Back in the day, advice emails were our bread and butter. Well, more like my esteemed former colleague Caleb Newquist’s bread and butter. He loved cranking them out while I really had to be in the right mood otherwise I’d end up telling some poor intern to go fuck themselves just because I could. The […]
Here’s an interesting bit of news that dropped in our inbox earlier: EY is offering lump-sum pension buyouts to former employees. There are conditions, of course. To be eligible, an individual must have left the firm prior to January 1, 2016 and won’t be receiving benefits as of June 1, 2016 when the opt-in period begins.
Remember back in March when we discussed PwC's recent attempt at corralling its staff into arbitration agreements? You'll recall a PwC spokesperson told us then it was "noncontroversial," which is code for "don't even worry about it, guys, companies do this all the time." In this case, PwC told current staff that not agreeing to […]
In this week’s accounting conundrum, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed accounting student is mustering up the courage to click “accept” on one of two offers: Big 4 Business Valuation vs. Big 4 Supply Chain Consulting: Hey guys, I just started reading your website and it has so much helpful information about the big 4. I'm in […]
Last week we mentioned that many interns were doing happy dances after learning that none of their summer behavior warranted a one-way ticket back to whereverthehellyoucamefrom. Based on the comments, Ernst & Young seemed to have the jump on extending offers but now this week, it's the Xerox technicians at Casa de Moritz getting the […]
I’m pretty sure this isn’t a troll and this guy actually wants to know if this is OK. I have some location-based advice having lived in that area for over a decade, hoping you guys can fill in the rest. What would be the etiquette on this?
I am starting with a Big 4 firm in a little over a month in their San Jose office. However the more that I think about where I want to be and the housing options available I am more interested in San Francisco. Would I be risking my offer by asking to transfer so late in the game?
If it matters at all, I have heard from a friend in the SF office they are still looking to fill a few entry level audit positions.
Are you kidding me? You’re trying to kick off your career as “that guy” (don’t think recruiters aren’t tweeting amongst themselves all the time; you will get talked about) over the difference of a 45 minute drive. I could understand if you were struggling between New York and Los Angeles (with tail and good salary potential in both relative to cost of living and actually being able to enjoy the apartment you pay too much for) but you’re within the same metro area. San Jose isn’t that bad and you have the advantage of being able to “escape” city life to some extent when you are not actually at work.
Would you be risking your offer? Did you sign it? Did you feel like it was right at the time but now think a handful of miles will be worth considering that bridge burned?
But living in San Jose means you don’t live in the thick of it. San Francisco is fun to visit and great on paper but after a few years, it gets really old. You’re already putting yourself through life in the Big 4, why make that worse by also subjecting yourself to guys peeing on the Muni and those damn grey speckled recycled blankets everywhere? What makes you more interested in San Francisco?
In your copious amounts of free time, you can drive near San Francisco, BART in, enjoy yourself a paper-bagged PBR and BART your ass back to the San Bruno parking lot and retreat back to your San Jose lair. It’s practically like being in San Francisco.
If you haven’t actually signed the offer, you could try to get a lead on “your friend’s” firm; tell them unsubstantiated rumors are one thing but calls from HR are another. I’d advise against rejecting the San Jose firm’s offer without having some sort of reasonable assurance (bleh) that the San Francisco office actually wants you but with less than a month to go, you better have started pursuing that yesterday. I assume you don’t have the luxury of doing this in person; if you were local, you would know San Jose and San Francisco are pretty much the same thing if you are talking about money but there’s also a quality of life issue here that you need to look long and hard at.
If you still like this idea, please go read So You’re Moving to San Francisco by Twitter API lead Alex Payne. I’m not trying to talk you out of it, I’m just asking you to really think this through before you screw yourself in San Jose. If you signed the offer, you should do the grownup thing and suffer through it for two years like everyone else. Then once you are sufficiently jaded, have passed the CPA and have the work experience to get the actual license, you are more than welcome to bail on the firm after the competition in San Francisco poaches you.
The market is not that good to allow you the opportunity to get this picky unless you are an Elijah Watt-Sells winner, 4.0 MAcc superstar or putting out. A lot.
