Big4, Tax Advisory Attorney, What are the hours like?

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big4, Tax Advisory Attorney, What are the hours like?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
You are getting fucked brother. In audit at my big 4 firm, last year, I billed 1150 (utilization of around 85%) hours and was one of the top utilized staffers for my year.

I worked in the tax pool for April doing personal tax returns. It was 9-5. The people on the tax floor arrive at 9/10 and leave at 5 most days.

This is a fairly big market. I can't really give more detail as I don't want to out myself as it would be super easy to put 2 and 2 together.

Typically January-June is quite busy for tax as that's when audits (lots of tax work in conjunction with audit) are happening and when companies are filing their tax returns.


Former EY Tax Senior here. Audit definitely gets hit harder than tax. Our goal was 83% utilization, and most associates hovered around there. 83% utilization means you have to bill a little over 1,700 hours per year, since it is based on a full year (2080 hours) ignoring vacations and holidays. I had one year where I billed 1,600 hours and attained the highest rating in the office, because they don't promote you based on hours billed. You get rated based on fuzzy stuff that HR sets out in the "goals" every year.

Anyway, it just really depends on your practice area. There were people in tax who billed 1,600 hours, 1,800 hours, and many that billed 2,000+ hours. Everyone gets paid roughly the same and the hours have no impact on your salary whatsoever. I will say that those who worked the most hours usually weren't rated as highly as people who stayed around the goal, since they didn't have time to do the crap that HR cared about that really factored into the ratings.

Also, it's a like a law firm in that if you're a gunner and try to work alot, there will always be more work to do. The key is to realize that it's ok to leave things unfinished, and that it's better to do a good job and bill fewer hours than it is to do a mediocre job and bill a ton of hours, at least as far as your ratings (and tiny bonus, and possible early promotion to mgr/sr mgr) are concerned. The biggest secret here is that it's ok to decline projects. Your year end ranking is only affected by projects that you worked on- nobody cares if you turn something down. Also, if you work with a team on bringing in a new account, even if you are just the glorified secretary handing papers to the partner, it will earn you an early promotion and it has nothing to do with hours. Biglaw and Big4 are different in this regard, I think.


OP here from above. I'm a senior in Audit at Deloitte. Your utilization must be calculated way differently than ours. Targets for my year is billable 1300 hours, the person in my year with most hours had 1600. I once heard of a senior who did 1900 hours. I'm on track for just under 1200 hours right now, but I expect it'll pick up as I have a couple of clients during season that I know will be a week or two of late nights, but it doesnt matter. No one gives a shit at year end.

I made good friends with the head of HR at my firm, she thinks I'm super into the firm and even though I only billed 1150, which is below target, I still got the highest possible raise since she approves all year end ratings and raises.

This year, I'm set to make 63k salary before bonus. My firm really promotes work/life balance, and it's never a problem to say you can't work on the weekend, even during busy season. I dunno, really depends on the market. Dude who billed 2400 hours though really needs to grow some balls and just say no though.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273138
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big4, Tax Advisory Attorney, What are the hours like?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
You are getting fucked brother. In audit at my big 4 firm, last year, I billed 1150 (utilization of around 85%) hours and was one of the top utilized staffers for my year.

I worked in the tax pool for April doing personal tax returns. It was 9-5. The people on the tax floor arrive at 9/10 and leave at 5 most days.

This is a fairly big market. I can't really give more detail as I don't want to out myself as it would be super easy to put 2 and 2 together.

Typically January-June is quite busy for tax as that's when audits (lots of tax work in conjunction with audit) are happening and when companies are filing their tax returns.


Former EY Tax Senior here. Audit definitely gets hit harder than tax. Our goal was 83% utilization, and most associates hovered around there. 83% utilization means you have to bill a little over 1,700 hours per year, since it is based on a full year (2080 hours) ignoring vacations and holidays. I had one year where I billed 1,600 hours and attained the highest rating in the office, because they don't promote you based on hours billed. You get rated based on fuzzy stuff that HR sets out in the "goals" every year.

Anyway, it just really depends on your practice area. There were people in tax who billed 1,600 hours, 1,800 hours, and many that billed 2,000+ hours. Everyone gets paid roughly the same and the hours have no impact on your salary whatsoever. I will say that those who worked the most hours usually weren't rated as highly as people who stayed around the goal, since they didn't have time to do the crap that HR cared about that really factored into the ratings.

Also, it's a like a law firm in that if you're a gunner and try to work alot, there will always be more work to do. The key is to realize that it's ok to leave things unfinished, and that it's better to do a good job and bill fewer hours than it is to do a mediocre job and bill a ton of hours, at least as far as your ratings (and tiny bonus, and possible early promotion to mgr/sr mgr) are concerned. The biggest secret here is that it's ok to decline projects. Your year end ranking is only affected by projects that you worked on- nobody cares if you turn something down. Also, if you work with a team on bringing in a new account, even if you are just the glorified secretary handing papers to the partner, it will earn you an early promotion and it has nothing to do with hours. Biglaw and Big4 are different in this regard, I think.


