever did) in what I actually do for a living.
Pride isn’t the only thing that makes me take issue with that. I have somehow made writing about accounting my life for the last three years so I get that it’s boring. Trust me, I am the last person on the planet who would have ever thought accounting could be interesting but then I started following the adoption of IFRS in the U.S., SEC employees’ porn problems, massive frauds and interesting police blotters starring CPAs around the country. Know what? It’s not that fucking boring. And I don’t just say that to make myself feel better about my questionable career choices.
Who would want to read about that crap? A lot of people, actually. I am amazed by the amount of traffic I get on accounting-related posts on Jr Deputy Accountant that are months or even years old. Are accountants on top of the news cycle? Well no, there is no news cycle. Thank God I have the CPA exam to write about or else I might be out of a job for as little news we get in this industry. But accountants are just as interested in opinion and information as anyone, if not more.
So? What do you guys think? Would you actually read blogs by your accounting professors?
West Virginia University to Offer PhD Program in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation
Did you ever have dreams of being a doctor that busted the bad guys? Something like Quincy. Or maybe Robert Langdon. When you opted to go into accounting, you probably thought those dreams were hopeless.
Well, we have good news for you aspiring number-crunching crime fighters who still yearn for the “Dr.” prefix. West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics is announcing (later today, we’re told) that they will be offering the first doctoral program in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation. The program will admit its first students in August 2012 and will prepare individuals for a career in accounting research and teaching at the university level.
Shall we hear from scholarly types? Okay!
“West Virginia University’s Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation program has been a model for other colleges and universities across the country,” said WVU President Dr. Jim Clements. “Our expertise has made us a national leader in this field, and the addition of the Ph.D. program will provide WVU with an important opportunity to create scholars in the areas of fraud, forensics and ethics. I applaud the faculty for all they have done to make this possible.”
Dr. Clements is referring to WVU’s Graduate Certificate in FAFI and the new PhD program will simply add to the University’s scholarly fraud-busting prowess. Dr. Jose V. Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, of the school said, “This new Ph.D. program is the next logical step in building a complete educational offering in these specific areas, and that step is due to the commitment and expertise of our excellent faculty. This program is a reflection of their long and dedicated work.”
So this is a pretty exciting for the accounting sleuths (amateur or professional) out there if you’re interested in taking your wonkiness to the next level. Whether or not it has the Sam Antars of the world shaking in the boots is another question.
Anyone interested should contact Dr. Tim Pearson or check out the program on the WVU website. Get crackin’.
Going Concern Wants Your Schwag
Keep your pants on, folks – we’re talking Post-its, t-shirts, and whatever else you got your grubby hands on at this season’s campus recruiting events.
Career fair season is in full swing and many of you have already met with the firms’ campus recruiting teams, waited in line for hours to shake the sweaty palm of a 1st year associate, attended countless Powerpoint-heavy presentations.
u were bound to receive some goodies to go along with the “work-life is amazing here!” speeches. Professionals, I’m sure you hoarded the highlighters and page flags. Because I am pinned to my desk in Midtown and Caleb is busy eavesdropping on Denver coffee shop regulars, we were not able to travel to campuses this semester but we would still like to be kept up to date on the latest and greatest (and lamest) in campus recruiting schwag. Dig through those “green” bags from the career fair and share the accounting firm lovin’ with us.
What to share:
1. Mail us your extras. If you’ve got some great goodies you want to share with us, email Caleb for his address and put that shit in the mail. As a thank you, he’ll return the favor by sending you Going Concern schwag. Nothing says “too cool for management accounting class” like a Going Concern bumper sticker.
2. Take some pictures. Don’t want to part with that leaky coffee mug from Grant Thornton? Did you win a XXL winter PwC fleece at the University of Miami career fair but want to hold on to it “for when it gets chilly”? Send Caleb (suitable for work) pictures of the gear. Bonus points if the EY teddy bear is taking it to the KPMG stuffed puppy.
3. Tell us a story. Did something ridiculous happen at one of the recruiting events? Partners making out with interns? Intern on intern action? Did someone lose an offer because they had one too many flaming nipple shots?
For those of you worried about your privacy…
Come on now, it’s a moot point by now. It’s no secret that this site would not exist without the anonymous sources, tips, career advice questions, and cutthroat comments that you all provide every day. You make this place bearable, welcoming, helpful, and funny as hell.
Think about some of the stories that Caleb has covered here – PwC’s re-branding strategy, KPMG’s random hiring freeze, McGladery firings. Does he ever blow the top on his sources? Do I ever turn around and call the HR department of every firm who’s professionals reach out to us about looking for jobs? Ummmmm…no. We’re grown ups. We respect your decisions and appreciate it when they are relevant to a story for GC.com. You scratch our backs with tips, and we provide you and the rest of the industry an opportunity to sound off.
Why are we doing this?
We want to keep everyone up to date on how their potential bonus money is being spent on frivolous travel alarm clocks, obviously. That, and we thought it’d be fun – brainless, thoughtless, and not-as-negative-as-every-other-story-in-the-news-today kind of fun. Plus, we know that all recruiting efforts are not created equal. What is handed out in Chicago is not what’s thrown your way in Dallas. Do you really think Greendale Community College see the same hand-outs as Lehigh students? Hell no. Share the stories, share the free schwag lovin’.
Let’s Bicker About the U.S. News Accounting Program Rankings
Wow — Texas, Illinois, BYU are the top three? No one saw this coming.
1. Texas – Austin
2. Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
4. Southern Cal
7. Notre Dame
10. Ohio St, Washington (tie)
Not exactly sure if Michigan jumped over Notre Dame at the last second in this year’s ranking but I’d like to imagine a flurry of points coming in late to catapult the Wolverines over ND. Sorry, John. Btw, here’s the methodology if you’re into that sort of thing.
KPMG Wants to Help College Students Find Jobs (Presumably, Even the English Majors)
KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, announced today the release of the KPMG GO app for iPhone® and iPad®, designed to provide tips and information to help college students in every major launch their job search in today’s competitive employment environment.