A wise suggestion from the mailbag:
I had an idea for an interesting blog topic – most Big 4 interns will be finishing up within the next week or two. It would be interesting to see what the starting salaries and bonuses are turning out to be across the firms and across the different offices for new hires starting Fall 2012. I know you did a similar compensation blog a while back and it had several hundred comments with people sharing their respective numbers.
Thanks, astute future capital market servant! Jesus, is it really August already? We did do this last year around this time and you are correct that we got some great feedback from the kids. Except for the ones who got kicked off the team before the big trip to Disney, awww sucks for them.
Instructions this year are the same as last year, please be sure to include 1) your starting salary 2) your office 3) practice 4) signing bonus (if applicable) 5) Bonus for CPA (if applicable). Remember that anything you post will be seen by everyone you know including your colleagues, lover, dog and grandma so please, if you want to remain anonymous, post as such. Mommy won’t be around to moderate your discussion.
Because not everyone fits into the Big 4 cookie cutter, all interns looking forward to full-time offers are welcome to join the conversation, compare packages (erm) and brag about how much better their firm is than others. There’s no crying in baseball but this is public accounting, which means whining is also welcome.
Get on that, future leaders of the industry!
I believe PwC and DT offers come out this Friday. I’d really appreciate the input from other readers. It could affect my own FT offer.
Ed. Note: DWB was sober long enough today to pen this post for the Friday edition of Accounting Career Couch. If you’ve got a question for us email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll dispense with further pleasantries and get right to it.
I just received three offers from two Big 4 firms in San Francisco (Deloitte and KPMG) for audit and one Big 4 firm for advisory internal audit in San Jose. I really like the idea of going into advisory but the problem is that I live in San Francisco and the advisory clients for this firm are all located around San Jose and the Silicon Valley. This would likely mean at least a one hour and 15 minute commute every day each way from SF to SJ and back again lients I would likely be working on from SF are all located within 20 minutes of my apartment in the city. Moving to San Jose is out of the question for me because my wife works in SF and I’m not ready for a divorce just yet. My question to you and Going Concern readers is should I take the advisory job despite the crazy commute or should I take one of the audit positions?
I’d still be very happy taking one of the audit positions but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the more consistent working hours of advisory internal audit didn’t appeal to me much more than audit (no insane busy season in advisory). Much of this benefit would be negated by my much longer commute though. Also, if I choose advisory I would be likely getting reimbursed $0 for my commute since the job is based out of the SJ office and I am based in SF. Although $0.50 a mile doesn’t sound like a lot, it really does add up to several thousand dollars in missed reimbursement expenses for such a long commute (assuming 80 miles a day in reimbursable driving). Also, the advisory position pay is slightly less to begin with (approximately $1,500 less) than my audit offers. Other considerations that I am thinking about are that many people from the Deloitte office (mostly associates) have said that the Deloitte SF office is understaffed. To me this means more opportunity for advancement but also more hours of work. Also, I feel that if I started in audit I could do two years of audit and if I didn’t like it then could jump ship to advisory in SF rather than having to start at advisory in SJ and beg to get a transfer to the SF advisory practice in a year or two. So what should I do? Should the lengthy and costly commute for advisory versus audit be a deal breaker? Will I struggle to break into advisory after two years in audit if I decide to make the switch?
Hopefully I’ve given enough info about my choices so that DWBraddock will stop complaining about us not saying enough in our requests for advice.
Kudos to you and your detailed email. Peons of the accounting world – take note [Ed. note: but there is something to be said for brevity. Yeesh.].
First off, my advice is from the “this is usually how it works” camp. Are there exceptions? Of course, and I’m sure that commenters will point them out.
Are you sure you will be reimbursed for every single mile that you travel? The HR policy is typically the net difference between your home to the office and your home to the client site. For example if you live 50 miles from the office and the client site is 53 miles from your home, you are reimbursed for the three mile difference. I strongly encourage you to consult HR before you go re-adjusting the all-in value of the advisory offer with thousands of dollars of mileage.
