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Home > Don't Believe it! (CPA Firm rant)

Don't Believe it! (CPA Firm rant)

September 30th, 2007 at 10:31 pm

Um, okay, I saw most of the big CPA firms were named in Working Mother's Top 100 Places to Work - or something - and I tried not to choke. Blech. I think 3 made the Top 10 List.

But then I just got an e-mail from my former employer - they made the list too! Double blech.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

The endless hours and slave driving of an international CPA firm in the year 2000, before talent became so hard to find and work became so much more abundant (meaning I expect it to be 10 times worse today) does not conjure ideas in my mind of somewhere I would want to work and be able to juggle any decent amount of time for my family.

You have got to be joking me.

I actually read an article on why earlier in the week - as the CPA firms are so desperate for employees - women at that - they are offering more flexibility to their workers and better maternity leave benefits, etc.

Oh, where do I begin? I could go on all day.

My last job was actually QUITE flexible. But I have always felt like everyone else was an idiot to believe that the ability to work from home and be on call 24/7 was really a benefit to them. That was my first job out of college and I grew to HATE working from home. I just hate it. The lines between home and work blur and I think back to how I was expected to work even on my vacations. There was no escaping it. IT was a long while before I was afforded the same flexibility at my current job (due to technology limitations in past years) but I still to this day hate working from home, even though it isn't nearly so invasive. I Rather drive to the office every single day than bring work home for the most part. I toyed with the idea of going in for 2 hours today. & I do really love my job. But going into the office for 2 hours is jut a whole other ball of wax than bringing my office into my home. I just rather not go there.

I also think a lot of it is very financial. As impressed as people are that we can afford for my husband to stay home in such an expensive area, I have had far more many women jealous that I could afford to take an "unpaid" maternity leave. This always struck me as utterly ridiculous since I received about 75% of my pay in disability through the state (madatory in California so every jealous woman I know was entitled to this but just could not swing more than a few weeks of reduced pay). IT just strikes me as insane fiscal irresponsibility that this is the norm. But as a result, a company will pay a few weeks maternity leave and all the women go gah-gah. IT makes me want to barf. Like that would probably be the lowest on my list. What I would really love is to be able to keep a fraction of my sick or vacation pay if I cut my hours down from 40 to 35 a week. But GOOD LUCK. I must admit the big corporations might be better at some of that but I wouldn't be sure. I would hope some of these top 100 companies offer better benefits to part-time working mothers. But yeah, 6 weeks paid time off. Big whoop. What about a little flexibility and understanding for the next 18 years (plus) of my life that I would really prefer revolves around my kids more than my jobs. The sleepless nights, the sick days, being home for the kids before and after school, etc. WAY more important than a paycheck for the first 6 weeks of their life.

I am blessed to have a job that does all this for me. Truly blessed. But as my boss retires in a few years it kind of clears the way for me to move into a nice part-time government job with great benefits down the road, as I Feel like hell will freeze over before I would be allowed a fraction of my benefits to work 5 hours less a week. Then again I Feel like I Work at the only cPA firm in the state that doesn't want to work me to death. Beggars can't be choosers...

Well, I just had to kind of say beware and don't believe everything you read. If young people are reading that and thinking that CPA firms are great family-friendly places to work, well, uh, I would heavily disagree. Leaves that whole 100 list suspect if you ask me. OF course as I think about it I think family friendly to me means something vastly different from what most women are settling for these days. Most people I guess. I never bought into that whole rat race thing. Life is too short. Wink

2 Responses to “Don't Believe it! (CPA Firm rant)”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Your insider view on the Top 100 ratings is interesting....Reminds me of why I give so little credit to Consumer Reports magazine. Everyone I've ever met who is an expert on a category CR rates & reviews tells me CR gets it really wrong. Yet supposedly the numbers come from tabulating the experience of real people....On another level, this is like people who will not eat at the restaurant at which they work!....Insiders know a little something --an important little something-- that doesn't become general knowledge.

    Monkey Mama, are there good opportunities for someone with a bachelor's in accounting these days? A friend left accounting, went into computers for about 15 years, but might need to be looking for work again soon. The computer opps have definitely decreased since his career change. I wonder if he could even go back to accounting now. I think he wants to work only part time.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I forgot to mention too I read an article recently that CPA firms in the area were allowing employees to work from home and everyone was praising how great this was. There were some quotes like "The 80-hour weeks aren't so bad now that I can work from home." Seriously. Just not my cup of tea. IT matters less where I work but more the fact that an 80-hour week is an insane (though common) workload.

    As far as your friend, it all depends if he can get his foot in the door. The experience will be far more key than the degree, and they want young people. I believe my FIL had an accounting degree he never used (he is in his 50s) and a few years back he took some accounting courses to refresh his degree and got a job with the state. HE ended up going back to computers (it just didn't work out). Which was a shame with the time and effort. My boss also hired an older gentleman who got an MBA after his industry tanked (aerospace or something along those lines). No one would hire him. My boss finally took pity but it did not really work out at all. Interestingly he knew a lot about computers and got pigeonholed in doing more of an IT function. HE was probably in his late 40s. So not exactly "old."

    Anyway, since he did gain some experience, or at least something to put on his resume, I heard he has landed a good job since. But overall I have to say it usually doesn't work out. They really want young college grads with no life. Wink But if he can land one job to get back into the field, the opportunities are really good. I think it would be a hard road though.

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