Available for download in the Apple iTunes Store, KPMG’s new application delivers fresh videos, articles, blog posts, Q&As, and branding tips from its partners as well as its professionals in HR and campus recruiting. “Today’s students face a very competitive market and need every advantage to make a good impression and secure that first job,” said Blane Ruschak, KPMG’s executive director of university relations and recruiting. “We are excited to offer a resource that provides helpful and practical advice to young adults entering the job market.” [KPMG]
(UPDATE) Can Anyone Make Sense of Ernst & Young’s Hiring Numbers?
I’ve been out of the numbers game for awhile now but for the life of me, I can’t figure out just how many people Ernst & Young will be hiring off campus for this year. Or is it last year? The firm put out a press release yesterday that states that it “will hire approximately 5,000 students from campuses across the US in the 2010-2011 academic year.” That’s all fine and good but it’s different from the report in CNN back in March that we told you about that said “It’s looking to hire 7,000 employees from college campuses — 4,500 full-time and 2,500 interns […] in 2011.”
That report also stated that “campus recruits are up 20%,” but yesterday’s press release said “campus hiring [increased] 25 percent from last year.”
All told, E&Y and the rest of the Big 4 are hiring lots of people but the numbers don’t quite add up. The nice folks at E&Y are trying to help me out, so I’ll report back when I’ve got some answers.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed by an E&Y spokesperson that “numbers referenced in the release are for the US, whereas the numbers cited in the Fortune article are for the Americas.” To clarify, the “Americas” includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean.
[via Ernst & Young]
Deloitte Bankrolls Center for Ethical Leadership at Notre Dame
John Veihmeyer can’t be pleased by this.
The Notre Dame/Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership will focus on advancing ethical leadership in business, including research, thought leadership and the dissemination of ethics-related content to the business community in the United State and around the world, the university announced Monday.
The center is being established with a major gift from Deloitte LLP, a private professional services company, according to the university. The amount of the gift was not disclosed.
Presumably portions of the curriculum will educate students on how to piece together your spouse’s new hobby with insider trading activity.
Final Call for Any Accounting Students Interested in Free Money
Just a quick reminder gang – the deadline for the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship is tonight at midnight. So if you or anyone you know might be interested in winning some free money for college, I suggest you get on this ASAP.
We now return to your regularly scheduled inflammatory nonsense.
Attention Accounting Students Interested in Free Money
The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.
If you know an accounting student, or if you are an accounting student, get busy and get writing. The deadline for the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship is midnight Thursday, March 31.
The clock is ticking, but there is still a window of opportunity for accounting students to compose an essay of no more than 500 words with the topic, “There’s an App for That.” Essays will be judged on creativity, innovation, quality of writing, structure, logic, and, where applicable, sources and research.
Participation in the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship program is open to U.S., Canadian, and Mexican citizens who are students attending colleges, universities, and professional schools of accounting in North America. Students applying for the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship must have already completed at least one semester or two trimesters of full-time college and must be declared accounting majors, effective for the fall of 2011. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to enter.
The scholarship is a $1,000 one-time award, payable to the educational institution where winning students are in attendance as full-time students, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent, and who are declared accounting majors. Transcripts are required as evidence of this status. More details and a link to the online application are available in the Scholarship Rules.
Students can submit their application online or by U.S. mail. All applications must be postmarked or submitted by midnight Eastern time, March 31, 2011.
Click here to forward this message to your favorite accounting student!
(UPDATE, VIDEO) GW Accounting Professor Gives Qualified Opinion of Referee’s Services, Gets Ejected
Up until now, we’ve heard more about accounting professors losing their clothes (shirt, pants) than anything their tempers. But today, we learned about a prof who was expressing an expert opinion (perhaps a little too strongly) on the value of a service:
An accounting professor and high-profile supporter of the GW Athletics program was escorted from the Smith Center Saturday for verbally confronting a referee over a foul call. From his sideline seat on the court, Robert Kasmir yelled at the referee over a foul call on sophomore forward David Pellom, prompting his removal from the court by a member of the athletics department. “Basically, I told the ref he was the worst ref I’d ever seen and he wasn’t worth the $1,600 dollars they were paying him and that was it,” Kasmir said. “And then he ejected me from the game.”
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that Mr Kasmir isn’t that bad of a guy:
Kasmir’s ejection came after he and his family were honored during the second half for their contributions to GW Athletics. Kasmir, who received his MBA from GW in 1974, has made at least one donation to the University ranging from $10,000 to $24,999, according to financial documents. Kasmir said the ejection would not keep him from making further donations to the University in the future.
But as for that referee, Kasmir has a very unqualified view, “I think the official should never be allowed to officiate another game in the Atlantic 10, in college basketball, in the United States.”
UPDATE: From the Post for those of you that like visuals:
Professor, donor tossed from basketball game [GW Hatchet via Deadspin]
Grad Assistants May Starve After University of Illinois ‘Payroll Glitch’ Results in Back Taxes Owed
The irony being that UI is consistently one of the top accounting programs in the country. The Champaign News-Gazette has the scoop:
The University of Illinois failed to withhold taxes for hundreds of graduate assistants over seven years, resulting in thousands of dollars in back taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service. The payroll “glitch” also means some graduate assistants will go without pay for the next few months to cover taxes owed on their tuition and service fee waivers. About 280 graduate assistants will be taxed for part of their 2011 tuition waivers starting this month, and 17 who owe more than their next few paychecks will get no pay for three months, officials said.
Seven years. Hopefully some of the grad assistants have some money saved but it sounds like more than a few of them will be having a helluva time with this. The Graduate Employees’ Organization director of communication, Natalie Uhl gets serious:
“For some of them, they have absolutely no way to pay rent next month, no way to buy food,” she said. Some students are planning to drop out of school, Uhl said. “They’ll essentially be paying to work for the school,” she said. “They’ll be receiving no money for the work that they do.”
