Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Counting School

A-Counting School. Get it? Haha

Hope all my fellow CA and CA student's are having a good time.

This will be my optimistic post of the week.

Today I'd like to introduce a No BS blog that one of my good friends introduced me to that is also very much based on accounting and auditing. It is a A Counting School . Hahah, Get it??? =)

Who said Accountants can't be creative?

It has been around since 2006 and has a wealth of great information. The writing is very well done. Some of the older posts are hilarious like East Coast Road via Via Philadelphia. Now there is no excuse for you to forget your audit assertions again. =)

I don't really have much to to write about today. I have been busy working on a blogger design and a new logo. The blog logo I made in 5 minutes with paint, btw.

I will address two questions posed to me in the comments section. Hopefully I am allowed to do that.

From elchow:
May I ask how a CA is going to help you in your career?

Very good question. My answer is that I was suckered into the CA path like you are/were/will be. I don't feel it will help me in the career that I want. But I am very entrepreneurial based, and like to build things from the ground up.

Given that, I do not actually have my CA yet. So, it is still a matter of question if I complete it. I very much understand the concept of opportunity costs, and if a better opportunity arises, I have no problem ditching my CA hours, my big 4 job, and all the hard work I put in.

I do not feel having a CA and not having a CA is a big difference. It is more about how you can apply your knowledge to solve real life problems that will determine how far you go in life. The only reason I see I need to have a CA is if I want to be in public practice, which I don't.

Right now, I am still working on some business ideas. Until then, It is a great "time-staller" especially to handle parents.

From dipo:
quick question, are the women in your firm really hot? the reason why I am asking is because I am currently taking accounting and most of the ones in my classes are mostly asians and I tend to prefer caucasians

Hmmm, I wouldn't mind putting some intercompany deposits in...erhhmm. =P

To answer your question. It depends firm by firm, office by office. I agree with your Asian theory. There seems to be lots of asians, especially chinese going into accounting.

You will find your fair share of "book value = fair value" assets that you'd love to audit.

You'll have some umm...older depreciating assets that have impairment losses. Impairment losses are irreversible according to US GAAP. I agree with US GAAP and not IFRS.

But me and my friends agree, that big 4 women are hot, but be careful because they are umm... double declining..

BTW, this is the worst reason for you to go into accounting and big 4. =)

I hope I don't get flamed.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CA, CMA or CGA designation?

The three musketeers.

I won't turn this into a bashing contest. Most CA's I talk to seem to have a superiority complex.

This is what any CA will tell you...CA>CMA>CGA

I will just give you a very, very brief breakdown about how to get each designation. You can easily do a google search if you want something more detailed.

To get a CA, you need to do your undergraduate in accounting in one of the CA approved institutions. Then, unless you come from Waterloo, you have the CKE and SOA. Everyone is required to write the challenging 3 day UFE and pass which marks the end of the formal education. You'll also be required to complete 3 years of training at a designated firm. Of those 3 years, you must have a certain number of hours in each field such as audit, tax, etc.

To get a CMA, you need to do your undergraduate consisting of the CMA required topics (this is a Bcomm for most people). Then you have to pass the CMA entrance examination and go through the strategic leadership program. In the strategic leadership program you will need to pass the case and group project. You will also need to have the work experience.

For a CGA, you will need an undergraduate in any field. There are about 2 years worth of CGA courses that you must take through correspondence. There is an extrance exam and usually 2-3 years of work experience.

Note there are exceptions to the exact requirements of each designation. But again, I won't waste your time with that. This information is easily found on google.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about the pros and cons of each designation.

Now the first thing, any CA seems to tell you is that CA> all. Is this necessarily true?

CA

Pros:
Out of the three designations, the CA is the most internationally recognized. The CFA which I will talk about in future posts is actually an even better international designation. But compared to the CMA or CGA, the CA is more internationally recognized and respected. There is no arguing here.

So if you are planing to work internationally, the CA will bring you more benefits than the other two. +1 point for the CA designation.

