{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does anyone think in a few years the structure of public accounting firms will change? It seems like the younger generation is not sucked into the “big 4 brand” and actually value work life balance that involves no busy season.", "post_id": "610a954169dcfd0028547f6e", "reply_count": 18, "vote_count": 11, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

Does anyone think in a few years the structure of public accounting firms will change? It seems like the younger generation is not sucked into the “big 4 brand” and actually value work life balance that involves no busy season.

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Hard to avoid busy season when most large clients have a calendar year end

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thats the unfortunate part.

It will if you say so. It won’t if people say it’s not possible. It wasn’t always like it is today. Busy season was there but existed in smaller windows. So there was actually space to recharge after peak periods of work. We need to fundamentally change firm management. The billable hour has to go, for it penalizes innovation and efficiency. It kills the highest performers. I’m hopeful now that people are waking up to how inhumane the working conditions are. People will need to do deep inner work to move out of the victim consciousness that allows others to define their value and tells them how it should be. Look in your heart to define your schedule and your value.

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Greed indeed. Scarcity mindset abound. On another thread I made a comment that firms are flush with cash because of the money they made helping business navigate through the pandemic. A counterpoint to my comment is that they aren’t flush with cash because they have to hire new people in. I get that but at the same time I deeply question it. It’s common practice to pay a headhunter $25,000 to bring in an experienced hire and the same leader will balk at investing $15,000 for professional coaching to retain their highest performers. 🤪 As usual, the firms are throwing big dollars at recruiting bonuses instead of throwing big dollars at retaining and refueling their existing talent. It’s sad and not surprising. 

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Yes. More and more work will be offloaded overseas where we can afford to hire more people.

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I wasn't around then but I'd imagine the older generation didn't buy into the notion of no wlb until they got the actual opportunity to"buy in". Just remember, the business model has a lot of associate churn and dissatisfaction built into it. Once you get to higher levels the rewards start to make more sense.

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I agree with that EY 3. The path is longer today and, most often, unclear. It’s the hours that people work. I really want to do a study that measures job satisfaction and hours. I imagine the data would be startling.

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It’s already changing, and will continue to change. 10 years ago leadership didn’t make a big deal about wellness and WLB, or make suggestions about no emails in certain timeframes. People worked hard while they were here, and then some people made a career here and others moved on, and that was fine. I think as the years go on, all the “talk” about wellness and WLB and quiet hours will become more of a “must do” than a “let’s talk about it and maybe we do it and maybe we don’t”. Will never be a 40 hour week job, and we will always follow client deadlines (often driven by SEC and IRS deadlines, or transaction deadlines). Technology, data analytics, automation do help get hours down— that should help over time too.

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No chance lol

Big 4 - no, Remember one US employee = the cost of 6 Indians so if US staff market dries up they will just continue to outsource more

Again, you are talking about the routine low margin work like tax return prep or provision ticking and tying. Those are not the main concern because as you mentioned, they can be outsourced anytime to anyone with a pulse. But for actual tax consulting work, the outsourced folks won’t cut it. You need to have someone with US degree/CPA and years of experience. What OP was saying is that the shortage at the lower levels will create a vacuum at those experienced levels down the road and PA, especially B4, need to figure it out sooner than later. Outsourcing is not an option for the high margin type of work (i.e consulting).

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