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which firm to choose from?

In response to the question about which firm to choose from...yeesh, that's a good one.
Base salary wise, I'm surprised that you said that KPMG pays the highest. It is dependent on the region I guess. I'm assuming KPMG has some key clients there and has a big branch in that particular city. Is it smart to follow the money? In this case, I'm assuming there's only a $2-3000 difference at most...so unless you're really desperate for that extra $1000 (after taxes), money should be secondary. You have to think long term. What type of industry do you like? If it's government oriented, KPMG is definitely the right fit since the firm has a lot of government clients. If it's real estate, EY and PWC pretty much audit most of the real estate industry. And so on and so forth. Deloitte has a huge consulting arm (the other 3 sold off their consulting arm), so if you're looking to branch into consulting, Deloitte could potentially be a better fit for you. I'd suggest talking to alumni who work at the big 4 in your region and gauge their clientele, people culture, etc. If you want quality of life, maybe a small firm will work for you. Back to the money aspect again, the firms have this unwritten code where they talk to each other and gauge the market out there and set the pay accordingly. So one year, KPMG could be paying higher, the next year PWC could be setting the bar. But then EY could be offering a $5000 CPA bonus which nobody else is offering. Then Deloitte might match that and more. So
weigh everything you have, from payment of loans to bonuses, vacation days, etc. etc. It's a decision worth putting some thought into.

Comments

Marmion said…
I might like to add that you should also think about the people at the offices you are considering.
Culture I believe is the HR term, and I'm sure they shove it down your throat during the selection process if you're a grad/intern. But it really is worth considering, as you will be working with these people everyday for a long time.
Think about non-monetary benefits, location etc as well.
Anonymous said…
I really appreciate your quick reply. However if KPMG gives $6,000 more than other firms, don't you think the money is first consideration???
notfordisplay said…
$6000...wow. See the comment left by Marmion above also...
but $6000 is a huge and surprising difference. So in this case, money is definitely a factor. I have a feeling the other firms are offering other incentives (monetary) that kpmg doesn't offer, but if I'm wrong, then..it is what it is.
Anonymous said…
(different anonymous)
FYI I've heard that KPMG failed to get the brighest last year so they are really trying hard to get the top students this year.
notfordisplay said…
That's interesting...and understandable.KPMG will have to step up to bring down top talent to enter EY and PWC's league..(i.e. as determined by the magazines..not my opinion that they're in the top tier of the big 4)
Anonymous said…
(anonymous who wrote FYI above..)
I have offers from Deloitte and PWC and can't make up my mind. Do you think PWC evaluates people more often, are more strict, or do you think that is not true at all?
I don't know which company you work for but could you do a comparison of the two even if it's your personal view?
Marmion said…
Is there anyone you know of in either firms? Have you met people you like at either firms? How were the respective interviews? Which firm did you feel more confortable at? These are probably some of the biggest questions you should ask yourself.
Also consider long term options in the firm. Are you intending to exit as soon as you're qualified, or stick it in and make partner?
Both firms will offer you all the training you'd ever need. Both firms will offer great opportunities within the firms, and the brand names on your CV are equally persuasive to prospective employers.
Deloitte is looking to overtake PwC as the largest professional services firm, where as PwC is trying to defend its' position, which means a different mind set at the top (think offense against defence, PwC probably less adventurous?).
I personally don't work for either firms as I'm still a student, but my personal choice would be PwC, but thats because of people I know and have met through intern/graduate events earlier in the year (in fact I'm having lunch with a partner and senior associate from PwC next week).
Again, people first, as these are the people who you will be working with and under for a long time!
You should also ask the partner/senior manager who interviewed you if you have any specific questions about performance reviews, or anything else.
notfordisplay said…
Well, from a reputation standpoint - PWC is more prestigious, then comes EY, Deloitte and KPMG...but I'd agree with the previous comment. Weigh everything.IN PWC, it usually takes 3 years to be a senior, not so in Deloitte, but the pay's still around the same. Consider the fact that Deloitte's auditing practice is small and PWC has a who's who of clientele...but Deloitte's consulting practice is pretty strong so that makes for a great transition.
Anonymous said…
I heard kpmg had greater percentage raises.
Anonymous said…
I was told by an EY recruiter that they usually give raises between 8 to 15%. Does that sound correct? I was pretty surprised by this I thought the percentages were a lot lower.
Anonymous said…
I'm wondering what the best choice would be for me:

1. married
2. two children
3. want weekends off
4. want to be home for dinner
5. work/life balance

what do you think?

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