Big Four & Leading Accounting and Consulting Firms – news, opinion and career opportunities for aspiring & current professionals & alumni

Category: Advisory and Consulting

Should I Stay Or Depart?

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger I recently coached someone who was considering whether or not to resign his current position. The following was a base for starting and guiding our discussions.  You or a colleague may also find this useful. There can be a […]


You’re Being Terminated.  How To Accept It And Move Forward

Michael VanBruaene

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

Someone recently contacted me to ask my thoughts and suggestions as to what she should do upon being terminated after working for many years for a company.  Below is the email sent to her.  The name below is not her name. 

Dear Charlotte,

I’ve been terminated a […]


Relationship Building From the Client’s Side of the Desk

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Thoughtful client feedback is always illuminating. Of course, you have to be careful about taking what just one client executive says works or doesn’t work when it comes to building long-term relationships, and generalize it to all clients. But, having interviewed over 1000 senior executives on this topic, it’s remarkable to me how consistent the […]


To Advance In Your Job Think And Work Beyond Your Job Description

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

Too much concern and focus on our job title and description, along with its compensation, can limit our professional and personal growth, and compensation.  How we go about our work should be grounded in what motivates us, who we are and want to be, how we are fulfilled.  With this perspective, job descriptions and compensation become […]


How Much Are You Willing to Pay for a Bottle of Mineral Water?

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger.

I was at a concert the other night at Avery Fisher Hall at New York City’s Lincoln Center, and decided to buy a bottle of mineral water at the bar. An 18-ounce, medium bottle was $4.00. I really didn’t think twice about the price (hey, this is New York!), although my wife suggested that the […]


Move In With Them Until You Love Them

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

The New York Times Science and Health Editor Barbara Strauch recently passed away at the relatively young age of 63. She was a brilliant journalist who, according to the article about her death, led a Newsday team that won a Pulitzer prize in 1992. I’ve always found the science reporting in the Times exemplary and illuminating (less […]


If it’s Legal Is it Right? The Five Pillars of Integrity in Business

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s right. And conversely, some things that are right aren’t legal. Clearly, we don’t need a bookshelf full of legal tomes to tell us how to behave. We know in our hearts when we’ve acted ethically and with integrity, and so do our clients.

For example, I watched Hillary […]


Genuine Listening Helps Us To More Effectively Connect With Our Work Colleagues

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

Organization success requires productive human connection. And while there may be an emphasis on how to communicate ideas, it’s also most important that the communicator and recipient of the communication/discussion are effectively listening to each other. It’s the key to understanding the content being discussed – our respective perspectives, motivations, and ideas.

To listen well […]


The U.C.L.A. Uproar: Don’t Kid Yourself–We all Have Biases

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

The New York Times reported today on the troubling case of the U.C.L.A. Student Council. A Jewish student at U.C.L.A., Rachel Beyda, was being interviewed for possible membership in the council. According to the Times, the first question she was asked was this:

“Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the […]


The Most Important Phase Of Your Major Initiative Is Pre-Planning

Michael VanBruaene

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

Many times we are too quick to jump to planning a new major initiative without adequately considering its key elements and our motivation for it.  Before we start to plan a complex major initiative we should clearly know what we want to achieve and why.  We also want to have a high level view […]


Upside Down: How to Change Behavior Through Questions Rather than Commands

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Many of my clients are successful professionals. They have good clients, make good money, and enjoy their jobs. The challenge is getting them to recognize that they could be even better at what they do.

Just because someone is successful doesn’t mean that everything he or she does is effective (that’s why I don’t bother to […]


Leading Your Organization Through Crisis

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

What are you going to do when your organization has a substantial problem or is in crisis?  What will you do to overcome it and move forward; maybe not fully solve it but successfully move forward beyond it?

Be relentlessly assertive, and aggressive, if necessary.  There is a lot at stake and you need to do everything possible […]


Management Basics – Guidelines For Developing And Using Efficiency and Effectiveness Measures

Michael VanBruaene

By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

You should be using performance measures to gauge how well your organization is doing, More specifically measuring effectiveness – how well you are achieving your objectives; and efficiency – how well you are using your resources.  As you start to develop performance measures or improve your current measures use these guidelines.

Link Performance Measures to Operating […]


Organization Processes Inevitably Evolve Towards Atrophy And/Or Rigidity.  The Challenge Is To Keep Them Effective And Resilient.

Michael VanBruaene

Regardless of their complexity, most organization processes will start to evolve towards atrophy and/or rigidity starting soon after they’ve been implemented.  It’s inevitable as it’s tied to our inherent human natures and how we function in organizations.

The purpose of most processes, in addition to achieving an objective, is to become a standardized and routine process that is efficient and effective, […]


How One Extraordinary Woman—and her powerful empathy—Shaped the Modern Middle East

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

In September of 1921, Gertrude Bell received an urgent message. It was from  King Faisal—the first ruler of modern Iraq—who had been appointed ruler of Mesopotamia, now Iraq, only a few weeks earlier on August 23. Bell, who had been the principal architect of the British government’s reconstitution of Iraq after World War I, had […]