The CA designation also won't close down any doors for you in the corporate ladder. You can basically do everything the other two designations can do, and things like "signing off" which they cannot do. People at top heavy positions in companies also tend to be CA's which is why they want to continue to hire CA's.

Employers also like hiring CA's so much because they understand the training process. CGA's and CMA's can get their designation in a variety of ways. For CA's, 90% of the time, they did their articling experience in public accounting and prospective employers know that they can handle the pain of long hours when crunch time comes.

Think about it like this. CA's or CGA's may be better or worse trained than CA's. With a CA, you know what to expect especially Big 4 CA's. Sometimes prospective employers just need someone who can get the job done, and avoid gambling looking for a "diamond in the rough."

On average, CA's also tend to be paid more than CMA's and CGA's.

Cons:

The major con of the CA designation is the time investment and torture you must go through to get it.

Also the fact that the CA designation is very narrow and focused in terms of what you do to acquire it. You do have a competitive edge over CMA's and CGA's in "some" areas, but not ALL. We are only talking about the top top level positions.

You get paid more than the CGA or CMA but you will pay your dues with much longer hours.

CGA

Pro:
For a CGA designation, it is the easiest to get out of the three designations. On a cost benefit analysis, the additional boost in money you get compared to the time investment is very nice. If you have no interest in climbing the corporate public ladder, I highly recommend the CGA. It is a nice credibility booster. For example, if you start your own business, and you're attracting clients, the CGA is very nice. The work experience is also very broad. There are many different ways to fulfill this requirement as opposed to something like the CA for example

You are also allowed to audit in some provinces.

Cons:

It is not as well respected as the other designations. Among the accounting world, CA's and CMA's tend to look down at CGA's. If you planning on climbing the corporate ladder, the CGA will put you in a less favourable light compared to a CA or CMA.

It is also the lowest compensated of the three designations.

CMA

Pros:

A nice balance of two other designations. Not quite as hard as the CA designation. Much more respected than the CGA designation. You don't have to go through the CA articling "hell". Many people in top positions hold the CMA Designations. I like to think of the CMA's as the jack of all trades.

You get to work directly in industry and get much more interesting work. You are not specialized in accounting and auditing, but you understand enough about what needs to be done.

Cons:


You can't sign off on audits. There are certain jobs that do require a CA, and you may be turned down for some positions in favour of a CA. For example, items like audit or tax, a CA will be more prefered to than a CMA.

Conclusion

If I were able to choose a free designation, I would pick the CA designation.

However, life is about opportunity costs. There is no point having a truck license if you only ever intend to drive a car. It is pointless to have a CA designation if all you need is a CGA designation or CMA Designation, or no designation at all. CA designation is the more respected and higher paid "on an average basis" but they also work longer hours and go through much harder material.

So, I will conclude by saying:

CGA: Very much acheivable. Any professional designation will give you a boost over the guy with just an undergraduate. On a cost-benefit analysis, I would highly recommend this designation if you haven't started any other designations. It is much more easier than the other designations. This is also for people who already finished university or are looking at changing fields. If you are just starting your university, I recommend one of the other two designations.

Advice: Ignore the CGA bashers most likely coming from CA students, or CA's. They hate their lives.

CMA: A very nice Jack of all trades designation. I like to think of this as an mini-MBA. You understand enough about industry to manage and do some damage. Highly respected, and you don't have to go through CA articling hell. If you know public accounting is not for you, consider this your choice if your just starting university.

Advice: Ignore the CMA bashers also likely coming from CA students, or CA's. They hate their lives.

CA: The "God" of the accounting designations. Be prepared to work extremely hard getting the designation. After you get it, the world is yours. Not really. You are more respected than CMA's and CGA's in many areas. Your average salary will also be higher. You can continue the CA superiority complex with your newly minted CA's and laugh at the CA's and CMA's.

Advice: Don't bash CMA's and CGA's cause you hate your life.

Goodbye.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Big 4 Firings after busy season

You're Fired!

No, not me. I still have a job =), but today's topic is about big 4 layoffs. This should come as no surprise to anyone in the current economy.

