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September 30, 2023


What’s the Weirdest Place You’ve Taken a Call From a Recruiter?

I saw this retweeted in my Twitter timeline last night: what — maya ✡︎ (@mayaisfiya) November 24, 2020 Can anyone top this? Here’s what an EY employee told us: Weirdest place I’ve taken a call from a recruiter … at a gas station parking lot somewhere in Virginia. I must have been going on […]

The Millionaire Matchmaker: How Recruiting and Online Dating Are Basically the Same Thing

For somebody who’s been through the pain of a recruiting fair or the very real horror of a blind date with a man whose parents are probably first cousins, job hunting and dating can feel like one in the same. The chase. The long-term relationship. The rejection. The disenchantment. Here are a few similarities that I’ve discovered during my hunt for a job and my hunt for a date:

Recruiters Left Scratching Their Heads at the Fact No One Will Take Their Calls

It's probably not all that far from base to assume Glassdoor hopes no matter how content you are in your current position, you're cruising their website looking for your next big opportunity. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that they suggest you take recruiters' calls even if you are happy at your job: You […]

Ex-Wife of Art Shamsky Back in Court to Sue Deloitte for Sexual Harassment

A lawsuit was quietly filed in New York on Tuesday, naming Deloitte and Big D Talent Director Louis Bastone as defendants. The charge? Sexual harassment. Well, sexual harassment and severe work-related cockblocking.

Watch This Guy Demonstrate How to be Both a Horrible Recruiter and a Horrible Human Being

I apologize in advance for the Reddit repost. No, actually, I don't apologize. If one of you have an issue with this, please go embezzle a few million, get caught, and then call me from jail so I can write about it, thanks. Meanwhile, is this the worst recruiter ever? (LONG POST – but I […]

Should You Put Your Home Address on Your Resume?

Came across this interesting bit on AvidCareerist via Lifehacker and thought it worth sharing with you all if for no other reason than to discuss: You might not have thought about it, but in-house recruiters know that people with long commutes have more stress and often eventually quit “because of the commute.” If you quit, […]

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide. Therefore, Sabotage Your Coworkers

Ahh recruiters. Each time I received an email, phone call, voicemail, or LinkedIn message it was a game. Which of their desperate ploys will actually stand out from the rest? Inevitable answer: none. Sometimes it feels like the staffing industry is filled with used car salesman beating down our inboxes. My favorite is when they […]

EY’s Dan Black Will Not Allow Himself to Be Trolled By Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek Associate Editor Louis Lavelle recently spoke to Dan Black, the head of EY recruiting in the US. Instead of pandering to Mr Black — who, admittedly, does plenty of pandering of his own — BB goes straight for the jugular in this interview. Case in point, this hard-hitting question: The College Board recently […]

Recruiter Manages to Creep CPA Out Over Email

As we tumble through the post-busy season spring, an untold number of recruiters are on the hunt for accounting professionals whose asses can fill the empty seats of their clients. Recruiters use a number of different tactics when pursuing talented accountants but one of the trickiest parts of this cat and mouse game has to be […]

Miserable Commuter Is Stuck Between a Recruiter and a Hard Place

It's Monday and I've spent half the day on the phone with a Board of Accountancy robot so you don't get anything creative here today, sorry. Just the usual spiel about blah blah career problems blah blah your sucky life blah blah email us for advice. Hi Adrienne! As a faithful reader of GC, I […]

Those Annoying Recruiter Calls Might Be Slowing Down Next Quarter

In a few weeks, many of you plugging along through busy season will decide to call those incessant recruiters back and test the job market. Last week's report by Robert Half and published in the Journal of Accountancy miiiiight rain on your parade, at least in the short term.  Ninety-one percent of CFOs said they don’t expect […]

PwC Manager, Exploring New Career Opportunities, Accidentally Makes Entire Office Aware of It

When looking for a new job, discretion is important. Discussing your upcoming interview during the morning team meeting is typically frowned upon as well as making remarks like “I’m getting out of this godforsaken dump as soon as possible” within earshot of superiors. Another no-no? Not catching the “PwC [Your office] All” in the CC line of your response to a professional recruiter:


Woke up this morning only to find out that someone decided to look for new opportunities. Only problem is that on his reply he copied the entire office of 1900 people. Perhaps a lesson learned for all those auditors looking for a new job.