Jesus. That’s worse than working for minimum wage at an accounting firm! The University, for their whole role in this, is saying “my bad” but rationalizes the lack of paying the GAs by keeping things no nonsense. This is the IRS we’re talking about, after all. They’ve got guns!
“We feel bad about the inconvenience. We understand that the additional withholding may create a hardship, and it’s unfortunate. We’re required by the law to take the withholding,” [UI spokesman Thomas Hardy] said.
UI didn’t withhold taxes for hundreds of grad assistants [CNG]
University of Tampa Wants Accounting Firms to Get to Know Beta Alpha Psi Members with New Recruiting Tool
As previously discussed, the fall recruiting onslaught is a huge part of the major accounting firms’ strategy to keep as many bright-eyed and bushy-tailed auditors, tax and advisory professionals on staff. Some schools simply rely on their reputation for churning out dynamite candidates on paper to keep the firms coming back but what about other schools that don’t necessarily enjoy the sterling reputation?
Well for starters, you could burn those other schools to the ground. If doing a 6 to 10 stretch doesn’t work for your career plan, then perhaps getting your name out there before you meet the firms will help.
That’s exactly what the University of Tampa’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter is doing for their members – posting their photo, bio, résumés and email address to allow firms to get to know candidates prior to meeting on campus.
So far the feedback has been positive, including some from KPMG that was included in the chapter’s press release:
“It was a great resource for us to be able to recall the individuals that we had the opportunity to meet, and then easily review their goals and current status, and then further review their resumes. It allowed us to obtain quick and accurate information on those we met.”
Perusing around some of the other chapters like Texas, Notre Dame and BYU it’s pretty obvious that U. Tampa’s site is more interactive and easier to navigate. Plus, if you’re participating in the recruiting in the process for your firm, it’s a great way to prepare to meet recruits as opposed to the standard awkward small talk.
Kudos to U. Tampa BAP for getting their members names and faces out there. Hopefully other chapters will follow their example to engage more effectively with the firms in their cities and regions to assist members as they go through the recruiting process.
What if the Final Four Was Based on Accounting Research Production?
We realize this is a strange question but hear us out. Many of you have had brackets on the brain for the last couple of weeks and this was not lost on some faculty members at Brigham Young University. David Wood, Brady Williams, Scott Summers and Joshua Coyne created the bracket below to demonstrate what this year’s NCAA tournament would look like if the schools advanced based on the productivity of accounting researchers. It was based on their paper entitled, “Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology.”
We spoke with David Wood, Assistant Professor at BYU and he clarified for us that the bracket was based solely on the schools in the 2010 tournament. “For example, Stanford is rated first for number of articles published but they weren’t in this year’s tournament, so their productivity isn’t seen here,” David said.
As you can see above, BYU did okay for themselves, reaching the Final Four, along with real-life Final Four teams Michigan State and Duke. Ultimately, accounting powerhouse Texas-Austin came out on top, taking out the CPA mavens at Wake Forest in the first round. Professor Wood explained, “There is a disconnect between CPA exam success and research production,” thus a research program like McCombs that produces many papers every year will always come out on top.
Eleven journals were selected for the purposes of the paper:
• Accounting, Organizations, and Society
• Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
• Behavioral Research in Accounting
• Contemporary Accounting Research
• Journal of Accounting & Economics
• Journal of Accounting Information Systems
• Journal of Accounting Research
• Journal of Management Accounting Research
• Journal of the American Taxation Association
• Review of Accounting Studies
• The Accounting Review
Now before you judge, this particular method of illustrating both basketball and accounting prowess may serve those of you well that are considering a PhD in future. Don’t laugh, we know you’re out there.
Accounting Program Research Rankings by Topical Area and Methodology [SSRN]
NCAA Tournament Simulated Using Accounting Research Rankings
Is Deloitte Trying to Ruin Spring Break?
We kid, we kid. Deloitte would never want to ruin spring break but they are giving a few students an alternative to drinking themselves blind for a week and possibly getting a bad case of crabs.
The firm is teaming up with the United Way and Teach for America for the third consecutive year to offer “Maximum Impact: Deloitte Alternative Spring Break”.
We’ve got no idea if all the slots are filled up but since one of them starts this Saturday you best get on this if your Cancun plans have fallen through:
• March 6 – 12 — Deloitte and United Way will co-host 50 students from approximately 30 colleges and universities along with 20 Deloitte professionals during a week of hands-on and skills-based volunteerism in Atlanta, Georgia. Students will work to enhance childcare centers, refurbish playgrounds for low-income youth, guide students in college exploration and promote literacy in children.
• March 14 – 18 — Deloitte and Teach For America will co-host 25 students from six colleges and universities along with 20 professionals from Deloitte and Teach For America for a week of education-centered volunteerism in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Volunteers will spend time working with schools and local students who face the challenges of educational inequity through projects that include improving campuses, developing classroom lessons and helping with class preparation work.
You better get on this ASAP if you’re interested since only 75 students and 40 professionals get to participate. The problem for current Deloittians is most of you are eyeballs deep in busy season anyway so this isn’t an option. So does this mean that non-busy season types like Jim Quigely, Barry Salberg, and Punit Renjen will be in attendance? And if so will they be sporting new board shorts for the pool time they are able to squeeze in?
Deloitte Offers Students Chance to Give Back, Explore Careers on Spring Break [Press Release]
Wake Forest Students’ CPA Exam Domination Is Explained
Last week we briefly mentioned Wake Forest’s announcement that their graduates had achieved the highest average scores on the CPA exam for the fifth year in a row. Wondering how such dominance could be made possible we decided to get ��������������������ate Professor Dr. Yvonne Hinson to find out.
The two main points that is primarily responsible for WFU students’ success on the CPA exam that Dr. Hinson impressed upon us were the ambition of the students and the curriculum that they go through. “We bring in very good students through our screening process and the students create an extremely competitive atmosphere,” Dr. Hinson told us. To compliment these go-getters, the faculty is always thinking ahead as to how to make the curriculum as challenging and relevant as possible.
