• The Big 4: A “Professional” Racket: How Did I Get Here?

    By • Aug 11th, 2010 • Category: Your Career


    The graduation party’s come and gone. There’s a Mont Blanc in your limited edition Prada backpack. The economy is not getting any better, but friends, relatives coughed up decent cash and you headed to Barcelona and Bilbao with a few buds to check out the Gehry Guggenheim. Your start date is delayed until January and the offer letter has no salary figure.

    Why not enjoy the summer?

    Busy season comes soon enough. The “real” accounting geeks say it’s brutal, but how bad is that? The money should be decent, although no OT. Disneyland, booze cruises, baseball games during the internship were fun.

    Even a few decent looking girls accepted offers.

    Sarbanes-Oxley pushed you to accounting. When you started college, the professors and the media said accounting was booming, tons of accountants needed. Do four years and get a job no prob, rather than an MBA right away. Might as well put a couple of years in as an excel jockey, easy schmeezy, and then head to Stanford. Anyway, an art history degree is not what it used to be. And a 3.9 wasn’t so tough once you remembered debits to the left, credits to the right.

    Or was it the other way around?

    Do you know what you’ve gotten yourself into?

    It’s a sure sign you’re really not an accountant when….
    10. None of your fellow first-year associates know what a Bilbao or a Gehry is, much less have a valid passport. And their eyes glaze over when you speak Catalan.

    9. People can see your nipple rings through the high-thread-count white Armani shirt. All the other guys are wearing Brooks Brothers.

    8. Everyone talks about FAS 123(R) but go zombie when you mention Black-Scholes or use the word “insouciant.”

    7. When the gang heads to Potbelly for lunch, you head to the OTB.

    6. We’re working for the shareholders? Aren’t we supposed to kiss management’s ass and make them more profitable? That’s how you keep your job and earn big bonuses.

    5. At the office until 9 is ok, you’re a night owl, but now we go to that gallery opening and after party, no?

    4. You’d rather set up your Pandora account than scan those expense report receipts, make an electronic copy in a special folder on your hard drive, labeled in a consistent way each week, and cross-coded for the engagements you worked on. How anal!

    3. Tweet, Digg, and StumbleUpon are daily habits, not things you do after several Stella Artois.

    2. When you ask for the Veeeeg-gan entre at the holiday party, everyone retranslates for the waiter, Vegggg -gan.

    1. No one else has quite the same “Daniel Libeskind-like” eyewear.

    This piece was originally published in GoingConcern.com on July 22, 2009.

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    One Response »

    1. You know you’re an accountant when an MBA + CPA doesn’t even make you $40 grand a year.

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