We’ve presented this in chronological order, so no need to start from the bottom and we’ve redacted the names to protect the innocent and those not too good with the email. As you can see, things get off to a pretty warm start:

[Anxious Recruiter],

I am very interested! How do we follow up on this?

[Anxious-to-get-the-hell-out PwC Manager]

The recruiter, sensing a live one, is on it:

I am submitting your new resume today. When can we talk [Anxious PwC Manager]?

The PwC Manager, sensing a little-too-eager beaver, starts balking:

[Anxious Recruiter],

I am committed all weekend, and will be unable to discuss until sometime on Monday. I hope that’s okay,

[PwC Manager]

Anxious Recruiter, being the early-bird-gets-the-worm type, plays it cool and suggests that they still get things rolling first thing Monday:

Not a problem [obviously less interested PwC Guy]. Can we set a time to talk on Monday? I get in to the office at 745am. I also have a meeting at 10am. I have 2 positions that are remote to discuss. I have already shared your resume with the client and they are interested.


Sunday afternoon comes with no word from formerly excited PwC Manager and our recruiter starts panicking:

[PwC Manager],

Can we set up a time to talk tomorrow please? It is important!


It’s finally gotten to the point where the PwC Manager has to say, “Look pal, you’re freaking me out. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

[Anxious Recruiter who is coming on way too strong at this point],

I am currently traveling and will not reach my destination until after 10:30AM. Let me know what time will work for you after that, and I will try and make myself available.

[PwC Manager]

I know email is tricky but be extra careful with the more sensitive ones, mmmkay?

External Recruiter Posing as PwC Staff Is ‘Very Convincing,’ Well Versed in Firm Jargon

This is a new one.

We found out about an external recruiter impersonating PwC late yesterday and apparently it’s gotten on the nerves of the brass that they sent an email to let everyone know that you shouldn’t talk to strangers, even if they say they’re from PwC and know a bunch of internal acronyms.

External Recruiters Impersonating PwC Staff

There have been recent reports of an unethical recruiter attempting to collect PwC staffing information by presenting themselves as a PwC employee. This individual has proven to be very convincing and knows some of the PwC terminology to support their deceptive practices. One of PwC’s best defenses to this type of activity is to protect our information and to not readily disclose it without verifying the requestor and their need for the information.

What to do if you receive a request for staffing information

If you should receive a call from an individual requesting staffing information, e.g., names, staff levels, phone numbers, etc. , do not provide this information by phone and do not send it to an external e-mail address. Politely obtain the caller’s information and inform them you will look into the their request. Do not be fooled by the information displayed on your phone. The caller typically blocks their caller id and the firm has also experienced instances of phone spoofing where the phone displays a false PwC extension from a call originating from outside of the firm. You can verify if it is a legitimate caller by contacting the individual through their PwC office phone number or e-mailing their PwC account. If you determine the call did not originate from the PwC individual, please report the situation to your HR representative or e-mail the call information to [email protected] and a US Security representative will respond to you.

We’ve contacted the firm about this sly impostor and are waiting to hear back. In the meantime, if you’ve heard from this crafty character, send us the email or voicemail.

Accounting News Roundup: GOP Targeting IRS Funding to Stall Healthcare; Grant Thornton, BDO Merge in South Africa; What Your Recruiter Isn’t Telling You | 10.26.10

IRS Funding A Target In Health-Care Implementation Battle [Dow Jones]
Funding for the Internal Revenue Service could become a battleground in the next Congress as Republicans seek to halt implementation of the new health-care law.

GOP candidates are running on a pledge to repeal that law. But some repeal advocates say a strategy of choking off funding to the IRS and federal health agencies is more politically viable.

“Repeal is not within the set of possible outcomes while President Obama holds his veto pen. However, a defunding strategy could throw sand in the gear bring it to a near standstill,” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

Stephen Lukens Named Grant Thornton LLP Advisory Services Leader [Business Wire]
Another Stephen! Mr Lukens came on board from IBM Global Business Services and was with PwC Consulting prior to Big Blue’s purchase of the practice.

Accountant describes ‘totally’ different transaction between GM and Delphi [Crain’s]
A forensic accountant testifying at former Delphi Corp. CEO J.T. Battenberg’s civil fraud trial in a federal courtroom in Detroit today said that the auto supplier recorded on its books a payment to its largest customer, General Motors, “totally differently from” the actual transaction conducted by the supplier and its former parent company.

