what is an accountant's work environment like?

<p>do you get a lot of private space or are you more like cramped up in a small office with your bosses nose hovering over you 40 hours a week?</p>

<p>Like a lot of jobs that can vary greatly. Not only are there differences between small, mid, and large businesses/firms, but they are major differences between bosses as people and managers too. It could honestly go both ways. Imagine a small business owner with his own firm. There's you, him/her, and two other people for the entire business. There may be a lot to do, so th owner/manager doesn't have time to babysit you because a lot of other important stuff will never get done. However, because it is his or her own business, they may feel the need to know every little thing to make sure everything is done right and will therefore be constantly on you about your tasks and scrutinize how you do things.</p>

<p>Mostly it's a toss up and you won't get to know until you start working there.</p>

<p>

<a href="http://prisoncellss.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Prison-Cell.jpg%5B/img%5D"&gt;http://prisoncellss.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Prison-Cell.jpg

</a></p>

<p>and lol @ 40 hours/week, particularly during busy season.
Talk about seeing the world through rose colored glasses.</p>

<p>^Places in the world technically do exist where the accountant will work only 40 hours per week through the entire year. Yes, it is most likely that these are entry level positions in much smaller slower businesses, but they DO exist. I think it's a good way to "prepare for the worst, but hope for the best", but very stereotypical of the accounting environment.</p>

<p>Will you work more than 40 hours in the Big 4 or at a multinational corp? Most definitely. Will you work more than 40 hours in the Mom and Pop corner store? More than likely no.</p>

<p>engryelf, nice try lol </p>

<p>check this out</p>

<p>Redirect</a> Notice</p>

<p>Angry</a> Accountants</p>

<p>The</a> Accountant - YouTube</p>

<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R07pi_Pgtq8&feature=player_embedded%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R07pi_Pgtq8&feature=player_embedded&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>An environment/hell, in which the term 'work-life balance' is used to convince bright, young professionals to accept jobs. Once on the other side, it becomes apprent very fast that it doesn't exist, but the majority of employees stay, because the partners continue to say they are "working" to improve 'work-life balance'. One question: How long before they figure it out? Answer: NEVER. They will continue to use it as a topic of positive discussion for the future (always in the future).</p>

<p>"We work 80 hour weeks, but it is okay cause they feed us free alcohol on a consistent basis."</p>

<p>Turtlerock. What is your point? The places like that provide no opportunity for any sort of advancement or exit opportunity and neither does the mundane, make you want to claw your eyes out government work. </p>

<p>Most people strive to be successful and a select few are content working dead-end mom and pop jobs or meaningless government jobs. The ones who are successful in accounting/corporate finance will never see 40 hours/ week.</p>

<p>working, the OP didn't ask which environment will make an accountant more successful. They merely inquired if as a whole is the accounting environment like how they describe. I was offering a variation of each example. I guess for warning's sake, yes there is no real room for advancement if you want to stick to the slower industries.</p>

<p>Take a HUGE chill pill, watch some Jeopardy or something.</p>

<p>workingATbig4 is just keeping it real around here.</p>

<p>I'm just preventing the spreading of anything positive about government accounting or other crappy entry level jobs. If you're not working 60+ hours during busy season you are doomed to a life of the most boring and unsatisying work known to man. </p>

<p>Also, Jeopardy won't offset 15 hour days. But...those 15 hour days result in the head hunters constantly bugging everyone. 4 emails this week offering interviews.</p>

<p>^If you are referring to the IRS, then you should say so. Otherwise, please do not spread the information of the government accounting being "the most boring and unsatisfying work known to man." I'm sure those who work for the FBI or CIA find their work to be exciting. And their experience probably outweighs any other accounting experience known to men. By the way, I know a guy who is a CPA and works for the United Nations in NY, and he has 9-5 job with a salary comparable to a senior manager at a big 4. I would rather work 40 hour weeks, make more money, and have those extra 20-40 hours to spend on my family, friends, myself, and etc. I can bet that my life wouldn't be boring, nor would it be unsatisfying.</p>

<p>Someone might say that working 60+ hours per week would give you no life outside of that. More often that not, people don't quote their careers as being the most rewarding experiences in their life. Truth be told a lot of people go on to have families and contribute to their communities. They usually like to spend that extra 20 hours per week that they could have been working to those things. I hear they're happier for it too.</p>

