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tax, consulting at big 4

After interning in tax, I'm not sure if a career in the Big 4, or even accounting, is right for me. I was wondering what career opportunities there are in tax after maybe 2 or 3 years at a Big 4 firm? Also, is a career in consulting worth pursuing instead of audit or tax?  I feel like consulting can be a gateway to many other career opportunities, but what's appealing about audit/tax is that there is greater job stability. If I were to consider consulting I was thinking Deloitte would be my best bet since their consulting practice is more established.

Like the old cliche goes, there are only two certainties in life - death and taxes. So there will be plenty of opportunities after tax experience at the big 4. Every company, heck, even those companies that are set up to not pay taxes, needs tax specialists. So you can go into tax compliance, or more the more lucrative tax consulting.

Is a career in consulting worth pursuing? If you're looking for something broader from a career perspective, yes. If you don't mind traveling and staying in hotel for months at a time, giving up on a social life, yes. If you want more $$$, yes. I'd agree with you in that Deloitte is definitely a better bet than the other 3 big 4 firms for consulting, since the other three Firms sold their consulting practices post-Enron and are only just rebuilding it but Deloitte never did, and so already has an established presence. As a FYI for those who don't know - 
EY's consulting group was acquired by CapGemini in 2000.
PWC's consulting group was acquired by IBM in 2002.
KPMG spun off its consulting group , renamed BearingPoint in 2002 (BearingPoint became bankrupt in 2009 and has been restructured now as a partnership)
and most famously...
Arthur Andersen's consulting unit spun off as Accenture. Conspiracy of Fools (see the links section of this blog) beautifully explains this rocky relationship in addition to breaking down the ridiculousness that was Enron.

The other Firms now realize that consulting, although not recession-proof, brings in big bucks when the economy's booming, even more than audit, so they're trying to expand the consulting groups now. Regardless, Deloitte held on it, and is thus way more established if you want to go into the consulting practice.


Anonymous said…
First would like to say, love the website. Secondly, I've never worked in public accounting but was interested in possibly moving from private staff accounting position to public. Any thoughts or advice? Would this help to have experience from a Big 4?
Anonymous said…
Moving from private to public is much more difficult. People move from public to private all the time and is relatively easy. For example, moving from a private company to a big 4 firm to do audit is going to extremely hard. At a private company, all you are doing a the lower level is making schedule or something of the sort. You have no auditing experience. If you want to try to make the move, you should do it in your first year or two, but you will probably have to start as a first year associate.
Anonymous said…
I just recently went through a two tough rounds of interviewing at a big 4 firm only to be told when I was expecting a job offer that we have to decided to look for other candidates. That part I can understand, but when they say "I will keep your resume on file for future job openings that may match your qualifications" seems stupid to me.

Have you ever heard of an HR person giving some a call back a few months down the road just because they "kept their resume on file" or is this just an HR tactic?
Audit Armenia said…
Grant Thornton is a multi-professional group of Public Accountants and Auditors, Financial Advisers, Business, Industry, Tax and Legal Consultants.
Audit Armenia said…
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People move from public to private at all times and is relatively easy. Very nice work, if you move from a private company to a high for the company to review, extremely hard. In a private company,
Layne Adams said…
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Kairos Consulting team is well equipped to deliver high standards of service & value in the broadest range of industries, sectors and functional areas.
Nicole Curtis said…
100% right and that is the main reason ,and just because of this many people afraid or hesitate to take the opportunity or in using because when you got that ease then you are a bird who is in the golden cage.
Singapore Nominee Director
Flott& Co. is a business law firm that focuses on international taxation, but also assists businesses and individuals with international transactions and cross-border commercial matters, US citizenship and expatriation issues, including US Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) compliance. Whatever the concern your having, u can ask us at our website.
Thank you for sharing such great information. It is informative,
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William Stinner said…
our website is terribly informative and your articles are wonderful.
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Great job by the author, can't get better information on filing Income Tax Return Online then these. Thanks for sharing the wonderful information.
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