Monday, 5 April 2010

What auditors do?

Of late, quite a number of people have mailed me, inquiring about Big 4 modern slavery world. The types of query vary, but there appears to be a common curiosity… what exactly does an auditor do? How does it work in those big firms?

In a nutshell, the auditor is to certify that the accounts of a company reflect the “true and fair view” of the company. Of course, it goes through quite a long process. Don’t get conned with the professional look and aura that they put up though.

Without going into a detailed description of their job scope, a very zewtified version of how auditors function…

Let’s say computers are the accounts…

The juniors are those doing the dirty work. Depending on the scale, they will check all the computers in the company and prepare a first level report. Let’s say there are 10 Dell computers, and they will report that to the seniors.

The seniors are supposed to do the first level review, and also highlight some basic issues such as “Do the computers have proper monitors?”, “Do the computers have proper mouse?” or “Are the computers functioning well?” Stuff like that. He/she will screw the junior for not checking it in the first round.

They will also do some casting check. 1 computer on the ground floor, 2 on the first floor, 5 on the 2nd floor and 2 on the top floor. So 1 + 2 + 5 + 2 = 10. There you go, junior did a good job. By the way, they use calculator for that. Report will be signed off and sent to the manager.

The manager will review and perhaps highlight some higher level issues such as “Are the computer system good enough for the working requirement” or “Why use all Dell computers? Why not try other brands?” Stuff like that. He/she will screw the senior for not being able to highlight this.

They will also do a reasonable test… there are 10 employees in the company, 10 computers. Right, it’s reasonable. He/she will sign off and send to the partner of the firm.

A partner being a partner, he/she is supposed to be all knowing and only highlight the super duper high level issues such as… “It’s risky to place all 5 computers on the 2nd floor. What if there is a fire? Should move them elsewhere to even out the risk”. He/she will probably screw the manager for not being able to pick this up.

And the partner will do an overall reasonable review… this is the information technology age, so companies having computers are normal.

There you go… “true and fair”!


2 years ago…
Screwing for desire

3 years ago…
Are you aware of its existence?

21 comments:

fufu said...

yah i want to know why they all use the same brand... cheap?? good or everyone is using it? so you are the auditor?

missironic said...

Looks like is all about screwing the ones lower than you. Hahaha.. But I know auditor's job is not a walk in the park..

Pinknpurplelizard said...

Auditors... One of the few main groups that keep the stationary and calculator manufacturers in business. XD

Anonymous said...

haha... interesting.....
most of the client's staff hates auditor.... when i work on MNC, this is what they told me...haha

now i'm also auditor, fresh potato yet... not in big 4, but is bigger than medium thought that people is easy going on, cause i'm straight ppl and easy offence ppl unintentionly, especially ladies.... mana tahu... problem is bigger than previous i work in MNC.... senior and senior shouting each others,and ...@#$%^&*&^%^&*(9............ thinking whether i'm still suitable to this company cause they even dont know how to "act"....... and "slower" than what i expected... always i ask job from him......he said i'm too fast...when solving a difficult problem(for me is difficult), he say im taking too much time, sit 2gether teaching others, he think that we sit together talk his bad word.........haih.... hard to do ppl...he think that i so free meh.... hahahaha

Mei Teng said...

I like your description of an auditor's job! :) Glad to have left those auditing days.

whoalse said...

"shit rolls downward"!! hahaha...

day-dreamer said...

Your picture was painted very clearly. :)

goingkookies said...

i beg to differ..

although at times some juniors do bear the brunt of the work n the shitty bits.. but nowadays.. juniors themselves give very POOR quality of work to the seniors.

in fact, they aren't accountable at all and dun admit it when they are wrong! either that or they question the seniors to the point of rudeness..

asking questions is good.. seniors, managers, partners aren't always right irregardless of what they think.

u'll be surprised how some juniors can't even do proper casting AND that's with using the calculator!

that's the thing.. client's hate auditors but they forget that auditors are just doing their jobs. when they ask questions, it's not cos they enjoy making client's life miserable it's cos THEY HAVE TO.. and sometimes,it's really thanks to the managers and partners..

if u re unfortunate, u get really nasty clients ok... and it's not a pretty sight at all.

one thing abotu auditors... they really kill trees =p

drumsticks said...

Zewt, should i go back to audit?? i need a career counselling... T_T

eiling lim said...

oh well.. that's life, fair and square.

zewt said...

fufu - me no auditor :P

missironic - definitely a lot of screwing between auditors, both metaphorically and ahem... literally.

pinknpurplelizard - hahahah...

anon @ 6/4 1.23pm - woaaah... what firm is this. tell me lah... then i can blog about it. if you wanna be an auditor, should be in the a big 4. need help, let me know.