Here are a few questions we asked Dr. Hinson about the success at Wake Forest:
What helps Wake Forest accounting students be so successful on the CPA Exam especially since these scores are for students without advanced degrees?
I believe that this relates to multiple things including:
1) Innovative curriculum that constantly changes. We teach the basics but try to always stay abreast of the emerging trends in the industry an incorporate those throughout our program where we decide they are relevant and ongoing. An example is out IFRS integration last year which was a full curriculum integration. We received a grant from PwC to complete this.
2) Faculty that are incredibly tied to the profession
3) Small class sizes and a lot of interaction between faculty and students. You can NOT hide in our classes!
4) Strong, motivated students.
5) We use Becker CPA review but the sections are handled my subject matter experts rather than all sections of Becker supervised by one or two people. Our faculty actually teach the Becker review.
Does the faculty make a point of communicating the importance of the exam?
Not really – there is the usual marketing around the results but the students tend to be very competitive and really drive a lot of that themselves. We do stress the importance of trying to get it out of the way before you begin work rather than trying to work busy season hours while also studying for the exam.
What is the biggest key that you (and your fellow faculty members) tell your students with re: to the exam?
Get it out of the way!! You do not want to be taking it while working if possible. We offer the review in May and June in an intensive session so that this is all they are concentrating on at that time.
Do most students take review courses in preparation for the exam?
Yes – Becker
What steps is the University taking to prepare students for IFRS and its eventual inclusion on the exam?
We have already integrated it throughout our undergraduate and graduate curriculum. We feel that the issue has nothing to do with where the U.S. is in respect to IFRS but rather that our students go our and operate in a global environment and are exposed to IFRS issues soon after graduation. Therefore, we have fiduciary duty to the students and to the profession to expose them to IFRS in their program.
Speaking of current topics, we also asked about Wake Forest implementing forensics into it’s curriculum, Dr. Hinson was quick to note, “Forensic accounting is also implemented in curriculum here, as this is another important area we recognized that our students would need exposure to.” Dr. Hinson mentioned Dr. George Aldhizer who she told us is “not on the leading edge but the bleeding edge of forensic accounting.” Indeed, Dr. Aldhizer’s most recent publication was “Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and Errors: A Ticking Time Bomb that Must Be Defused” for the Journal of Government and Financial Management. We’d say you can’t get more current than that.
One additional interesting thing we learned is that Wake Forest also offers a “Transaction Services Track” as part of its Master of Science in Accountancy that prepares many students for a career in in the advisory practices of the large firms.
So not only is the University taking a progressive approach to the CPA exam, they are preparing students for their careers in public accounting by offering a wide curriculum that will serve them in various areas of the firms. We applaud them in their effort and hope more schools take their lead.
Congratulations to Wake Forest on their five-peat (?) and the continued success of their students and faculty.
Follow up on Program Rankings: William & Mary, Texas Placement Statistics
We interrupt our regularly scheduled downtime for a brief message to update our Accounting Program Ranking thread.
A reader (no doubt a proud William & Mary alum) pointed us to some employment statistics for the MAcc class of 2009.
The 28 recipients of the Mason School’s (#1 for program for small schools as you’ll recall) MAcc degree break down like this:
• The Big 4 firms took 18 of the 28 graduates, E&Y and Deloitte took five each while KPMG and PwC took four each.
• Twenty-one of the graduates took jobs in the Richmond or DC area with the remaining grads taking positions in cities that included San Francisco, Kansas City, and Boston.
• Eight graduates fell into a salary range of $45,000 to $50,000. Only one graduate started at a salary above $60,000. Seventeen graduates (62%) received bonuses in addition to their base salary.
The McCombs School of Business has similar stats for 2008 (see the link below for all the stats):
• 78% of their survey respondents stated that they went to a Big 4 firm.
• Average salary was $52,702.
• 73% of the respondents took jobs in the state of Texas, while 13% accepted positions in New York.
Since these two schools are both highly ranked it’s not a surprise that the stats would be similar but it would be interesting to know how other schools’ compared to these programs. If your school puts out similar statistics that you want to see mentioned here point us in the right direction (you’re lucky you go this today) and we’ll put them up so you can debate them to the death.
Mason School of Business [The College of William & Mary]
The McCombs School of Business [The University of Texas at Austin]
2008 MPA Salary_7-10-08.pdf
Accounting Program Rankings: Open Thread
A tipster pointed us to a link that went up on Tuesday over at the College of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business that announced the school as the “number one ranked small school for both their undergraduate and Master of Accounting programs.”
The website gives us the lowdown on the Public Accounting Report’s 2009 Annual Survey of Accounting Professors :
For the first time, the rankings have been split into three categories: small, medium and large schools, according to the number of teaching professors at the institution. The school rankings are based on professors’ ranking of accounting programs on a 1 to 10 scale in answering the question, “which programs consistently turn out students capable of some day attaining partner status?”
Judging by our partner thread poll over 60% of you aren’t interested in making partner and only a small percentage of you will actually become parters, so the question seems narrow to us.
We did some looking around and the only other school we’ve found that is making any noise about this so far is the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business:
Following a venerable tradition in the PAR, McCombs continues to excel across all three rankings–undergraduate, graduate, and PhD.–each of which ranks the top 25 programs in the nation.
tu UT ranks #2, #1, #1, and #1 in undergrad, grad, doctoral (teaching), and doctoral (research). The #1 ranked school for the undergrad program was the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but nothing appears on the website yet.
So if only two schools are making a fuss about this, the question is worth asking: do the rankings mean anything? The Big 4 recruit at many schools and it’s no secret that academic “prestige” does not guarantee professional success so are schools making a BFD out of something of marginal importance?
Our question is merely our own musing so opine it if you like but this is an open thread on accounting school rankings so discuss at nauseam whatever you like. If your school has sent out an announcement related to the “Public Accounting Report’s 2009 Annual Survey of Accounting Professors” toss it our way and we’ll update the post with other rankings.
UPDATE: Check out select placement stats for the College of William & Mary and UT Austin here.
