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It’s All About The Money, Not January 13, 2014

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit, Working Life in Britain.
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First, Happy New Year to all my readers!

So to kick off the New Year, a heartwarming tale from our good friends at EY. Tonight’s London Evening Standard has a centre page spread and an interview with Managing Partner Steve Varley. If you really want to read the article, it can be found here. Needless to say, it’s a fairly soft interview. No mention that the Partners couldn’t care less about their staff and the internal politics. Anyway, EY are currently hiring, some 3,700 new arrivals and 800 graduates, probably the cover the staff churn. The lucky few will be recruited into data analytics and cyber security.

But here’s the lines in the article that tickled me:

He’s [Steveo] is confident that pay isn’t the main driver for students entering the world of work. It’s a careful calculation as EY partners, at an average of £651,000, earned £62,000 less than those at closest rival KPMG last year”.

Chortle, chortle! What gets me it’s the same old sprat to catch a mackerel. If you work all hours god sends, you may, if Sun aligns with Uranus, make it to Partner. Sadly everyone, including naive young graduates have the same idea. Of course, what they don’t get, is everyone else before them has been sold the same old story. Either their predecessors have left the firm after realising they have Bob Hope and No Hope of making Partner, or stayed because they lack the imagination to go elsewhere (they are accountants after all) or decided to fight it out against their peers to make it to Top Dog.

I’m not jealous. Seriously I’m not. I wish all the new joiners the very best in what is a very competitive firm and industry. Why do I say this? Because to my mind, there’s too many accountants and auditors and it’s driving down prices, fee income and salaries. Alternatively, the Partners are taking the Mickey.


1. ITauditSecurity - January 14, 2014

Hey AM,
The big 4 are a joke. I was in a presentation last week where one of the big 4 was talking about data analytics (a manager of course). So I asked him a question I was hoping he could shed light on, due to his vast experience, but his answer indicated that he knew very little about data analytics or how IT departments work.

He just couldn’t understand why I could not get IT to give me the data I want, when I want it, and especially in the format I want it.

The big 4 is a good training ground for auditors, and for some reason, people love to hire big 4 people, although I have never figured out why. I’ve only worked with 2 of them who were worth their salt, and 1 of them was EY (manager). The other KPMG (senior auditor).

I always chuckle that the big 4 can take greenhorns and charge premium prices for people who don’t know anything, much less the fact that they don’t know anything.

Audit Monkey - January 14, 2014

The reason why people hire Big 4 is two-fold. One, often those hiring have come via the Big 4 route; so when you’ve got a problem, who you gonna call?!! It sure ain’t Tom Hanks.

Second, getting the Big 4 in is ‘political’. An example, penetration testing of the old computer network and infrastructure. Do you trust your own internal IT Department to do it, or get Big 4 in? Guess what, your Internal Audit guys can’t do it as they haven’t go the skills, so whadda you do? Mmm, got to go out to tender, especially as the internal Internal Audit team are a bunch of numpties…

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