Associates not checking my work and getting mad at me?

First year here, was doing pretty well but recently have been chewed out by a couple associates on different projects for work that has already been sent to the client who have pointed out that some numbers need to be double checked. Like yeah I understand it's my fault for stale numbers / not finding the latest figures and it's a bit embarassing for our team but my associates get really mad at me even though they dont check my work? Like maybe they trust me too much but isn't it their job to catch my mistakes? Especially sometimes I work all weekend, send them a work product, theyre totally away from their desk and they reply under 10 mins saying its good. Is this normal or do I have a really bad team?  I think I was top bucket but it's so close to review season and I'm performing pretty badly now / am burnt out. 


Coming from someone that’s actually been a top bucket analyst - VP all my career, this is 100% your fault.

No it is not your associates job to catch every single one of your mistakes… There are things that people shouldn’t have to check and should be able to trust is correct.

And if multiple associates are all giving you the same feedback, let that be further confirmation that you are the problem.

This is exactly what’s wrong with the new Gen Z kids coming in. Zero accountability and pride in their work.

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I somehow agree.

On the one hand, Associates shouldn’t let things to go clients if they know the analyst can’t deliver (and in any case, should have most of the ownership on delivery/quality).  

On the other hand, we should be able to trust you on some of the smaller points/research work especially if you’re at the end of your first year - Associates triple checking every single coma/number you input is a pretty bad thing and a sign that you can’t be trusted. 

Take ownership in your work, ask questions, and if you think anything needs particular review, flag it clearly. You need to manage your associates better. 

On timing, think about it this way - you probably spend most of your weekend working because 1) you didn’t manage to finish during the week and 2) you’re not as efficient as you could be - which is fine and expected given you started 1Y ago. Associated on the other hand may be working on more projects than you and/or have a different schedule and so you should aim to send the materials in advance so they have time to review vs. Sending things last minute/ late on weekends - you can’t expect them to be behind their desk waiting for you 24/7. I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing necessarily, but want to outline some of the potential dynamics at play here. 

Conclusion: take ownership, be transparent in your work, communicate on timing and think about ways to get your associates more involved in the review process if needed. 


If the associate responds in 10 minutes with, "this looks good," then he/she isn't failing to "catch every mistake." He/she is failing to their job. So is the VP/MD. 


It depends on the case. If it’s something important / complicated, then obviously the Asso should review in detail. If you just ask your analyst to add revenue figures on PPT before shooting the deck on a Saturday then it should be fine to trust your analyst

In any case, the fact that his/her associates messed up doesn’t take away the responsibility to produce fullproof work


Context is necessary. If I asked you whether you updated the #s to the latest and you said yes, unless something looks waaaay off, I should be able to sign off on it without having to make sure that you did, indeed update the #s.

If it turns out that you forgot to, it's 100% your fault. I'd get shit for it too ofc, but in the future I will just have to micromanage you if I get staffed with you again, which I hate and therefore will complain about.

OTOH if you did a complicated piece of analysis, I'd check it independently before signing off.


It's on you since you made the mistake. You shouldn't expect to be coddled just because you're an analyst. You should try and have every deliverable be perfect and not expect your associates/VPs to fix everything for you. On the other hand, flawed work shouldn't have gone out to a client and that is on your associates and VPs. The same way you should make sure everything is flawless that you're assigned, they should also take accountability for the work that they are saying "this looks good" and sending to other people. Sounds like both parties involved are slacking a bit in terms of work quality, so finger pointing isn't going to solve anything. It doesn't help that you are the low man on the totem pole so you shouldn't/can't point out their flaws. However, they already know that they slacked off which is why they didn't catch the error themselves. But they are answering to the client and not to you for flawed deliverables. To avoid this issue moving forward, take that extra initiative to double check with associates/VPs that the numbers you're working with are the latest and try to be as flawless as possible. 


are you working 80-100 hour weeks consistently? if yes, learn to ask for extended deadlines/help, check your own work even after sending etc. if not, you are proof of the analyst quality declining over the years. take some ownership for work for goodness sake. 

it's like if there's a mistake in the financials statements submitted for earnings, is the CFO and the CEO supposed to be fired? they will get flak, but ultimately the person who prepared the items (i.e. you) will have a terrible review. 

Although I do agree that the associates are poor associates (lol at saying the work is good in 10 mins unless they review the entire deck or if it's a single slide they review), maybe they are learning to manage people and have some way to go. 

If my analyst made a simple mistake, i'm checking every single number on the excel/deck and slowly giving him more responsibility/guidance. If it keeps going on, he's going to get a bad review from me. 


I am going to give you some advice from an analyst who was part of a layoff.

If you’re new ask a 100 questions. Even if it slows down the process ask the stupid questions you need to ask because if you don’t 6-9 months later they won’t have the patience. You’re new so ask the dumb questions, get clarity on everything. If they don’t give it to you it’s a bad place to be because new hires should be on-boarded property.

