Lynnel is our CIA exam blogger from the Philippines. She writes every Friday.
Every person has different personality, culture or tradition and preferences. But then, accountants and auditors anywhere in the world seem to prefer working in Big Four audit firms. And I ask myself — why?
Once a person is graduated with an accounting or auditing degree, there are preferences of employer to choose, an audit firm or other private company.
Traditionally, accounting graduates here in the Philippines prefer to work in an audit firm because of the knowledge and experience they can gain.
In addition to that, I heard that the market value of an auditor is higher when working in an audit firm versus in other private companies. This is especially when the auditor switches from an audit firm to the corporates.
When I graduated from college in 2015, I foresee myself working at a manufacturing company. I was really fascinated with the industry and it really excited me to learn more. I wasn’t into audit firms since I heard stories from my professors that the workplace is stressful and exhausting. Is that right?
I was afraid to lose time with my family and friends. In my first year in a retail industry, even though I was stressed out with heavy workload, I can still spare time with my family and friend to achieve work-life balance. In the Philippines, our culture is to prioritize family rather than work, because a happy family is a happy life.
Lately, my view changes when somebody from an audit firm asked me to apply for an advisory associate position in an audit firm. The firm is not one of the Big Four, but I heard that it is one of the fastest growing in the Philippines.
I was tempted to push through the application and somehow decline the offer twice, but there is the feeling that bothers me to try, explore and get out of my comfort zone. Who knows, there might be a big break for my career once I enter public accounting.
I have decided that after I pass part 3 (being optimistic) on May, I will apply in the said auditing firm as they have said that there would be available positions that time. I am still hesitant but there’s no harm in trying.
Note from Stephanie
I think you should give it a try! I didn’t work as an auditor but I used to work very closely with Big 4 auditors — the team pretty much stationed at our company for the entire year, and I saw how they work on a daily basis.
Public accounting is more stressful with more demanding hours, but it is a good exposure and a great opportunity to get a broad set of experience.
You are young and have the stamina to work long stressful hours. Family is very important, but you still have your weekends with them (most of the time). In the future, when you have dependents and more responsibility outside of work, you can always switch to work in the industry. It is much harder to do it the other way round.
I have this post on public vs corporate accounting that you may find helpful.
Lynnel is a recent graduate, with a BSBA Major in Internal Auditing in the Philippines. Lynnel passed Part 1 and 2 on the same day, and Part 3 on her first attempt.
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