What are your hours during busy season? Big 4

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    Just curious. Been hearing horror stories and I start in two months. Hoping to get this exam out of the way before.


    I'm 5+ years into Big 4 and it depends on your office, your client, your team, the partners/managers you work for, etc.

    My first 2 years SUCKED. We're talking 7 days a week for 2 months during January and February (Monday-Thursday were 15 hour days, Fridays and Saturdays were 8-9 hours, and Sundays were 6-8 hours) after doing 5-6 day weeks all October and November (Monday-Thursday 10-11 hour days and Saturdays 4-6 hours).

    The next 3 years have been 10 hour days October and November (8 hours on Fridays), then 13-14 hour days January and February (still 8 hours on Fridays), with Saturday as needed. We've been able to get rid of Sundays all together, except for the occasional Sunday at home.


    And to add for some prospective, I took my exams in August (REG), November (FAR), early January (FAR Retake – got a 74 first time), mid January (AUD), then April (BEC).


    The normal week for me during busy season is usually about 70 hours. 13 Hours Monday-Thursday. 9 hours Friday-Saturday.

    This lasts for a month and a half. It literally feels like one long day. You wil realize that driving to and from work is the only time you get to relax.

    Once it is over you will find yourself asking yourself, “How did I do that?”

    Its definitely not for everyone. Including myself. Every day I wonder if it will be my last day working at Big 4.


    Does anyone have any experience with busy season from the tax perspective at Big 4?


    I finished my first busy season, and it wasn't too bad. usually work 9am to 11pm everyday workday and 8-5 Saturday and sometimes Sunday. I did end up working until 3am on a friday night once.

    Overall, I didn't think it was too hard. However, it can be really damaging to your health. I didn't get anytime to workout (I normally work-out 5 days a week), and the teams always order the most unhealthy crap for lunch and dinner. Moreover, snacks are available at all times. I ended up gaining 7 lbs. 7 lbs in only 1.5 months!

    Next year, I am going to push back for the sake of my health. I want to get off at 10:30 at least three times a week, so I can work out, and I am going to bring my own food or only eat Salads from the menus. I conformed this year because I didn't want to be the odd-man out as a staff 1. Next year, however, I am not going to give into the peer pressure to eat all that garbage food. It's not worth it.


    Regional firm- Monday through Thursday 8-8, Fridays 8-5 (longer if workload demands it), Saturdays 8-3.


    # of CPA's in office = 2

    Current time = 8:40pm CST

    Est. Time of Departure = Bwhahahahahaha!!!!


    Beginning of January through the end of February on my primary client and we never had a week below 70 hours. Topped 100 once or twice. Did not get a day off during the last 5 weeks.

    I got a few days off after we filed and before I was pulled onto a couple more March filers this past month. So I finally finished (at least I hope) a couple days ago.

    It's like it was New Year's, I blinked, and now it's April.

    I don't understand why this is legal.

    Study Monk

    I am planning to get back into public accounting, but it should be illegal to work anyone 100 hours. I don't think I can handle more than 70 hours, so it doesn't look like Big 4 is right for me.


    Wannabe are you serious with this

    “I finished my first busy season, and it wasn't too bad. usually work 9am to 11pm everyday workday and 8-5 Saturday and sometimes Sunday.”

    9am to 11pm 5 days a week + saturdays and “it wasnt too bad” .

    You have no life to do anything other than working .. have you even calculated your hourly wage ,

    I am going to assume you make around 55k a year. That is $1058 a week….

    you are working

    (5*13)+ 8hrs on saturdays= 73 hrs

    1058/73 =$14.50 /hr. Did we really go to school for 4-5 years and pass this hard ass exam to make 14.50 / hr and put our health at risk.

    How long does this last for? Sometimes i just think i should have done computer science.

    My friends make 60k a year right out of college after 4 years degree. They didnt have to do 150 credit hours didnt have to study for months/years for a hard ass exam.

    They have the nerve to complain to me when they work 55 hrs on their busy season.


    I agree with wannabe…thats not terrible. you know what you are getting into with accounting/audit/tax. if you want to work a hard 40 you need to work for the govt

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 77
    FAR - 78
    REG - 82
    AUD: 61-67-75 (Thanks ninja aud)
    BEC: 77
    FAR: 78


    I really like my job to be honest, and time seems to go by really fast. I feel like I never have enough time.

    I try not to think about my salary per hour because that would be depressing, but I am not here (at the Big 4) for the money. I am here for the experience and the education. I have fun too.


    @taxman89 I'm one of those that didn't know what I was getting into. When I was in highschool, a lot of people suggested accounting to me because it was something that could get good money from part-time work. Now that I'm in accounting, I wonder WTH people were thinking, cause there's nothing part-time about accounting! I enjoy working and have no problem with working full-time, but I keep seeing things that make it look like being in accounting requires 55+ hours as a regular thing, even in private. I didn't know I was signing up for that. :- I love accounting work and can't think of a job I'd rather do, but sometimes I wonder if I'll be able to find a job that actually makes use of or appreciates the fact that I'm a CPA and doesn't require me to work 100 hours a week! I feel a little bit like this should've been shared by someone sometime somewhere, but oh well – I am where I am now, and I love the work, so I should be thankful. I'm actually happy when Monday rolls around and month-end closing is some of my favorite days on the job, so maybe I should just let my inner workaholic take over and stop worrying about having a life outside of work (which today consists of writing forum posts, eating the last of the Valentine's candy, and then probably hauling trash out of my yard…whoopie…remind me again why I'm eager to maintain this part of my life? 😉 )



    “When I was in highschool, a lot of people suggested accounting to me because it was something that could get good money from part-time work.”

    Wait….we're any of these people actually working in the accounting field? Because if not, then it's kind of on your shoulders to figure out I imagine. That's like me buying a car because people have seen it in a movie, but never actually owned one.

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