It doesn’t seem like you’re doing this. Sounds like you’re handing work in and expecting them to come back and say,” so actually this is how we do it here.” Wrong. That’s actually how they think you’re stupid.

Since you’re new you should be asking for help on all the main ad-hoc deliverables you’re going to do so you can make sure that you get it 100% correct every time. If you’re not doing that it’s your fault.

TL; DR if you’re new ask for help and clarity from your associate. If you don’t ask for help or clarity it’s all your fault.


The associate has every right to be frustrated with you. It is on you. However, anyone above the associate (VP-MD) should be frustrated with the associate. There’s a clear benefit to being a reviewer role and not stuck in the weeds. If the associate is not helping you in the weeds, then he should be thoroughly reviewing. You and the associate are both at fault but I think more blame is on the associate in the eyes of an MD/VP.


It also depends how new OP is to the company? Analysts are the cheapest but also the most inefficient but they know that. If the associate is not helping the new analyst on board, then it’s his fault. If he’s assigning work that he knows his tedious for any analyst from experience he should at least walk him through it first before just hand it off.

What do you think the environment is like?


I believe in the 80:20 rule and this may ruffle some feathers for some of the lazy ass VPs/MBA associates out there but I will do a good job creating the work product and check it over once in detail before sending out. Beyond that it's up to them to catch shit, there's no way I have enough time to create every work product and check it through in detail for every thing you make. There's just not enough time in the day to tie out every 50 page deck and all the excel backups every turn.

You shouldn't be making low-level mistakes like typos and should have an answer for why every number changed on a turn but if there's a mislink on cell 1000 of a model that MBA associate better get off his ass and open microsoft office for once. (someone should f2 every cell and as god is my witness it should not be the analyst being paid half of the associate working till 1am every day) 


Lol you sound so out of touch with the reality of the job it makes me wonder how long you've been on the desk. A top bucket analyst will either be running a deal themselves (doing every page and every model) or be on the model for multiple deals. Where in the world do you have to check through every cell of every analysis?

Yeah if you had a project that was a slow burn and you weren't already working till 1-2 am every day then yeah sure you should check through everything in depth but that's not realistic. What's realistic is building in systems to reduce the occurrence of errors in the first place (e.g. building checks as you go along) but there's a limit and Associates need to do their fucking jobs. You better be making pages or in my excel f2ing every cell. Sick and tired of these shitty Asos that dump 90% of the work on their analysts, wordsmith some garbage bullets using chatgpt and call it a day. 

And dawg I wouldn't have been your analyst anyways because I'd never work with an ASO that didn't pull their weight :) I'm on the buyside now but I was top bucket both years. 


This is a good process. Checking work over in detail, not making low level mistakes, having answers for why numbers move or what they are. I was going to say idk why this would ruffle any feathers and then I saw the comment below. 


On the one hand, yes, your associates are ultimately responsible for the team’s final work product at the end of the day.

But you should also take extra time to make sure that there are no mistakes. Because you should be working as though you are an associate. And associates are very busy and should be able to trust you


I say the associate is responsible for the work product at the end of the day. Has this been happening consistently over time or just recently? My best advice is to ask as many questions as you can to your associates because it will look like you are trying to show a lot of initiative and want to do well. Do not worry about them thinking you are being annoying or anything like that. It's better to look as annoying as possible now in case you make mistakes later. 

A good suggestion I have for you regarding the mistakes you made so far, is, write them down in a notebook and what you should have done to rectify it. Keep that notebook near you each time you work. When an associate stops by to talk to you, he/she will think you are trying to learn from your mistakes and be a bit easier. 


Not sure what’s going on in this comments section. If there’s a mistake in the work product that goes to the senior bankers or the client, it’s the associate’s fault. You can also argue it’s the MD and VPs fault but quality control really lies with the associate, the analyst is the last person to blame at that point. No exceptions, no explanations.

Your associates saying good to send within 10 minutes, especially if you’ve been working for multiple days on materials, is proof that they aren’t doing their job at all - not even an attempt at doing the bare minimum. When I was an analyst my associates not only checked thoroughly for mistakes, they always had suggestions on how to make materials more clear, more efficient, more informative, etc. Now as an associate I do the same - not just checking that the work is correct, but checking to see if it’s the best it can possibly be.

As an associate, if I check work and there ends up being an error, my mistake was not being thorough enough. If I don’t check work and there ends up being an error, my mistake was not doing my job. If I’m working with an analyst that’s incapable, my mistake was misplacing my trust and not doing the work myself.

