Skip to main content

best place to jumpstart your career?

And the marketing machines of the Big 4 churn again....for those of you who didn't catch the news plastered on Yahoo! Finance's homepage (businessweek story)...this story is about how the big 4 are amongst the best places for one to jumpstart his or her own career. Check it out.
I actually agree. The Big 4 are definitely a good place to jumpstart one's corporate career. Jumpstart being the operative word.
I would like to point out a few quotes from the story:
"This year accountants became sexy." Well, yay? Our jobs are sexy, I'm glad the outside world thinks of us in that way.
"Why did the accounting firms do so well? Enormous demand. Across industries, there is a mad scramble to recruit the best and brightest of a new generation, the much-maligned, heavily scrutinized Gen Y. Nowhere is the pressure more intense than in the Big Four. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has so greatly increased the need for their services that the firms are facing an epic talent shortage." Epic talent shortage? Maybe it will help if the big 4 can atleast increase senior salaries to match other openings in their market so the seniors and above don't leave. Just yesterday another one quit.
But, to reiterate, it is definitely a good starting point, judging by the headhunters clamoring to reach out to us with companies offering higher salaries and less hours. We probably couldn't get there without public accounting experience on our resume. I think our experience is greatly exaggerated, but hey, who's complaining?


Anonymous said…
Maybe things will finally start to change and we will start to be paid what we're worth! Here in Canada, public accounting is one of the only industries that are given exemption from the labour standards act. This allows them to force students to work all kinds of crazy hours for no overtime pay or benefits. I bet there are a lot of partners out there that don't want you to know how much the ball really is in your court as a staffer.
notfordisplay said…
It's the same in the US too, what's funny is that interns get paid overtime but full-time employees do not.
Mark said…
Yeah, we worked the math during tax season this year, and intern pay + overtime was BARELY behind our full-time pay, if you broke it down hourly. It was pretty sad. Two friends of mine at the same small firm also read your blog, and we got a solid laugh about the goodbye emails(got one this morning, actually, for the woman who formerly had the cube next to me).

Darcy Grubaugh said…
And the thing is, accountants will always be in demand, as new companies will be formed endlessly and there are companies that will expand continually. And yes, accounting is sexy. Especially with those sophisticated tools and programs that accountants have on their hands.

Popular posts from this blog

career progression

"What can you tell me about the different possible tracks a person would take at the Big 4 in regards to tax vs. audit? Is there a difference in career progression among the two specialties? How about career potential? Workload?"

Loaded question. In terms of career potential, they're both pretty potent. Audit leads you to controller/accounting manager/ VP - accounting positions at companies if you choose to quit. Tax can lead to tax manager positions at various companies/ help them minimize taxes and exploit tax loopholes. It's a pretty important position in many companies...I'm not an expert on tax careers though, so you might want to ask somebody in a tax related position.
In terms of career progression, it's the same as audit...start off as a staff associate...move to senior..manager..snr mgr..partner.
In terms of workload, my friends in the tax department seem to work two busy the fall and in the spring. So I think they work more than i…

auditing vs consulting

I was wondering if you could break down the career opportunities in auditing and consulting (in a big 4). I know that consulting pays more in a big 4 and has more interesting work, but it seems that auditing has extremely good exit opportunities (Financial controller, CFO etc). Any thoughts on which is better in the long run?

Well there's different consulting services offered by public accounting companies - the most popular being IT consulting and risk consulting. There are also other consulting services offered, but these two hire the most. Do they pay more? Yes, but not by much. Not enough for you to say: Shoot, the $$ is a huge reason for me to move over. Is the work more interesting than audit? Yes. You're actually looking over a company's processes and telling them what to do instead of what not to do (audit). Everyone I know who's made the switch likes it waay better than audit.
In the long run though, choosing audit vs consulting really depends on what you want t…

should you choose to audit financial services?

I'm trying to decide whether to audit financial services companies or non-financial services companies. What would you say are the pros and cons of either industries? Do individuals who choose non-FS have less career mobility within the firm or if they decide not to stay with the B4 after a few years?
Really depends on what you'd like to do after (unless you really love auditing). If you want to a controller,etc. at a p/e firm or a hedge fund down the road, you'd want to go into financial services. The pay won't be too bad, especially if you get a share of the insane bonuses they dole out. If you want to audit industries with tangible products and want to get a better understanding of the operations of such businesses, then other industries are the way to go.In terms of mobility outside the firm, auditing other industries is the way to go since you have plenty of options when you exit the audit world. For example, in 2008, after Lehman collapsed, it was incredibly hard …