I've been hearing left and right about who exactly is fired. My firm was affected, as were all big 4 firms. Some of my unfortunate friends were also laid off. I'll talk a little bit about the process.

The partner or manager schedules a meeting with you. Usually someone with HR is also there. They talk about the economy and how service needs are declining. Then the partner hits you with a:


"Due to the market change for advisory, your skills are no larger needed, so we are letting you go"


From one of my friends in IT, your laptop is immediately confiscated and returned to IT. In fact, IT is asked to change all your passwords so you can no longer log in. This is probably a good thing. If you were a loyal employee, you'd be pretty pissed off and could wreck havoc on the server. One of my friends from IT told me a computer was returned to him where the person was in the process of writing an email.

Ouch. Ugly.

Some firms are nicer than others. They'll let you write a goodbye email. However, you are not allowed to say you are fired.

Other firms are not so nice. They have an escort, security guard, to take you out.

Who got fired?

It seems like a wide range of people got fired.

Seniors, senior managers who were not top performers got axed.
Intermediates about to become seniors got axed.
People about to go on UFE leave got axed.
People on maternity leave got axed.
Co-ops got their terms shortened. I haven't heard any stories about co-ops getting axed.

Surpringly, almost no juniors got axed. It is probably because they provide the cheapest labour rates and are willing to work like slaves.

Of the people who got fired that I know, some were actually strong performers. I'm actually very surprised that they got fired. One possible reason is that anyone who failed the UFE, regardless of their performance got fired.

Another friend told me partners go into a big conference room, put up pictures of everyone, and throws darts. Whoever the dart lands on gets fired. It seems outrageous ,but the firings have been very random and very unexpected. =(

I know the economy is bad, but firing someone after busy season is just mean. No matter what their performance, they all worked like slaves for you.

Even a "bad big 4 performer" is someone who works OT for you, complains very little, and gets the job done. I mean they still had to be really good to get into a CA big 4 firm in the first place.

Big 4 layoffs are further proof that the whole "WE have a shortage of CAS" ICAO bs advertising is really bs. Just like the IT meltdown in 2001-2002, the people who did it for the money were easily flushed out and out of a job.

I will keep you updated on the situation.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seniors are very very stressed

Oh boy.

Seniors are very very stressed. I don't know how they are able to cope with what they do, but they somehow manage to do it.

Big 4 accounting is probably the only job in the world where you don't want a promotion. A promotion from intermediate to senior leads to lower hourly salary and much higher levels of stress.

I mean junior life sucks cause you do meaningless work; but senior life sucks even more because you do slightly less meaningless work...followed by cleaning up the junior's meaningless work. And worst of all is if you get the bad juniors. The juniors who blindly foot and make incorrect references. =(

To be honest, I don't really understand how seniors get job satisfaction. It is something that always mystified me. My only explanation is that Big 4 creates perfect slaves who are happy to get exploited.

One angry partner once told our hard working audit team "You should be happy to have a job in this economy."

My senior seemed so defeated and looked like she was about to cry. I was so angry that I wanted to shout back, "You should be lucky you're dropping 400K+ on the modern world's form of child slavery."

Of course I didn't.

To put things into perspective, if you worked in a public sector job and had to work the amount of hours that we did and not get paid overtime, your boss would get sued. But in the professional world, people happily accept it.

Please not the angry partner's argument is BS by the way. We were working long hours for them when the economy was blooming, and we're working even harder for them now that they laid off our co-workers.

Partners keep their 400K+ salary. We work more overtime.

Moving on...

The worst part is that Seniors get blamed for everything bad, and managers get rewarded for everything good. Basically if the senior does a good job, the manager looks good. If the senior does a bad job, the manager blames it on the senior. Complete corporate backstabbing at its finest.

There are some seniors who look OK. But honestly, even the ones who are good at managing stress just get more work handed to them until they reach the tip of the breaking point. Forget family or relationship commitments. During busy season, you don't have family, friends or a girlfriend or boyfriend. You have your working paper file and you better prepare it damn well.

