A cow in Willesden

Public psychotherapy for a veteran auditor

Auditor’s Death Sparks Debate

…Pan’s classmate and friend, surnamed Yu, said Pan had told her before she died that she had been working up to 18 hours a day and about 120 hours a week. One of Pan’s colleagues, a senior-level auditor at PwC, who asked not to be identified, told Shanghai Daily 100-hour work weeks were common in recent months as it was peak auditing season…
Did anyone else read this and wonder whether she got an Exceeds Expectations rating at her appraisal – at least that would be some consolation?
I personally think that 100 – 120 hours is excessive, and should probably not be encouraged. Would it be worth me doing up a graph demonstrating the counter-productive indicators of working your staff so hard that they contract fatal illnesses? I would think there must be a better way. Must consult my copy of Engels et al., see what they say about it.
(BTW thanks to the competition for putting me on to the article.)

4 responses to “Auditor’s Death Sparks Debate

  1. ITauditSecurity May 28, 2011 at 5:03 am

    No, I was thinking why people sell their soul just to have BIG 4 on their resume. Most of the big 4 auditors I have worked with won’t get hired alongside me.

    Now, having said that, I can vouch for 3 big 4 auditors. But you don’t want to know how many auditors were in the total population…

    • A Cow in Willesden May 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Its a shame, and i feel a little sad for people who are only finding out now, but hard work really isn’t a substitute for talent or interest in the field you work in. Long hours really don’t go any distance towards making up for serious character flaws.

  2. Audit Monkey June 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

    ACIW – how true. The issue is that the youngsters seem to think that working long hours is proportionate the final work product, which often isn’t the case.

    • A Cow in Willesden July 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      might be true if the job required neither creativity or intellectual rigour, For the guy who stands on the corner holding a sign to advertise golf equipment for sale, long hours probably is a decent measure of his performance.
      But otherwise I completely agree, a bum on a seat doesn’t meet any serious business objective per se, its just a visible, easy-to-measure indicator, but not a useful one. Same way that the amount of alcohol consumed has a fairly spurious connection to how much fun the night out was. At either end of the scale you might draw some conclusions (you might estimate that a fully temperate night out would not be everything it could in terms of enjoyment, and in excess of 15 pints might indicate that things went past a point of having fun), but provided its with the normal range (i.e. you turn up at work often and are there for most of the day), it is a meaningless indicator.

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