Ernst and Young LLP, and other Big 4's, do not live up to university Hype
of 5 stars
Wonderful infrastructure and support departments to assist and expedite your work tasks. Company holds a "Balanced Life" perspective, and supports group social, sport, and charity activities by allocating financial and logistical support to employee initiated, employer approved group activities.
Promotion is regular in early years of the company, at an annual basis.
Company is highly resistant to change.
Company lacks entrepreneurial perspective. Superiors would rather you use inefficient methodology to accomplish tasks that they understand, rather than attempt newer more efficient methodology. Company focuses on continuing predictable practices rather than creating newer better practices.
Company initiates programs that don't change the work environment: Flexible work hours initiated so that people can better determine their own preferential start and stop times in the day. Come in at 7:30am, instead of 8:30am; leave an hour earlier. Except that the work loads are so intense, there is no incentive to arrive early, as you are expected to continue working past your expected leave time or you are working in such remote areas that everyone must travel together to and from the client work area, rendering flexible work hours pointless. Also, one could argue that you are leaving ahead of your peers because you arrived earlier, but you will be demerited because you are not "integrating with your peers."
Training offered is unhelpful. Many people speak of the training offered by large companies as a major growth area for your individual developement. EY training rarely extends to areas outside of workplace administrative matters such as forms, submission procedures, or fulfilling your employer's expectations. EY teaches you little you can carry outside of the company that would be of value to others. The skills you gain to handle the workload (organizing vast amounts of information, documents, and emails, prioritizing tasks for completion, and analysis of company financial information) is not taught by the company, but, rather, learned and developed as an individual. In most cases, the skills you develop in an Auditing firm such as EY, are skills you would develop in any major knowledge based career.
Leave, or "holiday," is disallowed during the peak season months of January to June.
To succeed in Ernst and Young LLP or any other accounting firm, you must be completely willing to sacrifice your personal life, freedom to determine your own schedule, and weekends to handle the exceptionally large amount of work.
You must be highly organized, must develop proper prioritization and planning skills, and operate well in office polotics.
You ideally must be, in terms of personality, an introvert who takes pleasure and enjoyment in the completion of longer tasks, requiring many hours of work for a single item, sitting at your computer for entire days at a time.