Merger will create new accounting giant [Business Day]
THE merger between Grant Thornton and BDO Cape, which will become effective next Monday, will create the biggest accounting firm in SA’s mid-tier market , followed by Mazars.

The deal positions the merged firm to obtain more work, particularly from privately held businesses and listed companies. Previously the two firms obtained most of their work from privately held businesses.

The firm, which will be led by Grant Thornton national chairman Leonard Brehm, will have a staff compliment of 900 and 97 partners and directors, with combined revenue of R400m.

In Finance Team Building, Xerox Copied No One [CFO]
[M]ajor groundwork was laid through a finance reorganization and team-building effort that Lawrence Zimmerman began eight years ago after ending his retirement from IBM to become Xerox vice chairman and CFO.

“The big change Larry brought was to make the accounting unit independent of all other organizations,” says Gary Kabureck, who stayed on as chief accounting officer after Zimmerman joined Xerox. “That was a huge, very positive change.” The independent model, says Kabureck, replaced a Xerox structure that had tied accounting to business units. Now, accounting is used for “measuring operational results, which may which may [sic] not be what the local operation manager wants them to be, but it’s what the CFO wants them to be.”

Grassley: Three years before unemployment’s back to normal [The Hill]
2013 doesn’t sound that bad.

PayPal Names Patrick Dupuis as Chief Financial Officer [Business Wire]
Pat got his chops at the likes of Sitel, BJC Healthcare and GE Healthcare.

Should you upgrade QuickBooks? [AccMan]
SaaS/cloud upgrade issues are NOT the customer’s problem. They lie with the developers. Contrast this with the advice being given for a QuickBooks upgrade. There is plenty to think about. The same broad principles will apply to any on-premise solution. That’s a fundamental difference SaaS/cloud vendors should emphasize a lot more than they do. SaaS/cloud upgrades are usually seamless to the end customer while bug fixes are often more or less invisible to the user.

10 Things Employment Recruiters Won’t Say [SmartMoney]
You mean this person may not be completely honest with you? GET OUT.

Three Things to Remember When Changing Accounting Careers

Happy Friday, folks. Hopefully with busy season ending soon, this marks the end of your work week. If not, well, keep reading. Maybe we can change that.

As I mentioned on Tuesday, you might be feeling the tides of change in the next few weeks in your office, whether that be with your personal career or with co-workers dressing better than usual.

It’s about the total package – Even in the glory days of post-SOX rulings and lush amounts of advisory services work, public accounting has never paid close to what the private sector provides. When looking for new positions, know that you should not be expecting to find 50%-100% salary increases. It can be expected to find base salary increases to fall into the 10-15% range. Why? Because honestly, the stories told over warms beers at your last work function were grossly overblown. Sure, the occasional rock star accountant makes the leap from newly christened manager to controller of a small fund and landing on a cushy financial pillow. The monetary difference between public and private (and I’m speaking of financial services) rests in the annual bonuses:

Senior Associate, Big 4: $70,000 salary + $5,000 bonus = $75,000

Fund Accountant, XYZ Hedge fund: $80,000 salary + $30,000 bonus = a no brainer

These numbers are general but realistic for today’s market. Keep these in mind as you reach for that red wax pencil.

Be realistic about your next job title – You’re an accountant. No, you can’t be a trader. No, front office is not for you (yet). You need to be honest with yourself and really scrutinize the experience you’re building in your current role. Working on a private equity fund-to-fund will not prep you enough to slip into a fund accounting role at the P/E firm of your choice. Mold your career experiences to fit what you want to do. The right recruiter will manage your expectations, which leads us to…

Start out with multiple recruiters – Finding the right recruiter is like finding a career counselor. Some will be pushy and force unwanted jobs on you. Others will take the time to polish your resume, help you realize the steps you need to take to work toward your ideal job, and only pass along relevant job opportunities. Consider a recruiter like this a blessing. And don’t forget to pass that person’s contact information on to your buddies. They helped you; return the favor.

Three Signs That It Might Be Time to Get Out of Public Accounting

Busy season is rounding the corner and, if you look carefully, you might be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Squint. No I swear, it’s there.

My posts this week will shift from social media to the potential job market. As a public accountant, you should always be cognizant of the fact that you have the ability to continuously develop your strengths and mold your career path. Want to pursue of a career in hedge funds? Network within your firm to be staffed on the right engagements. Need to add tax experience to your resume? Seek out a rotation.

