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Weekend Discussion: Is Everybody Dumb Now?

Guy in a dunce hat in the office while his smart coworkers chat

Are the kids not alright? That’s the question posed by this recent r/Big4 post.

Two themes repeatedly emerge from the comments:

  1. The early-career busy work has been outsourced away and this is the inevitable result
  2. The pay is too low and workload too high, new hires are wise not to bust their asses for the firm given these two facts

And a third factor: Young people have always been kind of dumb and OP probably forgot how dumb they were when they were an associate.

Regardless of your view, the comments are worth a read.

A few days after the above post, this one appeared:

Shockingly, being overworked and not paid enough to care makes another appearance. Almost as if this is a pervasive problem at Big 4 firms or something. This comment describes the situation well:

It’s likely that the firm does not incentivize Seniors and Managers to invest in their staff. They are also overworked and coaching + really helping someone understand something generally takes more time than just telling you what to fix. You also have to consider if the Senior actually knows what is going on themselves, as many don’t – especially if the experience you’re describing is similar to what they had at your level.

Anyway, discuss.

One thought on “Weekend Discussion: Is Everybody Dumb Now?

  1. What I read above could be applied to our society in general, not just the accounting profession. I’ve noticed that since the pandemic, it seems like so many people simply don’t give a shit anymore. Maybe everyone took some time to think about what’s important in their lives, and re-prioritize what they are going to care about and work hard for. I’m not defending any of these people. I’m just observing that from fast food workers all the way to high levels in large companies, people simply don’t seem to give a shit.

    As for the accounting specific complaints above, I was reading the same shit 25 years ago. The biggest difference now, in my opinion, is that all the lower level stuff that staff used to do to build up their experience and competence has been sent overseas to sweat shops. So by the time a staff reaches senior level, they still don’t know shit. This is a legitimate problem for the accounting firms and private industry who hires these nitwits.

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