Wednesday, May 04, 2005

How do accounting firms get away with this?

The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning that I find just amazing. (You won't be able to get it online unless you have a subscription, which I don't because I can't stand their pricing strategy) Anyway, the article is called "Take This Job and ... File It" by Diya Gullapalli. I talks about the high turnover in the big accounting firms of their mid-level professionals because of the excessive workload imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxly law.

One of the interviewees claims to have worked about 700 hours in overtime in a year and was rewarded for her efforts with a $2000.00 bonus. Why do these young people let their employers get away with this? The accounting firms are charging their clients between $100 and $200 an hour for the efforts and paying $2.86!?

These people should demand that they make half their billing rate as compensation. So at $100/hr if the person bills 1750 hours in a year, they make $87,500.00. Some allowance should be made for excessive amounts of work done for the firm directly (non-billable time) so they can't make sales work or service performed for the firm adversely affect the compensation package.

This way, if somebody works a ton of overtime, it's compensated. If the employee is aggressive with their billing rate and can sell it, they get rewarded as well as the firm.

On the other hand, if you don't make your hours, you don't make the dough.

This is pretty much the way we handle our Software services. It doesn't make any sense to me to abuse your labor force. All the time and effort you've invested in bringing them around to your way of thinking goes down the drain when they leave. It seems strange that accounting firms don't see this.

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