I’m working with a senior associate that is constantly over billing and creating work that no one wants/asks for. Any advice on how to handle this? Note that I am a mid-level and have been party to all client communications so know for a fact that this work is not necessary.

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

There’s plenty of work done of cases I’ve been involved in that I believed was unnecessary. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I’ve only seen one example of outright unethical work assignment in my career. We were settling a case and the partner told us to put the SJ motion together over the weekend, even though the settlement was 100% certain and SJ wasn’t due for 8 months. The partner was just padding a bill. I said no and that if she ever asked me to do something like that again she wouldn’t like the result. But that was the only time I’ve ever felt went way over the line. The rest is just judgment calls.

like

A few years ago, there was a month I spent 16-20 hours each weekend preparing for witnesses whose depositions hadn’t even been scheduled yet. At the end of the month I found out they’d started negotiating a settlement right about the time these weekend fake fire drills started. Really glad I don’t work for that partner anymore.

like

A few takes: 1. He’s more senior than you so he might know that some things are necessary or good to have in case things go wrong. Some people like to work as efficiently as possible, some people like to be thorough. You’ll only get to choose a style when you’re the leading associate, otherwise get on with the program. 2. Are you reviewing client bills to know if they’re overbilling? All time entries are reviewed by partners before they’re sent off and I guess you already know that. 3. I’ve been in this situation before and my advice is - I don’t think you should pick this fight UNLESS you come across something that’s flagrantly illegal or unethical. You don’t want to make a false accusation or burn bridges, this is a fight you cannot win. When I was/am in your shoes, all I could do is do the work I’m asked and bill ethically myself.

like

This. I’m on the thorough side. It’s not always “necessary” but I’ve been doing this a long time and unless it’s a super cost-sensitive matter, I’m asking for all the extra stuff that I think is best practice to have prepared and be ready for. The client may not have remembered to ask for XYZ yet but I know from 20 previous transactions with the same or similar clients that it’s going to come up, so I ask the junior/midlevel to look into it. When it’s your deal, you can use your style. OP, you can politely push back and say something like “sure happy to handle that, I have XYZ time sensitive tasks that have to get done by ABC so I can turn to this after that if that ok”. Also just phrase it as a learning question: “in my experience I’ve only ever prepared X if the client asked/if XYZ scenario, what’s your thought process behind doing one here?” If they don’t have good answers if nothing else, you know you’re right and they might be shamed into not doing it the next time or backing off their ask.

I work with someone like this and it’s really frustrating because it makes me look lazy when it’s them just padding

like

Unfortunately, I think it depends on how well connected the senior associate is. If they’re an up starter who thinks the partner will be impressed with huge bills, the partner might be furious to find out a lot of BS is happening, particularly if the partner is managing the client and is not pleased about bills. On the other hand, like others have mentioned, if everyone more senior than you is regularly padding bills with this kind of work, then it’s a terrible firm or practice group and you should start looking to get out. Random research assignments are dipping a toe into unethical behavior. If you’re doing actual pointless projects that you know are pointless, that’s malpractice territory and you need to protect yourself. Call it out on email and ideally have a new job for yourself lined up.

Grin and bear it. Promise yourself that you will not do this when it’s your turn

Related Posts

like

Has anyone been legitimately impressed by a CMO or other senior client in a meeting? In my experience, these people are great at articulating their brand priorities but don't always think critically

like

When the client asks for an unexpected update on something

Post Photo
likefunnyuplifting

All, my contract with westmonroe is ending on the 14th. Please let me know if your firms are hiring project managers

like

Anyone hear any guidance on Federal client work yet? I don’t know who the “partial” govt shutdown applies to.... non-essential govt staff and contractors? Thanks. Sorry for the holiday question .

like

Hi, I have got offer from PWC India, Mumbai location. What are the chances that I will be deployed to a domestic client location project? And also if it's a critical data project like of banking what are the chances that they will ask for work from office at client location even if it's WFH these days? YOE: 5.5 years Technology: ETL development

like

Switching consulting agencies atm. Currently I earn way below average at 42k€/p.a + car. Next week I am negotiating with another company wanting to employ me. I am actually bringing in a customer with a fixed 2 year project @ 1000€ all-in/day rate (5 billable days/week). What salary should I aim for - and what bonuses? I would love something around the market average of 65-75k is it realistic even though I am in my mid 20s?

like

I was on the bench for about two months for AFS (prj complications / clearance) where I ended up just taking a project that seemed to align with something I wanted. I've been here for about 3 weeks...

