Skip to main content


In response to the question about negotiating with the Big 4....
it depends on the level you're starting at. If it's an entry-level position, odds are the offer won't change. But if you tell...say...KPMG that PWC is offering more for the same position, KPMG will have an answer for you, be it paying for your masters, benefits, etc.
The reason it's hard to negotiate for such positions is that they hire so many people, and their concern will be that if one falls through the cracks, everyone else will follow.
But if you do have work experience and have the offer for a position other than the entry-level one, you can definitely negotiate.
Other factors that can affect this process are the market you're in (Is it hot right now? At least recently, Dallas has been struggling for clients and New York has been struggling for resources), and the size of that particular branch of the firm you have the offer from. The smaller it is, the better your odds of negotiating.
Will it hurt you? Absolutely not. Hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.


Anonymous said…
Your blog is awesome! Can you give a tip for choosing the right firm? Right now I have several offers from Big 4 and can't make a decision. So far KPMG pays a lot more than other firms. Do you think is it smart to follow the money? Someone told me that the base salary is so important especially for the college graduate.
Anonymous said…
I had a offers from two big 4s out of college. both had the same salary but one included a bonus. I told the other big 4 about the bonus and they offered a bonus that was a grand more. So bargaining for entry level is possible.
Anonymous said…
I just got a summer audit internship with one of the big four. I know how to drive but i dont own a car. Am I expected to have a car in order to get to client sites or do this firms usually have company cars I will be able to use?
notfordisplay said…
It depends. At my firm, you are expected to have a car. In fact, that's an HR-mandated question. But it really depends on the region. In New York City for instance, you don't need a car..heck, most of us can't afford to have a car if we live in Manhattan. Some friends of mine in other major cities in this country don't have cars, but have asked scheduling to put them on clients in the city so they could take public transportation. In the oft chance that you do need a car, you usually have to rent one. So they will not give you a company car, but if you let them know in advance (scheduling and HR) that you don't have a car, they can be flexible and put you on clients mostly in the city. If you live in the suburbs, then you do need a car. Hope this helps.

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…


As a big four employee, lately, I've been hearing a lot about "boomerang" employees. Those who, for some reason or another, decide that leaving work when the sun is still out is not for them and alas, return back to the firm. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, however, is this trending upward or about the same as it always has been? I think, also, that the firms really do a good job in highlighting those that do choose to return to make it appear more common than reality. Can you please speak about how you've seen the trend of "boomerangs" amongst the big 4? 

Good question. A boomerang, as the commenter pointed, is one who quits a big 4 Firm and then decides to return (or boomerang) back to the Firm after getting a taste of work life in the non-public accounting world.
I have seen a few return this past summer, but didn't really notice a trend until you mentioned it. It's definitely been higher than past years, but not enough to s…

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…