So I just became a Big 4 Manager in the San Francisco area, specializing in Private Equity/Venture Capital (Financial Services)

So most of my clients will be some of the largest tech companies and financial services firms in the area (aka country). Are you jealous?

Guess my salary.

Comments (32)

Jul 12, 2018

$185k?

Jul 12, 2018

I bet he can barely afford a <800 sqft apartment rent with that pay

    • 1
Jul 13, 2018

Lol not quite

Most Helpful
Jul 13, 2018

I know you're kidding, but to any college student reading and taking in info, as a PE consultant who has seen many managers burn out, let me be the first to tell you, the next 6-8 years until you make partner will be the worst years of your life. Things I've noticed happen to people in your position:

*Stop giving a fuck about anything and will frequently tell superiors "I'm just not doing that"
*Alienate wife, alienate family just as you realize they're not getting any younger
*Miss the formative years of your child
*Invest tons of time and energy in your career and burn out to some shitty corporate job before our make partner, never get the good consulting pay (only really good at the top)
*Get exactly 1 additional chin per every two years worked
*Be a role model only for people their first six months on the job who idolize the grizzled veteran
*Have your health deteriorate from any combination of: smoking, fast food, airplane radiation as you start flying to meet clients, lack of sleep, lack of gym

Should I continue?

    • 7
Jul 13, 2018

Lol is it really that bad for external auditors? I'm honestly only looking to do it for 1.5-2 years (70-80 total hours per week is easy for me) and then exiting to industry for (at minimum) a Controller position.

Guess I'm a little confused as to the intent of your post as most positions at this level in any industry require a high level of commitment.

Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

Jul 13, 2018

Didn't realize you were an auditor. I was referring to DD/strategy consulting for PE clients.

Jul 12, 2018

This may be a really stupid question, but what exactly do partners do? People keep dreaming of making MD, or grueling in Big 4 until they get to partner... is it really that glamorous? Like, who do you answer to as Partner and what is a typical day for you?

Jul 13, 2018

Depends on your drive and size/nature of the company. For the most part, the idea of being Partner is wining and dining with clients and potential clients to keep their business or bring in more business. More "active" Partners can often be found out on the golf course schmoozing clients/potential clients, learning more about their business and also sharing more about the service they can provide. Then they present bids and proposals to complete a job and hope they kissed enough ass to get the deal lol.

Partners are basically salesman and responsible for bringing in business. Some Partners are just sit-in Partners though and just have a few key relationships with established clients of a firm so they were just next in line, but aren't very active with business development.

I know your question was directed to @Making Gravy so hopefully they can go more into detail for you.

Jul 13, 2018

Why does your profile badge say you're a real estate accountant?

Jul 13, 2018

Because that's where most of my experience has been as an accountant (developers, CRE, construction, property management, etc.) and looks like they want to place me on private equity/alternative investment fund clients so can't complain with that. Guess they're expecting my background in RE to be a good foundation for it.

Learn More

9 LBO Modeling Tests, 10+ hours of PE Cases and 2,447+ interview insights across 203 private equity funds. The WSO Private Equity Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to break into the competitive PE industry. Learn more.

Jul 13, 2018

but you're still in audit

    • 1
Jul 13, 2018

I plan on sticking it out for 1.5-2 years and then moving on. Audit is not so bad considering I have the opportunity to get a better understanding of banking all around (reworking valuations, estimates, lending, and understanding the thought process involved with acquisitions/divestitures, etc.). Not to mention direct correspondence with GPs/LPs and such. That's why audit is great background for CFOs, it gives you a higher level and encompassing view of the business.

Jul 13, 2018

audit and big 4 spells pleb. also stop spamming my inbox, i already use TurboTax

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

    • 2
Jul 13, 2018

Yup. He is in audit.

Jul 13, 2018

Yup for now. Can't complain either. I get to learn how to do everyone's job.

Jul 13, 2018

Wow, an auditor who enjoys their job. You might be partner material. Every other auditor and former auditor I know never ceases complaining about the low pay, (seasonally) long hours, and limited exits into internal audit and controller rolls.

    • 1
Jul 13, 2018

Lol thanks, it's not so much that I enjoy it, but I do try to make the most of it and see how the experience is valuable and beneficial for future opportunities. Auditing covers a lot of ground everything from the legal and control environment to financial analysis and reporting and everything in between. The first few years at the Senior level and below though literally tends to just be grunt work, so many people don't get to the actual meat and bones of auditing and don't truly understand what they're even doing. I wouldn't mind Partner either though, but that is more of a default rather than a goal for me.

Jul 13, 2018

"Seasonal" long hours is how they hook you. Once you're a senior, it's 60 hours a week, until busy season where it hits 80 for 3 months. $70,000 all in compensation. PASS.

Jul 13, 2018

It doesn't bother me if I am constantly learning new things. That's the thing with audit, you get out what you put in. Some folks just want to go to work and do the same thing over and over. Some don't get the opportunity to work on the more analytical or higher skill stuff because they get burnt out or don't have the drive to stick it out.

It's definitely a profession where you have to "pay your dues" though, which means there really isn't much "getting ahead". You just have to put in the time and ask the right questions or know what to look for and eventually it pays off.

For example, IB analysts and such are responsible for analyzing deals and market conditions, etc. A procedure an auditor might perform is to test the soundness of the analysts decision-making process by reworking the valuations and financial metrics used to come to a decision. This means we get the "experience" of deals valuation, but aren't actually "IB analysts" ourselves. We know payroll in detail. The internal control environment in detail. Cash management. Capital structure. Debt obligations. Legal and regulatory conditions and so on in detail.

Every facet of a business we have the opportunity to learn in detail VS bankers who may be more exclusively focused on the bottom line. That's great and all, but there's much more to running a successful business than just making deals.

Funniest
Jul 13, 2018
Neutrino_CFO:

Are you jealous?

no

    • 10
Jul 12, 2018

Well said, my Lord.

Jul 13, 2018

Audit is fundamental for controller or finance manager role,whereas to consider a CFO role in a large company and run the finance team wholly. I guess it requires a strategy role and more f8nance involved experience. Noted that I am currently auditor at on if B4 firm in MENA.

Jul 16, 2018

.

Jul 16, 2018

Wait, your clients are going to be some of the largest tech firms? Or PE/VC?

If you're auditing a PE firm you will be working with the back office, not the deals teams. You will get to learn a shit ton about management fees and distributions, and get to review the valuation team's (or 3rd party's) fair market value analysis. If that gets you this pumped, then good for you my man.

Jul 13, 2018

Actually come to find out, I will be working with both tech firms AND financial services.

I can see your perspective, it's not as "exciting" as deals, but this type of role for an auditor is a stepping stone to CFO...and at a minimum, at least Controller. Controllers at the firms I will be working with earn about $150k per year (CPAs w/ 7-8 yrs experience).

Not a bad potential exit IMO.

Jul 16, 2018

Audit manager is for sure the right path to being a controller. Worth considering moving to a lower cost of living city to do that in my opinion. Accounting is accounting anywhere, start looking for a nice house in Texas.

Aug 23, 2018

So I thought auditors with financial services group will exit to PE/VC or other financial institutions. Is that not the general case in your group or is it just you prefer to go for controller position?