Yesterday, the regulatory love child of Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxley, the PCAOB, issued its 2010 inspection report for Deloitte. Deloitte was the third Big 4 firm to have their report issued this year with PwC and KPMG being issued just before Thanksgiving. While the reports for both PwC and KPMG were of the "we're […]
Lately, it feels like a lot of you are trying to jump ship, rally against “The Man” or trap a firm into poaching you like a 19-year-old actress catches a predator. Maybe you guys have always been like that and it only feels like it’s happening more often now that we email each other about it but I’m sensing a pattern here.
Anyway, there are a few things you can do (and a couple you absolutely shouldn’t) that can help you on that road. Maybe these are obvious to you; if so, congratulations. Let’s just go over them again anyway, not everyone is as good at this as you.
1. Learn IFRS. Or at least have a baseline knowledge extensive enough to fake it when you have to talk to people who actually care and/or know more than you. What this means is that you can either take a class, some CPE, maybe get a “free” masters on your firm’s dime or read a damn book. Whatever you do, remember that unless you are at an IFRS conference, chances are you don’t have to be an expert on the matter, just knowledgeable enough to appear as though you have some idea what you are talking about. If you have the opportunity to actually work on IFRS financial statements at work, do it. It’ll be an awesome item on your resume.
2. Don’t get a useless degree. “Useless” is, of course, defined by how far you want to go and where. Please take inventory of your personal situation to define “useless degree” for your own circumstances. For some of you, this is a MAcc. For some, it is an MBA from a for-profit. For others, it is a bachelors in philosophy. Whatever it is, avoid it at all costs, even if you can afford it. Get by on your merits and don’t waste your time pursuing education you don’t need. If you’re that bored, find a hobby.
3. Learn how to play the game. You can’t negotiate a better salary if you are spending half the day on the Internet interrogating strangers about their salaries in our comment section. We don’t care either way but if you are trying to elbow your way into a better salary, you may have to actually try to set yourself apart from your slacker colleagues.
4. Pass the CPA exam. Before some troll shows up and asks me why I haven’t done #4, I’m not trying to market myself as a CPA, writing about this and helping actual CPAs have a single “water cooler” to sit around is much more fulfilling. For people who actually want to work in this industry, this one is pretty necessary. If you actually focus on getting it done sooner rather than later, you’ll save yourself a lot of pain later down the road. As for me, I’m sure I’ll be deflecting this same troll 5 years from now when you’re making way more money than I am writing these articles. Feel free to rub it in.
5. Know your enemy. Some of you are vicious, money-grubbing pricks and I really love that about you. If you believe it when partners say “you really have potential” and tossed a few extra back at your recruiting events to “loosen up a bit,” you’re going to have to understand what it is you want and how best to get it. For some of you, more money is enough until you want more money after that. For others, you just want to experience the thrill of being wanted by several firms at once. Whatever your vice, you need to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses before you try to get three firms to bitchfight over who gets to have you. You can’t negotiate if you’re delusional about what you offer to any of them.
Audit partners are busy people. Regrettably, things get overlooked from time to time. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Pants. There’s just too much to think about sometimes.
One thing that you wouldn’t expect an audit partner to forget is to sign an audit report. Sadly, it appears that this crucial piece of the engagement sneaks by too:
More, after the jump
Deloitte has agreed to pay a £10,000 fine after allowing three members of staff to sign audit reports who were not designated as “responsible individuals”, contrary to audit regulations. Between March 2003 and November 2007 the three employees signed 95 audit reports.
Personally, we’re hoping that interns signed off on these because that would amount to a level of irresponsibility of the utmost hilarity. Speculation aside, Deloitte took this matter very seriously:
“Deloitte prides itself on its rigorous quality procedures and is disappointed that the individuals concerned failed to comply with the explicit policy that only those authorised to sign audit opinions may do so. None of the individuals concerned now work for Deloitte and the firm has implemented further improvements to its processes and controls.”
Rigorous quality procedures that let 95 audit reports sneak by? Short of the partner being on their deathbed, what could have come up that would make it a good idea to have someone else sign the reports? As for “rigorous quality procedures”, these must be on a sliding scale dependent on the number of pints that everyone has at lunch.
Deloitte fined £10,000 over mis-signed audits [Accountancy Age]