{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I think public accounting has made it where I only look at the negatives. I’m at my parents and my dad was doing a project and I find myself picking apart what he did and wanting to say this this and this are wrong rather than looking at the project and saying it looks good overall", "post_id": "613643547913c3002c321a6c", "reply_count": 12, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

I think public accounting has made it where I only look at the negatives. I’m at my parents and my dad was doing a project and I find myself picking apart what he did and wanting to say this this and this are wrong rather than looking at the project and saying it looks good overall

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Maybe you’re just a negative person. I’ve been an auditor in public accounting for 9 years yet I don’t go around pointing out negative things about other people or the projects they’re working on.

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Are you an auditor? I was a former auditor and did the same thing, that was our job and I’m sure you’re good at it too. I got out of audit and went into tax since I look for opportunities to save tax vs. looking for something wrong.

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I guess I just view that differently because I turkey believe it’s constructive criticism and that will help them learn and progress in the field, assuming that’s what they want to do. I look at it more of teaching than looking for negative things, because you’re also looking at what they did right. I always give them a “great job/work” when I give my feedback along with the things they can improve on. I would imagine at least 75% of the tax return is correct? If not then there needs to be better training 😬 Sometimes it’s really how you look at the situation, would you rather not have that staff and just do the work yourself?

There’s a massive issue in society of focusing on what people can’t do rather than what they can. That is much broader than public accounting. For what’s it worth bill belichick and billy beanie and disciples have had a ton of success in their respective sports by flipping the narrative to what athletes CAN do.

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I read an article once that had science to support this. It talked about how people who look for mistakes all day for their job end up carrying that into their non-work life. Wish I could find it now.

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Is there any possibility that the OP's perspective may be due not to the truly inherent nature of auditing (or the way that auditing is supposed to be done), but rather due to the management style of the OP's particular firm? Audits are meant to be performed by engagement TEAMS, the more senior members of which have an extensive understanding of the client's business, accounting processes and ICFR. This gives them the opportunity to adequately plan an audit and develop an audit program that more junior members (who often aren't extensively involved in the planning process) can successfully execute under reasonable expectations. But is that what really happens on most audits? Aren't most audits designed not to truly review the work of more junior auditors who are performing the steps of the audit program under reasonable expectations and budgets, but rather to ultimately criticize and demean in a gradual and subtle fashion the work of these junior auditors--as a means to maintain the high turnover model of the firms? In that process you end up with managers who learn not to transfer relevant, client-specific knowledge to associates and SA so they can do their job. Instead, you end up with managers who learn to vaguely communicate unreasonable expectations so they can later criticize and demean the work of junior auditors--rather than truly review it. This post is like so many in that it seems to presume that most audits are designed to be carried out in the way the standards describe. Sure, no client is perfect, has good PBC's, or performs its processes the way their narratives describe. But is it truly the inherent nature of auditing that really drives the high turnover or for the OP to be motivated to pose the question that he/she does? Or is it the way many firms ultimately run their businesses? It's just something to consider.

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My firm operates like this on both the audit and tax side unfortunately. I’m a big picture person so I’ve had 6 years of soul crushing experiences because I’m not detailed. Aligns very well with your explanation.

It's human nature to find the errors and mistakes - your brain is hard wired. You need to teach yourself to look at the good things about what has worked well. Takes time but worth it!

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