Mei Teng - and i am happy for you :)

zewt said...

whoalse - and the juniors are made to eat them all.

day-dreamer - hehe... you're one too?

goingkookies - when you said you beg to differ, i thought you said my description is wrong :P... mana tau, it's about the attitude. hahaha.. yeah, the gen x/y are certainly driving the managers up the wall.

drumsticks - drop me a note...

eiling lim - the different level of the ladder eh?

anon @ 6/4 1.23pm said...

wah...then i kena loh.... hahah..althought u using *this-kind-of-style* ... haha

dint go to big 4 cause i havent finish my ACCA yet, although got experiance, but not audit firm, so big 4 dont want me =..... haha... and my cousin told me b4 go to big 4 go to small and medium first... u can learn more.... but....hahaha... after see the things like this... do u think so? now... i dont think so.... and i like fast and rushing environment, like my previous department in MNC.... for me, although i back from comapany very early, i'm tired then previous, step out from company atleast 10pm.... ppl said i'm crazy... may be, but i like the word of "abnormal"....haha

i want to grow in audit field... any advice for me, please~

mar said...

Hahaha...entertaining read Zewt. One more thing...EVERYTHING seems to be URGENT.

zewt said...

anon @ 9/4 12.55pm - well, if you want to grow in the audit world, be prepared to worh long hours and put in a lot of effort in the initial years. of course, you must pass your ACCA. if you have a degree, u should still go to a big 4, best place to start.

mar - the urgent thing is not just in audit ler :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Zewt,
I really like your blog very much. And also your blog is the only soul that accompany me in the office. I actually started my first reading on your blog entitled 'A Professional Mistake', being forwarded by my manager to me. He actually tried to tease me with your post saying that I might be the zewt, the author of that post as it reflects exactly what I am for now. Life has been very misearble for me in this 2weeks. I am a fresh graduate, ACCA affiliate, recently get my first job in one of the glamorous BIG 4 where my friends have been dying to get in.(guess you should have understand why I am so addicted to your post..XD, i might be repeating your footsteps) At first, I was jumping my heart off as I managed to graduate on time and get a job in my dream firm. I was very grateful to God for making my life so smooth. At that moment, I was a very motivated, proud and energetic young woman, ever ready to work like a dog for being 'blessed' to be in my dream firm. However, things start to change lately! Things didnt work as how I expected. Guess what?? I have been claiming 8hours of 'Available Time' E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y!!I was like being dumped in the corner of the office and let me survive by myself. No jobs being allocated to me! No seniors or coach are there to even teach me what am I suppose to cope with my coming assigment! I feel like a 'VASE' in the office, just like those drawings hang on my office wall. Other collegaues are very busy doing their jobs whereas me sitting there like a 'BATU' , playing with my notebook and it was there that I read your blog everyday to kill my time! I am very de-motivated now, as everyday I see no purpose going for work though every moring I walk into my office lobby carrying a notebook like a professional auditor. But the fact is that I carry my notebook to the office to online and surf the net!! Everyday at 5.30 sharp, I will just leave office, walking out like nobody cares while the other colleagues remain in the office working like a dog, but to be honest how I wish I could be one of them!!! Advice please, Zewt!

zewt said...

anon @ 26/4 4.36pm - hello there. I am a lil confused, if your manager actually forwarded the post to you to tease you, i suppose you have good working relationship with your boss, how come you are now being chucked at a corner? did you do anything or if i may ask, screwed up any job? perhaps you may also want to take this as a sign that it's time for you to go away. if you still want to be in a big 4 firm, i am sure other big 4 will be willing to take you in. you have to remember one very important thing, not making it in a big 4 firm is NOT the end of the world, there is a whole new world out there. if you want to speak to me more, do e-mail me, my address is at the side bar. all the best!

Anonymous said...

NO! of course i didn't screwed things up..the fact is that i am not even being assigned to a job yet, how am i suppose to commit fault? LEAVE??!! i just joined the company on the 16th of april which was about 2weeks ago...do you think leaving the company is a good idea?? in fact, i have friend who persuaded me to leave the company and join them in singapore. i have actually tried talking to the hr but her was that, "it's normal, my dear" saying that all the jobs are ongoing and it is not possible for me to join them in the middle. However, i still feel not normal being a 'vase' in the office!!

zewt said...

anon @ 27/4 1.52pm - hmmm... 2 weeks and your manager has already made fun of you with that article? :) anyway, if it's just 2 weeks, i think what you can do is to give more time. it's end of april now so i presume things will be a little slow but i am sure it will pick up as june y/e clients audits will be coming in thick and fast. give the firm another month? and... when work comes, trust me, you would miss your time being a vase.

Anonymous said...

alrite, thanks zewt. happy talking to you!

zewt said...

anon @ 28/4 11.21am - my pleasure.