Now that I crushed your dream of banking $1,000’s, let’s discuss the audit vs. internal audit battle. You make a lot of assumptions in your email, but I think these bullets cover everything you discussed:
• Internal audit should not be looked at as a green-lighted pass to jump around the advisory practice. Many advisory roles are target recruited and are very specialized from a work capacity point of view. The name “advisory” doesn’t mean the roles are similar; it’s simply a nicer way of saying “everything that’s not audit and tax.”
• You will not be fast-tracked at Deloitte just because they’re short staffed. You will work your ass off.
• It’s easier to go from internal audit to external audit, not the other way around (the way you mentioned).
• Don’t think a transfer is a simple process. There has to be a need in the office you want to transfer to, and considering you’re contemplating and office and practice switch-a-roo in one swift motion…really? This is not a game – this is business and not everyone gets what they want.
• PS – I forwarded this to your wife. She said you’re sleeping on the couch for the next week.
Per a request from our earlier post on full time offers for interns:
I think it would be interesting to start a post on full time/internship compensation offers that have been rolling in and will continue coming to students for the next few months. Are the firms trying to lower starting compensation?
And a reader considering a mid-tier offer:
I am going into my fifth year this fall at a large university in the Southeast. I recently received an offer from mid-size firm to the tune of $49k, no signing bonus, and no CPA bonus (firm policy). My question is, in this market, is that what students are being offered in public accounting? I would just love to know what my friends at the Big 4 are getting! Because of these numbers, and me not being sure about whether or not I want to work for them, I am tinkering with the idea of going through another recruiting season. Do you think it’s a bad idea to keep this mid-size firm waiting?
So then. For those starting this fall in the Big 4, kindly enlighten the requesters with 1) your starting salary 2) your office 3) practice 4) signing bonus (if applicable) 5) Bonus for CPA (if applicable).
And give your thoughts on the reader’s question – should they keep the mid-tier firm waiting or take what they can get?
Or the commenter – are salaries looking lower from previous years or are the A1s already making A2s jealous?
Now that it’s officially August, that means a few things:
1) Everyone around starts bitching how summer is almost over
2) The tax compliance folks take a field trip to the nearest Radio Shack to stock up on their batteries for the two and a half month stretch and
3) This year’s interns starting getting their offers for fulltime employment.
This of course means that your coffee jockeys and Xerox operators will start stressing over everything that they’ve ever done this summer and whether it’s good enough to be blessed with the honor and privilege to attain fulltime Big 4 employment.
So if you veterans out there have been doing your job, you’ve shaped some fine, young, booze-drenched minds into someone that is going to your new associate next fall. If you feel like giving them some credit below. And interns, if you’ve gotten some good news (official or otherwise) jump for joy below and share your experiences – the good, the bad, the truly mortifying (extra bonus points here).
UPDATE: Straight out of the rumor mill, we’ve heard that some E&Y interns have already found out that they won’t be partying with Mickey & the Gang:
There was a round of interns who were let go on Friday. They were told to come in to the office and terminated, offers not given. Saves the expense of sending them down to Disney (the interns that remain leave this Wednesday). There were at least 3 let go in NY.
It may still be a little early for the citizens of Arnie, especially if you’ve got the Friday morning cocktail flu, but whatevs. We got word that E&Y audit interns have gotten their offers nationwide and
Whale’s Vagina San Diego and L.A. are both getting $50k, no bonus. If you got a Masters, you’re getting $52k, no bonus (seems worth it now, eh?). No word on tax or advisory, so if you know these, fill us in.
Last year’s lucky little Ernies got a bonus so at the very least, that makes for a smidge of animosity. For all the love we’ve been giving Ern we haven’t got a lot of specifics on the actual details. Discuss in the comments or drop us the numbers at email@example.com
Guest 6 @ 1:03 informs us that interns may be returning from their little rendezvous with their international counterparts to find out if they made the cut of those receiving full time offers. This is clearly a matter of “win or lose, we still booze”.
So whether you’re a proud new E&Y’er or you dreams of being a CPA-rock star have been blown to smithereens, let us know the details. If you’ve got the scoop on salaries and numbers discuss in the comments or send us tips to firstname.lastname@example.org