BIG 4: Why is there a Big 4 Busy Season?

Feb 18, 2013 -

We have a Busy Season because....?

1) all publicly traded clients have to be audited

It is an understatement to say that working the Big 4 allows certain privileges especially if you are in the audit field. Aside from working with intelligent people and the best and brightest, you have the opportunity to see first hand how a great or terrible company is run, what they do well, or what they don't do so well. You see how management interacts with each other and where their money comes from or where it is going.

Having said that, most big companies are audited by a Big 4 accounting firm. That means, Facebook, Google, and Apple are audited by either PwC, KPMG, Ernst & Young, or Deloitte. In our previous post, I covered that the aforementioned firms were all audited by Ernst & Young.

So, if you work for a Big 4 accounting firm, chances are you will have a busy season. You know what forget about chance, you MOST definitely will have a busy season.

2) you want to learning how to read the 10-K.

One of the biggest things I've learned from public accounting is really how to read a 10-K. A 10-K is the annual financial report issued by the company to its investors and filed with the SEC. In short, it is a comprehensive summary of the company. It includes a balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and other details about revenue, operations, and could touch on legal issues.

The 10-K is the main reason auditors have jobs. While many of us perform quarterly work, which may involve looking at a recent acquisition's documents and reviewing large fluctuations year over year or quarter over quarter, all of that doesn't compare to what we go through from January through April.

So, without a 10-K we wouldn't have a busy season! Hurrah!

But, at the end of the day, you can't help but think. What are you really doing working until midnight. Your best friend got off work at 5:30PM. You missed the happy hour and will likely have to work until midnight again the next day.

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