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How to differentiate myself from other staff auditors? watch

    • Thread Starter

    When I start in public accounting with a Big Four firm how do I make myself stand out from the other entry-level auditors? How can I get noticed, get promoted, and increase opportunities for other offers later on?

    Promotion outside of the usual process - i.e. every full calendar year you complete is unlikely in your first 3-years. Why? Because you don't get much visibility in front of the senior staff who make decisions about promotion / you simply don't add enough value to justify a mid-year promotion / you do the relatively simple detail / process-orientated work.

    Nevertheless this is ample time to get a good / bad rep amongst your group. My experience (not in audit) is that:

    - Do an outstanding job for a respected member of staff / partner whose willing to bat for you in the appraisal / consistency meetings.

    - Be young, pretty and preferably female. Identify the sleaziest / morally flexible senior member of staff / partner and use your charms to get a good project where you can exhibit skills and experiences above your grade.

    - Same as above but resort to begging, pleading and cajoling (i.e. if male).

    - Get specialist. Find a niche and become the resident expert at your level. Even managers are loathe to ask senior staff stupid questions. If they feel more comfortable asking you, this can work to your advantage.

    - Be enthusiastic - this doesn't mean bouncing off the walls with enjoyment but having the courtesy to at least sound interested during a tedious briefing makes it easier for you and your manager. Ask pertinent questions - most people (but not all) will welcome a good question because it might result in insight and will have at least demonstrated you were listening to them ramble.

    - Use your initiative. If you come across a problem - think about what a sensible / logical judgement would be and carry the analysis on to see where it takes you. Then check that was the correct call - don't just give up and seek help immediately: it's a poor use of time.

    When you start, you're going to know absolutely nothing. It will take you a few months to get your head around everything.

    It's therefore important to:
    -Ask questions - A question may be 'stupid', but asking a 'stupid' question is better than doing something incorrectly. People are happy to help!

    -Be a pleasant person to work with. It's likely that your manager will give you some little boring things to do, such as researching something, or ringing up a government office. Just do it happily, as you're still learning something from these tasks and your manager will be happy to see that you don't complain about it.

    -Turn up early to the office - Don't be the last person to turn up to work.

    -10 minute rule - At work we have a rule, that you should give something a go and try to figure out the answer within 10 minutes. If you can't figure out the answer, then ask someone. It shows that you have tried your best and aren't wasting time.

    - Be organised - Managers love it when people have 'to do' lists. This means you always know what work you have on and what you need to achieve by the end of the week.

    -Take notes! Very important. You'll be trained in your first few months. Make sure you take detailed notes whilst being trained. This will mean you wont be asking the same questions twice. Also, if you have a meeting with your manager or partner, take a note pad and pen with you. This will ensure you remember everything from the meeting. Also take notes about the computer system that you use. I have a lot of post it notes about the program we use on my desk and it helps. If I have a problem, I simply look at the post its and select the one I need
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