30 Reasons Why You Should Leave the Audit Industry

Note: The following reasons are those I have seen/inferred over the course of my audit life and might not reflect my current situation

  1. Audit, to a certain extent, is not very value-adding because it is essentially ‘checking’ on the client’s work. Even though management letter points might be raised, the client might not adopt and accept them.
  2. Clients do not generally respect auditors and feel that we are bugging them and interrupting their daily work routine.
  3. You get to sit in a small meeting room and little welfare is extended to you.
  4. You need approval from MAS before you even commence the audit (for banks) and MAS does not treat your request to commence fieldwork urgently.
  5. The client gives you a thick stack of files and you have to vouch your own samples.
  6. The client does not want to speak to you, but only wants to deal with your manager/partner.
  7. You realize that even though you conducted the walkthrough with the client, you still do not understand the process and treat whatever the client is saying at face value.
  8. The client does not bother with your requests and chooses to go on leave during the time of audit fieldwork.
  9. The client might blame you for not meeting their deadlines when the actual problem is your superiors arranged for a fieldwork period which is too short and unrealistic.
  10. There is a severe lack of staff on the engagement and you have to ‘step up’ or do a ‘one-man show.’
  11. The amount of audit work keeps increasing even though the audit fees remain relatively constant and there is no change in the client business model.
  12. Your superiors are unaware of how late you work because they are not there for fieldwork.
  13. Your superiors have high expectations of you even though you might be new to your current engagement.
  14. Your superiors set very tight deadlines and expect a vast improvement in job recovery from last year even though the amount of audit work has increased.
  15. Your superiors are not thankful and appreciative for the hard work you have done. Instead, they like to criticize you for any mistakes you make.
  16. The client likes to ask any of the following questions: ‘Last year you never request, why are you requesting for it now?’; ‘Has the audit methodology changed as compared to last year?’; ‘Why do you need this document?’
  17. Audit is very general and after looking back, you realize that you are just a jack of all trades and a master of none.
  18. There is simply too much administrative and liaising work, which is neither beneficial for your development nor value-adding for the client.
  19. You spend a lot of time communicating with the typists in the firm to produce the financial statements. However, as they are over-worked, they are easily irritable and do not bother about your requests.
  20. You have to print and bind the financial statements/MAS forms/long form report yourself because the printing room administrators are over-worked.
  21. Although it is right to adopt a skeptical mindset as auditors, the client hates you because you question too much.
  22. For the amount of work you perform, you feel your current pay-scale is not justifiable.
  23. You feel that learning opportunities are limited because you have been assigned to the same portfolios as your previous years.
  24. The hours are far too long and it is taking/will take a toll on your health and social life in the present moment/future.
  25. You are simply not interested in audit anymore.
  26. ‘Decide in your heart what really excites and challenges you and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.’ Chris Hadfield
  27. ‘Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.’ Howard Thurman
  28. ‘But having a lot of money does not automatically make you a successful person. What you want is money and meaning. You want your work to be meaningful. Because meaning is what brings the real richness to your life. What you really want is to be surrounded by people you trust and treasure and by people who cherish you. That’s when you’re really rich.’ Oprah Winfrey
  29. ‘By working faithfully, eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss…and get to work twelve hours a day.’ Robert Frost
  30. ‘And when you do get still and let your internal motivation be the driver, not only will your personal life improve, but you will gain a competitive edge in the working world as well.’ Oprah Winfrey

 

PS: Please treat this list with a pinch of salt

 

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