McCombs Tops List of Accounting Programs in Latest Ranking [McCombs Today]
Accounting Firms Plan to Offer Less Internships in 2010
Back again for round two of the latest Big 4 domination of a BusinessWeek list.
The entire list with company profiles is now available but we’ve pulled some of the more interesting items for your enjoyment, after the jump.
Intern hiring planned for 2010 and interns hired for 2009:
• Deloitte: NA; 2,233
• KPMG: 1,700; 1,745
• Ernst & Young: 1,800; 1,971
• PwC: 2,175; 2,278
• Grant Thornton: 328; 388
&bull RSM McGladrey: 225; 330
Average Total Pay:
• Deloitte: $10,000
• KPMG: $10,900
• Ernst & Young: $9,585
• PwC: $9,848
• Grant Thornton: $11,716
&bull RSM McGladrey: NA – Average hourly wage was $21.33
Interns who received full-time offers:
• Deloitte: 73%
• KPMG: 90%
• Ernst & Young: 92%
• PwC: 89%
• Grant Thornton: 60%
&bull RSM McGladrey: 62%
Interns with offers who accepted:
• Deloitte: 82%
• KPMG: 93%
• Ernst & Young: 92%
• PwC: 93%
• Grant Thornton: 56%
&bull RSM McGladrey: 88%
We don’t know who’s responsible for auditing these numbers so take them for what they are. That being said, if they are indeed kosh, what is up with Grant Thornton’s numbers? With the exception of the average total pay, not too impressive, even when compared to the firm that sponsors Natalie Gulbis.
To add insult to injury, BW uses this picture which some people will be quick to point out is no longer part of GT’s Global Six campaign. Maybe the claim that the GT interns don’t get coffee is bunk?
For the Big 4, it looks like there will be fewer internships available in 2010, which reflects the slimmer hiring budget that has been discussed here. The good news is that unless you do something like arrange an awards ceremony that includes “Most Likely to be the Office Whore” using a work email, you’ll probably get a full-time offer. Discuss the stats and outlook for the menu/coffee gophers in the comments.
Earlier: Deloitte Tops BusinessWeek’s ‘Best Places to Intern’ List, KPMG Gets the Silver
Deloitte Tops BusinessWeek’s ‘Best Places to Intern’ List, KPMG Gets the Silver
All right Deloitte. What are you paying BusinessWeek? Seriously, you take the “Start Your Career” crown and now you’re just getting greedy with the arbitrary magazine list championships. You’re risking backlash if you continue to dominate:
Our ranking of the best U.S.companies for undergraduate internships highlights employers who have put together an outstanding experience for students. Accounting firm Deloitte tops our list, followed by rivals KPMG (No.2) and Ernst & Young (No.3).The last of the Big Four accounting companies, PricewaterhouseCoopers, comes in at No.5, right behind consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.
This is getting ridiculous BW. Four out of the top five spots go to Big 4? Do they really have an unbreakable stranglehold on your list methodology?
To compile our list, we judged employers based on survey data from 60 career services directors around the country and a separate survey completed by each employer. We also consider how each employer fared in the annual Best Places to Launch a Career, our ranking of top U.S. entry-level employers released in September of each year.
So, the employer’s own surveys are judged and you consider a list previously issued by you? Unless we’ve been misled, those employer might not have gone so well. As for considering your own list to make a new list, does that mean that this is basically the same list but with a different name?
Putting the methodology hocus-pocus aside, we notice that while Deloitte took home the gold medal, KPMG got the big talk up for their global rotations:
Two years ago KPMG realized it had to make a substantial investment in its internship program if it hoped to woo top students from larger consulting and accounting firms. So the company decided to offer interns an opportunity to gain valuable overseas experience. KPMG lets student interns spend four weeks in the U.S. and four weeks abroad. “It’s extremely competitive [to recruit top students], and this is a differentiator,” says Blane Ruschak, executive director of campus recruiting at KPMG.
A chance to work overseas is precisely what appealed to Andrew Fedele, 21, an accounting and economics double major at Pennsylvania State University. “I was sold pretty much when I first read about [KPMG’s] global internship program.” He spent four weeks in Chicago and four weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa. “South Africa has just such an interesting history. To go there and live with the locals and work with them was really exciting.”
What did KPMG get in return? Exactly what it hoped: Fedele accepted a full-time job almost immediately after KPMG made its offer at the end of the summer.
The article does manage to point out that “KPMG…hired nearly 900 fewer entry-level employees this year. But 91% of those full-time hires were former interns, whereas only 71% of new hires in 2008 were interns.”
The trend of fewer non-interns getting hired on at Big 4 (in this case KPMG) firms was something that we touched on in August, although BW doesn’t bother mentioning that it’s most likely due to the slashing of the firm’s hiring budgets.
We can’t give this latest meaningless index any more thought. If you’ve got an opinion on the latest jumble of the Big 4 in a BW list, leave them in the comments.
Best Places to Intern [BBW]
PwC Doesn’t Want Anyone That Isn’t Special
Denny keeps it pretty vague but we’re guessing he’s not talking about serving as captain of the Delta Chi beer pong team. If you’ve got other ideas on “special,” discuss in the comments.
[WSJ via FINS]
Will Big 4 Firms Get Access to the Swine Flu Vaccine?
No idea! But we figure if you’re an auditor (or any other service delivery professional) at Goldman Sachs or Citigroup (PwC and KPMG respectively) you probably have a better chance than most.
Oh and it helps if you’re at high risk for developing complications. So if you’re aged 24 to 64, aren’t around kids, and don’t have serious health issues, you’re just going to have take your chances without the H1N1 vaccine.
Citigroup has been supplied with 1,200 units and Goldman with 200, says Jessica Scaperotti, press secretary for the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The agency has so far approved orders by 29 employers–including 16 that have yet to receive any vaccine–after they were cleared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Big employers that have received or are scheduled to receive vaccine so far include Time Warner (TWX), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Memorial Sloan-Kettering, New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, and New York University.
