PKSebben wrote:Man. How come people tell me about Big 4 accounting firms say it's a sweatshop. What am I missing other than the compressed time frame?
It's definitely somewhere in between a sweatshop and crazycanuck's description. Those billables are very low relative to what I remember seeing for audit seniors, both in my office and nationally.
However, a busy season of regular 60-70 hour weeks followed by a summer of 9-3s is possible if you're in the right office (not NYC and other large cities) and staffed on the right jobs. Pick up a few clients with year-ends spread throughout the year and you can forget about that, though. Also, 20+ weeks of travel, often to undesirable locations, is not uncommon.
Finally, I strongly disagree with the "not nearly as boring as people think it is" comment, and most auditors I know would back me up. The worst part is it remains boring and unchallenging up to and including the partner level, and the exit opportunities in industry aren't much better. That last fact is particularly discouraging to those that stuck with audit until senior or manager level expecting a more enjoyable career in industry only to be disappointed.
Edit: I just realized crazycanuck is probably talking about a Canada office, which I have no experience with. My view is US-specific.