We wanted to get a little humor in and a little art in as well. Forgive our crude drawing for today. We will get progressively better, but this is our first sketch on a tablet. Today’s comic strip tries to address one of the common problems of working at the big 4 firms. That problem is admin hours. You have to spend so many hours setting up an engagement, billing an engagement, entering your hours, analyzing hours and attending non-client meetings that you end up with more admin hours than billable hours.
One benefit of working in industry is that everything that you do in a day is part of your job. At the big 4, you are not rewarded for setting up engagements or attending non-client meetings.
Partners will get on your case for having low utilization even though they might be the one making you do all their admin. Not only do you have to have extremely high utilization, but you also have to get all your admin done. This why many big 4 accountants work around the clock. They perform their day jobs from 9-5, and then do all of their admin at night.
Their day jobs consist of completing audit work, tax work or advisory work. These are the client’s working hours so they are many big 4 accountants busiest hours. These are the hours where you can set up calls with your client and expect them to attend. These are also the hours that partners are willing to work. You schedule any calls outside of 9-5 and your partners and clients are not likely to attend.
After those working hours, are when most big 4 accountants complete their tasks where they do not need partners or clients to be available.