Why is it so bad?
You have to micromanage intermediates and juniors who don't know what to do.
You also have to manage the "managers". Managers have many different audits to manage so they need the senior to basically be their go-to-guy. You need to help the manager "manage" the partner. You have to "manage the client" You have to manage unhappy clients some time.

Then, if you get a bad junior or intermediate. You do their work basically cause your ass is on the line.

So ya, expect life to suck a lot as a senior. Some of my senior friends average 80 hour weeks during busy season. I don't know if you see something wrong with that but I do.

I will end my post on a happy note though about my friend who reached breaking point. I once had a senior friend who no longer works at Big 4 and has moved on to happier things in life. One of the few friends I truly respect. He was a very "no bs" kind of guy.

He was on an audit where the manager was being a complete "b...h" *fill in the gaps*
The manager was power hungry and I think up for promotion. She basically threatened my friend, the senior, with a terrible review if the audit wasn't perfect. She wanted him to stay and do insanely inhumane overtime. She would criticize him for the smallest of mistakes, and basically be extremely annoying. Oh yea, the client sucked too.

My friend quit the firm one week before the audit deadline leaving the manager hanging on her own. He also sent a nasty letter to the partner of the firm talking about the manager. This basically meant the manager had to be the manager and senior with one week left till audit deadline. Subsequently, I think 3 months or so later, the manager was fired. Karma sucks.
Blockquote
I respect my friend because he was fed up and enough was enough. There comes a time when if its time to go home, its time to go home. Lots of people in big 4 are "approval seekers" They can't take it if someone doesn't like them. As a result, they let people take advantage of them.

My advice in this post... haha, I forgot I was supposed to have advice.

There comes a point when its not worth it. Forget how close you are to getting your CA. Forget what your friends or family think. Forget the salary.

If you can't take it, you should quit. There are aspects of the big 4, and the auditing practice ( i don't mean to single out big 4) I truly do not believe are human practices. I see so many sad seniors out there. They are not even stressed or angry anymore. They are defeated. They accept the fact that their life will be like this. Why? because getting their CA means they will do anything. Getting their CA is more important than their health, family or friends. They think getting their CA is a life or death thing.

It is not. My friend btw, didn't finish getting his CA. He was 16 months into his experience and in his first year senioring at Deloitte. After quitting, he pursued his passion in acting. His salary took a 70% drop. He is now married with a baby and I have never seen him more happy in his life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The wrong reason to do your CA


The Doctor is in the House...

I mentioned before in a different post not to do the CA designation for the money, and I stand by it, especially if you definitely have another passion/career that you want to pursue. Other reasons why you might want to do your CA is peer pressure, parental pressure, the "fad career" of the 2000's, money, power, and respect.

I stand by this statement. You can flame me all you want. People who get the CA are people who don't know what they want out of their lives. If you are someone that knows what you want in your life, you DO NOT need your CA. Repeat after me, YOU DO NOT NEED A CA, despite what anyone says.

Further proof. What kind of child growing up tells their daddy "I want to be a CA when I grow up." or maybe you can ask any of your friends getting their CA what they want to do in their life. The majority won't know - the typical "I'll go into industry." "I want to be CFO." "I want to be the Controller of a large public company."

The truth is People who do their CA's are more attracted to money, power and respect as opposed to what they REALLY want out of their life. Surprisingly enough, most CA's in Big 4 don't get enough money, power or respect. It's kind of ironic isn't it. =)

You need to ask exactly why you want to get your CA. Is it because you don't know what else to do in your life? The CA does not solve this question for you. In the end, you still need to answer this question for yourself.

The worst thing to do is to go through the hell to get your CA, and finding it not helping you progress in the career that YOU WANT. Not the career of John Bo who wants to be the controller of "insert large public company". The career that you want.

Despite massive advertising campaigns, the CA does not necessarily opens doors to a career that you find fulfilling and enjoy. Answer the question of how exactly a CA is going to help you in a career that you want, otherwise...

You may find yourself just wasting time.

