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Career options big 4

I'm a junior accounting major with a big 4 internship lined up for the summer. I know I want to start in public accounting (audit, as of now) but I don't know what I want to do after. I shadowed an internal auditor, and frankly the job seemed boring as hell. What are some viable options outside of internal audit and reporting? Do you see many people going into more finance-oriented positions? 


Let's go down the list of available options:
a) Internal audit - Internal audit groups love getting ex-public acctg individuals; and thus there are plenty of opportunities here. If you love to travel, you don't like to prepare documents but would much rather examine it, and if you would like a work-life balance, this job is for you.

b) Financial reporting - Also plenty of opportunities here. It gets busy during quarter ends and year ends but only for specific periods, and you likely will not be making any journal entries. It provides you with even more exposure to SEC reporting requirements. I always see financial reporting opportunities at various companies; so this should be easy to branch out to right out of public.


c) Accounting Group - Depending on the level, you can leave to become a senior accountant, accounting manager, assistant controller or controller type position. This will take you straight into the other side, where you are preparing or reviewing recurring entries,accounting for complex transactions, and helping meet deadlines to close the books. Plenty of opportunities here too, but the higher up you go at the big 4, the lesser the opportunities, since most controller type positions are only provided to people with a mix of public-private experience.  

If you get in anywhere else out of these four categories, I'm happy for you, but it's really hard to do so. In terms of job security, these are some pretty strong options though.



d) Accounting Policy - If you don't want to deal with reporting or preparing entries, but like complex accounting issues, this is the group for you. This group primarily delves into the guidance to figure out how to deal with complex issues, and is also responsible for writing accounting policy memos, etc.



Comments

Anonymous said…
Check out this video and see what it is really like to work for a big 4...
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/04/17/the-best-accounting-firms-to-work-for/
Anonymous said…
The video link is...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiHPUVPbpR0
iacrecruit said…
Useful post. Internal auditors have a significant role and must be cultured and skilled to efficiently carry out their responsibilities.
Anonymous said…
I would like to understand whether auditors can actually make investments of their own? especially index investing, would it compromise on their independence or ethical issue (if any)?
As per my view Internal Audit is best option. Internal audit can help with direction on the policies
lindelwa dzimba said…
i am a student at the University of Pretoria and i have found this blog very helpful. I was asked what i wanted to do with my C.A title which i had never thought about. i think i know know what i'll do with it. thank you for your help!
Cindy Mkhabela said…
very helpful indeed.... you know what your C.A title can help you accomplish and achieve.... I also learnt something.
Clyde Hudson said…
Choosing a career can be hard, especially if your interest doesn’t suit the work that was assigned to you. You might have stated four accounting choices here, but I believe you could find more options once you’re already exploring the job market. Whatever you end up choosing in the future, make sure that it is something your truly enjoy doing, so that you won’t be stressed and exhausted in the long run. Good luck!

Clyde Hudson @ Stewart Technologies Inc.
Ashish Agarwal said…
Your blog on internal audit is very informative and I know many things about audit services after reading this. I have gained knowledge on Audit Methodology and Data Analytics. Thanks
Nunah Mikhail said…
I am wondering a lot by seeing such awesome post. Lots of thanks guys!! AQM Auditing
depra parker said…
Of course, what a superb site with wonderful posts, enlightening issues has been discussed I like it. AQM Auditing
As per my view Internal Audit is best option which can help with direction on the policies

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