What to do if my co-workers mess up and I get blamed?

So this happened a few times last summer where my co-workers messed up but then the boss corrected me on it even though I knew what I was doing and it was a co-worker who did that part or someone senior than me told me to do it an incorrect way. Do I just take the blame even though it hurts my reputation and wasn't my fault? I don't want to talk back or blame someone else but I feel my cred shouldn't suffer.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (12)

Jul 3, 2020 - 12:07am

Tell the truth from your end. You will be blamed if they think it is coming from your end. I am a top bucket analyst and got one below the highest bonus just because one of the Directors thought I screwed up in a major way but it was actually someone else's fault entirely!

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
  • 5
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jul 3, 2020 - 12:21am

almost certain you didnt get top bucket cuz youre an annoying little prick who spends too much time on wso than turning comments

Jul 3, 2020 - 12:24am

You don't realize how efficient I can be. I go on this site to unload. And yes, I did not get top bucket. I missed it by a single drop of water because of this one internal workstream that cost me 5,000 dollars! I hate that person and have told my staffer to never work that person up agani.

Don't get me started on the top bucket mentality, analyst 2.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
  • 4
Jul 3, 2020 - 1:05pm

Just nod your head when a correction is given. At the end of the review of the presentation with your MD, simply state "Thank you for the corrections, I did not work on the entire presentation by myself but we will make sure to fix these errors."

That's all. Don't rat out your coworkers, makes you look like a little bitch. In fact, not throwing others under a bus will gain you some respect.

Array
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 3, 2020 - 3:12pm
Incoming <abbr title=Chartered Financial Analyst>cfa</abbr> level 1 charterholder:

In fact, not throwing others under a bus will gain you some respect.

Yeah, I agree with most of what you said but the problem is that my boss still thinks to this day that I messed up because nobody else will tell him that it was someone else. Obviously, it's too late for the stuff in the past but want to know how to prevent it from happening in the future without looking like I'm ratting other people out.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jul 3, 2020 - 5:42pm

You really need to defend yourself. Know a guy who had something similar to him where all the seniors thought he screwed up really badly on somehting but he was just taking the blame for someone else who was always incompetent. Ultimately, you have to look out for yourself and be hoenst about your situation if it is truly affecting your career progression!

Also, my wifi connection to this website sucks. MIght accelerate my leaving this website for good.

Will update my computer soon and leave Incognito so I will disappear forever. How did I achieve Neanderthal by trolling? Some people are after me so need to close account for safety.
  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jan 22, 2021 - 9:26pm

What does that look like? You can't tell your seniors so do you confront the guy who does it? What do you say/what's your recourse if he continues to do it after you talk to him? 

Jul 3, 2020 - 2:16pm

This situation can be a difficult. There are a few considerations you should be mindful of when taking someone else's input and using it in your analysis.

Above anything else, your mindset should be that anything you email or present regardless of how it is put together is wholly your work. Take ownership of the analysis because if you don't someone else will take credit for it when it's good and assign blame to you when it's not. This means that you need to question all inputs given to you and understand them enough so they pass at minimum a gut check for you.

If you are pressed for time and something doesn't make sense push back if possible until someone explains it. Sometimes when it's a senior person providing you with info they'll be pushy and you'll have to take the inputs at face value. You should be doing this anyway but somewhere in your analysis, usually at the beginning depending on the work, you should have a list of primary assumptions or drivers and this is where you can highlight particular sources. Do not necessarily list names but describe a questionable input briefly and mention someone only if asked. People can read between the lines.

This is an honest way of working and if someone gets mad at you because you used information THEY GAVE, then they would be have sabotaged you anyway. At that point, the topic changes entirely to self preservation tactics and up until this juncture, you've done a good job of that.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

July 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (36) $363
  • Associates (209) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (121) $152
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (28) $146
  • Intern/Summer Associate (101) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (447) $133
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (357) $82