Could Christian Wolff Work at a Big 4 Accounting Firm?




The Accountant starring Ben Affleck comes out in theaters on October 14. 

The main character is Christian Wolff. He is a math genius who has autism. He is also a money launderer and a well trained assassin. 

In this post, we will go over some key questions about whether Christian Wolff could cut it as a Big 4 Accountant. 






Could Someone with Autism be Successful at the Big 4?

People that are different don’t always thrive at the Big 4. The surest way to success at the big four public accounting firms is fitting in with the crowd. 

You need to flow with the status quo. The big four accounting firms center around client service. What this means is a successful big 4 accountant needs to get close to clients in anyway possible.

Christian Wolff says he struggles socializing with people. At the big 4, socializing is very important. It’s important to get close to clients, and it’s important for internal politics. Sometimes internal politics at the big accounting firms is more important to a person’s success than good client service. 

This means that you have to walk around and talk to superiors and partners. If you are afraid of socializing, you will be too scared to socialize with superiors. When annual review time comes around, partners won’t know who you are and they won’t stand up for you. 

I think it could be difficult with someone with autism to succeed at the big 4 if they were like Christian Wolff. This is not to say that people like Christian Wolff could not be successful professionals. 

I believe that is why Christian Wolff works for himself. He doesn’t socialize well, but he does work hard. Hard workers aren’t always rewarded at the big four. It’s usually the people that play internal politics the best. Hard workers do make really good sole proprietors though. 





Could Someone Launder Money for Clients at the Big 4?

The Accountant has some of the most notorious criminals in the world as his clients. According to J.K. Simmons, the Accountant is capable of coming in cold and uncooking years of books for his clients. 

The question is could someone in the big 4 launder money for their clients. 

PwC was  fined a couple years ago for helping one of their clients laudner money. The money ultimately made its way to terrorists, so this has already happened. 

Additionally, based on the recent headlines, there could be a rogue employee in the big 4 that launders money for clients. 

PwC settled a $5.5 billion case involving one of their clients that committed fraud. The largest allegation from that case was that fraud occurred on PwC’s watch, and they did nothing about it. How could they possibly notice one of their employees being a money laundering genius. 

Deloitte missed an accounting error at Monsanto that resulted in a large whistleblower payout. The amount was extremely material and Deloitte never detected it. 

EY settled allegations that they got too close to clients with the SEC. They could not remain independent of their clients which creates an environment where fraud could occur. 

In conclusion, I don’t think the big 4 firms have the checks set up to detect a rogue employee. 


 

Could Someone Be An Assassin at the Big 4?

In The Accountant, there is a lot of gunplay. We see Christian Wolff battling with criminals with a machine gun, and we also see him shooting with a sniper rifle. 

The primary reason he is able to do this is because he is a sole proprietor. 

He can set his own work hours and his hours when he perpetrates his crimes. 

Could you be an assassin at the big 4 firms? 

I think you could be an assassin and still work for the big 4. 

Most big 4 firms have flexible working hours and some even have flexible dress codes.

I think the accountant could thrive in the big 4. He is a genius, so he could definitely get all his work done in time.

Then he could go out and be an assassin whenever he wanted too. He could even come to work in his undercover assassin clothes for half the day (as long as they fit the firm guidelines), then go out later and commit criminal activities. 


 

Would You Be Able to Spot Christian Wolff at the Big 4?

If someone like Christian Wolff worked at the big 4, would you be able to spot him?

In other words, could you spot an assassin or criminal. 

The big 4 public accounting firms each have over 200,000 employees. Turnover is also insane at the big 4. As we saw in the big 4 revenue releases, they hired over 50,000 employees but lost 40,000.

It’s hard to pay attention to people if they leave the firms in such short periods of time. You don’t really watch peoples routines or learn their habits. 

Therefore, one of those employees could be a money-laundering assassin and you might not notice. 





Conclusion

I think the only thing that would prevent Christian Wolff from succeeding at the big 4 would be the severity of his autism. If you have difficulties socializing, then you will have difficulties moving up in the big 4. 

I think that’s why the movie features him as a sole practitioner. 

Anyone with similar social troubles, should also be a sole practitioner. 

Other than that, I think Christian Wolff could be a successful big 4 accountant.