OP here from above. I'm a senior in Audit at Deloitte. Your utilization must be calculated way differently than ours. Targets for my year is billable 1300 hours, the person in my year with most hours had 1600. I once heard of a senior who did 1900 hours. I'm on track for just under 1200 hours right now, but I expect it'll pick up as I have a couple of clients during season that I know will be a week or two of late nights, but it doesnt matter. No one gives a shit at year end.

I made good friends with the head of HR at my firm, she thinks I'm super into the firm and even though I only billed 1150, which is below target, I still got the highest possible raise since she approves all year end ratings and raises.

This year, I'm set to make 63k salary before bonus. My firm really promotes work/life balance, and it's never a problem to say you can't work on the weekend, even during busy season. I dunno, really depends on the market. Dude who billed 2400 hours though really needs to grow some balls and just say no though.


Any thoughts about the hour requirement at Deloitte's consulting/advisory arm?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273138
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big4, Tax Advisory Attorney, What are the hours like?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
You are getting fucked brother. In audit at my big 4 firm, last year, I billed 1150 (utilization of around 85%) hours and was one of the top utilized staffers for my year.

I worked in the tax pool for April doing personal tax returns. It was 9-5. The people on the tax floor arrive at 9/10 and leave at 5 most days.

This is a fairly big market. I can't really give more detail as I don't want to out myself as it would be super easy to put 2 and 2 together.

Typically January-June is quite busy for tax as that's when audits (lots of tax work in conjunction with audit) are happening and when companies are filing their tax returns.


Former EY Tax Senior here. Audit definitely gets hit harder than tax. Our goal was 83% utilization, and most associates hovered around there. 83% utilization means you have to bill a little over 1,700 hours per year, since it is based on a full year (2080 hours) ignoring vacations and holidays. I had one year where I billed 1,600 hours and attained the highest rating in the office, because they don't promote you based on hours billed. You get rated based on fuzzy stuff that HR sets out in the "goals" every year.

Anyway, it just really depends on your practice area. There were people in tax who billed 1,600 hours, 1,800 hours, and many that billed 2,000+ hours. Everyone gets paid roughly the same and the hours have no impact on your salary whatsoever. I will say that those who worked the most hours usually weren't rated as highly as people who stayed around the goal, since they didn't have time to do the crap that HR cared about that really factored into the ratings.

Also, it's a like a law firm in that if you're a gunner and try to work alot, there will always be more work to do. The key is to realize that it's ok to leave things unfinished, and that it's better to do a good job and bill fewer hours than it is to do a mediocre job and bill a ton of hours, at least as far as your ratings (and tiny bonus, and possible early promotion to mgr/sr mgr) are concerned. The biggest secret here is that it's ok to decline projects. Your year end ranking is only affected by projects that you worked on- nobody cares if you turn something down. Also, if you work with a team on bringing in a new account, even if you are just the glorified secretary handing papers to the partner, it will earn you an early promotion and it has nothing to do with hours. Biglaw and Big4 are different in this regard, I think.


OP here from above. I'm a senior in Audit at Deloitte. Your utilization must be calculated way differently than ours. Targets for my year is billable 1300 hours, the person in my year with most hours had 1600. I once heard of a senior who did 1900 hours. I'm on track for just under 1200 hours right now, but I expect it'll pick up as I have a couple of clients during season that I know will be a week or two of late nights, but it doesnt matter. No one gives a shit at year end.

I made good friends with the head of HR at my firm, she thinks I'm super into the firm and even though I only billed 1150, which is below target, I still got the highest possible raise since she approves all year end ratings and raises.

This year, I'm set to make 63k salary before bonus. My firm really promotes work/life balance, and it's never a problem to say you can't work on the weekend, even during busy season. I dunno, really depends on the market. Dude who billed 2400 hours though really needs to grow some balls and just say no though.


Any thoughts about the hour requirement at Deloitte's consulting/advisory arm?


It really depends on what you consider work.

A lot of the consultants fly out on sunday afternoon, come back on thursday night, then only have meetings on friday and leave early. While away I expect they work a fair bit. It's not really a lifestyle that I want to live. I don't know/think they have a billable hour requirement though. It's probably all centered around projects at the time and the deadlines.

The advisry though is a different set of bananas. They work A TON (like 3am or overnight) when there's a big deal or a big project, and then they dont work as much when there isnt something going on. However, I have a friend in advisory and he very rarely leaves before me.

Audit/tax is a little different because there is always some sort of research/planning that can billed to the clients, but the consulting/advisory is more focused around projects though.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273138
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Big4, Tax Advisory Attorney, What are the hours like?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:10 am

Any new info? Interested.




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