For example, if you want to be a rapper, the CA does not really help you. Well...maybe, it'll give you more street cred.

Dr. Dre, CA =)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Things I do love about working at a Big 4

I hate you, but there are some things I love about you.
So far, I feel I've depicted a pretty pessimistic view about accounting and working at the big 4. The intention of this blog was not to bash the CA designation and bash the big 4. It was to provide an unbiased view of true working conditions, free from industry marketing BS. If all I ever did was talk about how bad accounting was and how bad the CA designation was, I am clearly biased myself. Blinded from emotions or something.

With that said, there are some things that I do like, perhaps even love about working at a Big 4 and attaining the CA designation.

Here is my top ten list:

1) The people along the way are the same bright, ambitious people that you are. It's no longer like high school where you stood above the rest. You have equals, and you get to have smart, intellectual discussions.

2) The starting salary is very nice. Don't get me wrong, you do get killed hourly - badly. However, on paper, it is still substantial. Most people who work hourly don't get as many hours as they want. So you might consider yourself lucky in a weird twisted way. Although you make less hourly, you get more hours, so in the end you make more. The sacrifice of leisure.

3) Unassigned time is a freaking vacation. When you are not assigned to an audit, you can come in any time you want to the office, surf the internet, hang out with friends. Basically the dream job. note, this depends on firm and business of firm.

4) It's not that bad during non-busy season. During non-busy season, you may have your occasional 50 hour weeks, but it starts becoming more of a normal 9-5 job. You may even get an occasional friday off.

5) The prestige - Your parents get to brag to their friends that you work at the big 4. You get to brag to their friends about working at the big 4. People on the outside don't really understand what it's like working at the big 4. So they think you have a dream job. Let them think that. The prestige baby.

6) Hot women - The women at the big 4 tend to be very cute and pretty. Don't think you will get to "tap" that. But still, if you're one of the lucky ones, you may be able to put an um.. "intercompany transaction" in them. =)

7) Supplies room - Enough said.

8) Walking down Bay street in a suit. There is no cooler feeling getting off union station, and walking down bay street in a suit. You walk with a little swagger.

9) Free Overtime Dinners - You will get a paid overtime dinner if you work more than 11 hours or so. You get to indulge in swiss chalet, pizza, and swiss chalet.

10) Occasional Great travel - Sometimes if you're lucky, you get to go to a really cool place that you wanted to go on Firms money. Most of the time, you won't get to explore much of that place. Still being in a change in environment is pretty cool.

There you have it, the optimistic post of the blog! Hope you enjoyed that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The magical two letter word - CA

Once I get my CA, I am set for life. Money, women, fast cars, job security.

A CA does guarantee you job security -- but is it necessarily in a job you want?

Don't get me wrong. The CA is nothing to laugh at. By attaining your CA, you already showed the world you are able and competent. It will open a world of opportunities for you. At the same time, those opportunities that require you to have a CA may not necessarily be the ones you want.

If you really don't enjoy your career path in getting the CA, don't expect what comes after to be any better. I always hear from all these Big 4 people in the process of getting their CAs , "I just want to get my CA, and then I'll move into industry." I then proceed to ask them, "What kind of industry do you want to go into?" They reply with, "I haven't thought about it yet."

A lot of people don't genuinely enjoy the work they do, but continue to do so because they think getting the CA will magically change the world for them. It will not.

If you genuinely enjoy the path to getting the CA, and the work is interesting and exciting, then this is an excellent choice. But if you are very unhappy in the journey to the CA, or you feel you have better career options, don't hesitate to throw in the towel and try something new. Bill Gates didn't finish his degree but was exposed to enough that he knew what to do.

In the end, it is the learning and job experience you got along the way that will benefit you more than any 2 letter word behind your name will.




Monday, April 6, 2009

Why Auditors are hated by clients?

If you are looking for a job where everyone loves you, look again. There are no people clients hate more than auditors. Why?

