Wrap up Audit Season

Current Mood: Relieved
Career Outlook: Decent
Job Title: Staff Accountant (1 yr)

Well... we have been officially done with the majority of fieldwork for about a week now... There are a few pros and cons to this:

  • No overnight travel
  • Home at a reasonable hour
  • Only need to go to one location day after day
  • Not as much work to do
  • If you are staff; much more relaxed atmosphere

  • Tired of the drive and day to day routine
  • Have to see the same people everyday for the next 3 months
  • No gas reimbursement
  • Not as much work to do
  • If you are senior/manager/partner; most stressful time of audit season

So all in all.. I kind of miss field work already. I cant imagine a job where I have to go to the same office, everyday, for 10-15 years (or maybe up to 40 years). No wonder most people are unhappy. Whats funny is that during audit season, I complain that I want to go to one office everyday, how I am sick of traveling, and sick of the hours. As of now I miss them.

Ice Cold Clients

Current Mood: Pissed off
Career Outlook: Decent
Job Title:
Staff Accountant (1 yr)

I am currently at a client where they are as cold as the weather outside... and inside... yes this clients heater is malfunctioning and we are working in about 55 degrees at the moment. The current temperature outside is 36 degrees. The staff here are not too kind either, which makes this job so much worse than it needs to be. Upon asking for any form of backup, or documents, I get a stare that says "Why are you making me do extra work? Im going to take all day (or possibly two) to get you a copy of one invoice". Oh well... time to get back to work and hope I dont get hypothermia.

Dreamin' of Audit

Current Mood: Depressed
Career Outlook: Decent
Job Title:
Staff Accountant (1 yr)

I went over 1 year without having a work related dream.... that record ended last night. I had just finished a 13 hour workday when I got to my hotel, fell asleep, and had a dream containing my audit team, continuing the work we were doing earlier. 

I then awoke realizing that all the "work" I did in my dream did not count...

Healthy auditor?

You dont need to be unhealthy to be a good auditor. Granted everyones jobs require different hours, but it is possible to stay somewhat healthy. 

 Here is a sample of my weekday general schedule:

5 am - wake up, have oatmeal/banana/protein shake

5:30am - head to gym

6:30 am - get home, have another snack, get ready for work

8am - get to work

9am - eat another healthy snack

12pm - lunchtime

3pm - another snack

7pm - dinner

??? pm - study for at least an hour for the CPA, have a protein shake, then pass out, all depending on what I get off of work

The times I eat dinner vary, but I usually bring my lunch and dinner with me to the clients. I make all my food the night before. By no means am i trying to brag, but just letting future CPA's know that it is possible to stay healthy and still work in public accounting. It just takes practice. While doing this routine, I lost 36 pounds, and decreased my bodyfat % from 22% down to 8%. If you have any questions, or want a specific workout schedule, or diet plan that I use, feel free to send me an email or comment.

Studying for the CPA

A lot of people wonder how auditors can study for the CPA while working crazy hours. In truth... just give up whatever social life you once had. Weekends are the best way to get work done. I get about 2 hours in per weekday, and about 12-16 hours on the weekends. Oh and if you checkout my other posts you can see that I still go to the gym 6 days a week. So far I have passed BEC with an 83. Not too bad for a full schedule. If you have any questions regarding more specifics, feel free to leave a comment, or send me an email

Smaller Clients

There are good and bad things about working for a small CPA firm. A combination of the two includes small clients. Here are the list of pros and cons for smaller client audits:

  • They never take more than 3-4 days
  • They are always really friendly
  • The systems are very simple to use
  • Never work past 6 pm
  • Some don't require actual field work
  • Incredibly weak internal controls
  • They never know much about accounting... so asking for something simple like an AP list to be generated is ridiculous
  • We stay in small small rooms and most of my work has to be done on my lap
  • We cannot bill them the appropriate hours, because they lack the financial resources to pay us
  • Some do not have AC or Heaters... 

Coffee breathe

Okay this is kind of a little side rant, but what is with people and having terrible breathe. I had a client a few weeks ago that literally stunk up the room with her breathe. I took a breather outside, came back into our room...and BAM it hit me like a frying pan to the head.

Its gross... please use mouthwash. That goes for us auditors too.

Audit hours at small CPA firm

My previous post mentioned the random hours that small firm auditors have. One of the reasons I like (and dislike) working for a small CPA firm is the relaxed mentality. I can take days off pretty frequently, and without even telling anyone. If im not booked on a client and dont show up to the office, no one knows.

Some weeks we work 12 hour days, other weeks im barely making 40 hours for the entire week. It varies greatly, but im usually home around 6-630 pm every night.

CPA Test

I am current studying for the CPA test. I have already passed BEC, and am working on FAR. My test is coming up this weekend, and im pretty sure I am ready for it. Studying hasnt been too bad. The hours at a small CPA firm can vary greatly. I really cant complain when compared to the big 4. The latest I have worked (which has been this week) was until 830 pm. This rarely happens, and only occurs with out of town clients. If anyone has any questions about the CPA test, let me know.

Small time CPA Firm

I noticed that most of the blogs out there are about what life is like as an auditor at a big 4 CPA firm. While this is interesting, and I do enjoy going to the blogs as frequent as possible, I figured it would be nice to create a blog about the life of a small time CPA auditor.

The company I work for, which shall stay nameless, is a small CPA firm with 2 branches. I began here as an audit intern a few years ago. I hope you enjoy the website.. and if not.. well...