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Suitably Epic Goodbyes: the Legendary Philadelphia PwC Resignation Letter

If you're working with well-connected people you may have seen this already.

I've received multiple copies: it's been uploaded to one site specializing on the topic and it was also shared by Life of an Auditor. the latter being the first to publish it, on August 31, 2009.

Forwarded copies, rather than those found on websites, interestingly enough, always feature a different chain of "Big Four plus More" e-mail addresses, identifying scores of people who were CC'd, and a silent mass of BCC'd people whose privacy is left intact.

What is this artefact?

A simple farewell.

A farewell to an office from someone who wanted to let it all out. Whether this was only shared with close friends as an inside joke or was a nasty bomb can best be answered by going to the source - but we won't start a hunt right now.

Getting these e-mails is in some ways, a rite of passage - as denizens of AuditLand receive an Epic forward, they spread it virally - just like a chain letter without the cheesy "make a wish after sending it to five people" closing challenge.

I'll assume for the sake of the person apparently burning all their bridges that this was meant to be a joke - it starts off strong but then sort of withers away. Like a jaded auditor's career? Who knows. Regardless, hopefully it won't come back to bite him the way the revolutionary methods of late 18th century France came back to ironically circled around to take down those very same revolutionaries.


A metaphorical representation of burning your bridges.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Philadelphia Farewell Letter

 As many of you now know this friday will be my last day with PwC so I wanted to say good bye and thank you for everything. My decision to leave was not a snap decision as it may have seemed but a well thought out process. It started one night in the audit room as I was helplessly attempting to focus on some inane, completely irrelevant task so I could leave when the green card carrying cleaning lady came into my cage to empty my garbage when my decision was made. I realized that I was actually jealous of her job. I would have gladly emptied the garbage cans in the whole building over any of the nonsense I was doing on my computer. See, at the end of her shift she has made a difference, she has added value, be it minimal, of removing the refuse from the employees cubes. At the end of the day she sees the empty garbage cans and knows that she accomplished something. When trying to apply this mindset to my own work I found it to be impossible. At the end of my shift, I will have documented a control, that was only created for the sake of having a control, and my work will get picked apart by anal retentive managers, but ultimately find a home in a cabinet somewhere, only to see the light of day again when it is thrown out in 7 years when it is deemed to be irrelevant. I have added zero value to the client, zero value to my own company, and it has made me routinely daydream about ways to off myself.  I find it very hard to be motivated when I know the end result of my work has no impact on anything but simply must be completed because PwC audit guide says it must be completed. What makes this entire process worse is the fact that those around you insist that this work is crucial to the world's existence and it is essential that you never use abbreviations, that your sheets must be as colorful as possible, and all lines must be drawn with a ruler or else it is clear that PwC will come apart from its hinges. I must have missed out on the brainwashing session that PwC provided all senior associate and managers that taught them how to turn obsessive compulsive up a notch.
Anyway...that was how I came to decide that public accounting was not really for me. A couple other pieces of advice for my coworkers and the company as I part: I would greatly encourage some kind of weight loss challenge to be implemented firm wide. The herd of water buffalo you call your work force is embarrassing and a bit gross. When I call a co worker over from 2 cubes down and they are legitimately out of breath when they get to my cube it may be time to knock off 10 or 80 pounds. The company seems to encourage this obesity; each busy season we get a giant package full of pixie sticks, chocolate and assorted sweets. As much as I would enjoy type 2 diabetes, I think I'll pass.
Do not ever, ever, ever put one male on a team with all females unless you want him to quit and or commit a hate crime. This is inhumane. One can only endure so many conversations about greys anatomy, weddings, and handbags before they wish for a cancerous tumor in their armpit.
I think the joke is old already, enough with the sarbanes oxley. It was fun while it lasted but there is no way anybody can honestly think that this bullshit is necessary. Oh you want me to pull a sample of the HR file to make sure everyone’s birthday and hire date is accurate? Yea ill jump right on that, and trust me I'll definitely let you know if there is an exception and not just make up answers that result in me doing less work.
You can easily cut some costs and get rid of the HR department. I'm pretty sure you can train a monkey to send out the available list and a timesheet reminder every two weeks.

Posted: Nov 18 2009, 07:29 PM by Krupo | with 2 comment(s)
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