The no BS answer is you piss the client off insanely. You ask them stupid questions. You don't understand how their system works so you ask them the same question over and over again. You ask for a document. They said they already gave it to you. You check your desk and can't find it so you re-request it. You waste their time getting you another copy only for you to find the original copy in your "slush." You make their life miserable. They already live highly stressful lives and you make it that much worse. I'm not kidding.

Take the auditor client relationship in the form of Sam and Bob. Sam's job is to bother Bob with questions, find mistakes in Bob's work and report it to Bob's boss. As a result of Sam's job, Bob has to work overtime with no extra pay, deal with high levels of stress and looks bad in front of his boss. Do you really think Bob likes Sam no matter how many fake smiles, and friendly coffee chats they have?

Any recruiter who tells you auditing is all rosy and red with little conflict is blatantly lying to you. Here is some advice for the nice people who think my post doesn't apply to them because they are nice people and have always been liked. I am a nice guy. My whole pre-audit life I don't think I managed to piss off more than 10 people; well, maybe outside my family and friends. I am well liked by everyone. In fact, I am so nice, I try to please everyone. I am a conflict avoider, and I let people have their way usually. So I am even further liked further enhancing my image as the nice guy who everyone likes. I am hated as an auditor.

There is no way to please everyone in the auditing profession. If you want to get your work done, you have to piss off the client. There are strict deadlines, and if you act like Mr. nice guy giving the client all the time they want to give something to you, you will end up fired. Sometimes you have to be an asshole. "I'm sorry that its 10p.m., and you can't go home. I need the file by the end of today."

If you can't take not being liked, the auditing profession is not for you.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What it is really like inside a Big 4 Firm?



"Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you're an Employee"
A common question people want to know is how life is working inside the big 4. Not the BS the industry feeds you about "work, life, balance"
But, actually, what it really is like.

After all, during recruitment season, they make it seem like a dream job. They treat you so well with those free drinks, free food, free limousine rides. Everyone is happy and smiling and talks about how the firm has offered them "flexibility." The Younger Big 4'ers talk about how their friends are so jealous that they work for a big company and get huge salary.

I must say that honestly that a lot of this is BS. This is standard recruitment that every company does so don't really buy into it.

The truth is that you must expect to work HARD, very HARD at a big four firm. There is no 9-5. 9-7 during busy season is a dream job. 9 - 11 is reasonable. 9 - 1 is possible. 9 - 2 happens and no one feels sorry for you. All nighters have been pulled before.

In a big 4 firm, whoever can go the longest without sleep is "COOL."

In terms of culture, things are pretty much structured in an hierarchy. You start off as a low level junior and are expected to do the grunt work. Sometimes you do work that a 8 year old can do faster and with more interest. Try footing numbers and referencing pages for 12 hours a day. If you're lucky, your senior "the one who supervises you" will give you more interesting work like the Cash section or the Accounts Receivable section.

Eventually, you move on to an intermediate level. You have a little more responsibility here and a little more stress. You get to see a little bit more of the picture, and do more interesting work. Interesting work in accounting is still boring work, but it's not "I want to kill myself boring" anymore.

Finally, you move on to a senior accountant. I shouldn't say Finally, because seniors are only half way up the hierarchy. Seniors are in charge of the entire audit file and basically their ass is on the line. Not surprisingly, seniors are also always the most stressed, work the longest hours, and look constantly sick and depressed. The worst thing about being a senior is that you have to get your own work done, but also have to teach and supervise the juniors and intermediates. So some seniors might ignore you if you ask too many stupid questions.

Seniors answer to managers and senior managers. These are amongst the most experienced people in the firm. Managers and Senior Managers review your work. If you're lucky managers and senior managers won't give you too many review notes. Review notes are basically things you need to do to improve the file. Sometimes you get review notes like "Please sign off." Those are pretty fun and easy to clear. Sometimes they ask more annoying things like "Please reprint and make it bigger."

Managers and Senior managers also seem under high stress. They want to impress the partners (The big daddy's.) If you're lucky, you will get a fun manager and that makes the entire engagement better.