Here are three signs that you should get you thinking about exploring your options.

1. You’ve got your CPA – This might go without saying, but many people enter the public accounting industry with the “two years and done” mentality. Pass the CPA, earn some experience stripes, and get the *$@% out. There’s nothing wrong with this, but don’t expect to $100K jobs to be jumping into your lap. The average salary bump for younger staff from public to the private sector can range from 5-10%, usually topping out around 15%. If this isn’t enough of a bump to seriously consider a private job, don’t lose sight of the quality of life improvement a new job can bring. No, not the smoke and mirrors your firm is promising you. The real deal.

2. Someone you know is interviewing – Believe it or not, the job market is actually improving. The hiring freezes on many financial firms is now limited largely to supporting roles (i.e. HR folks like myself). Hedge and private equity funds are picking up their hiring as the markets begin to thaw. Recruiters are not wasting their time with interviewing individuals for the sole purpose of interviewing. So take note next time your senior staff member has three doctor appointments in a week; perhaps you should be “coming down with a nasty bug,” too.

3. Recruiters call – and you listen – Speaking about recruiters, be prepared for an onslaught of calls. Their timing is no coincidence. The private sector has been shuffling around over the last few months (remember when your client contact suddenly went MIA?), and as the cycle goes, the newly opened private jobs will inevitably be filled by auditors and tax accountants from public. Listen to the cold, scripted calls; be open to a pay increase and better work hours; reclaim your weekends. It can’t hurt to listen to the (substantiated) claims that you’re undervalued in today’s market.

Newsflash: you are grossly undervalued.

The Job Outlook Is Good for Accountants…But More Competitive

With one major deadline passed and two more coming up next week, some of you might be thinking about your employment options. It’s a common occurrence post-busy season to reflect on the past three-ish months, contact a recruiter and explore your options.

idea of what kinds of jobs might be attracting accountants in the year ahead so we got in touch with recruiter Adam Klitzke, Managing Partner of Emerson Search, LLC in Denver, Colorado.

Adam told us that he thinks that “2010 and…2011 are years where there is a “hot” background or skill set,” as opposed to a hot position (e.g. financial reporting, IFRS, or technical accounting). “[D]uring the previous 3 months, we haven’t seen the same job come up twice, but we have seen clients targeting the same type of candidate.“

So what does a hot “background or skill set” look like? Adam shared four primary characteristics that recruiters are currently looking for:

• 4-7 years of experience, the majority of which has been spent at a Big 4 firm.

• Experience with clients that comply with SEC regulation.

• Has experience supervising staff.

• Has obtained their CPA license.

“These candidates are not having any trouble landing interviews,” Adam told us. He added that in terms of your competition, there are far more bodies jockeying for a position, “in the current market we are seeing 5-10 candidates like this [with the ideal skill set] competing for the same job, whereas 3 years ago, a client would be lucky to see 2 candidates with this background.”

What if you don’t have the ideal skill set? Don’t worry, it’s not hopeless, “a second tier would look like someone with non-Big 4 public accounting experience coupled with industry experience (with a mid to large size public company – $200M+), supervisory experience, and a CPA license or an MBA,” Adam said.

Naturally, if your current background is lacking in these , it will be more difficult for a recruiter to help you land some interviews. Adam told us that while there are jobs out there for people with backgrounds that don’t fit the model above, those candidates typically find jobs without the services of a recruiter. If you’ve got bigger plans for yourself than that, it will be worth your time to pursue some or all of the points above.

The good news for those of you looking to make a move now is that you can expect to do well in terms of salary. As Adam told us, “Salary negotiations will be firm, but fair. Candidates will be able to negotiate an increase in pay and do NOT need to take a pay cut.”

Finally, another development he has seen has to do with the morale, “employee morale seems to be quite low and neither department heads or human resources are doing anything to combat that.” So, if you’re meeting with a recruiter it pays to be honest why your old employer didn’t give make you feel so good about yourself, “clients have asked us for ideas on how to improve morale and we have been able to help them as there are things a company can do other than increase salary to improve [that].”

Bottom line is that whatever your situation, it pays to be honest with recruiters about exactly what you are looking for. If you don’t like what you’re hearing from them, be honest and don’t settle for a position that you’re definitely not interested in pursuing. It may be a more competitive market but if you’ve got a strong background, you’ll have options.