NUS accounting grad loves her job as an auditor in Big Four firm, calls it a ‘millennial paradise’

She said she doesn't mind leaving the office at 11pm.

Tanya Ong | January 11, 12:01 pm

The audit industry is notoriously tough.

M’sians speak out against overwork culture after office worker who left work at 2am dies in accident

Just last year, a former employee of a Big four firm, referring to the four biggest accounting firms — Ernst & Young (EY), Deloitte & Touche, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers — came forward with her story on the exhausting work culture.

However, not everyone in the Big Four would share the same sentiment.

Recently, on Jan. 7, one anonymous contributor wrote an article about her positive experience at a Big Four firm.

Joined a Big four firm two years ago

Polly Seah (a pseudonym, not her real name) graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in accounting in 2016.

Seah confessed that she applied to a Big Four firm because she knew “it would be a stable job for a graduate”.

Besides, she added, not many people get fired from the Big Four.

However, after getting a job at one of the firms, she said that she has grown to enjoy working there.

She has been with the firm for over two years.

Positive interview experience

Seah’s positive experience began with her interview, which was described as “thorough without being overly formal or long”.

There was a psychometric test and an interview with a partner, where she was asked a range of technical questions and situational questions.

During the interview, Seah was able to ask about things that she felt would typically be perceived as “selfish” or “inappropriate” to ask a senior manager.

This included questions on overseas secondments and opportunities to become a partner.

She said that she was also provided with “frank answers” on the pros and cons of working at the firm.

“Millennial paradise”

To her, working for a Big Four firm is a “millennial paradise”.

She highlighted that her entire team, including her boss, is in their twenties.

And due to the lack of a big age gap, the department is “non-hierarchical”. This allows her to ask questions freely and receive guidance when required, she explained.

She also added that she gets along with her colleagues well, and everyone is very friendly.

Due to this good working relationship, she doesn’t mind leaving the office at 11pm during peak audit season.

“I enjoy the technical side of the work, but it’s also because I get on with everyone and I know someone will always support me with a client problem (without making a fuss and without any office politics).”

Encouraged others to go for a Big Four audit role

Given these positive encounters, Seah encouraged others to go for a Big Four role, saying that they will “probably enjoy the experience”:

“Don’t go for a Big Four audit role because it’s an easier option than banking or because you have less chance of being laid off… go for it because you’ll probably enjoy the experience.”

Different strokes for different folks.


You can read the full article here.

Top photo composite image, via Deposit photos & 52112.

About Tanya Ong

Tanya hopes to own a roller skate disco one day.

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