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Career path in MNC subsidiary or small audit firms

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Old 20-06-2015, 02:43 PM
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Default Career path in MNC subsidiary or small audit firms

Dear all, i am currently facing a dilemma. I m currently working as an auditor for 1.5 years in a mid tier firm( subjectively mid tier though as its ranking is 20++++.) and it feels like a small firm.

I was wondering the prospect that i could have if i promote to a audit senior then leave the company to say maybe working in government or MNC sector in future.

I recently gotten a MNC job offer in one of the china top oil industries. However i am worried about the following:

1) it seems like a subsidiary branch in Singapore, if is subsidiary, will there even be future career prospect?(say if i jump ship to another MNC or so in 3 years time?)
2) promotion takes 2-4 years (may or may not be promoted)
3)The subsidiary accounts department only consist of 2 people and i will be handling full set accounts. When i noted of this, it makes me feels weird. Its like a SME size in disguise of MNC. because from what i know, MNC accounting department at least for bigger ones usually has a team for AR, a team for AP, a team for GL. stuff like these.

So i am greatly confuse if this is the type of MNC people chase after or dream to go. The kind of MNC which people want to go badly are usually not full set accounts and work like an SME which i known of.

I really need you guys help and opinion and prompt replies.

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Old 20-06-2015, 03:25 PM
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Dear all, i am currently facing a dilemma. I m currently working as an auditor for 1.5 years in a mid tier firm( subjectively mid tier though as its ranking is 20++++.) and it feels like a small firm.

I was wondering the prospect that i could have if i promote to a audit senior then leave the company to say maybe working in government or MNC sector in future.

I recently gotten a MNC job offer in one of the china top oil industries. However i am worried about the following:

1) it seems like a subsidiary branch in Singapore, if is subsidiary, will there even be future career prospect?(say if i jump ship to another MNC or so in 3 years time?)
2) promotion takes 2-4 years (may or may not be promoted)
3)The subsidiary accounts department only consist of 2 people and i will be handling full set accounts. When i noted of this, it makes me feels weird. Its like a SME size in disguise of MNC. because from what i know, MNC accounting department at least for bigger ones usually has a team for AR, a team for AP, a team for GL. stuff like these.

So i am greatly confuse if this is the type of MNC people chase after or dream to go. The kind of MNC which people want to go badly are usually not full set accounts and work like an SME which i known of.

I really need you guys help and opinion and prompt replies.
It really depends what sort of subsidiary. For e.g. a subsidiary like SPC is run locally with very local pay & promotion culture independent of CNPC. In this case it is only a subsidiary in the legal sense and in the market nobody will consider you as having worked in a "China top oil industry".

On the other hand if you work in something like CNOOC International which is a global trading arm, then yes you can consider yourself part of the major national oil industry. This has pros & cons as the China oil companies now are under strict audit & cost cutting due to the ongoing corruption scandal at the national level.

As for promotion prospect you have to understand that in the oil industry unless you are a star performer, getting promoted every 5-6 years is normal. This is because most companies under oil & gas do not practice inflated job titles or fake promotions where companies just throw you some mediocre increase & give you a fake senior title like in the finance industry where this is very common.

If you are the kind where promotion every 1-2 years to feel good is important, then this industry is not for you. Better off trying to look for a banking or FI job.

Another thing is you have to be realistic about your marketability. Ideally everyone wants to join the biggest global mnc like google, jpm, exxon, unilever etc, but as a jr auditor without any special achievements and somemore not even a big 4, why would they want you when they have hundreds of big 4 auditors desperate to join them? A China subsidiary might not be ideal, but it's not like top mncs are lining up to offer you.



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Old 20-06-2015, 04:56 PM
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On the other hand if you work in something like CNOOC International which is a global trading arm, then yes you can consider yourself part of the major national oil industry. This has pros & cons as the China oil companies now are under strict audit & cost cutting due to the ongoing corruption scandal at the national level.

