It’s come to my attention that you, Reader, probably aren’t familiar with what I actually…you know, do. While I’d like to think of myself as a magical-adventure-taking, funny-story-peddling, shutter-happy eccentric, I have this other job to support such behavior. That “other job” is working full-time at a Big 4 accounting firm.
If travel is the wind beneath my wings, my profession is the weight that keeps me from pulling an Icarus. I mean that in the best way possible, of course. Now, with this little job-o-mine comes a thing called “busy season”. Heard of it? Yeah, take the title of this article with a grain of salt. Busy season in auditing, particularly on a public client, is no joke. I’m helping out on a client that filed just yesterday (YAY!!) and I am weathered from the experience. Bear in mind that I am working at a reduced schedule compared to the rest of the team (auditing is actually not my coded job – I’m just helping other teams out right now, so I get a little leeway). Needless to say, it can be tough. My hope with this entry is that I can find you, my lovely auditors, and provide you with some solace and comfort for the next couple of weeks. After all, busy season has its perks, including…
5. Free food and lots of it.
Groceries? Don’t stress, you won’t have time to cook. Cringing when you see you’re spending $10 a day on lunch alone? Fuhgeddaboutit! These are worries that drift away when you’re working on an audit 12-16 hours a day. I reckon that between snack drawers, group lunches, and dinners, you can pretty much eat almost entirely for free. Some teams even do a weekly (or more often) Starbucks run. I don’t hate it! There’s also…
4. Having an excuse to not do things you don’t want to do
Okay, this one’s a bit mean, I’ll admit. But seriously, everyone finds themselves occasionally not feeling entirely up for things, even if these things are with friends or family they adore. Maybe it’s that Southwestern art festival your uncle wants to go to, or maybe it’s that chick flick you’ve been hoping your girlfriend would not notice is in theaters (random Haley fact: I HATE chick flicks). The nice thing about busy season is that the majority of people completely understand that issuing a company’s financial statements is, uh, kind of a big deal, and they don’t mind waiting a couple months if they have to in order to see you. Don’t forget about….
3. Getting to know people who are potentially epic life-buddies (and finding humor in the ones who so aren’t)
This one’s a bit of a freebie that everyone who talks about busy season uses, but it’s true. If you spend 12 hours under difficult circumstances with someone, you get to know quite a bit about them. Hopefully, there’s going to be at least one person you like, and they may end up being your archery buddy, your next roommate, or the gem who breaks open your door for you when you guys come back come back from a night out and are locked out of your apartment. Who knows, you may meet someone you end up liking a lot. Yes, I’m talking about Aud-Love! While workplace dating is usually a tenuous subject, many-a happily tickmarking couple have been formed under these circumstances, so don’t rule it out! Let’s talk about…
2. Finding humor in the silliest/smallest things
There comes a point during an audit where people are literally sleep-deprived to the point of degraded functionality of motor skills and the most basic common sense. That’s when the fun REALLY starts! From falling asleep on your monitor to writing review comments that make not a lick of freaking sense to possibly forgetting pants, every day kinda becomes a free comedy scene of sorts. People do funny things because they’re tired, and you find it infinitely more hilarious because you’re exhausted, too. Being detrimental to your physical health rocks sometimes! Last but not lease (yes, I just wrote “lease” – Freudian slip???!), we have…
1. Getting to pat yourself on the back at the end and say, “I did it. I survived busy season.”
There’s nothing quite like finishing up an audit. I thought finishing a six-course meal was ceremonious, but this takes it to a whole new level. Think about it: finishing an audit means that you just finished evaluating a company’s entire financial backbone and then contributed to the publishing of that backbone for the entire world to see. Pretty amazing, huh? No matter what part you played, you have to feel pretty good about that. The busy season experience is so much more than CPA credit, a resume boost, or a way to learn more about accounting – it’s a challenge that YOU faced and that YOU conquered with a powerful (and possibly carpal-tunneled at this point) fist. Be proud of yourself, man. You owned that.
There you have it. For those of you still suffering, I encourage you to read the above, over and over again. More importantly, know that this is finite experience that will strengthen you for the rest of your life. The pain is temporary, but the rewards last forever. If all else fails, I am but a short internet hello away, and am never too busy to respond to an questions you have – oh, the benefits of being really uncool. 🙂
Thought of the Day: No matter what you think of your job, hold onto the benefits you get from it. At the very least, you can call it a learning experience – I promise!