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November 26, 2022

At Least One EY Associate Not Pleased to Learn That Overachieving Doesn’t Count for Much

A tip from the mailbag that is sure to crush the morale of some enterprising EY audit associates:

A tip from the mailbag that is sure to crush the morale of some enterprising EY audit associates:

NYC EY office is refusing to give ratings of 5 to any staff 1s in assurance this year. My counselor told me they essentially got rid of the 5 for staff 1s and are only giving top performers 4s.  To get a 4, you not only need to significantly exceed expectations, but you have consistently perform senior level work.  Doing some senior level work is not satisfactory for this rating. You have to CONSISTENTLY do the senior's work.  I don't know how anyone can be expected to consistently perform senior level work.  You basically have to step over the staff 2 and take the senior's work after doing all of your staff 1 work.

Putting "exceeding expectations" far out of reach to young staff is a tradition unlike any other in the accounting profession. By qualifying top performance as something that happens only in the rarest of cases, no one but the ludicrously ambitious will pursue the highest ranking.

Which is fine! Breaking spirits is how firms learn who will persist in the face of unrealistic expectations, moving goalposts, impossible odds, then have their dreams dashed and get up and beg for more. The question is: Who's the biggest glutton for punishment?

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