In my situation, it is something like this kind of subsidiary as you mention. But is it weird for a subsi(aka its global trading arm) accounting department to consist of only 2 people????? and not like departmentalise AR one department, AP one department and stuff? And since there is a corruption scandal , would it even be worth the risk for me to join?

I understand that accountant are usually hard to promote. But my plan A was say if i were to join this MNC as account assistant, i will work for few years to gain sufficient good experience and made use of this brand to jump to a much better bigger MNC and higher rank (account executive).

my plan B was to stay in my audit firm til i get to audit senior than find an MNC or government sector accountant to settle down. But i was wondering is it even possible for a audit senior in a audit firm like mine to get to MNC or government sector? Or actually audit senior if is not from Big four are all useless **** and cannot get much good prospect?

my plan C was from this small/midtier audit firm i am in jump to Big four. thereafter from Big four go to MNC. But i have been trying since day one til now 1.5 years still no news.

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Old 20-06-2015, 05:39 PM
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In my situation, it is something like this kind of subsidiary as you mention. But is it weird for a subsi(aka its global trading arm) accounting department to consist of only 2 people????? and not like departmentalise AR one department, AP one department and stuff? And since there is a corruption scandal , would it even be worth the risk for me to join?

I understand that accountant are usually hard to promote. But my plan A was say if i were to join this MNC as account assistant, i will work for few years to gain sufficient good experience and made use of this brand to jump to a much better bigger MNC and higher rank (account executive).

my plan B was to stay in my audit firm til i get to audit senior than find an MNC or government sector accountant to settle down. But i was wondering is it even possible for a audit senior in a audit firm like mine to get to MNC or government sector? Or actually audit senior if is not from Big four are all useless **** and cannot get much good prospect?

my plan C was from this small/midtier audit firm i am in jump to Big four. thereafter from Big four go to MNC. But i have been trying since day one til now 1.5 years still no news.
Very hard to comment why only 1 headcount in the whole accounting dept. It could be that operations here are really small and mostly supported by China HQ. But if it's the size like CNOOC, certainly very suspicious. I can't imagine the global trading arm of a hundred billion dollar company has only a super junior 1 year exp guy looking after accounts in Singapore. Even if there is nothing fraudulent, it does imply the operations are really small and insignificant here.

Plan B - MNCs come in all shapes and sizes. Some MNCs are very small like some of our local firms, so they might take you in. As for the "real" MNCs like we usually mean, then I can say Plan B not workable. An audit senior in a never heard before firm (who even knows #5 or #6, not to mention yours is like #20+) unless you have a mentor or network somebody high up willing to bring you in, no chance if you ask me.

Big ministries & stat boards are usually the big4 crowd. Maybe some smaller stat boards willing to try you out, but those are mainly dead end anyway. As for semi gov sector like GLCs the bigger ones confirm also go for big 4, smaller ones maybe will consider.

Plan C is a confirm don't work thing. The whole big 4 environment is a musical chair where the people just jump around within. Even if you are some audit senior which is probably equivalent to their freshie entry grade, they have more than enough choices from the university campus to let in someone from a never heard before firm. Sad truth, don't waste time. Plan C won't work.

If you ask me the only realistic course of action for you now is to join a small MNC or GLC or regional Jap/Kor/China company gain exp and slowly move up. If you are lucky eventually after 5 years get a MNC job then treat it as a bonus, otherwise just move within this space also not bad. It won't make you rich, but at least decent enough middle class.
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Old 20-06-2015, 06:03 PM
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Very hard to comment why only 1 headcount in the whole accounting dept. It could be that operations here are really small and mostly supported by China HQ. But if it's the size like CNOOC, certainly very suspicious. I can't imagine the global trading arm of a hundred billion dollar company has only a super junior 1 year exp guy looking after accounts in Singapore. Even if there is nothing fraudulent, it does imply the operations are really small and insignificant here.

Plan B - MNCs come in all shapes and sizes. Some MNCs are very small like some of our local firms, so they might take you in. As for the "real" MNCs like we usually mean, then I can say Plan B not workable. An audit senior in a never heard before firm (who even knows #5 or #6, not to mention yours is like #20+) unless you have a mentor or network somebody high up willing to bring you in, no chance if you ask me.

