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Accounting firms pushing interns to breaking point [22-01-2012]  
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MY daughter has just passed her 18th birthday and is pursuing her first year accounting course. The course that she attends requires that she does internship with accounting firms and she is placed in the audit department in one of the Big Four accounting firms.

She came back on Day 1 at 9pm. The nightmare had begun. If she comes back early, and early here means about 9.30pm, she brings back work that will take her till 1am to finish.

Other nights she comes back past midnight. Imagine the worries of a mother waiting at home knowing that she drives alone and likely goes to the car park alone at that hour.

Another important issue here is that the accounting firms are exploiting these “trainees” and making them and other workers perform jobs at odd hours almost every day, during the so-called peak period.

On the very first weekend, she was asked to go back to work on Saturday till about 4.30pm and brought back tons of work which she continued to work on as these had to be completed by Sunday.

Suddenly, I don’t see her at all and have no time to talk to her.

Very often the trainees are too “green” or afraid to speak out, especially as many of their seniors suffer the same fate.

While we understand late nights are required sometimes, surely there must be a limit. Why do we allow this to happen? Can someone enforce some regulations?

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