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"I work 60 hour weeks as an auditor in the Big Four. This is fine"

I'm an auditor for a Big Four firm. Audit jobs don't always have a good reputation: they pay less than some other Big Four jobs and offer less chance of making partner. But this is fine because there are other advantages.

Unless it's a busy period, I usually work a seven or eight-hour day and no more than 60 hours a week, with the occasional weekend. This is a lot less than people work in investment banking jobs.

Even in really busy periods, we don't work more than 70 hours a week. This is because we're often at client sites on the outskirts of the city and we can't travel in and out late in the day - public transport doesn't run 24/7. Audit is not like investment banking where you're on call all the time and they can make you work 100-hour weeks. We're never really expected to be online after 11pm.

The other good thing about audit is that it's a great stepping stone to another career. People here go onto jobs in investment banks, corporate strategy or consulting as well as staying in audit. Most people (including me) are just waiting to become qualified accountants before considering their options. 

Personally, I think I will qualify as an accountant and then study for the CFA® exams. They're cheaper than an MBA and I see a lot of my peers questioning whether an MBA is really worth it. With a CFA Charter and an accounting qualification, I think I can go into something like equity research: training as an accountant is a gentle introduction to these more demanding jobs in banks.

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AUTHORHaya Bannister Insider Comment
  • Gi
    19 July 2022
  • An
    Andrew Umukoro
    15 July 2022

    This sounds terrible but you do you

  • Ju
    14 July 2022

    I work for a big 4. Busy season is crazy, and your leadership expects you to crank out 12-14 hour days Mon-Friday and 8hrs per day on the weekend. Op isn't being transparent.

  • Tr
    Tracy Ayers
    13 July 2022

    Lets not normalize these types of hours. It isnt fine. People need time to do things other than work. Over time, overwork will wreak havoc on health and relationships. We all need our health, and our species is social by nature. The whole model of public accounting should be re-examined.

  • Pa
    Pavel Mencl
    13 July 2022

    I know the work in Big4. It is fine for three-four years after the university, bit it is definitely not good for a healthy balanced family life.

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