likeuplifting

Staffed on a project beginning the 17th but still haven’t heard if it requires travel. If it does, this would be my first time away from my 1.5 year old 😭

like

I feel like tax is not for me and want to get out before I get too far! I’m three years in and am a HUGE people person. I love connecting, leading, teaching, helping, and get none of that in my role at PwC. I stare at excel sheets all day and try to figure out wtf the associate did compared to last year. Does anyone have thoughts on a Career that would be good for someone like me? Does anyone know anything about project managers? Or something like that? Hard to replace my income I guess too... 🥺

likefunny

A client who I’ve been working with for over a year called me ‘kiddo' today. Sigh.

likefunny

Do you make sure to come to work before the client and leave after they leave?

like

Get on a strategy S&O project now, try and transfer in, and give up promotion to SC in DD next year? My friend is telling me to target SC in DD then transfer, but i have an opportunity now to be on..

like

Delta guy starting a new project which American is the way better option...unfortunately. Is there a worthy status match program, and is it sponsored by PwC or just call American?

like

8 o'clock meeting in the client site, caught an early flight and planned to get some sleep on the flight. The fucking baby next to me started crying his lungs out. FML.

like

Anyone know any decent web developers that can quote for a project?

Hi fellow members, I ll be joining as 2.5 years lateral. What happens in probation period at SAP? Can a person worked in support project survive at SAP?

like

In accenture countdown site. I can see project as '' bench-state''.. What does it means??

like

Welcome to all teachers who are already using or those just thinking about starting a writing workshop in their classrooms. This is the place to share your questions, answers, successes and challenges. I am a Teacher Consultant with the Indiana Writing Project and have used WW in my high school classrooms since 2009 and am always eager to learn more. Please join our conversation and share your best beginning of the year WW activities.

I just noticed that I have a “touch base” scheduled for 9:15, then a “check in” at 11:00 on the same project. I’ll let you know what the difference is when we circle back.

likefunny

Additional Posts

Thoughts on people who start slacking off during pregnancy? My manager is pregnant, and I want to be accommodating, but she hardly works and it’s making it very hard to do my job.

like

Anybody here that knows about the work culture at Nokia in the Noida office or in general?

like

Interested in comp data points for Accenture strategy? Consultant level, MCOL. (DC/Philadelphia etc.)

likesmart

Would a SHRM certification be beneficial for a consultant in organization strategy? Anyone in a similar boat?

like

Whats the avg salary for a IT Senior Associate in Risk at BDO? 3YOE

like

Anyone going through the H1B visa process? What are you planning to do, if you don't get it?

What strategies do you adopt to maximize praying (and ibaadah in general) during Ramadan when on a case? Any tips?

like

What would you rather do? 1. Stretch role in workstrea that doesn’t align with interests. More autonomy, responsibility and closer with team 2. Role doing grunt work, build relevant technical skills

like

Is MBB attainable from Kellogg 1Y? Background in strategy consulting

like

I am just starting year 4 as an associate doing 100% med mal defense trial work. I know our insurance guidelines require partners to do a lot with so much $$$ on the line, but in 3+ years, I have only: attended 36 depos (12/yr or 1/mo) of those 36, I: noticed 3 (1/yr) and presented 3 (1/yr) I have attended 1 mediation and tried 1 small claims “trial” I feel like I am losing my attorney skills, rather than improving them. Can I expect more opportunities or do I need to make a switch?

like

My airIndia flight is delayed by 6 hrs due 2 closure Pakistan airspace. I am going 2 miss my goair connection & stay overnight .Anyone has experience claiming trip interruption insurance with chase

Just heard coronavirus found in Thanksgiving Tower, Comerica Tower, and BOA Tower in Dallas. Downtown has fallen. Time to make like a tree and...

like

I am not approved for financing the car due to immigration status and limited credit history. Leasing (1.99% - 2 years) and cash are feasible options. I really want to own the car so should I buy it off in cash or lease to build credit history?

like

Bain 🐠- why did you choose Bain? What do you like about it? Interview prepping..

like

Hit with a delinquency charge in my Amex corporate card for not making payment on time. Trying to get it waived but no luck. Anyone faced similar issues and got these charges waived?(over $300)

like

How far out can you typically set up interviews? Can I take two weeks before first interview?

like

Applying for a couple of things and randomly decided to google myself to see what recruiters might see. Had helped a friend out way way back with a school project and came across her blog post about it on her personal website in which she says the reason she asked me to help is because she trusted my opinion since I am a “harsh critic.” I think she meant keen critic or that this was supposed to be a positive but to me, this reads as an insult (continued in comments)

funnylike

How much travelling do you think consulting will be post covid19? More remote or back to normal

like

New to Deloitte Consulting - what is the best way to send personal files out of the work laptop? Some small some big, immigration related stuff I want to send to personal email. Thx

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.