Since we have the tendency to jump to conclusions, will assume there’s no plans to distribute any vaccines to any of the large accounting firms locations. Reaffirming our belief that the Rodney Dangerfield image remains intact for the accounting firms. Your best bet is to be on the client site of any company that has any systematic importance.
New York Businesses Get H1N1 Vaccine [Business Week via JDA]
Earlier: Deloitte Study Says That Half of You Aren’t Scared of Swine Flu. Tell That to a Backstreet Boy
Also Earlier: Our Token Swine Flu Post
Your Words Say, ‘I want this job’ but Your Body Language Says, ‘I’m really interested in my shoes’
It’s our understanding that there are still interviews to go before offers are made so we thought we’d discuss some not so good things to do while you’re sitting across from your interrogator.
U.S. News & World Report lists 15 ways to annoy your interviewer and we’ll expand on a few to get the ball rolling:
• Knee jiggling or finger drumming – Performing the Wipe Out drum solo is typically frowned upon in any social setting. Double thumbs down during an interview.
• Playing with your pen – No one is impressed by your David Letterman-esque flipping technique.
• Checking your cellphone – Um, yeah.
• Nail biting; Sniffling; Picking at, rubbing, or scratching any part of your body – Bodily functions, while a fact of life, should be controlled as much as possible. If you think you’re going to explode, just internalize and try to keep your eyes from watering.
• Smiling too much (or not smiling at all) – On the one hand, permagrin is totally acceptable if you’re planning to engage in a Seth Rogen marathon. Not so if you’re trying to get a job. If you’re totally incapable of smiling, this is also not good. Your mortician face will not go well around the office.
This is just a starting point. Since your life experiences are far more interesting, kindly discuss your strangest encounters as an interviewer or an interviewee. Since we’ve already discussed the words that are actually coming out of your mouth, we’ll ask that you stick with non-verbal faux-pas.
Memo to E&Y’s Steve Howe: Choose Your Ice Breaker Carefully
If you’ve got nothing going on tonight and you’re in the Chapel Hill, NC neck of the woods, Steve Howe, E&Y’s Americas Area Managing Partner will be speaking at UNC tonight starting at 5:30. Don’t worry, it’s scheduled to end at 7:00 sharp so you’ll have plenty of time to get home in time for baseball or whatever else is on TV these days.
We’re mostly curious how Steve-o will break the ice with the audience, considering it’s been an awkward moment for some of his fellow partners in the past. We’re confident he’ll be fine though, especially since he’s not phoning in the speech and leaving a voicemail for everyone.
It’s not clear if there will be a Q&A, so if you have questions that you’d like to ask Steve-o, kindly leave them in the comments and we’ll pass them along.
Dean’s Speaker Series – Steve Howe, Americas Area Managing Partner of Ernst & Young [UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School]
Whatever You Do, Don’t Bring Up Tax Shelters
Well you can if you want but somebody will probably flash a piece on the lanes and you’ll end up entering a world of pain.
If you’re in Beta Alpha Psi at the University of Illinois, KPMG is hosting a charity bowling event tonight at 6 pm. Hell, even if you’re not a member you should do a jay and head on over and get your roll on. What’s the worst they can do, throw you out?
GC Weekend: How Did You Choose Your Firm?
Recruitment is still going on in many parts of the country and soon little grasshopper accountants will have to make a decision on where their career will start. Their decisions will be based on many factors, including but not exclusive to:
• The obvious
• The people they meet
• Perceived prestige of the firm (or lack thereof)
• Work/life balance
Web CPA has a piece from last week written by an HR service professional that makes the point the better benefits will yield better employees for a firm.
Okay, maybe. As important as benefits packages are, most firms offer competitive packages that won’t serve as a deal-breaker. That still doesn’t stop some partners from boasting about standard options that most companies already have, however.
While we’re not crazy about the idea that benefits serve as the major selling point for employers, it does bring up the interesting question of how you were originally sold on your current (or former) firm?
Regardless of how you feel about your employer now, you were probably excited to start working for said company at some point. If you’ve hated your employer since day one then you seriously need to consider talking to someone. No one put a gun to your head to take the job so what was it that convinced you?
Maybe it was the firm with the coolest schwag? Maybe you were getting the extra-special hustle from a partner. Or maybe you just took what you could get.
Whatever your reasons for jumping on board, discuss them in the comments in order to give the recruits out there some guidance with some non-firm responses. Recruits if you’ve already made a choice, discuss who and why. For the rest of you, if you knew then what you know now, would you make the same choice? Some recruits are still getting the pitch now so let’s give them the straight shit. They’re going to be working for you, after all.
Crain’s: The Party Is Over for Accountants in Chicago
Crain’s is calling it for accounting firms in Chicago. After a seven-year SOX funded rager, everyone is sobering up. You’re all familiar with some of the usual suspects. But even smaller firms, who have often benefited from lower fee structures are feeling the pain:
Jeffrey DeYoung, regional managing partner at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP (formerly Virchow Krause & Co. LLP) in Chicago, says that up to 20% of the firm’s clients have asked for fee reductions…The firm cut staff by 5% to 7% and hired 30% to 40% fewer employees this year, a trend it will continue next year.
The story at BTVK sounds all too familiar but at least one firm, Crowe Horwath, has claimed that it’s doing everything possible to avoid layoffs:
The firm has kept its workforce of 2,400 intact by shifting employees from hard-hit units such as construction and manufacturing into four main areas: financial institutions, health care, private equity and government. In addition, 30% to 40% of employees have used alternative work arrangements in the past year, including sabbaticals, reduced work schedules and paid time off during slow seasons, to help defray costs. “Our strategy is to keep as many people as possible,” [CEO, Chuck] Allen says.
However, firms like BDO are done whining about the past and looking for growth in the coming year even if it won’t be as good as in year’s past:
Stephen Ferrara, partner and regional business line leader at BDO Seidman LLP in Chicago, predicts an increase for 2010 as companies begin investing in business and infrastructure. “Companies who are riding out the storm and running lean and mean will be poised to make investments again sometime in 2010,” he says. “We don’t expect it to get back to the level of six years ago, but we do expect growth.”