Big ministries & stat boards are usually the big4 crowd. Maybe some smaller stat boards willing to try you out, but those are mainly dead end anyway. As for semi gov sector like GLCs the bigger ones confirm also go for big 4, smaller ones maybe will consider.

Plan C is a confirm don't work thing. The whole big 4 environment is a musical chair where the people just jump around within. Even if you are some audit senior which is probably equivalent to their freshie entry grade, they have more than enough choices from the university campus to let in someone from a never heard before firm. Sad truth, don't waste time. Plan C won't work.

If you ask me the only realistic course of action for you now is to join a small MNC or GLC or regional Jap/Kor/China company gain exp and slowly move up. If you are lucky eventually after 5 years get a MNC job then treat it as a bonus, otherwise just move within this space also not bad. It won't make you rich, but at least decent enough middle class.
so in conclusion i should not take up this job offer? because is soo suspicious even though is v big and well recognised? Because if is not fraudulent, the operations must be really small and it might not be deem recognised as well?

Last edited by anonymous1989; 20-06-2015 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 20-06-2015, 10:51 PM
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Old 20-06-2015, 11:09 PM
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so in conclusion i should not take up this job offer? because is soo suspicious even though is v big and well recognised? Because if is not fraudulent, the operations must be really small and it might not be deem recognised as well?
Really hard to comment without knowing the specifics, but what I can say is if your motivation for changing job is to build up your CV, I don't think joining a place where you have a 1 man show finance accounting dept is going to help both from a CV marketability & personal development standpoint.
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Old 20-06-2015, 11:44 PM
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Really hard to comment without knowing the specifics, but what I can say is if your motivation for changing job is to build up your CV, I don't think joining a place where you have a 1 man show finance accounting dept is going to help both from a CV marketability & personal development standpoint.
wow cool i think you are right. my intention was for CV marketability. you are really insightful and i guess i will not take the offer. Really thanks a lot for replying me.

Actually you guess it very accurately. The offer is CNOOC itself. but the subsi in singapore. i was told that it has 20 years business in singapore and acts like a hub for their south east asia business. but still 20 years subsi business for a hub 1 man show accounts is still feeling really weird..

Last edited by anonymous1989; 20-06-2015 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 21-06-2015, 10:11 AM
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wow cool i think you are right. my intention was for CV marketability. you are really insightful and i guess i will not take the offer. Really thanks a lot for replying me.

Actually you guess it very accurately. The offer is CNOOC itself. but the subsi in singapore. i was told that it has 20 years business in singapore and acts like a hub for their south east asia business. but still 20 years subsi business for a hub 1 man show accounts is still feeling really weird..
You are welcome

I see, unfortunately my dealings are mostly with PetroChina (the commercial arm, not SPC) so I don't really know how CNOOC works internally. But CNOOC is the #3 overall oil co. in China and their overseas trading hub is actually the most established among the 3 china oil giants.

To me either your subsidiary is really some offshoot mini entity or they have set up in such a way you are just the local headcount for show as all the real stuff is done in China. Either way doesn't look attractive for building up your personal development.
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Old 21-06-2015, 11:02 AM
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You are welcome

I see, unfortunately my dealings are mostly with PetroChina (the commercial arm, not SPC) so I don't really know how CNOOC works internally. But CNOOC is the #3 overall oil co. in China and their overseas trading hub is actually the most established among the 3 china oil giants.

To me either your subsidiary is really some offshoot mini entity or they have set up in such a way you are just the local headcount for show as all the real stuff is done in China. Either way doesn't look attractive for building up your personal development.
Cool thanks.. at first i was in dilemia because of its branding n recognition which i thought at first could build up my cv.

But after consulting you n know more about it , i realise is nt worth for cv marketbility and personal development.

Thus, i think i will nt accept this job offer. Once again, thanks a lot for your time, you looks very insightful n experience n good in advising ppl
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