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How do you know if you are low performer in big 4 audit? Is it worth being high performer or just average performer?

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A partner once told me it’s best to be average until manager/senior manager years when you are looking for support for initiatives/programs or to get into the process. Above average means more work, more stress, for not that much more pay.

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Do you think the partner really means that, and that he/she tells everyone the same thing?

I think above average to high is good. Your team trusts you more so u have more leeway to be flexible with your working hours. I’m a high performer and my team genuinely dont care where I am for the day cuz they know the work will be done when it needs to be and to a good standard. Indications you are a low performer maybe is if you are on the same team with someone in the same grade as you and they are given more complex work than you are? Or if you have complex areas being taken AWAY from you. Honestly though I think the best way to ascertain this is by speaking to ur seniors and asking for their genuine feedback. I thought i was a low performer and beat myself up for months (also because the senior on my team was condescending and awful to me), until I plucked up the courage to speak to the other senior on the team and she said nah u’re on track dont worry. Then slowly gained more confidence

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Asking for genuine feedback from seniors or managers is honestly rarely helpful, in my experience. The default response is always "I only have good things to say" and "It will be more evident on your snapshot." Then there isn't any actual feedback on the snapshot unless you're below avg

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For audit, being a high performer isn’t as beneficial as other work streams typically. There’s almost none (if not none) opportunity for early promotion and the raise/VC is usually not significant for audit when compared to other groups. Having a high performing audit team is harder to demonstrate to clients compared to certain tax/consulting services since they usually only see the audit letter with stamp of approval. While clients may understand the work and importance of the audit, other service lines more easily illustrate quantifiable results since deliverables of analysis and potential cost savings / overall valuation are provided. Based on this and other factors, the overall benefits of being a high performer in audit are less (and some may argue not worth it).

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Im still young in the career (manager) so I haven’t seen any significant returns for building the “hardworking” brand. The increase in wages and recognition currently are negligible. The hope is that when your a director/senior manager/partner all that hard work pays off in terms of people coming to you for services. If you plan to go private, just being average is good enough and make sure you extract the knowledge you think is most valuable.

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If you don’t know, BDO

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That’s a big question.. you should probably be getting real time feedback from your Senior or Manager . Is it worth being a high performer ? Yes, my friend it is… why not settle for the best !!

The key to having a decent experience in public accounting is to be average. You’ll likely stay on your audits YoY and not be too overworked. Below average and you’ll be coached out once (if?) things even out on turnover and retention. Above average and you’ll get stuck with every new opportunity and need that they can put you on and by the time you make the decision to go for partner or not, you’ll already be burnt out. Also, in my experience comp for high performers isn’t much above the average, the comp ranges in my class have all been within $3-5k of each other YoY.

In my experience, low performers will have stuff taken off of them. When I have a low performer below me I’m a lot more likely to just do something myself or intervene more quickly. Also I’m more likely to monitor or micro manage because I know that person won’t necessarily be able to get the task done on their own. Not necessarily good but that has been my experience.

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