Finally, the big daddy's are the partners. Partners always seems happy to me. I can't blame them. In order to become a partner you would actually have to survive the hell all the way from the bottom. These guys probably drop 400k+ a year and obviously have the most flexibility. A good partner will bring in clients which pays your salary. Partners always talk about wanting to "grow the firm." I wonder if they just really want to "grow their pocketbook."

A simple corporate structure at a big 4 firm. I will talk more about the working environment in a future post. It is 2:43 A.M. and I must sleep now.


The CA is not for everone


First of all, let me say that I am not a CA Basher.
I do believe that CA students are amongst top tier students who are extremely hard working, smart and dedicated. However, I also believe a lot of CA hopefuls are massively brainwashed by industry advertising and peer pressure from their fellow CA buddies.

With that said, here's some advice for CA potentials. I strongly believe that a background in accounting and finance is a very good career option at the moment. If one day your ambition is to work as a CFO or controller for a large public company, there is no designation that I would recommend over the CA. If you like the stock markets, the CA is also a great starting point to get into the finance industry.

With that said, the CA designation is NOT for everyone. It is not a quick way to get rich. You go through your undergraduate program which will be difficult. Then, if you're lucky enough, you get into a designated accounting firm that will train you and give you your 30 months of work experience. Plus of those 30 months work experience, you better pray you're getting designated hours. You will also have to pass the CKE, SOA, and UFE exams during this time period. If everything goes to plan, expect 4 years of undergraduate studies and three years of articling. You're looking at an average of 7 years. That's only if everything is rosy red.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What exactly is a CA?

A CA refers to a professional accounting designation that is earned
by completing a rigorous undergraduate business program, followed by passing a series of accounting exams set forth by the institute and usually thirty months of practical work experience. I won't bore you with the details. Consider this an intro post for you CA newbies who are reading. No more CA Intro 101. Read up at www.cica.ca


CA has been one of the "hottest fields" to get into similar to IT a couple of years ago. As a result, we have crazy amounts of advertising targeted to smart high school students. How did something that once was known as the "boring job" suddenly attract all these top prospects. It's like future NBA players wanting to play for the WNBA. You can thank the CICA or the ICAO or whoever it is that does the advertising.

It seems like every top high student now whats to do their CA. What the hell man? Where are all the doctors? engineers? pilots? Porn Stars? Even some engineers at my school want to switch to the CA field. Why exactly? I have three reasons.

Money - Actually, CA's get killed hourly.
Power - On the outside, in the inside, you're a corporate slave.
Women - I must say there are some pretty hot women at my CA Firm. However, the long big 4 hours make sure they are double declining depreciating assets. =)

So to conclude my CA101 post for your CA newbies who will be reading. CA is the hot new designation that through countless hours of grinding, suffering and more suffering, you will finally get. Plus, you get to impress all your friends. You're no longer John Doe. You're John Do, CA. Booyah!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Young Ambitious High Student


So you're interesting in getting your CA designation right? You are a young, bright, talented student with no idea what to do with your life. You're scared of making the wrong career choice. Your scared of picking the wrong University. You don't really understand the direction in your life. And that's perfectly understandable right?? After all your young!! You feel you have so much potential. You're smart. Everyone always said you were.

Suddenly, someone comes along and eases all the pain and hard decisions for you. They offer you a career that is respected, well compensated, and highly structured so you don't have to make all the "hard" decisions. In fact, accounting is the "Can't screw up" decision after all right?

So you decided to take an undergraduate in accounting. You go through hard work, hard work, and more hard work. You don't really like it. But, all your friends do? At one point, you even contemplated changing. Your friends called you crazy. After all, you already made all this time investment.

So you continue on. You later do an internship. Maybe if your lucky, you get into one of the Big 4 firms. You work a bit. You see long hours, lots of suffering, and again, you don't really like it. But, everyone else tells you to keep going. It's only 30 months. After all, it will soon "All be worth it"

Welcome to my first post on my blog. Whether your a prospective high school student looking into the CA designation, an University student struggling to survive, an intern who hates their job, or one of the lucky ones who are a manager and actually love their job, this is the blog for you.