Monday, April 18, 2011

YouTube celebration

Friday night we had a YouTube party. Basically, we set a computer up to the TV and people took turns dj-ing their favorite YouTube videos. Here are some of the submissions of the night - Miscellaneous
Music Video
News Clips

J-Shore + auditing

As Jeff and I submitted to the Company's internal employee newsletter Top 10 Ways to incorporate the lessons learned from the past 3 years of watching Jersey Shore into your professional growth at the Firm.

  1. Training your staff - Much like Snooki took Deana under her wing and integrated her into the crew, you should take care of your new teammates and make sure they feel comfortable on the engagement.

  2. Practicing work life balance – Gym, Tan, Laundry (GTL) isn’t just for TV superstars. It actually is an effective way to be productive on the weekends, freeing you up for more club time / reviewing workpapers at night.

  3. Put friends and family first – Thursday night spaghetti and chicken cutlet dinners with your teammates

  4. Respecting your significant other/spouse – Treat them with the same compassion and kindness that Sammy and Ronnie treat each other with (as a word of caution, steer clear of Fred Flinstone Toe jokes when coming home late from work)

  5. Motivation and Serenity - Treat everyday like you're living at the beach

  6. Work Attire - Dress and groom yourself like you are getting ready to pile in a cab and hit up the club (It’s Dress Shirt Timmmmmmmme!!!!!!!!!)

  7. Communicating with management – When discussing status, speak as if you were pouring your emotions out to the camera for a heartfelt monologue. It’s our opinion that it looks much better when you have a cool beach background. We suggest using the web camera on your Deloitte computer while utilizing a green screen for all future meetings with the partners.

  8. Handling criticism when receiving workpapers back - Don't let the haters get you down. So you got metaphorically punched in the face by your senior. Big deal. Take a tip from Snooki and pick yourself up and finish wau-ing your file.

  9. Team Communication – It’s important to have team meetings. If you feel uncomfortable meeting with teammates in a hot tub like out J-Shore crew, try reserving a conference room for weekly status updates.

  10. Work efficiency – Beat the beat up. Have you ever tried to listen to hardcore techno while doing workpapers, it’s the equivalent of an athlete taking steroids. Glow sticks and hair gel are reimbused by the company.

  11. Communication – Using self-given nicknames around the office boosts team morale and really builds relationships. (Here are some suggestions - “Tommy Tickmarks,” “The Explanation,” DJ CTT”

  12. Confidence – The “situation” didn’t get to where he is today (winning) by keeping to himself. Be proud of who you are and what you add to the team and don’t hesitate to let everyone know how good you are at auditing.

  13. Just like how a Top Ten List only has 10 items, we took a cue from the J Shore crew and we didn’t limit ourselves to standard norms. That and we didn’t know which one to delete; they’re all pretty key suggestions.

Corporate University

As submitted to the Company's Internal Employee Newsletter I have a significant other of sorts. The term sounds a bit too serious, so I typically call him my manpanion. My manpanion used to work at a company that Deloitte audits. At dinner one night, he chuckles to himself. I inquire about what is so funny. He says, “We had an audit kickoff meeting today, and your Deloitte guy introduces himself as a senior.” He is waiting for me to laugh with him, but I don’t understand the punch line. Manpanion explains, “We were like - Senior? Senior what? Like you used to be a junior, but now you’re a senior?” Manpanion continues, “What like you have a campus (1) and your soccer team (2) is playing against KPMG for the state title? No, you guys probably have like Math competitions or chess tournaments with them. You race to look up accounting references (3). Beat PWC in the semifinals. Haha, you sign each others’ yearbooks (4)? You write ‘Freshmen suck. Class of ’06 rules. Keep in touch’?” I didn’t really know how to respond to this exaggerated imagination my manpanion had of Deloitte, but then the more I thought about it, when I diagrammed his diatribe, I realized,

  1. They were building a Deloitte University campus.

  2. One year, I did play on a volleyball team against other accounting firms. Also, I once knew a guy who played on an international Deloitte soccer team.

  3. In college, I participated in the Deloitte tax case competition, where you do a mock tax case and research the Internal Revenue Code.

  4. When I left one engagement, I received a yearbook of sorts made out of the 10-K for the client, filled with pictures and yearbook-like personal notes. So for all his fanciful imaginations and jokes, his perception may have been more accurate than he realized. Well, I am off to finish up the rest of my finals projects… er um… audit workpapers for my busy season clients.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Musings from the back seat of a cab

As included in the Company's monthly internal newsletter

It’s that time of year again, where my only connection to pop culture is Sandy Kenyon’s brash movie reviews (Why does he always pick the worst movies to review? No wonder all his reviews are harsh.) Come Thursday night, the thrill of answering the backseat Jeopardy questions feels cheapened by the fact you have played along with Alex Trebek the past three consecutive days. There are only so many times you can pat yourself on the back for knowing the name of Natalie Portman’s fiancĂ©’s name. If these ramblings mean nothing to you, then you have not taken an NYC cab home every night for the past two months.

Other crazy occurrences when it’s busy season include - you stop having to check your bank account every couple days because you know you haven’t spent any money. You can’t figure out what’s worse – that your pants don’t fit because you get no exercise all day or because you just ate cashew chicken for the third time this week.

People try to give me advice on how to get through busy season. They tell me things like spend Sundays sleeping or plan a fun getaway for the end of busy season, but I’ll tell you what works for me. Hypnosis. I spend the first five minutes of the day dangling a red pencil in front of my face chanting – “the balances will reconcile. The balances will reconcile. The balances will reconcile.” When in this trance like state, nothing gets me down. People yelling at me, clients complaining “I already gave you that support.” I move through it all in a daze. Granted I’m not very productive when in the trance, and I am pretty sure my engagement team is completely creeped out, but that’s when I start chanting “Don’t let the haters get you down.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Top Ten Pieces of Advice on Surviving Busy Season

As included in the Company's monthly newsletter

Submitted by engagement teams
1. Eat Silly Putty while watching America’s cutest kitty videos on YouTube. After that, you’ll look forward to going back to workpapers. Nicole Luft on Soc Gen.
2. If you are an auditor, pick NFL teams like the Lions, Browns, Panthers, Giants or Jets to root for. That way you won’t miss a thing if you work on Superbowl Sunday. Nick Iosifov on Morgan Stanley.
3. The video chat calling feature on messenger was implemented so you wouldn’t have to leave work and waste time seeing your friends and family during busy season. Nick Iosifov on Morgan Stanley.
4. Purchase ProActiv Acne Solution and apply generously. Chris Cryderman on KKR.
5. Go to the gym. Matt Lorie on Evercore Partners.
6. Get enough sleep. And shower every day. Benjamin Hong on Evercore Partners.
7. Try to make a Friday happy hour – or do some Saturday day time drinking, if possible. Michael Ho on Lehman SIPC engagement – Trade Unwinds Team.
8. Develop a really bad gambling addiction, realize you have no time to actually gamble, and then feel good about conquering your addiction. Jeff Macfarland on Morgan Stanley.
9. Sleep in every Thursday. And by sleep in, I mean, turn your clock back 3 hours and get an extra 2 hours of sleep. This way, you’ll still make it in an hour early on Thursday. Jeff Macfarland on Morgan Stanley.
10. Think about all the fun you’ll have shopping for new clothes, either to replace the ones you got too fat to wear or to replace the ones that were ruined by the nightly tears/greasy dinner orders. Jeff Macfarland on Morgan Stanley.