Hey Social Media! The Big 4 Is Just Not That Into You…

Relationships are tough. The ones that require a conversation even tougher. Embracing the concepts of social media, learning how to use the tools available, can be daunting.

Prospects For Audit/Accounting Professionals – Ants Keep Marching

“We all cynically realized that the Firm’s renewed and enthusiastic focus on “mid year evaluations” and providing “feedback” was simply a ploy to prioritize the order people are to be sent to the chopping block…”

Hope Springs Eternal

It’s snowing here in Chicago, but I’d like to think of Spring. I’d like to think of warmer, better times and I’d like to be hopeful for the future. Monday’s post has elicited a lot of comments and they are still coming in.  Please keep commenting.  The more the merrier and I encourage readers to […]

Hope Springs Eternal

It’s snowing here in Chicago, but I’d like to think of Spring. I’d like to think of warmer, better times and I’d like to be hopeful for the future.

Friday Mailbag

Dear Francine,

I have been following your blog since the start of my career. I am a recent graduate and an associate at [Big 4] in [EU country]. I am currently working to specialize in financial due diligence for M&As.

Internal Auditors – Ignore At Your Risk

I had a great conversation with the public relations manager at the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) the other day.  As much as I have been involved in the past with this organization and as much as I have reached out in the past and offered to speak, write, teach, consult…  Well, it’s not until they […]

Hmmmm, Do You Find Yourself, Suddenly, With A Lot of Free Time?

I am procrastinating on finishing some paying work. Now you know why I have a simple financial situation…
Lots of concerns voiced both in the comments and off-line to me about being suddenly out of a job. This concern is not limited to those auditors who are being or will be cut. It is, of course, felt throughout the economy, especially by those in the financial services sector.
So what to do?

Deloitte – The Worst May Be Yet To Come

A post about the layoffs in Deloitte last August/September became a collection of not only spontaneous and real-time updates on the ongoing cuts at that firm and others but a great repository of insight about firm structure, the business model, audit vs. advisory and a host of other topics. Take a look.

Update: Deloitte Statement on Layoffs

As I have said before, in particular with regard to the layoffs at PwC in February that have continued since, the Big 4 do not like to talk about cuts. They have a habit of reducing staff surgically, in a thousand little cuts, across practices, geographies, offices, so that each person thinks they are unique. Those cut are often made to feel inferior and a failure, as most often the cuts are characterized as performance related and a result of forced ranking techniques. I also see the survivor rationalization too – when survivors dis’ those cut by saying they just “couldn’t make it in the Big 4” or they were “dead wood.” Helps cut down on ongoing morale problems when the remaining staff feel more secure, safe, because they think they are superior.
Ms. Harrington made it clear on the phone, and in her statement, that the vast majority of cuts were based on the negative economic reality the firm is facing. What’s frustrating to professionals, both those cut and those left behind, is why the firms are not better at planning and forecasting.

Raising Your Hand

It seems every season is now the recruiting season for accounting graduates.  It’s amazing how similar the process is for all Big 4 firms around the world, and yet how different it is, too.  I see Google alerts talking about “Freshers” in India.  Not sure what that term refers to, but I can guess.  I’ve […]

The Saddest Thing

I have actually been told by some that I am still too optimistic about the profession. Maybe there are people to whom I have given the benefit of the doubt, and more, on this blog, who don’t deserve it. If you feel the game can still be played fairly, with reason and discussion, under a predictable set of rules, with expected results, then you play. You write your little blog, and hope to influence those that are in a position to make changes that will help.

But, then you start to see that the game is probably rigged, that there’s no more “best interest,” only “self-interest.”

What’s a girl to do?