We like the optimism but is legit? Crain’s seems to think that this accounting racket is in for some tough times from partners comp to more competition among hiring of new recruits.
If you work at a smaller firm in the Chicago area let us know what you think Crain’s assessment about the situation. Feel free to opine on your firm’s prospects and the outlook in the Windy City.
Accounting’s day of reckoning [Chicago Business]
Accounting Student Demands
Maybe demands are a stretch but they do have some ideas of what they would like. CPA Success has a short list that covers stuff that isn’t related to money or free booze:
• Mentoring with senior people in your organization.
• An understand the big picture and why they are doing things.
• A career pathway or road map: What are the rules of the game and what do they need to do to get promoted?
• Flexibility when possible. They believe work is an activity, not a place to go.
• An open-door policy to the senior management.
• Involvement and a sense that they are valued for their talents and education.
How realistic do you, as the current members of the bean counter workforce, believe these to be? “Rules of the game” sounds a little like, “how do I get promoted without being good at my job”. Plus, “sense that they are valued for their talents” isn’t exactly a strong suit from what we hear.
Are students in for a rude awakening? Help them out people For the students out there, feel free to add other demands to the list, this can’t cover everything. Run with it.
Will Deloitte’s Diversity Push Work?
Awhile back we told you about Salz’s dissatisfaction of the diversity at Deloitte, regardless of their long-standing commitment to it.
After the Web CPA piece, Dr. Phil is steppin cussing Deloitte’s recruitment of students on community college campuses in last Friday’s Business Week. The article points out up front that, “Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg likes to talk about the value of diversity. But of the 4,500 partners and other top executives at his firm, 92% are white.” We did the math, that’s less than 500 non-white partners.
So this is obviously a public relations problem that the firms would rather not have, since as we’ve noted, they love, love, love to point out how diverse they are, regardless of what others are saying. The facts simply seem to be that accounting, as an industry, doesn’t seem to be that diverse:
Continued, after the jump
For Deloitte, the hope is to reach high-potential people of color at community colleges, interest them in accounting, and then shepherd them through a university to a job upon graduation. If it works, it could turn around a troubling trend. In 2004, African Americans represented 1% of all CPAs, Latinos 3%, and Asians 4%, according to a U.S. Treasury Dept. report on the profession. By 2007 the figures were unchanged, if not down slightly.
Okay, so those numbers aren’t good for anyone. They’re especially not good for the image of the firms or the profession. Deloitte’s plan is to recruit on six community college campuses to try and convince the students that accounting is a kick ass career. Obviously that’s easier said than done:
Deloitte will have to do a fair amount of myth-busting. Many students believe accountants don green eyeshades and plunk away at calculators all day. So Deloitte is sending a brigade of up to eight staffers, including at least one senior partner, to enlighten, mentor, and ultimately guide potential recruits toward an accounting career. In visits to the campus classrooms, the partners plan to share workplace perspectives and explanations of how the industry has broadened to include financial, management, technology, and human capital consulting. “I don’t think students realize the vastness of what you can do in accounting,” says Gregory Brookins, a CPA and associate professor at Santa Monica Community College. “They feel like it’s a boring bean-counting job.”
‘They feel like it’s a boring bean-counting job’? GASP. How’d they get that impression?
Not everyone is on board with this plan, specifically, E&Y, “…it recruits from four-year universities where students get credits toward the CPA exam. That’s something “a two-year program doesn’t offer,” says Ken Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting for Ernst & Young.”
Plus, since accounting firms like to pitch their professionals’ merits when courting new clients, there is a worry that community college grads are jumping up and down to brag about their less-prestigious education regardless of the accomplishments they’ve made professionally.
So accounting firms and the accounting industry appear to have an old white boy’s club problem. Is Deloitte taking the right approach? Is E&Y’s attitude short-sighted? Discuss your thoughts in the comments.
Deloitte’s Diversity Push [BW]
Attention: Deloitte Is Handing Out Donuts On Thursday
For crying out loud, this is what we’re talking about people. If you’re in the DC area, get your hungry hippo ass over to Kogan Plaza at The GWU on Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm. Accounting firms don’t skimp on this stuff so consider doing a jay before going and update us on how many you put away.
Any other firms feeding your faces with fried goodness on campus? Better get in on it while you can.
PwC Is Going to Teach You Some Manners
Even though lots of you are beyond help but regardless, we’ve heard that P. Dubs hosts dining etiquette get-togethers in order to teach you heathens how to use a napkin, leave your feet off the table, not to lick your plate when finished, etc.
Never having the pleasure, inform us and our less dignified readers about your experiences at these or similar events so we can all learn something.
And for God’s sake, if you’re going to one of these events this week, we’ll remind you of our only advice: wear pants.
Interview Questions Thread
There is lots of talk about interviewing going on this week so we’ll run a thread on questions that you recruits might be getting or are getting. Hopefully this first question isn’t “Where are your pants?”
Most firms, regardless of size, seem to ask the same questions, so if you feel inclined, tally the cliché ones in the comments. You’ll get more interesting responses here anyway.
But also feel free to submit questions that you are asking your potential employers and their less-than satisfactory responses. This will most certainly be the place where you can ask the questions you want to ask and you’ll get honest responses from our brilliant readers. Do your worst.
Recruiting: Considering the Non-Big 4 Employers
As recruiting continues this week, we’ll put out the idea of opting to starting your career with a firm or company as opposed to starting at a Big 4 firm. Regardless of the Big 4’s dominance of the BW list, there are several smaller firms that make good offers and all businesses need number crunchers to track all the bloody money.
And this year, since many of the Big 4 don’t appear to be making as many offers, going with a national or regional firm or private company becomes a serious option for many recruits.
For the recruits out there, are you giving serious consideration to taking a position with a non-Big 4 firm? For the rest of you, is starting your career at a Big 4 the only way to go or can relative happiness and success be found elsewhere?
Discuss in the comments.
