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Life After Public Accounting: Harassing Auditors For a Living Isn’t a Bad Gig If You Can Get It

All busy season long, we'll be discussing exit opportunities for those of you feeling like overworked Chinese slave labor counting down the days from your cubes. Remember, there is life after public accounting, even if it doesn't feel like it now. If you've made a break for it and are living the life of your dreams far, far away from the public accounting internment camp, check in with us so we can share your story as inspiration to hopeless grunts everywhere.

I worked at Deloitte for 10 years, and KPMG for 2 years before that. I knew no existence outside of the Big 4. I've been at the PCAOB for almost a year know [sic] — I can honestly say it was the greatest decision of my life.

More pay, more vacation, travel to actual interesting places (major cities, rather than middle of south carolina or north dakota) and actual time to do work/no utilization metric (and NO ONE pushes anyone with silly deadlines; I get three weeks to get something done here, whereas it was expected the next day at the firms). People are so much more relaxed in the office, that people actually treat you kindly and are not trying to use you to "make partner", etc.

Also, to you hating auditors — to get a written comment from the PCAOB, you really have to screw the pooch in an obvious way. Common sense goes a long way. This is a great great job.

We all know "work-life balance" is the Easter Bunny of public accounting. Most of you know he isn't real but the promise of this elusive idea of actually being able to enjoy your life outside of work might be the one thing that keeps you chomping at the bit day after day.

According to our little friend up here, if you're sick of the bloodthirsty bum rush to partner and trampling or being trampled on the way to the top while working your life away, a sweet little gig with the PCAOB might be just the thing to put some pep in your step.

Or maybe you're one of those starry-eyed fools who got into this line of work to make a difference. Guess what? As a professional troll for the PCAOB, you'll feel rewarded knowing you are protecting the public interest as "part of a team dedicated to upholding the highest standards of business ethics and excellence."

We're wondering if this Glassdoor review was left by our tipster above? Sounds awfully familiar.

“I see lots of improvements”

Current Employee in Washington, DC – Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Pros – Warm, friendly, inviting place to work. Mission is important, company is growing, workloads are reasonable, flexible schedules, and pay/benefits are very good. Great location on K Street is enhanced by telecommuting/scheduling flexibility. I am glad I joined PCAOB. Much better than the Big 4 – I got to use all of my (1st year) 7 weeks PTO! Cons – The organization is only ten years old and has had some growing pains, but I see leadership making significant changes that could easily transform this place into a great place to work.

Advice to Senior Management – Keep asking employees questions and listening to employee responses. Keep making changes to improve based on what you hear.

Other Glassdoor reviews are mixed and not nearly as rosy. Like the person who called the PCAOB a "political snakepit" or the other reviewer who called it the "worst experience" of their professional career and complained about broken rules, wasted money and inappropriate expenditures.

The bottom line, as with any job, is that you've got to be into the work to like it. Bureaucracy is appealing to some, so if you enjoy excessive documentation, red tape and lots of PTO, maybe the PCAOB is for you.

Bookmark their careers page now just in case you start getting the busy season itch in the next few months. Hang in there!