The recruitment messaging of public accounting firms has shifted to prioritize the commercial values of the employment experience over the traditionally touted professional values of the auditing field.
CPAs who leave their positions as auditors to become accountants in private industry often find themselves on the other side of the audit engagement as auditees. Here, they have the power to shape the engagement in ways that jeopardize audit independence.
Aspiring CPAs are drawn to the transformative power of the Big Four experience to endow them with a coveted professional identity. Within three years, though, half of all entry-level auditors leave public accounting.