It has been a very long time since I had my beauty weekends without dating my laptop and files. I had been on and off unwell for three weeks now. Even though I was on MC and able to stay at home most of the days, I was not really at peace. My head was like spinning gasing, I puked several times, and my stomach aches. I was supposed to sleep off the pain but instead, I slept while my head was thinking about the untouched piles of files, thinking about the unreasonable deadlines set for us, thinking about documents that have been pending from clients for weeks. Bertambah sakit lah badan. Dan sekarang my face sudah di kunjungi tetamu. Yes! The pimples! I’ve got one at my right eyebrow, one at my left cheek, one at my dagu, and two under my nose. Now I am starting to wonder. Does EY really pay me that much?
When I graduated 2 years ago, I never thought that I would start my career in audit line. In fact, I never really knew what audit is all about. I barely passed my audit paper back then in uni. But I got first class for my taxation paper. So I thought, I can be a tax agent! *wink*. So I started applying audit firms that offers tax services. People say starting your career in audit firms is always the best. People say audit firm is the best training ground. Yeah, people say!
But I thought to myself, graduating in accounting line, is quite tough. You will never be qualified as an accountant, or shall I say, you can never call yourself an accountant, until you completed your professional papers with 3 years experience in accounting line. So clearly, having just a degree won’t bring me anywhere. I don’t want to be stuck in any finance department doing bank reconciliations every month for the rest of my life. I was then influenced to do my professional papers, not ACCA though, as what many people are familiar of. I just thought of doing something different. So I applied for Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, ICAEW. To complete this paper, I have to be attached to any of the authorized organizations, preferably the audit firms. So I got myself offered in EY. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to do AUDIT! They say, audit is the best training ground in order to complete ICAEW successfully. They say audit is the best line to gain experience and to apply those experiences in your studies. Yeah, they say!
So here I am in EY, barely breathing. I failed my taxation papers twice, and believe me, repeating the same paper 3 times is never easy! God, I am glad, I didn’t apply for tax agent position. Now, I hate taxation. I hate UK tax. I hate Gordon Brown.
But I shall not give up. If other people could do it, so could I.
Being attached with EY for almost 2 years now, has not made me any better. What training ground were they talking about? Which part of “the best line to start your career at” doesn’t come real?
Auditors are given deadline, fair deadline I should say. But the deadlines were set without considerations of client’s stupidity. You can have such tight deadlines in UK, US, Hong Kong, where clients know what they are doing. But not in Malaysia. Malaysian companies are generally spoon fed by auditors, which should not be the case. We are supposed to be independent of their day-to-day running activities. We are not there to tell you that your accounting entries are wrong, for God’s sake, you are an accountant, and you should know your double entries! We are not there to prepare your damn cash flow for the year. It is your company, and you should know where your bloody money flows to. We are not there to clear your mess. But yet, you throw all your shit to auditors.
Clients are also given deadlines to prepare documents that auditors request for in order for us to meet our deadline to the top management. But I just don’t know why it is so hard for these lower ranked staff, to co-operate. The scenario is as follows:
Tentatively as per original deadline:
Client to provide auditors their workings: by 5th May 08
Auditors to check and review: from 5th May to 21st May 08 (13 days to complete)
To revert back to client 21st May 08
What’s really happening:
Client to provide auditors their workings: On the 15th May 08 (10 days delay)
Auditors to revert back to client: remains on 21st May 08 (5 days to complete)
This is a norm in the lives of auditors. My senior once said to me “If client is unable to meet their deadline to us that does not give us the reason to extend our deadline. Our deadline is fixed”. Tell me, di mana kah rasa belas kasih manusia di situ? Isn’t that inhuman? So in five days we are expected to complete the audit. That’s when working till 4 am in the morning everyday, working Saturdays and Sundays come into the picture. We have to sacrifice our family and friends, because of client’s inefficiency? Mana aci wei?”
Rushing for deadlines has not really taught me much. “Follow last year audit file” is what we always do blindly. The phrase “You can learn a lot in audit” does not apply in Malaysian audit firms. There is no work satisfaction. Clients don't appreciate you, bosses don't appreciate you. EY doesn't appreciate you. Bersengkang mata malam-malam for nothing. Everytime I hear staff resigning from the firm, I always ask myself.. "WHY????? WHY AM I STILL HERE...???"
Well, people might be wondering why am I complaining so much but not doing anything about it? That is because…… I am bonded for 4 bloody years!!! That’s why.. haih...