<p>Someone like them may not be getting interview after interview thrown their way, but they get to see their kids grow up and have relationships with people outside of working. And I'm sure there's a whole bunch of people that make a whole bunch of money and work less than 40 hours per week, even in accounting.</p>

<p>Tosh. You never fail to amaze me with the amount of ignorance you spit out. What do you think FBI or CIA accountants are doing that is exciting? Do you think they're going on secret missions, getting in car chases and shoot outs, and bagging a Bond girl? No. They're examining financial documents related to potential crimes. They are doing investigative audits. And they're doing it with ****ty pay and bureaucrats hanging on their backs. </p>

<p>And seriously? Their experience outweighs any experience in accounting known to man? Is this a joke? How many CFOs, Controllers, Internal Audit heads, etc. do you know that came from the FBI or CIA? I don't know a single one personally and I have never read of one. As a matter of fact I have never met a single manager or above who came from government. There work is NOT applicable to any kind of corporate accounting. </p>

<p>I'm not surprised you brought up someone you know. You do it in every post and frankly, I don't believe you. If we could go through your posts and list the people you know, I'm pretty sure you'd supposedly know someone in every profession. Furthermore, you always claim to know their salaries. I don't know how much my best friend of 16 years makes. Because its rude to ask. Yet, you know EVERYONE's salary. ********. </p>

<p>Turtlerock, I like all the unsubstantiated claims in your post. I work 65+ hours for 4.5 months. The rest of the year is normal 50 hour weeks. During the summer I leave the office at 3 on Friday pretty much every week and I'm at my families lake house, the beach, etc. I don't hang out with but a few people from work on the weekends. Most friends came from college or are people I've met since I've been out. </p>

<p>I have been coaching youth basketball, football, and baseball ever since I started working. I volunteer weekly at a children's hospital. I go to the gym everyday. I play in city-league sports. </p>

<p>I am 23. I don't have a family and I'm not worried about it. The partner I am closest with has never missed a kids game, play, etc. and takes his son hunting every week during hunting season. When he isn't hunting he is taking his family to his lake house. </p>

<p>You will find a few anomalies (usually freelance consultants,) who work less than 40 hours and do well, but 50 hours has always been the norm in business. Hell the only people I know that work 40 hours are people in government who don't stop talking about how incredibly boring their job is and how horrible the bureaucracy is and people who are forced to leave to avoid overtime.</p>

<p>You will come to find that the whole "paying your dues" is as true as it gets. Satisfaction comes from being successful at what you do. It's human nature. </p>

<p>Please, come back with more claims about the lives of people who you do not know. It does wonders for your argument.</p>

<p>workingATbig4: is there a collegeconfidential charge code that you hit? you need to start sending invoices to the people on here.</p>

<p>Well, I'm charging my time right now before I go rack out after 16 hours. I'll charge it to the firm as recruiting. Ha</p>

<p>There is valuable time to fill between client meetings and telling interns what to do.</p>

<p>WorkingatTheBig4,</p>

<p>Why the hate for government accountants? I myself have been working as one the last few years while completing my education. I am going Big4 after graduation, but I have to say that it wouldn't be bad at all staying where I'm at. The hours are regular (40 hrs / week 85% of the time), your work is appreciated, and the pay is really not too far off Big4. The work can be a little mundane at times. But please don't tell me Big4 work is amazing. I know that for the majority that go into Audit, the first couple years will be sent ticking and tying out crap in Excel. This is what I experienced myself and learned from speaking with multiple associates during my B4 internship. Also don't know what you mean about no advancement because I see abundant oppurtunnities within my organization. A major reason for this is because everyone in the government is about to retire. Like I said, I ultimately did decide on Big4 but government accounting aint bad.</p>

<p>I always get a chuckle whenever someone in audit describes another person's job as boring.</p>

<p>^^^working, you didn't state in your post that you work 60+ hour weeks only 4.5 months of the year. In fact, you were trying to point out that if you're not working 60+ hours/wk in accounting then you will not be successful/advance in career etc. So by your theory, are you only successful 4.5 months out of the year?</p>

<p>Also, you keep mentioning to people not to talk about people they know with unsubstatiated claims. Uh, what was like half your whole post about: "The partner I am closest with . . . Hell the only people I know . . . "</p>

<p>Anyway, really there isn't much substatiation needed when you say it's someone you know other than, well, you know them. I think it can be left up to the readers of this forum to deduct if what the person is saying can be trusted or not.</p>