Not trying to make it super serious; everybody makes mistakes, but the point is just we all have to take responsibility for our role like grown men (and women). The idea of your associate crying and moaning and bitching at you, a 22 yo analyst, after a mistake is caught by the client is laughable. The time for that drama was while they were allegedly reviewing work. After the client catches a mistake, your associate should look in the mirror and figure out how they’re going to be better, and then discuss strategies with you to make a plan to avoid this type of mistake in the future so it never happens again. 


I sb’ed but also want to comment for added visibility. This is the correct response and the right attitude to ensure excellent delivery. The poster who mentioned 80:20 is also correct. People who are saying the analyst is the problem are (i) wrong and (ii) most likely acting like “Senior Managing Associates” (which is wrong, unless you’re getting up to ASO 3/4).

Simply put, it takes too much attention to thoughtfully prepare the first pass to also expect an analyst to self identify EVERY error during self-review. Whether that’s input check, calc check, methodology check, etc.

Analysts should always check their work first, but the whole reason we work in teams is the because two sets of eyes >>>>>> one set of eyes.

Even as a top bucket analyst, I would sometimes send something to my aso / VP that was extremely rigorous but had some bone-headed addition step somewhere that didn’t make sense. They’d say: “This is awesome, but should cell DG251 have a plus instead of a minus?” That’s what good team work looks like.


Banking is a shitty industry and everyone is constantly frustrated. Most issues stem from these aspects. 

For most of what I hear, yeah. Very demanding in surprising ways. It's not like there's anyone specifically to blame for it, either, or maybe just how they've changed into the industrial and modern era.


On a good team, mistakes are the team's fault and you should work with the Associate to learn and create controls to prevent future mistakes. You should be taking responsibility, but the associate is typically equally responsible.

As you describe it, the associate is certainly not doing their job, but if you know they aren't doing your job, you need to plan accordingly. 


Everyone is responsible for their own work, but the best groups really have the best working teams. If they are replying in 10 minutes then they are lazy. They need to be responsible for the team’s work products. Some commenters may not agree because for them it is a dog eat dog world, but with the best teams the dogs run in a pack. 

[Comment removed by mod team]

Know everyone will say take some self-accountability b/c that's the mindset that got us here, but if we are looking at it objectively, it is 100% the Associate's and VP's fault.

If I am a manager, my VP's #1 job is to review, an Associate it is to review and take on some of the more complicated tasks. You're associates are not reviewing, so they are not doing their jobs. You may be doing your job poorly, but at least you're doing it. Yes, there is some responsibility on you, but moreso on them.

Now that you have gotten emotionalal validation that you work in a poorly managed workplace, recognize this is still the status quo wherever you go. So if you want to be successful in business, recognize you can't rely on other people to do their jobs and you may need to be the adult in the room and take the extra time to review, if you can.

This is only if you care about the success of the team/business and good year-end reviews though. If you don't feel morale or appreciated, and are getting paid enough for you to be content even with a low-mid bucket bonus, then take a moral stance and let your associates to continue missing your mistakes. Personal decision that only you can make.


Coming from the perspective of a VP, if you sense that the ASO is not checking materials thoroughly, please escalate this to your VP. I tell this to my analysts all the time.

Unfortunately, pass-through ASOs are too common. If I learn they’re not spending adequate time reviewing, ensuring the numbers tie throughout the materials and the math “maths”, that broker projections are accurate, the valuation is correct and adjusts for restricted cash, ITM converts, PF for acquisitions, etc. and not just copied from FactSet… Then I manage it by bucketing more time for thorough review to ensure no errors are put in front of the client. Ultimately ASOs aren’t generally in the room during the meeting and have little skin in the game, VPs do. 


Very tricky to pull from an analyst perspective. 

It has never happened to me but but if an AN would go behind my back sending stuff or complaining to my VP, that would ruin our relationship and I would lose any trust with this person. At least, need to do it in a way that doesn’t undermine your associate, like maybe checking in with your VP casually and saying “by the way these numbers were pretty hard to find, so let us know if you disagree”


Echoing what others have said. Do not complain. These mistakes are your responsibility. Your associates are not tasked with reviewing every analysts' work. Most of the time they scan it to make sure all the subjects are checked off. They do not assess every detail or else that would be doing your work, all over again.

When Enron went down, the bosses were the ones who suffered the consequences because the mistakes happened under their authority. They chose to continue being complicit. Here, you are reprimanded and told to have better quality.

You realize this is also an opportunity for you to show some good character to your associates and client?


Also, you're an analyst in IB. Part of being that comes with having responsibility in your work and your own responsibility working with clients. It's what attracts a lot of people to working in IB, so maybe you should think about if you want that or not. It's less autocratic and more laissez faire.


It’s the Associate’s fault. Their job is to check all your nums. Every analyst makes mistakes. If associate is not catching them, then that Associate is useless. Common trap for MBA associates is they think they are “managers”. That’s not what they are. They should be “doers”!


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