For Some Reason, Recruits Get Excited About Free Schwag
Because of our short attention span, we aren’t really on top of where you all are in the recruiting process. We know that the firms were on campus this week and that PwC is blackballing tax grads in CO but other than that, we’re clueless. Kindly fill us in.
But actually, what were most interested in is what kind of schwag they’re dumping on you, young impressionable recruits. For example, we’ve heard that E&Y is handing out mints with serious crack-like addictive qualities.
Now if this is the case, what kind of mind altering substances do you suppose are in these said mints and how the hell do we get our hands on some? If you’ve got some, hook us up. And we need some new Nalgenes too, thanks. The rest of the junk you can keep but let discuss who’s tempting you with the best tchotchkes. Send pics if you like. For crissakes, who needs a drink?
Tax Grads in Colorado Can Get Over PwC Now
Less than thrilling news out of the Denver office of PwC as a source has filled us in the firm’s plans for tax graduate students:
“PwC told tax graduate students at the University of Denver that they werent [sic] hiring again until September 2011.”
We touched on this last month, as campus recruiters have found that their intern pipelines will end up filling their full-time budgets for the following year. We can only assume that students specializing in tax at the other schools that P. Dubs-Denver visits are being told the same thing. If you’ve got news on firms’ hiring expectations at your school, discuss or drop us a line at [email protected].
Recruiting, Week 2 Thread
We hear that both KPMG and Deloitte are on campus this week so we’ll start another thread about these two firms and what they’re bringing to the table, including quality of the social events (which we’ve heard are now alcohol free, please confirm).
If you’re a recruit, let us know what your impressions are and if there are other firms on your campus this week. Are you getting straight answers to your questions or are you getting dodged on pay, number of new hires, etc.
If you’re a recruiter or associate meeting the recruits, what are your impressions? Is anyone showing up in sweats? Are they asking nosy questions about money, layoffs, etc. that result you having to tell half-truths because you’ve got no idea if you’re going to have a job in the next month or two?
Deloitte is Handing Out Giant Foam Fingers Today
BusinessWeek’s “Best Places to Launch a Career” hits the newsstands today and Deloitte stuffed the ballot box best.
E&Y is the first loser, PwC gets the bronze and KPMG jumped one spot to #4, up from #5 last year. Grant Thornton dropped in at #51.
A few stats that probably help Deloitte land on top include:
• Average pay range being $5k higher than all the other firms
• Highest average signing bonus and 90% of new hires received them
• Highest three year retention rate of 56%
• Lowest drop in entry level hiring
Regardless of who comes out on top in this list, all the firms will be hyping their inclusion while on campus this fall.
We’ll revisit this next week when more of you are actually at work, not hungover, or haven’t already left.
For the rest of you, feel free to discuss the list in the comments, as we’re sure there are opinions out there on this.
Best Places to Launch a Career [BusinessWeek]
The Enigma of Business Casual and Other Questions Recruits Ask
We brought up recruiting yesterday which brings up many questions from the students out there who are looking to impress the firms that are coming to campus.
KPMG has some suggestions including getting a haircut and reminding everyone that “college attire does not necessarily equal business casual attire”.
This is good to know because sometimes wearing your sweats to class gets really convenient and changing clothes should typically delayed until you’re ready to go to the bar.
Since we have some the best and brightest readers we’ll put it out to them to give the co-eds some suggestions on how to land their first gig. Our only suggestions would be to show up sober and wear shoes but use your judgment as such formalities are often overrated.
Recruiting Season Kicks Off
Classes started for a lot of colleges in the past week and it sounds like some firms are already out there spreading their
propoganda good word. At least according to one account, the early events have been well attended which fits with the notion that enrollment has remained high.
So if you’re a student, let us know what your early recruiting events have been like and if you’re a recruiter for a firm or a professional working these glad-handing fests, let us know your early impressions about next year’s newbies and interns.
Better Learn to Like that Intern
Time to give a little love to everyone’s favorite prank victims, the interns. The word on the street is that this year’s dinner delivery specialists at the major firms will serve as the major pipeline for next year’s fulltime hires.
According to our source, next year’s budgets for much of the audit, tax and advisory service lines for the Big 4 will be met if all of this year’s interns accept their offers. And unless they’ve all suffered serious brain injuries, we’re guessing they’ll be accepting those offers.
More, after the jump
What hell does this mean? Well, in years past, the firms have had large budgets to go back to campus and hire additional new staff in addition to the offers that they made to the crop of interns from the previous year. And just like merit and bonus pools, the hiring budgets have shrunk to the point of the absolute bare minimum. Why? Because no one is jumping from the sinking ship like in years past.
So for you interns out there, it sounds like if you’ve got an internship you better learn to love that firm because if you decide it sucks, finding a fulltime gig at another Big 4 firm will be next to impossible.
AICPA Report: Accounting is Still Sexy on Campus
Accounting is still a hot degree according to the latest report from the AICPA. For the 2007-2008 school year, 66,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded, a 3.5% increase from the previous school year.
Enrollments were also up, to 213,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, a 4.7% increase.
One thought we have is that this trend can’t possibly continue forever. We talked to one campus recruiter for a Big 4 firm and they said that while the trend of graduates and enrollment will eventually slow down, the number of students at on-campus events is not getting smaller. “Lots of finance majors have seen the banking sector implode and rather than become biology majors, they jump into accounting because it’s an easy transition.”
More after the jump
While the need for accountants is obvious, we’re wondering if these students know what they’re getting themselves into. What would be interesting is to know how many of them end up leaving the industry after a few years and do something entirely different (like become a D-list blogger).
What continues to impress us, however, is how the Big 4 and the larger regional firms are able to make accounting so glamorous. The students are drooling at these recruiting events, mostly for beer, but they’re drooling nonetheless. The competition for the top talent is fierce and the firms pull out all the stops to get that talent. It also doesn’t hurt that most campus recruiting professionals are dead sexy but whoever heard of someone taking a job for shallow reasons?
Accounting Degrees Continue Historic Upward Trend, According to AICPA Report [AICPA Press Release]
2009 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits [AICPA.org]