<p>Just curious, out of the people you do say you know, is there an FBI forensic accountant, special agent, or IRS CID Agent anywhere there? I konw a few and I have spoken with them about their jobs. They do go on raids, execute search warrants, testify in courts, patrol the streets looking fir anything out of the oridinary (like a boat and 3 cars in someone's driveway of the projects). And yes, they examine financial statements and financial evidence to uncover hidden accounts, assets, and cash flows.</p>

<p>I won't claim to be Gods gift to the world at 23, like you seem to be doing and just because you can call someone ignorant doesn't actually mean they are. You might find a lot of that as you continue in your young 23 years of existence.</p>

<p>Seriously, to me it sounds like you were burned by a governement employer at some point or something. A normal person wouldn't dedicate so much effort into deterring people from something if that weren't the case, so . . . I'm sure you can tell us otherwise though.</p>

<p>OP, unfortunately there are some people here that are less about providing help and opportunity choices, and more about picking random thread fights. I think it's universally accepted however, that the working environment will vary greatly depending on which path in the accounting field you persue - be it in private or public, small or large corp, and even by what specific job title you are in - bookkeeper, or CID Agent.</p>

<p>workingATbig4,</p>

<ol>
<li>"What do you think FBI or CIA accountants are doing that is exciting? Do you think they're going on secret missions, getting in car chases and shoot outs, and bagging a Bond girl?"</li>
</ol>

<p>First of all, they are no longer accountants, but agents specialized in accounting. If needed, they will do the work you mentioned, and they are trained for that. If you did not know, FBI all agents must go through a physical training, which goes for 20 weeks in Quantico, VA. In addition, they have to meet these requirements: pass a fitness test, meet vision/hearing requirements, and medical review. To support my statement, here is the quote from their website regarding the typical day at the FBI: </p>

<p>"There is no such thing as a typical day for an FBI Special Agent. Every day is different. One day you could be testifying in federal court, and the next you could be executing a search warrant and gathering evidence. One day you could be meeting with a source to gather intelligence on illegal activities, the next you could be making an arrest, and the next you could be back in the office meeting with your squad and catching up on paperwork."</p>

<ol>
<li>"How many CFOs, Controllers, Internal Audit heads, etc. do you know that came from the FBI or CIA?"</li>
</ol>

<p>The reason why you do not see them in corporate accounting, is because they do not switch industries like people at the big 4 do. They are satisfied with their work, for:
they have an exciting job, great benefits, decent pay, and can retire early with a nice pension. You said that their work is not applicable to corporate accounting, but they have to work for 3 years before they even apply. If I was a CEO of a company, I would hire the former government agent to deal with companies taxes because they know government's system from the inside out, unlike big 4 accountants.</p>

<ol>
<li>"I'm not surprised you brought up someone you know. You do it in every post and frankly, I don't believe you."</li>
</ol>

<p>Well, I do not believe in your credentials either. You just terned 23, and yet you claim that you are a senior accountant at a big 4, a CPA, and passed level 1 of the CFA. You have a double major in accounting and finance, and this should take you at least around 4 years to complete, even if you take a lot of credits. An average American graduates from college at 22-23 years old. To become a senior at a big 4 you need to work there for at least 2-3 years. To pass a CPA at least 1 year, and around 6 month to prepare and pass the first level of the CFA. </p>

<p>In addition to that, you claim that you are: coaching youth basketball, football, baseball, go to the gym everyday, and volunteer at a children's hospital, AND you work 16 hour days. OMG :O</p>

<ol>
<li>"Furthermore, you always claim to know their salaries. I don't know how much my best friend of 16 years makes. Because its rude to ask. Yet, you know EVERYONE's salary."</li>
</ol>

<p>I do not know everyone's salary, but I do know some averages and salaries of some people--not because I asked--but because they shared it with me. I myself do not like when people directly ask how much money someone makes, and I do not do that. Yet, sometimes, I induce people to reveal their salary without directly asking them :)</p>

<p>
[quote]
To support my statement, here is the quote from their website regarding the typical day at the FBI:</p>

<p>"There is no such thing as a typical day for an FBI Special Agent. Every day is different. One day you could be testifying in federal court, and the next you could be executing a search warrant and gathering evidence. One day you could be meeting with a source to gather intelligence on illegal activities, the next you could be making an arrest, and the next you could be back in the office meeting with your squad and catching up on paperwork."

[/quote]

KPMG claims to be "constantly looking for ways to improve our work experience at the firm as well as provide more support to help our employees manage their personal lives while they build their careers"</p>

<p>Do you believe that one?</p>