Busy Season

Jan 23, 2010 -

What is busy season?

For financial statement auditors, my industry describes this period as beginning in January and typically ending sometime in March. My firm’s policy is that we work a minimum of fifty-five hours a week during this time. This doesn’t mean much as I am about three weeks into busy season and last week I logged nearly ninety hours. I remember succinctly pulling more than two fifteen hour days including one on the weekend. It’s good to know that busy season is coming to an end. Oh wait, it’s just the beginning.

Why is busy season typically from January to March?

Most public companies have 12/31 year ends. This means they close their books according to the calendar year. As such, we audit their books from January to March. Lucky for myself, I have a client that has a 3/31 year end. This means that at the earliest my busy season will end is April.

What is the big deal about busy season?

Sure we work long hours, but it isn’t more than what investment bankers work day in and day out. Or what lawyers pull for that matter. Though this may be true, we are also not compensated at the same level or anywhere close. The reason why people in this line of service make a big deal about busy season is because this is where you learn the most about a the client’s business and are exposed to a myriad of areas in a short period of time. You are exposed to cash, AR, AP, inventory, PP&E, accruals, investments, etc. Still, it’s a good first job right out of college; the alternative is that you could be an AP clerk.
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